Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Soccer Unites

With the world's attention on the World Cup (minus the U.S. of course) I thought this commercial would be appropriate for this time. You'll need Quicktime to see this.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

The Kingdom of Jerusalem

June 7th 1099 the siege of Jerusalem began, by July 15th of the same year, the First Crusaders had captured the city and effectively given birth to "The Kingdom of Jerusalem" a Christian nation in the Holy Land. Reason I'm writing this is because this is the first I've ever heard of "The Kingdom of Jerusalem", I mean I know about The Crusades and all that but, man, a Christian nation in Palestine! Cool!! The Kingdom stretched North to Beirut, East of the Jordan river and down to the Gulf of Aquaba (see map below). It was only around for 200 years, but hey, Canada isn't even that old! The Kingdom was officially destroyed in 1291 with the fall of Acre.

The movie The Kingdom of Heaven with Orlando Bloom does a fantastic job of re-creating that time and the fall of Jerusalem, rent it.

Speaking as a Christian, I think the reason I am finding this so amazing is because the idea of having an exclusively Christian nation in Palestine is so ludicrous, kind of like having an exclusive Jewish nation in Palestine. The Holy land is precious to the 3 major religions of the world. It is sacred to Islam, Christianity and Judaism. I don't think any of them should have an exclusive hold on Palestine.

I believe the only solution to the current stand off is a FREE and United Palestine, secular and for all religions.

A final thought: wouldn't it be ironic if all this time the Christian right of the United States aim was to resurrect the Kingdom of Jerusalem but has let Israel take the brunt of the battle for them. Arriving only in the waning days of Israel to sweep up the land....? Just a thought...

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Freedom to dePress

OK, here's how the story starts...The Ontario division of Canada's largest union voted to support an international campaign that is boycotting Israel over its treatment of Palestinians. The CBC covered it here.

Yesterday (May 31, 2006), an editorial was published in the Montreal Gazette calling the boycott "misguided and absurd" to which I took acception and wrote a response. Because I felt uncomfortable giving my real name, address and phone number they refused to publish my delicately composed response. As I told the person in charge via email
"I think you can understand why I am reluctant to give out that information as my comment is both critical of your newspaper and of Israel". To make things worse this Editorial has propagated itself right across Canada appearing in the Toronto Star and various online newservices. Yet my response or ANY response for that matter goes unpublished.

After you have read the original editorial (not published here to avoid copyright issues) here was my response:

In reference to the editorial in the May 31st edition of the Gazette: "CUPE's boycott is misguided and absurd":

As a Palestinian living and working in Montreal I found the entire editorial offensive in both nature and tone. Belittling the CUPE by calling their decision "misguided and absurd" in my mind is a cleverly subtle attempt to play down their brave efforts. That being said, this is exactly how I would expect the Montreal Gazette to approach this story considering it's historically biased attitudes in favour of Israel's brutal policy's towards the people of Palestine. For example, when Israel pulled out of Gaza it was featured prominently on the front pages of the Gazette, but on the same day of this editorial (May 31st), the story of Israel reentered Gaza militarily is buried on page A17.

At best, Israel is a Fascist government, extremely nationalistic, militaristic and not a democracy as it likes to portray itself in the West, not only towards their Palestinian hosts but to it's own citizens! So it doesn't really matter how "vigorously" Israeli citizens criticize their own government it won't and doesn't do much. This, to answer your question, is why Canada's largest union the CUPE is supporting a boycott against Israel...and why Canadians should applaud and duplicate their decision.

Considering what Israel has been doing for the last 58 years in the name of Judaism, all Jews worldwide should be protesting! Bravo to the CUPE for leading the way, for standing up and doing something to promote a peaceful resolution for Palestine.