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 Yet my response or ANY response for that matter goes unpublished.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.




Abu Shaar said...

Bravo, indeed to CUPE and to you for your editorial.

It took quite a while for the disinvestment from South Africa campaign to gain momentum, but as we know the end result was a free, non-racialist South Africa

umkahlil said...

Abu Issa, even if you don't provide your real information (and I certainly understand why you're reluctant)it's still important to send the letters to keep editors informed.

Abed. Hamdan said...

Great Work Abu-Issa,

and It's not new that any Issue regarding Israel will be a red line, and of course won't be published.

I agree with Um Khaleel that Its still important to send letter, even If they don't publish it.

Tsedek said...

Why would you be afraid to give your name? You don't have to mention your blog, do you? I don't see any reason why someone living in a free country can't give their name ??

Anyway, think of this:


shlemazl said...

The fact is that CUPE disgraced itself. Even left-wing papers like Toronto Star did not like this ridiculous one-sided approach.

Times changed from good old days; both you and CUPE might as well get used to that.

Here is what I think about Mr Ryan.

Oh, and why exactly are you scared to give your name? I am using a pseudonim because my family and I get threatened by Arabs living in Toronto even if I play chess on a game website against them and they learn that I am Jewish. Have you been threatened?

shlemazl said...

Abu Issa,

I have been reading your posts and comments on other sites and believe that you are open-minded. I also think that you have been brought up on very one-sided information about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

I outlined my understanding of the origins of the conflict here
and would appreciate your comments/corrections and additions.

Abu-Issa said...

Hi Shlemazl,

Actually, in the last few months I've come to even better understand the history and current situation in Palestine much clearer. I was always pretty moderate in my views and now based on yours and others comments here and on other doing my own in depth research I believe I have come to this new elightenment.

I actually believe that the current situation is simply (and sadly) the continuation of the 1948 war. It seems that Israel herself believes this as well in that they continue to refuse the return of the non-Jews to their homes and lands in accordance with the U.N. agreement (I don't remember which it the Geneva convention?) where civilians are allowed to return AFTER the end of hostilities...follow? Isreal is not willing to say hostilities are "over" and therefore is refusing to let the non-Jews return.

What I am trying to be is PROGRESSIVE and declare that the only solution is what should have been done in the first place...create a United Palestine, secular and for all religions. The only direction we can move is FORWARD and this is where forward will lead us, to a FREE and United Palestine.


shlemazl said...

I can see your point in that I am not sure that Palestine in Gaza and Judea/Samaria will be viable in terms of resources, economy or even politically (a Talebanized country is hardly a viable option).

Having said this, I have to laugh if anyone seriously thinks that Israelis (including Israeli Arabs) will want join with or let in a people who have just voted Hamas in. Fatah isn't much better either. And frankly, no Arab country has done a very good job.