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Palestinian Elections 2006
Hamilton Declaration PDF Print E-mail
Oct 28, 2007 at 12:00 AM

Please find below the text of the "Hamilton Declaration", which was passed by 18 Palestinian Canadian community-based associations, including Toronto, Mississauga, Ottawa, Halifax, Vancouver, London Ontario, Hamilton, Branford, Montreal, A-lawda, Resistance Art

Please feel free to circulate it as widely as you wish

October 28, 2007

An Open Letter to Mahmoud Abbas - President of the Palestinian National Authority

We the Palestinian Canadian community assembly at the Palestinian National Voice Preparatory Conference in Hamilton, Canada, issue this letter out of profound concern regarding the present state of the Palestinian national struggle and the November 2007 “peace” conference to be hosted by the United States in Annapolis, Maryland.

While Palestinians still suffer from the disaster of the Oslo Accords, the Palestinian National Authority has now agreed to attend another round of flawed negotiations. This time it does so under the pressure of North American and European nations that have actively collaborated with Israel to divide the Palestinian people and inflict collective punishment and other war crimes against them. Even now Israel is being allowed to deny the Palestinians the basic necessities for a functioning society through a humiliating siege against the Palestinian people in response to the exercise of Palestinian democracy and the adherence to its results.

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Closing NGOs undermining Abu Mazen government PDF Print E-mail
Oct 08, 2007 at 12:00 AM

From our West Bank Correspondent, Conflicts Forum, October 8, 2007

The Al-Wurud Organization supports 130 poor families by providing food packages during holy days, feasts, and at the beginning of the school year. They hold workshops for women on social, educational and health issues. But the Palestinian government — the emergency government declared by Abu Mazen — is closing Al-Wurud, along with hundreds of others just like it. The emergency government claims that the organizations are being closed because they “are not properly registered.” But, in fact, it now appears that the charities that are being closed have crossed a thin political line being drawn by Abu Mazen: it is not that they are not registered, it is that they are registered in the wrong place. As Sumud Dameeree, a lawyer at the Ministry of Interior notes: “Why did these charities register in Gaza when they are located in the West Bank? They are required by law to register in their place and not in Gaza.”

Fadwa Eshaer, a director at the ministry argues that NGOs like Al-Wurud bring with them an Islamist agenda. “We need to build a state,” she says. “We do not need funds from Syria or Iran that will destroy our society. We do not need violence. We don’t need such NGOs which nurture an extreme Islamist agenda.” But Eshaer failed to detail exactly what Islamist agenda a bread-baking NGO like Al-Wurud promotes — or how supporting poor families by providing food packages promotes violence or “nurtures an extreme Islamist agenda.” ...

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Mairead Corrigan Maguire's Address to EU Parliament PDF Print E-mail
Jul 03, 2007 at 02:12 PM

An inspirational short address by Irish Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Mairead Corrigan Maguire to the EU Parliament’s “50 years of the EU: Nobel Prize winners celebrate at the European Parliament” event earlier this month:

....The European Parliament has a responsibility to do more than just pay lip service and rhetoric. It needs to act. It should immediately lift the economic and political restrictions put on against the Palestinian elected authority. The Palestinians themselves elected - eighty percent, - their democratic right - to vote to elect Hamas. And what did yas do? Yas collectively punished the whole Palestinian people who are sinking deeper and deeper into poverty.

This will not answer the Israeli Palestinian problem. I have been working for many years with the Israeli and the Palestinian activists who want a solution to the problem, and you have an ability to help that as the European Parliament. Recognize the Palestinian Authority. Call that the occupation of Palestine - it’s the fortieth anniversary on the 8th of June. Call that the occupation of Palestine be ended. And demand that the Israeli government move into genuine dialog with the duly elected Palestinians and get this problem solved.....

for full transcript and audio snippet

Middle East Democracy - The Hamas Factor PDF Print E-mail
Mar 02, 2006 at 12:00 AM
By Ramzy Baroud
[Counterpunch, March 2, 2006]
“...It goes without saying that Palestinians, and those who have genuinely supported their democratic insurgency, have many reasons to be proud. Evidently, those who used democracy as a decoy to justify their grievous foreign policies or to defend their unwarranted military occupation are now being forced into an unpleasant era of ‘soul searching’ - as proposed by the Financial Times.

Hamas, not knowingly, perhaps, has abruptly deprived Washington of its last card in a Middle East foreign policy game, which was already in tatters. Delivering democracy was - until Hamas‘ political rise - Washington‘s strongest, albeit murkiest pretext to justify its military presence in the Middle East...”

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On Hamas Victory PDF Print E-mail
Feb 28, 2006 at 12:00 AM
by Dr. Eyad El Sarraja
[Gaza Community Mental Health Programme, February, 2006]
“Palestine was hit with a powerful political Tsunami which has the promise of dramatically changing the Middle East and beyond. This is the first time ever that an Islamic movement rises to power in the Arab world and in very peaceful and clean democratic elections. The religion part contribution to victory was not more than 15%, the rest was a beating vote against the Authorities and Fatah for their dismal record on all fronts and a defiant call against the Israeli occupation and the American policies.

The fight was between Hamas and Fatah with extreme polarisation. The rest of competitors were almost neglected. Many big names in all local constituencies lost their seats. Barghouti who was sure of winning 12 seats got only 2 and Hanan Ashrawi list won only two seats. My list did not score much as expected any way. But the crushing defeat of Fatah has made other losses incomparable.

Hamas now is challenged by its history in order to enter the future...”

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Respect of Election Results is the Only Way Forward PDF Print E-mail
Feb 16, 2006 at 12:00 AM
A Statement to the international community issued by the Occupied Palestine and Golan Heights Advocacy Initiative (OPGAI)
[February 16, 2006]

“International reactions to Hamas' election victory in the occupied Palestinian territories, in particular statements issued by the United States, the EU and the Quartet, have been very disappointing... Many were and are still stunned by Hamas' victory, who won 74 seats out of 132 in the Council. However, all of us understand that the vote for Hamas was a vote for internal change towards good governance and respect for the fundamental rights of the Palestinian people, and a vote for a fundamental change of the relationship between the international community and the Palestinian people. The Palestinian people have sent a message that we want to be treated by the international community like any other people, in accordance with international law and UN resolutions...”

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Statement on the results of the Palestinian Election PDF Print E-mail
Feb 16, 2006 at 12:00 AM
[Jews for a Just Peace (Vancouver, BC), February 16, 2006]
“Jews for a Just Peace calls for immediate recognition of the democratically elected government of the Palestinian people by the Government of Canada.

The refusal of Israel and other governments to acknowledge Hamas as the legitimate representative of the Palestinian people on the grounds that Hamas is a ‘terrorist organization’ is hypocritical. It is true that Hamas has perpetrated terrorist attacks against Israeli civilians. It is also true that Hamas has observed a unilateral cease-fire for almost a year while Israel continues to terrorize Palestinian civilians with attacks on refugee camps, housing blocks and farms...”

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Rachel Corrie verdict exposes Israeli military mindset
Corrie's parents have not received justice, but their quest reveals the lie of the IDF's claim to be the world's 'most moral army'
Rachel Corrie's family – father Craig, mother Cindy and sister Sarah Corrie Simpson – at the Haifa district court where a judge ruled that Israel did not intentionally kill the pro-Palestinian activist in 2003. Photograph: Oliver Weiken/EPA

Reporters covering Israel are routinely confronted with the question: why not call Hamas a terrorist organisation? It's a fair point. How else to describe blowing up families on buses but terrorism?

But the difficulty lies in what then to call the Israeli army when it, too, at particular times and places, has used indiscriminate killing and terror as a means of breaking Palestinian civilians. One of those places was Rafah, in the southern tip of the Gaza strip, where Rachel Corrie was crushed by a military bulldozer nine years ago as she tried to stop the Israeli army going about its routine destruction of Palestinian homes.

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