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Canada and the Middle East
Canadian Foreign Policy on the Middle East PDF Print E-mail
Jun 30, 2003 at 12:00 AM
Reflections on Permanent War and Palestine PDF Print E-mail
Aug 16, 2002 at 12:00 AM
by Mordecai Briemberg
August 16, 2002
[Published in issue #1 of OUR PAPER (Victoria) and last issue of ALARM (Vancouver)]

Years ago I remember hearing a radio report recounting memoirs of some private discussions that had taken place when Trudeau and Mitterand were players at the G-6 summits. Reagan then was U.S. president. Out of earshot, on the quiet margins of their meetings, the worldly Trudeau and Mitterand pondered over the "enigma" of this sometimes dozing, doltish figure named Reagan. But, they asked each other, despite all appearance, might he not be informed and intelligent after all? To pose this question was to reveal a deep need they (and we) have for reassurance that reason is an integral dimension of power. Apparently they decided, driven by their need for reassurance, that in the case of Reagan, appearance was deceiving.

Background for Discussion on Canada's Foreign Policy - 2002 PDF Print E-mail
Jun 30, 2002 at 12:00 AM
Letters to the Canadian Government PDF Print E-mail
Jun 22, 2002 at 12:00 AM

The End the Occupation Statement was sent to the Canadian government four times before a response was received. Below is the text of the four letters in reverse order. Since June of 2002, people and organizations have continued to sign the statement, and by January 7, 2003 there were 1,295 signers. To sign the statement email support@canpalnet.ca. To see the signers, and find the latest number of signatories, go to www.canpalnet.ca/stmt.html

Letter from Svend Robinson, June 2 2002 PDF Print E-mail
Jun 02, 2002 at 12:00 AM
OTTAWA June 2nd, 2002

From Svend J. Robinson, MP Burnaby-Douglas

Dear Friend,

I am writing in response to your words of support following my visit to Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories last month. Messages I have received from across the country, and the many messages from my constituents in Burnaby-Douglas, have given me strength and renewed determination to continue speaking out for peace and justice, and in solidarity with both the Palestinian people and the many courageous Israelis who have condemned the brutal and dehumanising policies of the Sharon government.

Ignatieff in 2002: "Why Bush must send in his troops" PDF Print E-mail
Apr 19, 2002 at 12:00 AM

Imposing a two-state solution is the last chance for Middle East peace

Michael Ignatieff
The Guardian, Friday 19 April 2002

Two years ago, an American friend took me on a helicopter ride from Jerusalem to the Golan Heights over the Palestinian West Bank. He wanted to show me how vulnerable Israel was, how the Arabs only had to cross 11km of land to reach the sea and throw the Israelis into it. I got this message but I also came away with another one. When I looked down at the West Bank, at the settlements like Crusader forts occupying the high ground, at the Israeli security cordon along the Jordan river closing off the Palestinian lands from Jordan, I knew I was not looking down at a state or the beginnings of one, but at a Bantustan, one of those pseudo-states created in the dying years of apartheid to keep the African population under control.

Read full article...

Birthright Denied PDF Print E-mail
Apr 05, 1999 at 12:00 AM

by Hanna Kawas

Special thanks to Morgan McGuigan for preparing the electronic version of Birthright Denied.

Reviewed by Mordecai Briemberg
April 5, 1999

Hanna Kawas, a citizen of Canada asks our government to acknowledge, in his passport, a simple fact: that he was born June 2, 1948 in Bethlehem, Palestine. Our government accepts June 2. It accepts 1948. It accepts Bethlehem. But it refuses to acknowledge Palestine.

In the following pages, you can read the correspondence between Hanna Kawas and the Government of Canada on the question of his birthplace.

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Facts and Figures about the Current Darkness in the Gaza Strip

January 23rd 2008

Report from the Palestinian Hydrology Group
  1. Gaza Strip today is facing a very harsh siege which is expected to have severely negative humanitarian impact.
  2. The distribution of drinking water and the collection and treatment of wastewater completely rely on electricity and fuel in Gaza Strip.
  3. For several months now Israel has imposed a cruel siege on the Strip preventing people and goods from free movement. This has immobilized the importing of spare parts, pumps, pipes and other necessary accessories for the water and sanitation providing facilities.
  4. According to different sources the water and sanitation services are expected to be completely paralyzed within a matter of hours due to the lack of fuel reserves.
  5. About 133 water wells are being used for domestic purposes in addition to 33 sewage pump stations and three treatment plants; 10 of these groundwater wells function using fuel while the rest rely on electricity. Diesel powered generators are normally used as backup for the whole system but only for a limited time.
    The Coastal Municipalities Water Utility needs at least 100,000 liters of diesel per month to operate the water system. An additional 100,000 liters of diesel per month are needed for the sewage system to prevent wastewater from flooding the streets and residential areas.
  6. Reducing electricity and fuel supplies are potential causes to trigger an environmental crisis especially in the wastewater pump stations and treatment plants. If wastewater is not treated it will have to be pumped directly to the sea. This will for sure have a direct and negative impact on the groundwater aquifer and marine life.
    During winter time sewage pumps need to operate about 24 hours per day due to rainfall. Therefore, interruptions in fuel and electricity supply would be particularly significant.
  7. The sewage treatment plant in Beit Lahiya is also vulnerable to interruptions in electricity supplies. The treatment lagoons must be pumped regularly, or else the 10,000 people living in the area are in danger.  Six months ago, one of the lagoons over flooded and caused the death of five persons. Proper maintenance could have prevented the disaster.
  8. The water supply in Gaza City, with a total of 600,000 residents, in addition to a major part of the central portion of the Strip is expected to be completely cut-off as a result of ceasing the pumping from the municipal groundwater wells. The City also faces the threat of overflowing wastewater since the pumps (especially Al Samer and Aqoola stations) are expected to stop operating within the next 24 hours.
  9. If the current situation should persist the solid wastes generated in the Strip will accumulate in piles on the streets endangering the health of the locals.

The WaSH Monitoring Program calls on the International Community to push Israel to immediately cease all military operations, reopen the borders to allow the movement of people and goods and provide fuel supply and humanitarian aid to the residents of Gaza.