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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

4. June 22, 2002
3. May 10, 2002
2. April 14, 2002
1. April 8, 2002


4. June 22, 2002
This letter was sent on June 22, 2002, along with a copy of two ads taken out in the Vancouver Georgia Straight and the Toronto NOW Magazine, paid for by individual donors.

June 22, 2002

Mr. Bill Graham
Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade
Ottawa

Dear Mr. Graham:

Attached is a copy of the full page ads we have arranged to publish June 27th in Vancouver and Toronto papers.

We told you in earlier letters (April 8, April 14, May 10), which you still have yet to acknowledge and respond to, that we are determined to sustain a national campaign for a change in Canadian government policy-practices on the matter of Palestine and Israel.

We are keeping our word.

As a Minister in the government of Canada, you have the responsibility to provide a seriously considered response to the signatories of the statement we have forwarded to you. This is our minimal due in a proclaimed democracy.

Sincerely,
Mordecai Briemberg
Canpalnet

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3. May 10, 2002
The End the Occupation Statement was sent a third time to the Canadian government with the following letter on May 10, 2002.

To: Bill Graham, Foreign Minister
Gar Knutson, Secretary of State
Jean Augustine, Chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee

Jean Chretien, Prime Minister

On April 8th, I wrote to inform you of a new cross-Canada campaign calling on your government to change its policies on Israel/Palestine and to advocate and work for an immediate end to the Israeli occupation of territories conquered in 1967 and subsequently illegally settled. On April 14th, having received no reply to the initial letter, I wrote to you again.

Now it is one month since I first wrote and still you have not replied to the substance of the concerns I have expressed. Indeed, you have not even shown the courtesy of acknowledging receipt of this correspondence. This dismissiveness is the antithesis of a democratic process of governing.

With the first letter I sent you a statement endorsed at that time by just over 200 individuals and organizations, representing a broad cross-section of the population, indicating an engagement with this issue by new constituencies. With the second letter I sent the statement with double the number of endorsers. And now the endorsements for the statement have doubled again.

It is past time that you and others in Parliament meet with some of the signatories of the statement, a proposal I make now for the third time. I await your reply to this and my earlier letters.

Sincerely,

Mordecai Briemberg
Canpalnet
604-298-9638 (home phone)

cc: Joe Clark, leader of the Progressive Conservative Party
Gilles Duceppe, leader of the Bloc Quebecois
Alexa McDonough, leader of the New Democratic Party
John Reynolds, house leader of the Alliance Party
Francine Lalonde, member of the Foreign Affairs Committee
Svend Robinson, member of the Foreign Affairs Committee
William Casey, member of the Foreign Affairs Committee

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2. April 14, 2002
The End the Occupation Statement was sent to the Canadian government with the following letter on April 14, 2002 with over 400 signatures.

To: Bill Graham, Foreign Minister
Gar Knutson, Secretary of State
Jean Augustine, Chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee
Jean Chretien, Prime Minister

On April 8th, I wrote to inform you of a new cross-Canada campaign calling on your government to change its policies on Israel/Palestine and to advocate and work for an immediate end to the Israeli occupation of territories conquered in 1967 and subsequently illegally settled.

I sent you a statement endorsed at that time by just over 200 individuals and organizations, representing a broad cross-section of the population, indicating an engagement with this issue by new constituencies. I know the Foreign Minister recently has met with one familiar constituency and tomorrow will meet with the other. But it is time that he and others in Parliament also meet with some of the signatories of the statement, which I once again forward. This time the statement has double the number of endorsers I sent five days ago.

I await your reply to this and my earlier letter.

Sincerely, Mordecai Briemberg Canpalnet 604-298-9638 (home phone)

cc: Joe Clark, leader of the Progressive Conservative Party
Gilles Duceppe, leader of the Bloc Quebecois
Alexa McDonough, leader of the New Democratic Party
John Reynolds, house leader of the Alliance Party
Francine Lalonde, member of the Foreign Affairs Committee
Svend Robinson, member of the Foreign Affairs Committee
William Casey, member of the Foreign Affairs Committee

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1. April 8, 2002
The Statement was first sent to the Canadian government on April 8, 2002 with over 200 signatures and the following letter. The number of signatures since that date has consistently gone up, and the list will be forwarded again with the new names and signers when appropriate.

To: Bill Graham, Foreign Minister
Gar Knutson, Secretary of State
Jean Augustine, Chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee
Jean Chretien, Prime Minister

The government of Canada publicly has urged Israel to abide by Security Council resolution 1402, passed unanimously. Yet Israel continues arrogantly to disdain compliance. It therefore behoves the government of Canada to intensify significantly its public pressures upon Israel.

At the same time, in the U.N. commission on human rights, the government of Canada shamefully finds itself alone with the government of Guatemala in voting against a mandate for Mary Robinson to travel to the Israeli occupied territories and to investigate the violation of human rights taking place there. Is this where compliance with U.S. and Israeli wishes has led the government?

But the longer lasting shame is that the government of Canada has tolerated Israeli defiance of United Nations resolutions and international laws regarding a 35 year long occupation of territories conquered by military invasion in 1967: the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem. I refer of course to Israeli defiance of U.N. Security Council resolution 242, passed unanimously, and to the Fourth Geneva Convention, which Canada and Israel among others have committed themselves to uphold. Israel acts like a rogue nation with impunity, and there is no commensurate response from the government of Canada.

Yet it is this military occupation, with its daily humiliations and viciousness, along with the continuous construction of illegal Israeli settlements in these territories, that are the root cause of the spiralling violence we presently witness, and for which resolution 1402 is a stop-gap measure.

It is the complete end of this occupation with its settlements that is called for by U.N. resolution and international treaty. It is the complete end of this occupation with its settlements which is the only practical hope for ending the spiralling violence and setting a context conducive to authentic peace negotiations.

In short, respect for human rights, U.N. resolutions and international treaty require the government of Canada publicly to call for and energetically to work to realize an immediate and complete end to the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories conquered in 1967. Otherwise how can Canada have any credible claim to being recognized by other nations as a defender of human rights, international law and United Nations resolutions? Otherwise how can the government of Canada claim to be doing anything more than following Israel and the U.S. into a morass where multiplying criminal acts broaden rather than resolve conflict. And if Israel continues its defiance, this requires the government of Canada to join with the vast majority of the world’s nations to sanction Israel.

With the brutal face of the Israeli occupation now so evident to people in Canada, growing numbers from all backgrounds are affirming that our government’s policies are inadequate and need to be changed. One evidence of this is the strongly motivated support for the statement I forward below, initiated by the Canada Palestine Support Network (Canpalnet).

The signatures were gathered in a few days, from people in all corners of Canada, from Nunavit to Halifax to Vancouver, and places in between. The signatories not only come from geographically dispersed areas, they come from a diversity of communities. There are new and different constituencies than before engaging on this issue; it no longer can be the confined preserve of a small number. I urge you all to reconsider your government’s policies, particularly in view of the changing political context in Canada on this issue. And I invite the Foreign Minister to discuss the views expressed in the statement with some of the signatories. Please contact me to make the necessary arrangements.

Sincerely,
Mordecai Briemberg
Canpalnet
604-298-9638

cc: Joe Clark, leader of the Progressive Conservative Party
Gilles Duceppe, leader of the Bloc Quebecois
Alexa McDonough, leader of the New Democratic Party
John Reynolds, house leader of the Alliance Party
Francine Lalonde, member of the Foreign Affairs Committee
Svend Robinson, member of the Foreign Affairs Committee
William Casey, member of the Foreign Affairs Committee

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For Immediate Release - Français au dessus

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