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Home arrow Canada and the Middle East arrow Canadian MPs visit Israel on Gaza “fact finding mission”, but don’t go to Gaza
Canadian MPs visit Israel on Gaza “fact finding mission”, but don’t go to Gaza PDF Print E-mail
Aug 02, 2014 at 10:52 PM

Former Liberal Cabinet minister John McCallum is in Israel along with 5 other Canadian parliamentarians on a "fact finding mission". Their activities include visiting an Israeli hospital to sympathize with injured IDF soldiers and attending a Canada-Israel solidarity event. They won't talk to any Palestinians.

Three Liberals (2 MP's and a senator) are part of a 6 person delegation in Israel on a two day “fact finding mission” organized by the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA) according to the Toronto Sun.

CIJA says the trip is designed to give the half-dozen parliamentarians “firsthand knowledge and perspective” on the conflict between Israel and Hamas.

Except that they aren’t going to Gaza. They are learning about the situation in Gaza by visiting Israel, talking to Israeli politicians, sympathizing with wounded Israeli soldiers and even attending a Solidarity Night with Israel in Jerusalem.

The six legislators are: Liberal MPs Carolyn Bennett and John McCallum, Conservative MPs Randy Hoback, Ted Opitz and David Sweet and Liberal Sen. Grant Mitchell. (To its credit, the NDP had the integrity to say that it would not participate in what appeared to be a one-sided tour.)

http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/parliamentarians-minus-ndp-on-perspective-mission-to-israel-1.2721143

I would encourage people to ask a few questions of these MP's. For example:.
  1. Does it make sense to do a fact-finding mission on any conflict by visiting only one side?
  2. Why didn’t you go to Gaza? (Of course it’s dangerous, but you could ask Israel to stop bombing for a bit. And there are lots of foreign journalists there, including CBC. The UN agency UNRWA would have been happy to show you the extensive destruction to its facilities.)
  3. What efforts did you make to talk to representatives of Palestinians, (including the PA or Hamas which is still the elected government in Gaza?)
  4. Do you see any contradiction between a “fact-finding” tour, and a “solidarity tour”?
  5. Who paid for your trip to Israel?
  6. What did you learn about the Israeli objectives in this conflict? From whom?
  7. What did you learn about the Palestinian objectives (or why they are continuing to struggle)? From whom?
  8. How much of Israel’s infrastructure would you estimate has been damaged?
  9. You visited injured Israeli soldiers and offering your sympathy and condolences. Did you make any effort to visit injured Palestinian women, children or other civilians or offer them any sympathy?
  10. After your fact-finding mission, what do you conclude about Israel’s killing of over 1000 Palestinians, mostly civilians, in Gaza?
Anybody interested in asking any questions to the 3 Liberals about the trip could write to:
  • John MacCallum, MP at: john.mccallum@parl.gc.ca
  • Carolyn Bennett, MP at: carolyn.bennett@parl.gc.ca
  • Sen. Grant Mitchell at: grant.mitchell@sen.parl.gc.ca

If you do so, I would like to know if you get an answer. Please feel free to post any comments on my blog at: canadatalksisrealpalestine.ca

Peter Larson
Chair,
National Education Committee on Israel/Palestine
National Council on Canada-Arab Relations

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Dichter cancels U.K. trip over fears of 'war crimes' arrest
By Barak Ravid, Haaretz Correspondent
Haaretz.
Dec. 6, 2007

Public Security Minister Avi Dichter canceled a trip to Britain over concerns he would be arrested due to his involvement in the decision to assassinate the head of Hamas' military wing in July 2002.

Fifteen people were killed in the bombing of Salah Shehade's house in Gaza, among them his wife and three children, when Dichter was head of the Shin Bet security service. He is the first minister to have to deal with a possible arrest.

Dichter was invited to take part in a conference by a British research institute on "the day after" Annapolis. He was supposed to give an address on the diplomatic process.
Dichter contacted the Foreign Ministry and sought an opinion on the matter, among other reasons because of previous cases in which complaints were filed in Britain and arrest warrants were issued on suspicion of war crimes by senior officers who served during the second intifada.

The Foreign Ministry wrote Dichter that it did not recommend he visit Britain because of a high probability that an extreme leftist organization there would file a complaint, which might lead to an arrest warrant. The ministry also wrote that because Dichter was not an official guest of the British government, he did not have immunity from arrest.

Read full article...

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