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Home arrow Canada and the Middle East arrow Death of a Palestinian minister: How should Canada respond?
Death of a Palestinian minister: How should Canada respond? PDF Print E-mail
Dec 12, 2014 at 12:00 AM

Ziad Abu Ein choked by Israeli police
Palestinian Government Minister Ziad Abu Ein scuffles with Israeli police at a demonstration on December 9th a few moments before his death. The demonstrators were trying to plant trees around an illegal Israeli settlement.
 

Imagine for a moment that the picture above had been taken in Ukraine. That the man being throttled had been an unarmed minister in the Ukrainian government. That he had been in a peaceful demonstration opposing Russian occupation of Ukraine. That he had been beaten and teargassed by Russian troops. That he subsequently died. What would have been the reaction of Foreign Minister John Baird?

Do you think he would have turned away or shrugged his shoulders? Or would he have been incensed and immediately called for justice?

But this is not a hypothetical case. The minister was Palestinian, and he died at the hands of Israeli police. What was Mr. Baird’s response? What should Mr. Baird’s response be?

To read my “open letter” to Hon. John Baird, check out my blog post here:

http://canadatalksisraelpalestine.ca/2014/12/12/death-of-a-minister-open-letter-to-hon-john-baird/

I also sent a copy to opposition leaders. If you agree with me, you might want to write your own letter to Mr. Baird. And copy the other parties as well.

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

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ISM’s response to the Rachel Corrie trial verdict
The International Solidarity Movement (ISM) is deeply concerned by the verdict of Judge Oded Gershon that absolved Israel’s military and state of the 2003 murder of American ISM activist Rachel Corrie. Rachel was crushed to death by an Israeli army bulldozer while protesting the demolition of a Palestinian home in the Gaza Strip.

Despite the American administration stating that the Israeli military investigation had not been "thorough, credible and transparent" and the Israeli government withholding key video and audio evidence, Judge Gershon found no fault in the investigation or in the conclusion that the military and state were not responsible for Rachel’s death. Judge Gershon ruled  that Rachel was to blame for her own murder and classifies her non-violent attempt to prevent war crimes as proof that Rachel was not a “thinking person".

By disregarding international law and granting Israeli war criminals impunity Judge Gershon’s verdict exemplifies the fact that Israel’s legal system cannot be trusted to administer justice according to international standards.The ISM calls on the international community to hold Israel accountable by supporting the Palestinian call for boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) and continuing to join the Palestinian struggle in the occupied Palestinian territories.
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