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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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Israel planned for Lebanon war months in advance, PM says
  • Olmert's leaked testimony contradicts earlier remarks 
  • Criticism from inquiry may force resignation

Conal Urquhart in Tel Aviv
Friday March 9, 2007
The Guardian

Preparations for Israel's war in Lebanon last summer were drawn up at least four months before two Israeli soldiers were kidnapped by Hizbullah in July, Ehud Olmert, the prime minister, has admitted.

His submission to a commission of inquiry, leaked yesterday, contradicted the impression at the time that Israel was provoked into a battle for which it was ill-prepared. Mr Olmert told the Winograd commission, a panel of judges charged with investigating Israel's perceived defeat in the 34-day war, that he first discussed the possibility of war in January and asked to see military plans in March.

According to the Ha'aretz daily, which obtained details of Mr Olmert's testimony, the prime minister chose a plan featuring air attacks on Lebanon and a limited ground operation that would be implemented following a Hizbullah abduction. Hizbullah had made several attempts to capture Israeli soldiers on the border since Israel withdrew from southern Lebanon in 2000.

Israeli commentators believed that Mr Olmert and Amir Peretz, the defence minister, took the opportunity of the kidnapping to show they could manage a war in spite of their limited military experience. But the outcome of the war seemed to highlight their lack of experience and also deficiencies in Israel's military planning.

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