Dear Honourable Ignatieff,
It is my sad duty as a Liberal Party supporter to forward you the message just received from a good friend yesterday,. It gives us a reality check on what is currently happening in Gaza and what a sad situation it has come to for both sides of this interminable issue.
attached below is from Monzer Zimmo an Ottawa resident of Palestinian descent and who leads the moderate voice of Canadian Palestinians in regular and friendly dialogue with the Canadian Jewish Community through a wonderful organization called " Potlucks for Peace"
which carries out public seminars of reconciliation in genuine spirit of Canadian moderation and constructive dialogue. It was for this reason that the message just received from Monzer was particularly sad.
I myself am a British born Canadian having arrived in Canada in 1992 as a retired British Royal Navy Commander and a retiring Secretary General of the Duke of Edinburgh's Award. In the latter capacity I regularly visited Israel where I helped to found the still very dynamic Israel Youth Award - the very first non segregated youth program in Israel. I have many Israeli and Jewish friends as well as Palestinian and Arab. However the excesses of recent behavior by the Israeli State has for me like many others alienated our regard for this increasingly extremist State.
During the recent Lebanon war my wife and sixteen year old daughter happened tro be visiting Lebanon at the time and were trapped in the bombing, escapiing by mountain road to Syria being straffed by Israeli aircraft .
This brought home to our family the excessive and unethical use of force being used by Israel at that time- a situation you commented upon admirably and even handedly at the time gaining my respect.
A few days ago I read your recent speech of the 13th April on your web site " Canada and Israel:A Personal Perspective on the Ties That Bind”
This recent speech appeared far less even handed and gives rise to concern that a future Liberal Party will not revert fully back to the positioning of moderation and even handedness that the world has over the years so greatly admired in Canada - as we progressed through the dark days of Apartheid and lead the way to the Canadian lead establishment of International Criminal Court etc
When faced with the realities of the current situation as descriibed in the sad message below I do believe it is time for fair minded men to stand up and say enough is enough and to seek new ways to break the deadlock in much the same way as President Carter has started.
David Newing LVO
Commander Royal Navy ( retired)
From : .....
Sent : April 21, 2008 6:04:04 PM
Subject : Our Family Farm in Gaza is No More
During the weekend, I received news from Gaza, Palestine that Israeli tanks and bulldozers obliterated what was left of our family farm in Gaza. The Israelis destroyed everything; olive orchards, orange groves, all other trees, the farmhouse, the water well, the irrigation pipelines...everything.
A few of those trees were planted by my own hands a little less than fifty years ago. My father wanted his children to strengthen our bond with the land; so we participated in planting trees. At that time, it was a big party... little did I know that it would become a source of sharp pain fifty years later. Philosophically speaking, it seems that such is life; when it is conceived and nourished, it brings joy and happiness, and when it ends, it imposes pain and sorrow. However, when life ends by a blatant act of injustice, the pain and sorrow run much deeper. The only blessing is that my father was spared the devastatingly explosive feelings of pain and anger that my mother, brothers, sisters, and I are experiencing today; he passed away some years ago.
The only thing the Israelis left behind--before they went on to destroy another farm nearby--was the rubble. Our family farm, which is no more, “was” located in a quite area south-east of Gaza city called "Juhr Ed-Deek", and it "was" a source of income for a few families.
While the entire world is calling for peace in the Middle East, and while Arab and Muslim countries offer Israel the Arab Peace Initiative, the Israelis destroy Palestinian farms. This is just one example of what Zionism has done to “Jewish values”; it has become easy for an Israeli Jewish soldier to uproot trees, to demolish farmhouses, to bulldoze water wells, to destroy irrigation systems, and to annihilate life and eliminate the means that sustain it. What amount of fear, and what source of threat, can explain—let alone justify—such abhorrent, barbaric acts?!?!
At this devastating personal moment of sorrow, I say to all Zionists who are detarmined to destroy life: [The Palestinain people are determined to bring life at a faster rate than your ability to destroy it. Perhaps one day, you will wake up, end your madness, recapture your humanity, and all of us will join hands to protect life and build "peace for all" on the land of Canaan. In the meantime, my family farm in Juhr Ed-Deek, Gaza, Palestine, will be brought to life again; if not sooner, then later. If you destroy it again, we will bring it to life again, and again, and again... until you learn that life and hope are not only more beautiful but also much stronger than death and fear.]