UN report confirms toll on Palestinians
To the Editor,
Recently, the independent report by the United Nation’s international fact finding mission to investigate the implications of the Israeli settlements on the human rights of Palestinians was tabled.
It found that “the existence of the settlements has had a heavy toll on the rights of Palestinians. Their rights to freedom of self determination, non-discrimination, freedom of movement, equality, due process, fair trial, not to be arbitrarily detained, liberty and security of person, freedom of expression, freedom to access places of worship, education, water, housing, adequate standard of living, property, access to natural resources and effective remedy are being violated consistently and on a daily basis” by Israel which, in the process, violated its signed obligations to adhere to international law.
For those who would dismiss these allegations, try reading Our Harsh Logic – a book available in the local library by the NGO Breaking the Silence – consisting entirely of verbatim reports by Israeli army veterans describing their daily experiences in the occupied territories and confirming the evidence provided to the fact-finding mission.
The evidence that the approximately 250 settlements and 520,000 Israeli settlers, encouraged and supported by the Israeli government since 1967, have led to “a situation of prevailing impunity,” violence, stark legal inequality, vandalism, racism and injustice is undeniable.
The mission calls for “all member states to comply with their obligations under international law and assume their responsibilities in their relationship to a state breaching peremptory norms of international law.”
It is shameful Canada’s government, in our name, continues to support this illegal regime by remaining willfully blind to its crimes.
Embarrassingly, will we be the last country with the courage to look at the evidence and abide by our international humanitarian obligations instead of encouraging, through willful ignorance, the prolonged Middle East instability that threatens us all?