To the Editor,
Re: Nanaimo man on aid mission held by Israelis, Oct. 23.
I find it hard to sympathize with Jim Manly.
Rather than participate in any of the numerous peace initiatives which are actually advancing the economic and social standing of Palestinians (many of which are joint projects of Israelis and Arabs), he chose to participate in an endeavour which he knew would not provide any tangible benefits and would result in confrontation and detention.
Manly states that some of his fellow shipmates were tasered or handcuffed, as if this conduct is illustrative of an oppressive regime. He fails to mention that, at the same time this was happening, Hamas was firing rockets into southern Israel.
Schools were closed, civilians were forced into bomb shelters and many were injured. Maybe it is the fact that Palestinians elected terrorists to govern them, and not Israel’s rerouting of essential supplies through established and secure channels, that has hampered their economic and social well-being.
Manly served as the NDP’s critic for Indian Affairs. He knows that, like Palestinians, First Nations people have outstanding land claims arising from their expulsion by Manly’s forefathers. Is Manly prepared to move off his property or to another country so that it can be reclaimed by those who originally lived here? If First Nations people refused to recognize the right of Canada to exist and bombed his grandchildren’s school, his local coffee shop and the bus on which his wife and children rode, what would he demand of his government?
Does he think Israeli citizens are entitled to less?
Sharon B. Speevak