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Letters to the editor

July, 2010

Response to our June editorial, “CEGEP teachers betray mission in targeting Israel for boycott,” has been overwhelming. Below is a selection of the mail we received, edited for space:

Israeli commandos storm the lead ship in the aid flotilla challenging the blockade of Gaza, killing nine and wounding dozens and you blame the victims rather than the aggressors.

The expulsion of Palestinians in 1948 a byproduct of war? Not so. Ilan Pappe, the Israeli historian, documents the plan for expulsion of Palestinians by the Zionist high command and the terror campaign that was unleashed to promote that aim. You cite other examples of population transfers in order to justify Israeli policy, forgetting that two wrongs don’t make a right.

Palestinian rocket attacks, over the years claiming the lives of 15 Israeli civilians, had virtually ceased at the time Israel launched Operation Cast Lead in which much of Gaza’s social and economic infrastructure was destroyed and nearly 1,400 civilians were slaughtered. You accuse Hamas of intransigence. But it has repeatedly offered not only a ceasefire but also a negotiated release of the captured Israeli soldier, Gilad Shalit.

There remains the unequal status of the Palestinian minority inside Israel. The aim of the BDS (Boycott Divestment and Sanctions) campaign is to mobilize world opinion against the unconscionable siege of Gaza and the occupation of the West Bank. — Dr. Robbie Mahood, Côte des Neiges

I must express amazement at your editorial reprimand of our CEGEP teachers for their approach to BDS vis-à-vis Israel.

Your argument that CEGEPs are not the place for such topics is at best facetious. Our youth in these days of the Internet are much more aware of global issues; hence they need exposure to them.

I have yet to see any objection raised by our media when Jewish boys and girls are sent to Israel to be indoctrinated.

I realize your paper is addressed to the senior demographic, who would certainly cheer you for this reprimand. In all earnestness, time is ripe for a paper such as yours to encourage free thinking. Many of your readers are fervent supporters of Israel and it is their choice. But this editorial was disingenuous and a vain attempt to rewrite the history of a four-decade-old conflict.

Israel holds a world record in defying numerous UN Resolutions and charters. The well-crafted and balanced UN Security Council Resolution 242 is a dead letter. One hardly hears from Prime Minister Stephen Harper or, for that matter, any of the political elite on the necessity of implementing this basic plan to achieve a just peace in the Middle East! — S. Naseer Alig, Montreal

I admire your tenacity in defending Israeli policies and actions no matter how offensive and violent they are. Fortunately, there are saner elements among world Jewry who are getting tired of silencing any legitimate criticism of Israel, the new “Golden Calf.” Your ethnic myopia is pathetic and even pathological. — Robert Morgan

On a positive note ... God bless you for explaining Israel’s situation with such clarity. I hope many will read your editorial and think twice before condemning the only democracy in the Middle East. Long may you continue to inform the public with honesty and clarity. — Phyllis Vassall



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