I hope everyone takes the time to send letters to their elected officials. I received a response from the Prime Minister's office this morning to the letter I wrote, so they do read our letters. This is the letter I just sent off to Jack Layton, the leader of the NDP party in Canada, with a copy to the NDP MP of our region.
Jack Layton's email: Layton.J@parl.gc.ca
Dear Honorable Leader Jack Layton,
I have been an NDP supporter for many years, but increasingly have become concerned over the last few years of the NDP's public statements (or not!) on the Middle East, Palestine and Afghanistan. I was, and am, deeply angered about past statements that parrot Conservative and Liberal leaders equating Hamas with a terrorist organization. Hamas is, rather, the duly elected government of the Palestinian people expelled into the Gaza Strip through the creation of the state of Israel in 1948.
Peter Kent, the Minister of Status of Foreign Affairs and Michael Ignatieff, the acting Liberal leader, have both recently issued statements to the press blaming Hamas for the deaths of Gazan civilians and for the increasing humanitarian crisis in Gaza. They exonerate Israel by saying it is acting to defend itself. This is outrageous manipulation of history and Canadian complicity in creating one-sided propaganda whose effect is to continue the suppression, oppression and dispossession of the Palestinian people.
As a NDP supporter, I demand that the NDP step up into the public and restore Canada's humanitarian face, and rid it of its lying face. It is important as each minute Palestinian lives are on the line, that you, Mr. Layton, as the leader of the NDP, make clear that the Gazan people are UNDER SEIGE. The rockets of the Hamas, which are wrong, too, are the RESULT of aggressive bombardment and occupation and the only RESISTANCE left to a beleaguered, abandoned people. The world's complicity through silence or white-washing "balanced" language is continuing the deaths, as evidenced by the deliberate targeting of the UN aid convey and the killing of UN workers and NO ACCOUNTABILITY placed on Israel. This is not the first time Israel has targeted and killed UN workers--recently in Lebanon, they did this and got away with it, because of IMPUNITY. No punishment. No penalty. Just business as usual. Canada continues to support this terrible biased propping up of the state of Israel where Palestinians are denied full citizenship, denied their human rights in the occupied territories.
As Libby Davies, NDP MP for Vancouver East has written in her open letter to PM Harper:
"The lack of leadership from the Canadian government is shameful in the face of such events."
Where are the voices such as Libby Davies' who dare to speak out? Where are the voices that make clear the unequal power relations of this terrible crisis? Where are the voices that will expose the continuing 60 year long oppression of the Palestinian peoples? Where are the voices to demand that EXISTING UN resolutions be followed? Where are the voices that dare to speak out calmly, clearly and firmly that the people of Palestine are the victims not the perpetrators of their own deaths and oppression?
Honorable Jack Layton, please don't let your silence, like Obama's, turn into complicity with the status quo of injustice and death for Palestinians.