Calgary, AB, November 21, 2019
Dear Honourable Prime Minister Justin Trudeau,
Subject: We Support the PM on Vote for Palestinians’ right to self-determination for a UN resolution on Tuesday, November 19, 2019.
“We welcome the change in Canadian policy which is more aligned and consistent with Canadian core principles on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. This includes embracing a two-state solution with viable borders for both peoples. This move corrects the Harper era bias. Canada supported the same resolution through 14 consecutive votes following Stephen Harper’s climb to power in 2006,” observed Dr. Mukarram Zaidi, Chairman, Think for Actions.
For 71 years Palestinians have lived under siege: Al-Nakba, Palestinians called it: The Catastrophe, a period of forced exile from home during the Israeli “War of Independence.” During this time Zionist forces expelled 750,000 Palestinians from their homes, committed 31 massacres and destroyed 531 Palestinian towns.
The blockade of Gaza began after the first Intifada, the Palestinian uprising of 1991. The blockade was strengthened and reinforced by Israel in January of 2006. The existence of the blockade is a violation of international law, and has turned Gaza into, quite literally, an uninhabitable area. In 2015 the United Nations Council on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) predicted that by 2020, the Gaza Strip would be beyond habitation,.However, as of 2017, Robert Piper of the United Nations noted that Gaza has already breached that threshold and is dilapidated, 3 years ahead of schedule. The living conditions in Gaza, home to 2 million people, 51% of which are children, are uninhabitable. Residents receive 4 hours of electricity daily,unemployment is at 45%, and there are soaring depression rates among children. Statistics show that 97% of all drinking water is contaminated; Sara Roy, a leader in the study of Gaza’s economy, observes, “Innocent people, most of them young, are slowly being poisoned by the water they drink”.
Conservative British Prime Minister, David Cameron, referred to Gaza as an “open-air prison.”.U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, Prince Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein referred to Palestinians as a people who have been “caged into a toxic slum,”,a people who have been denied dignity and humanity by Israeli authorities and are no longer allowed to even protest for their rights.
To criticize Israel is a political decision and should not be considered anti-Semitic,critique is a position on the fact that Israel has occupied and annexed Palestine. In support of Jewish character, honour, and dignity a group has been formed: Jewish Voice for Peace, https://jewishvoiceforpeace.org/.
It is crucial for us to support those in need, to commit to justice and return the land of Palestine to its people by restoring the original borders of 1948 and advocating for the two state solution.
Dr. Mukarram Zaidi
Chair, Canadian Muslim Research Think Tank, Think for Actions, firstname.lastname@example.org