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Toronto, Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Letter to the Globe and Mail from Anton Kuerti

To: David Orchard
Subject: Gaza

I just sent this to the Globe; they probably won't print it, but you may use it on your website if you wish.

Dear Editor.

The Honourable Peter Kent's [junior Minister of State for Foreign Affairs] statement that "The position of the government of Canada is that Hamas bears the burden of responsibility for the deepening humanitarian tragedy" in Gaza flies totally in the face of the facts. It is beyond deplorable that Canada should so cravenly mimic the position of the discredited and corrupt U.S. administration and thus bless the outrageous massacres being perpetrated by Israel.

The Hamas missiles are just an all too convenient pretext for Israel's determination to destroy the elected Hamas government. The ceasefire was first destroyed in November when the Israeli military killed 12 Palestinians with air attacks. Israel was "assaulting Gaza militarily, by sea and by air, all through the ceasefire," according to the Guardian.

In the nearly three years since Hamas came to power, Israel forces killed about 1,300 people in Gaza and the West Bank. Between June 2007 and June 2008, Israeli attacks killed 80 Palestinian children and young people in Gaza and the West Bank. Even during the ceasefire, Israel killed 22 people in Gaza.

The disparity between the U.S. F-16s, helicopters, 1000 lbs bombs and the Hamas missiles, and the 100-1 killing ratio of Israel's atrocities is utterly dismaying. When a people has been effectively imprisoned, occupied, isolated, humiliated, raped, deprived of food, fuel, water and electricity, what can one expect them to do, turn over and die? The random missiles they sent into Israel were a desperate cry for help and justice which the world chose to ignore. Despicable as they were, they must be understood in that context.

Israel has continued to assassinate people in the West Bank, though no rockets were fired from there, and its bombing raids on UN schools, Danish clinics, police recruits, government buildings, refugee camps and every type of infrastructure are clearly war crimes. Israel's behaviour makes me ashamed of being a Jew, and our government's implicit endorsement of these crimes makes me ashamed of being a Canadian.

Dr. Anton Kuerti, O.C.

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