In response to Salomon Rayak's column, "Palestine's bid for statehood."
The Balfour treaty of 1948 imposed the Israeli state on the Palestinians and on their land. Therein lay the seeds of decades of unrest.
The main thrust of the Rayak's column is to denigrate the UN. We all know it is a flawed institution, but would the world be better off without it? I think probably not.
He asserts that no-one is acknowledging the crimes of the Assad regime in Syria. Really? And by an oblique link, he uses this assertion to diminish the claim by Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas that the government of Israel is guilty of crimes against humanity.
Rayak should be aware that by instituting a system of apartheid, and by its use of cluster bombs on civilians, the government of Israel has absolutely committed crimes against humanity. The attempt to justify this by claiming that King Hussein of Jordan also did bad things is nonsense with no logical validity.
It is clear that terrible things have been done by both sides in this conflict. The oppressor and the oppressed both do bad things.
For Israel, the problem now is that world opinion has recoiled from the brutality of Benjamin Netanyahu's government and the consequent ongoing and worsening plight of the Palestinians.
Rayak is in good company here in Canada. Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird has threatened punitive action against the Palestinians for having the temerity to claim statehood. Baird also criticizes Palestine's action as unilateral and a threat to the two-state solution (which everyone agrees is the goal). Yet Baird does not condemn Isreal's response, an announcement to unilaterally construct 3,000 new Jewish-settler homes on Palestinian lands.
It has become more difficult to identify Canada's once proud role in the world as a true peace-maker.