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Middle East: Who'll stop the rain?

Toronto Star logo
re. Israelis hit school, Ottawa blames Hamas

Much has been said about Israel's right to exist but almost nothing of Palestine's. Yet Israel is one of the world's mightiest military powers and is backed by another - the U.S.. Is its existence even in question? Palestine, on the other hand, is largely occupied territory and the part that wasn't is currently under invasion by Israel.

Ironically, the previous nation of Palestine from which Israel was gouged accommodated people of all faiths until attacks on Arab civilians by the Jewish Irgun and Lehi terrorist groups caused the British to close the border to further Jewish immigration. It's no surprise therefore that Israel's laws deny equal rights to non-Jews. Nor is it surprising that Israel has for 60 years denied Palestinian refugees the right to return to their homes.

And that is the little detail that forms the basis for 60 years of strife in the Middle East. The nation of Israel denies the primacy of the United Nation's Universal Declaration of Human Rights which guarantees freedom of religion. And it refuses to acknowledge the Geneva Conventions which grant the Palestinians the right of return. Moreover, it ignores the other Geneva Conventions, especially those dealing with its obligations to the people in the territories it occupies.

Nor does its lawlessness end there. It has shown a shocking lack of respect for the sovereignty and borders of its neighbours, making military incursions or even full scale invasions as it sees fit. And it has developed nuclear weapons - an act whose mere contemplation normally is sufficient to bring down the wrath of other nations.

I submit that Israel in its current incarnation is an intolerable impediment to peace. The Zionist dream of a Jewish state has been shown to be unworkable. It should be replaced by a secular nation comprised of the current Israeli and Palestinian territories, with equal rights for members of all religions. Then let the elected government of all the people deal with the grievances of its citizens.

Gary Dale

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