The following is an open letter to Galit Baram, Israel’s consul general in Toronto, written by some members of the Canadian Jewish community.
Dear Consul General Baram,
Many people were shocked to read the open letter published in the July 20 edition of the Canadian Jewish News that supported the Arab-Palestinian propaganda machine lie that Israel “occupies” Judea and Samaria. This lie is spread by anti-Israel forces in the Middle East and around the world. It perpetuates the myth of Palestinian-Arab victimhood. The boycott, divestment and sanctions movement against Israel is based on this notion of “occupation” and stands as a glaring example of the attempts to delegitimize and ultimately destroy the very existence of the Jewish state.
The fact is that Israel is unquestionably an owner and not an occupier. Historically, it is universally recognized that Jews have dwelled in the Land of Israel for well over 3,000 years. In recognition of the Jewish patrimony, Israel was granted the legal rights to Palestine in 1922. This is enshrined in the United Nations Charter and remains valid, regardless of the passage of time.
Israel is not an occupier, nor is Israel to be blamed for the terrorism perpetrated against its people. By contrast, terrorism is celebrated and rewarded by the Palestinian Authority (PA) and its president, Mahmoud Abbas, who is a noted Holocaust denier. Israel is the rightful owner of the land from the Mediterranean Sea to the Jordan River. It liberated Judea and Samaria in 1967 from Jordan, which had illegally occupied it for 19 years.
Where is the call among the so-called “progressives” for the PA to stop paying salaries to murderers and naming schools after terrorists? Where is the call for it to stop teaching their children to hate and kill Israelis? Where is the call to have EU countries and Western media stop spreading lies and distortions about Israel and Israelis?
Why aren’t those who are rallying against a non-existent “occupation” condemning the PA for days of rage leading to violence on the Temple Mount and the slaughter of innocent civilians in their own home on Shabbat?
The signatories of the letter published in The CJN calling for an end to the non-existent occupation do not live in Israel. They are not facing genocidal death threats. They are wilfully naive if they believe that all Jews should evacuate Judea and Samaria, our historic homeland, to have less security and face a greater risk from those who would totally destroy the one and only Jewish state.
Shame on anyone who thinks Israel is to blame for the decades-long stalemate in the peace negotiations. It is self-evident that the PA and its partners – including Fatah, the Palestinian Liberation Organization and Hamas – continue to actively support the declaration made by the Arab League in Khartoum in l967: “No recognition of Israel. No peace with Israel and no negotiation.”
Yehudit Shier Weisberg
Jeffery Todd Schwartz