Paul Martin   Letter 01   10-Mar-2004   What kind of Justice Minister have you appointed?
  Former, and current, Prime Ministers, Jean Chretien and Paul Martin
Justice Minister, Irwin Cotler
"Irwin Cotler has dedicated the bulk of his career to furthering the Jewish persecution of Ukrainians, and arouses in not a few Canadians the apprehension that he intends to harness the highest position in the justice system's executive branch to the service of his obsession." Lubomyr Prytulak


Paul Martin, Prime Minister
Office of the Prime Minister
80 Wellington Street
Ottawa, ON    K1A 0A2

Mr Prime Minister:

A single question is Irwin Cotler Canada's Minister of Justice, or is he Canada's Jewish Minister of Justice?

There is a big difference, and it does not depend on the Minister's personal ethnicity or religion it depends on whether he is committed to enforcing the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms § 15(1), or committed to flouting it:

15.  (1) Every individual is equal before and under the law and has the right to the equal protection and equal benefit of the law without discrimination and, in particular, without discrimination based on race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, age or mental or physical disability.

That is, anyone who aspires to be Canada's Minister of Justice will advocate the prosecution of those war crimes that are most grievous, most recent, and best documented without regard to the nationality, ethnicity, or religion of the accused.  On the other hand, anyone who aspires to be no better than Canada's Jewish Minister of Justice, will advocate the prosecution of war crimes committed by non-Jews against Jews sixty years ago, and thus necessarily crimes whose evidentiary support has been eroded by the passage of time.  Or, to more accurately reflect Canadian even-worse reality, Canada's Jewish Minister of Justice will direct Canada's war crimes unit to prosecute the half-century-old immigration infraction of failure to disclose having worn a German uniform, an infraction, unfortunately, which is unproven and unprovable because of the absence of direct evidence that the accused was ever asked the question, or that he answered it untruthfully.

By way of demonstrating that the title "Jewish Minister of Justice" is assigned not according to the ethnicity or religion of the title-holder, but according to the above-mentioned pattern of discriminatory prosecution, Anne McLellan can be said to have served not in the higher capacity of Minister of Justice, but only in the lower capacity of Jewish Minister of Justice.

Your current Minister of Justice, Irwin Cotler, has dedicated the bulk of his career as president and as counsel for the Canadian Jewish Congress to promoting the prosecution of non-Jews particularly Ukrainians for the sole crime of having worn a German uniform, even if they had been conscripted into doing so as teenagers and at gunpoint, or even if they did so for commendable motives such as defending their nation against re-occupation by the Red Army, or even in the absence of allegations of their personal involvement in war crimes, or even in the absence of allegations of their formation's involvement in war crimes.  Or, to put it another way, Irwin Cotler has dedicated the bulk of his career to furthering the Jewish persecution of Ukrainians, and arouses in not a few Canadians the apprehension that he intends to harness the highest position in the justice system's executive branch to the service of his obsession.

If Irwin Cotler aspired to promotion from the lowly rank of Canada's Jewish Justice Minister to the elevated rank of Canada's Justice Minister, then he would halt the prosecution of ancient hypothesized immigration infractions, and would demand instead the prosecution of heinous, recent, and well-documented war crimes.  Specifically, given the large number of Israelis living in Canada today, and their high participation rate in Israeli military, police, and intelligence units, and the mountain of crimes that such units have accumulated, the most productive and just prosecution of war crimes in today's Canada would be directed at Israelis.  The 08-Mar-2004 Calgary Sun article by Bill Kaufmann reproduced below illustrates the sorts of Israeli war crimes that increasingly concern Canadians, and that Canadians are learning constitute the history of Israel from even before its formal inception in 1948 until the present day such Israeli historical war crimes as were committed at Deir Yassin in 1948 as described by Albert Einstein at www.ukar.org/asper/asper08.html and by Israel Shamir at www.ukar.org/shamir06.html, or as were committed at Kafr Kasem in 1956 as described by Roberta Strauss Feuerlicht at www.ukar.org/feuerl01.html#Curfew.

The fact of the matter is that with Irwin Cotler's support over several decades, and sometimes under his leadership, the Canadian Jewish Congress together with sister organizations have convinced the Canadian government to particularly target Ukrainians for war crimes prosecutions, and at the same time to entirely exempt Jews, despite the probability that if Canadian prosecutors impartially ranked all Israeli and Ukrainian war-crimes suspects according to the magnitude of their alleged crimes together with the persuasiveness of the inculpatory evidence, the top 100 spots would be occupied entirely by Israelis.

Irwin Cotler does show an awareness of the inequity of Canadian prosecutions, and takes a stab at justifying it (where material within quotes contains his words, and the remaining material is a paraphrase):

Myth No. 4 relates to the allegation of selective discrimination, with only Nazi war criminals, rather than all war criminals, singled out for prosecution.

Here the reply should be that it is indeed the legacy of the Nuremberg Military Tribunals to bring all war criminals to justice: "It would be wrong to argue that unless we prosecute all war criminals, we cannot go after the Nazis.  It's the other way round.  If we did not have the Nuremberg precedent, we'd have no standing regarding other war criminals."
Ernie Meyer, Human Rights Activist: 'Set Up A Nazi War Crimes Unit', Jerusalem Post, 02-Jan-1989

However, Cotler's attempt to refute the "Myth No. 4" of "selective discrimination" fails.  That is, although it may indeed be true, as Cotler proposes, that the Nuremberg precedent permits Canada to prosecute war criminals of every stamp, it nevertheless also remains unhappily true that Canada prosecutes Ukrainians on the mere suspicion of ancient immigration infractions, in preference to prosecuting Jews who have been recently filmed or videotaped firing bullets into the brains of children, breaking the hands of prisoners with rocks, and crushing human rights activists under bulldozers.  And neither does Cotler's answer address the fact that even granting the unconscionable premise that Nazi war crimes are worth prosecuting while Israeli and Communist war crimes are not, then Jews should still have been the more frequent targets of prosecution for the simple reason that they more commonly collaborated with the Nazis, as I have already documented in the following three letters to then Justice Minister Anne Mclellan:

My having raised the issues of Israeli war crimes, and of Jewish-Nazi collaboration, with Anne McLellan in 1998 received no reply, and certainly was not followed by any improvement in the direction of her war crimes prosecutions.  My hope is that your administration will be more responsive than was Jean Chretien's to the urgency of correcting your war crimes unit's ongoing abuse of Canada's justice system, and its ongoing violation of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Lubomyr Prytulak

March 8, 2004

Against wall

Cement barrier chokes life out of Palestinian villages


Palestinians need a security fence of their own.

Not even the heroics of young British photographer-activist Tom Hurndall were enough to shield them from the daily brutality of Israeli occupation.

On April 11, 2003 while protecting Palestinian children from Israeli gunfire in Gaza, an unarmed Hurndall was shot in the head by a soldier equipped with a telescopic sight.

Only unrelenting pressure by his family overturned a typical Israeli military whitewash of the 22-year-old's killing.

The Hurndall family are the "lucky ones."  Few instances of civilian deaths at the hands of Israeli troops result in charges.

Fewer still are heard of in North America, such as Manal Sofran, gunned down by Israeli soldiers in her Ramallah doorway as she frantically called out for her four children.

Then there's Khalil Mughrabi, 11, of Gaza shot in the head.

Another young boy armed with a sandwich was recently killed by a single bullet in the doorway of his West Bank home.  His father feared he'd be harmed if he'd gone to school that day.

Last month, Gazan Yousef Bashir, 15, was shot in the back by an Israeli soldier and is possibly paralysed for life.

This time, UN aid workers witnessed the crime and insisted there was no other gunfire in the area.

A year ago, witnesses say nine-month pregnant Nuha Sweidan, 33, bled to death under rubble cradling a toddler when Israeli bulldozers attacked the Gaza building next door.

A security wall keeping out Israeli soldiers might have prevented these maimings and killings war crimes just as surely as Palestinian suicide bombings.

It wouldn't have prevented malnutrition among Palestinian children in some parts of the West Bank and Gaza due to Israeli siege and closure reported by UNICEF and visiting British MPs last year to have reached African severity.

It's no wonder Israeli troops have been known to destroy food supplies and block aid workers from Palestinian areas.

And before a wall would do anything for Palestinians, illegal Israeli settlements in their midst would have to be rooted out.

In Gaza, 8,000 settlers lord it over 1.4 million Palestinians, hogging 20% of the territory and the best water.

No suicide attacks have been launched into Israel from Gaza, yet the Israeli military has made the squalid, rubbled ghetto into which they've herded Palestinians a free-fire zone.

It's all to defend the strip's arrogant, privileged 0.5%.

This is the face of the Israeli military's moral superiority.

Ariel Sharon says he'll remove the Gaza settlers, but intends to relocate them in the West Bank where they can terrorize Palestinians and confiscate land there instead.

Most Palestinians would be happy with their own wall that doesn't meander onto their neighbour's land, unlike Israel's.

As if stealing land, water and access through the presence of oppressive West Bank settlements weren't enough, Israel has dreamed up a fence that'll hasten the process.

A poll of Palestinian households in the proximity of the fence suggests 28% of them have had all or some of their land stolen to build a wall that's making already arduous lives untenable.

Communities are being stranded on the west side of the wall, cut off from others on the east wreaking social havoc.

Some villages are being noosed by concrete that's choking the life from them clearly the intention of its builders.

"Because of the occupation, I cannot see my country.  I can't travel in my country.  It is like a big prison, and the wall will make it worse," says Iletzam Morrar, 15, of Budrus village.

If the fence was meant purely for security, it would follow Israel's actual border a shorter line easier to police.

Instead, it's being used to accommodate the extremist settlers and further cleanse the West Bank of its inhabitants.

Late last month, Israeli troops shot to death two unarmed protesters at the wall defending what little they still have.

Others are beaten, tear gassed and menaced by bulldozers.

To its shame, Canada has opposed the International Court of Justice's hearings on the legality of the wall.

And with its unprovoked invasion and occupation of Iraq and the hideous carnage it's unleashed there, the U.S. has little moral suasion over Israel.

But withholding its Israeli billions would re-route the wall.
Bill Kaufmann, "Against wall: Cement barrier chokes life out of Palestinian villages," Calgary Sun, 08-Mar-2004  www.canoe.ca/Columnists/kaufmann.html