From: Will Zuzak
Date: Monday, October 30, 2006 9:09 AM
Scott Brison [[email protected]]
Stéphane Dion [[email protected]]
Ken Dryden [[email protected]]
Martha Hall Findlay [[email protected]]
Michael Ignatieff [[email protected]]
Gerard Kennedy [[email protected]]
Bob Rae [[email protected]]
Joe Volpe [[email protected]]
Subject: Israel - Palestine Solution
Dear Liberal Leadership contenders:
Several revealing incidents concerning Israel and the situation in the Middle East occurred within your leadership campaign this past summer.
One such incident involved your associate critic for foreign affairs, Borys Wrzesnewskyj, recommending that the Canadian government enter into discussions with Hezbollah, one of the protagonists in the 34-day Israel-Lebanon war of 12 July - 14 August, 2006. The response of all ten of the leadership contenders to this reasonable suggestion was to demonize Mr. Wrzesnewskyj and force him to resign his critic position.
The other ongoing controversy involves the leading contender, Michael Ignatieff, who initially made the unfortunate remark that he was not losing sleep over civilian deaths in Lebanon. More recently, while attempting to clarify his remarks, he was assailed for suggesting that Israel had perpetrated war crimes in bombing the village of Qana.
It is incontrovertible that Israel did, indeed, perpetrate crimes during the Israel-Lebanon war. This includes bombing of United Nations outposts, pin-point bombing of civilian apartments, bombing Red Cross vehicles, bombing vehicles carrying refugees attempting to escape the slaughter, deliberately destroying civilian infrastructure, and, especially, dispersing tens of thousands of cluster bombs such that millions of unexploded cluster bomblets now proliferate the Lebanese countryside.
In my opinion, the aspiring leadership of the Liberal Party of Canada should not be sanctioning crimes against peace, war crimes and crimes against humanity. The present situation in the Middle East -- including Lebanon, Palestine, Iraq and Afghanistan -- is likely to escalate into an attack on Iran and a broad conflagration in that region and, perhaps, the world. The Palestinian-Israeli conflict dragging on for some 60 years is at the root of the problems in the Middle East. It is time that this conflict be resolved.
The solution that I would propose to all leadership contenders is based on an unpublished letter I submitted to the now-defunct Alberta Report on Nov. 26, 2001, which I reproduce below:
Solution to Palestinian Intifada
17327 106A Ave.
Edmonton, AB T5S 1M7
In the Oct. 22, 2001 issue of the Report, Jeff White labels the Zionist leaders involved in the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948 as terrorists. I am amazed that none of the myriad of letters in response to his provocative essay refer to the Israeli settlement policy of the occupied territories as the reason for the year-long Palestinian Intifada. The continuing confiscation and settlement of Palestinian land by Jewish settlers indicates that the hard-line Zionist leadership does not want peace and has no intention of abandoning their Greater Israel plans. The Palestinian people finally realized that they were in a no-win situation and turned to extreme violence in desperation.
The interim solution is brutally straightforward. It involves separating the two sides by stationing United Nations peace-makers on the 1948 U.N.-designated borders. The Israelis could carry on their affairs unmolested within their internationally recognized borders. The Palestinian areas would remain under U.N. control until such time as a viable social and economic infrastructure could be established.
Under such a scenario, which only George Bush could initiate, serious
peace negotiations between the two parties would finally be possible.
Since 2001, the situation in the Middle East has become decidedly worse -- including conflicts with Lebanon and the Syrian Golan Heights. To expand on the above scenario, I propose that:
(1) The United States will establish control of the skies over Palestine - Israel and will set a deadline by which all Israeli military equipment and personnel will be removed from the Palestinian, Lebanese and Syrian territories into the 1948 U.N.-designated borders of Israel.
(2) By this date, an international military force under the control of the United Nations will occupy Palestine (as well as Israeli-occupied Lebanese and Syrian territory) until such time as a viable Palestinian State can be established.
(3) Realistic negotiations between all parties would be carried out, under the auspices of the United Nations, to establish realistic borders and relations between the States in the region. Any future changes to these borders would be first approved and then guaranteed by the United Nations and the United States.
It is not clear what the optimum "final solution" for the Israeli - Palestinian State(s) would be. Some prefer a unitary one-man-one-vote state in which Palestinians and Jews would have equal rights and responsibilities. Others prefer a two-state solution to keep the two peoples separate. That is for the inhabitants of the region to decide.
Hard-line Zionists, who do not want peace and who have never negotiated with the Palestinians in good faith, will probably oppose this proposal. However, I would expect that most Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza would be supportive. Within Israel, I would expect that a large fraction of citizens, of Arab and Jewish backgrounds, would be supportive. Indeed, there is a very large peace movement both within and outside Israel that would be supportive of this proposal.
As aspirants to the leadership of the Liberal Party of Canada, I would urge each of you to discuss this issue publicly in your campaigns.
William Zuzak, Ph.D., P.Eng. (retired); 2006-10-30