FORMAL POLICY COMPLAINTS
THE HONOURABLE DALTON McGUINTY
PREMIER OF ONTARIO
REGARDING ONTARIO CHIEFS OF POLICE TRIP TO ISRAEL
AND RELATED ISSUES.August 11, 2005
MS Word Format at: http://www.montrealmuslimnews.net/policecomplaint.doc
POLICY COMPLAINTS TO PREMIER McGUINTY REGARDING
ONTARIO CHIEFS OF POLICE TRIP TO ISRAEL AND RELATED ISSUES
TABLE OF CONTENTS:
i LETTER TO PREMIER McGUINTY
ii ORGANIZATIONAL SIGNATURES AND CONTACT INFORMATION
1.0 SUMMARY OF REQUESTS P 1
2.0 FORMAL POLICY COMPLAINT #1 - Police Trip to Israel P 2
2.1 FORMAL POLICY COMPLAINT #2 - "Walk With Israel" P 4
2.2 FORMAL POLICY COMPLAINT #3 - Israeli Defence Forces Recruiting in Canada P 6
2.3 FORMAL POLICY COMPLAINT #4 - Unregistered Lobbying P 6
3.0 COMPLAINTS BY ADDITIONAL ORGANIZATIONS P 7
4.0 CANADAS HISTORY WITH PALESTINE P 8
5.0 THE POLICE TRIP TO ISRAEL P 10
6.0 LEARNING "SECURITY MEASURES" P 11
7.0 PROPAGANDA EFFECT OF TRIP P 16
8.0 LIST OF POLICE TRIP PARTICIPANTS P 21
9.0 BIBLIOGRAPHY OF SOURCES P 22
A SUMMARY OF COMPLAINTS
B COMPLAINT FROM SOLIDARITY FOR PALESTINIAN HUMAN RIGHTS HAMILTON
C COMPLAINT FROM COMMUNITY COALITION AGAINST RACISM HAMILTON
D COMPLAINT FROM CANADA-PALESTINE SUPPORT NETWORK OTTAWA
E EXCERPTS - MOUAMMAR, PALESTINE HOUSE, COALITION FOR A JUST PEACE IN
PALESTINE/ISRAEL LETTERS TO TORONTO'S POLICE CHIEF AND MAYOR MILLER
F HARD COPY INCLUDES ADDITIONAL COMPLAINT DOCUMENTS;
CAF BRIEF TO CHIEF BLAIR;
SUMMARY - ISLAMIC FOUNDATION MEETING WITH CHIEF BLAIR JUNE 28, 2005;
OCFP COMPLAINT TO ONTARIO LOBBYIST REGISTRAR;
COMPLAINT TO OPP;
ANNOUNCEMENT OF HAMILTON POLICE SERVICES BOARD PUBLIC MEETING;
SUMMARY - YORK REGIONAL POLICE SERVICES BOARD PUBLIC MEETING;
ARTICLE "CHILDREN UNDER OCCUPATION"
G MEDIA COVERAGE
Niagara Palestinian Association
Niagara Palestinian Association
and Niagara Coalition for Peace
Suite 112, 111 Fourth Ave.,
St. Catharines, Ontario
Phone: 905-984-6515 / e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Honourable Dalton McGuinty,
Premier of Ontario, MPP Ottawa South,
August 11, 2005
Dear Honourable Premier McGuinty,
REQUEST FOR MEETING REGARDING FORMAL POLICY COMPLAINTS
The Niagara Palestinian Association and the Niagara Coalition for Peace are hereby lodging Formal Policy Complaints through you with the province of Ontario against the Ontario Chiefs of Police visit to Israel, against both the involvement of Minister Monte Kwinter and the Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police http://www.oacp.on.ca in the trip; against Toronto Chief of Police Bill Blairs participation in the "Walk With Israel"; against the Israeli Defence Forces recruiting in Canada via the United Jewish Appeal; and against the lobbying of Ontario officials by unregistered agents of a foreign country.
Let me at the outset clarify that these formal policy complaints are not anti-Semitic. As Canadian citizens we expect that our right to public dissent be protected without the slander of automatically being labeled anti-Semitic. "Many try to silence any critical discourse of Israels practices by calling it anti-Israel or anti-Semitic. The obvious fact is that the government of Israel has been labeled by many international human rights organizations and different United Nations bodies as a frequent violator of human rights and the rule of international law." (Omar Alghabra, President Canadian Arab Federation, "Re: Police chiefs Israel trip was bound to blow up on him- and it did. Hamilton Spectator, March 26, 2005.)
In addition to requesting a meeting with yourself at your earliest possible convenience, we would also be pleased if you would accept our invitation to attend various cultural and educational events held by Palestinian Canadian organizations and supporters of Palestinian human rights over the summer and into the fall. They are an ideal opportunity to get to know the Canadian Palestinian and solidarity community, to sit in a relaxed atmosphere to learn about Canadian-Palestinian and solidarity concerns, and the on-going suffering of Palestinians in the territories, in Israel, and in exile.
We would be happy to meet at any time with Chiefs of Police, police officers and elected officials who are interested in discussing the Palestinian situation and Canadian-Palestinian concerns.
Also, we invite your office to learn of various educational events on the issue of Palestine, Israel and Canada, by subscribing to one of the Niagara Palestinian Association's yahoogroups at email@example.com . For example we advertised the recent presentations at McMaster University by ex-Palestinian political prisoners and members of Addameer and Sumoud, organizations advocating of behalf of Palestinians held as political prisoners in Israeli jails; presentations by Adam Hanieh author of "Stolen Youth: The Politics of Israels Detention of Palestinian Children", and by lawyer Michael Tarzai who was the Palestinian Authoritys representative to the International Court of Justice in The Hague regarding the illegality of the Israeli Apartheid Wall. These were very informative and enlightening evenings.
Primarily, the Niagara Palestinian Association and the Niagara Coalition for Peace request reparatory action and a report on the official local, provincial, and Ontario Civilian Commission on Police Services responses to our and other complaints.
Our organizations may be reached at anytime through myself Susan Howard-Azzeh at 905-984-6515, firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com, and through Steve Kucha, Chair NC4P at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you.
Susan Howard-Azzeh, Burhan Azzeh, Presidents
Niagara Palestinian Association
Steve Kucha, Chair
Niagara Coalition for Peace NC4Phttp://groups.yahoo.com/group/NC4P/
Enclosed: Summary of Requests
"Dossier on Palestine"
Cc.: Jim Bradley MPP St. Catharines;
Peter Kormos MPP Niagara Centre;
Walt Lastweka MP St. Catharines;
Ms. Sylvia Hudson, Vice Chair, Ontario Civilian Commission on Police Services
Minister Monte Kwinter, MPP York Centre, Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services, Ministry of the Solicitor General;
Joe Couto, Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police;
Commissioner Gwenneth Marie Boniface, OPP;
Deputy Commissioner Maurice Pilon, OPP;
Director Rudy Gheysen, Ontario Police College;
Julian Fantino, Commissioner of Emergency Management;
Alok Mukherjee, Chair Toronto Police Services Board;
Toronto Mayor David Miller; Chief Bill Blair;
Deputy Chief Gary Smith, Chief David Nicolas Halcovitch,
Chief Steven Tanner;
Deputy Chief Charles Mercier;
Deputy Chief Lawrence Hill;
Chief B. Wesley Luloff;
Chief Paul Cook;
Chief Ian Davidson;
Deputy Chief Robert Kates;
Chief Shayne MacKinnon;
Chief Armand La Barge,
Chief Paul David Hamelin;
Chief Robert Herman;
Inspector Merle Foster;
Chief Brian Mullan;
Chief William Rose;
Deputy Chief Dennis James Poole;
Deputy Chief Frank Elsner;
Andrew Hilton, Premiers Office
1.0 SUMMARY OF REQUESTS:
Susan Howard-Azzeh, Burhan Azzeh, Presidents
Niagara Palestinian Associationhttp://groups.yahoo.com/group/niag_pal_news/
Steve Kucha, Chair
Niagara Coalition for Peace NC4Phttp://groups.yahoo.com/group/NC4P/
2.0 COMPLAINT # 1. ONTARIO CHIEFS OF POLICE VISIT TO ISRAEL
Israel is a strange choice as a place to send Ontario Chiefs of Police and senior officers for training. To put this ill-advised trip in perspective, I pose this question would Canada have sent Canadian police officers and other senior officials to apartheid South Africa to emulate the brutal and racist methods of the white minority government rule in South Africa?
The Ontario Chiefs of Police visit to Israel sponsored by the pro-*Zionist lobby and Israeli government, and other recent events both provincial and federal have created great distress and fear among many sectors of our population. The Ontario Police visit to Israel and the Toronto "Walk With Israel", lead by Police Chief Bill Blair are political, divisive and generate fear. These actions destroy any public perception of impartiality on the part of our law enforcement services, who are directed to up-hold the law, not to learn from the racist and oppressive actions of countries such as Israel which routinely disregard the rule of law. Our main fear and objection to the police trip to Israel and police participation in the "Walk With Israel" is based on the brutal manner in which the state of Israel was created, on the horrific military, police, judicial and state methods in which it is today maintained, and on the apparent political support of a foreign country,Israel, which has for the past 57 years openly engaged in the ethnic cleansing of the indigenous Palestinian population. (Please see CANADA'S HISTORY WITH PALESTINE below.)
* Zionism is anideology founded by Theodore Hertzel in 1897: "Among the Jews, a theory, plan, or movement for colonizing their own race in Palestine, the land of Zion, or if that is impracticable, elsewhere [such as Argentina and Uganda], either for religious or nationalizing purposes." http://www.brainydictionary.com/words/zi/zionism186636.html "A Zionist is anyone who upholds the continued existence of a "Jewish state" in Palestine, which can only be at the expense of the indigenous non-Jewish Palestinians. The State of Israel holds itself out as a "Jewish state". An anti-Zionist is anyone who upholds the right of all of the people of Palestine to national self-determination, which includes the right of the return of the Arab refugees, and which can be achieved in the framework of a unified democratic republic in Palestine."
Israeli methods are not something that we need to emulate here in Canada. Close personal friends and members of the Niagara Palestinian Association and Niagara Coalition for Peace have been tortured by the Israeli police and military. In many cases the psychological and physical damage are irreparable. One member of our association was enclosed standing up in a small concrete closet for three months with a small opening near his eyes. He was allowed out one hour a day to eat and lie down. When another member was 16 years old he was beaten severely by 5 members of the Israeli security apparatus for throwing stones at a tank, his only form of resistance to the illegal occupation. They broke the bones in his hip, completely shattering the joint and causing a permanent disability. It is very difficult for people who have been tortured to speak publicly about Israeli torture. There are some experiences which they are not able to share even with their spouses and close family. A few years ago, a friend who had been tortured agreed to speak at a local Amnesty International event. When this tall, dignified man spoke, the surface of his body shook like an avalanche about to collapse. It took great courage for him to speak. His wife told us that he had never disclosed the details of his ordeal before, even to her. Not everyone is willing to relive this trauma to educate Canadians. But if you are interested, we will do our best to arrange a time for officials to sit down with Canadian-Palestinians who have been tortured in Israel.
Ontario police and other officials are mandated to ensure the safety and security of each and every resident of Ontario regardless of ethnicity, religion, or political association, especially in the current environment of anti-Arab, anti-Muslim sentiment. Considering the state of Israels abusive treatment of its Palestinian Arab, Muslim, Christian and other non-Jewish civilian minorities both in Israel and in the occupied territories of Palestine, how will Canadian officers receiving training from Israel be expected to treat Ontario and Canadas minority populations? As Michael Ben-Yair, Attorney General of Israel 1993-1996 said, Israel has two judicial systems: one - progressive, liberal - for the Jews; a second - cruel, injurious - for the Palestinian Arabs. (Haartez News, March 3, 2002.) As we can see, Israel treats its internal minority populations as the enemy; will Ontario and Canada emulate this pattern and treat its internal minority populations as the enemy too?
As York Regional Police Chief Armand La Barge, co-chair of the police trip to Israel, said in his Swearing-in-Speech as President of the Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police following his return from Israel, "The Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police provides this provinces municipal, regional, provincial, federal and First Nations Police Leaders the opportunity to promote excellence in our profession through training, education and advocacy The badge that we carry and the uniform that we wear are symbols of the communitys trust and confidence in our ability to undertake our duties in accordance with the charter of Rights and Freedoms and the Ontario Human Rights Code." La Barge, June 22, 2005,http://www.oacp.on.ca/uploads/news/President_speech_2005_La_Barge.pdf
Our confidence in our police services ability and motivation to do this is severely shaken by such unprofessional and biased actions as the police trip to Israel, and participation in the subsequent "Walk With Israel". These actions have compromised police objectivity, impartiality and independence.
For the rationale of our Policy Complaint regarding the Police Visit to Israel
please see PROPAGANDA EFFECT OF THE TRIP and "SECURITY MEASURES" below.
2.1 COMPLAINT # 2. TORONTO POLICE CHIEFS PARTICIPATION IN "Walk With Israel"
On May 29, 2005 Torontos Chief Bill Blair, the "Cop With A Heart", lead the "Walk With Israel" and when addressing the walk made comments that betray either his agreement with the extreme views of the participants or immense naivety. His participation validates the actions of Israel.
At the Toronto "Walk With Israel" Chief Bill Blair took the stage and declared "the great state of Israel" as "a brave and resilient people" and praised the Israelis for having "carved a beautiful society out of a desert" - old Zionist propaganda. Palestine, now called Israel, was a populated and flourishing country well before the arrival of British, French and Jewish Zionists. It did not require Zionist colonialism and occupation to "Make the desert bloom". ("Walk on the weird side - ice cream checkpoints add strange twist to pro-Israel flag-waving" by Daniel Freeman-Maloy, June 2, 2005, Toronto Now, http://www.nowtoronto.com/issues/2005-06-02/news_story4.php , "Make the desert bloom." http://www.bendib.com/newones/2005/july/small/5-7-Poisonned-sheep.jpg )
This "beautiful society" engages in discrimination against the Palestinian and non-Jewish population inside Israel and in the occupied territories in every sphere of life employment, education, housing, health care, mobility, land ownership, citizenship, and in the Israel policing and judicial systems.
Israel engages in extra-judicial assassinations, home demolitions, destruction of olive groves and orchards, hoarding of water, confiscation of land to build illegal Jewish settlements to force out Palestinian civilians; incarceration of people without trial, and torture of prisoners to obtain confessions, targeting of children by Israeli snipers. (http://www.guardian.co.uk/israel/Story/0,2763,1516362,00.html, "Children Under Occupation" by Susan Howard-Azzeh May 2004, published on http://www.montrealmuslimnews.net/children.htm and in Marxism 3, A Socialist Annual 2005.)
Some ask, "Chief Blair participated in the Pride parade and other community activities; so why not in the "Walk With Israel" ? ". Because the recent Pride parade supports an Ontario, Canadian community and their efforts towards equal treatment within Canada. Conversely, the "Walk With Israel" supports a foreign country, not the Ontario, Canadian Jewish population. Many Ontario, Canadian Jews are not Zionist or pro-Israel in political orientation. The organizers of the "Walk With Israel" are not the representative voice of Canadian Jews. Many do not adhere to the extreme views of the organizers. (For example, the Jewish led Toronto branch of Solidarity for Palestinian Human Rights, Coalition for a Just Peace in Palestine and Israel, and the Jewish Womens Committee to End the Occupation who hosted a Police Bias Forum, June 30, 2005 at the Bahen Centre, University of Toronto; also groups such as Jewish Youth Against the Occupationhttp://www.web.net/sworker/En/SW2002/375-06-kaminer.html , Not In My Name http://www.nimn.org/, Jews for a Just Peace http://www.jewsforajustpeace.com/pages/stand.html, http://www.mafhoum.com/press3/95P7.htm, and others http://oznik.com/news/001211.html )
Israel is a country that is seen by many as racist by definition, created by colonial Zionists as an exclusively "Jewish State". Canada purports to embrace its diversity and protect all of its residents equally. Israel by definition does not. So why emulate such a country?
The Toronto Police Service has been repeatedly accused of the most particular use of racial profiling. ("Black officers confirm profiling" by Philip Mascoll and Jim Rankin, March 31, 2005, Toronto Star; "Video convicts officer, tape of assault persuasive evidence, Judge criticizes police testimony, notes", by Betsy Powell, July 29, 2005, Toronto Star, http://ca.groups.yahoo.com/group/equityandaccountability/message/2046.) The Chief of the Toronto Police Service "is not any Chief of Police. He is the chief racial profiler of Toronto, since it has become well established that this is what the police in Toronto actually do. So let us then be clear: we have the chief racial profiler of Toronto who wants to walk with a gang of people who are pro war-criminals [such as Ariel Sharon] who maintain themselves in power by conducting massive and wide scale 24/7 racial profiling and worse against the Palestinian Arab population trapped inside their Zionist entity [Israel]". (e-mail from Gary Zatzman, July 12, 2005, co-editor Dossier on Palestine and contributing editor Shunpiking On-line.) A recent survey has also documented similar racial profiling and discrimination in Kingston, Ontario. Conducting this survey was a positive and courageous move by the Kingston Police Service as one cannot address a problem until it is acknowledged.
The "Walk With Israel" takes place every year both in Ontario and across Canada. And every year it serves to further divide Canadians and malign various Canadian populations by such statements as at last years "Walk With Israel" in Vancouver where Palestinians were openly called "barbarians". Canadian Palestinians and other Canadians supportive of Palestinian human rights were standing across from the stage listening, and neither Liberal, NDP or Conservative MPPs and MPs speaking on stage objected to these comments. Now that the province and Chief Bill Blair know of our feelings regarding the "Walk With Israel" we will be watching next years Walk and looking for the provinces and Chief Bill Blairs non-participation in it.
We also request that the local hate crime unit and the RCMP be present in next years "Walk With Israel" crowd to monitor for hate-speech under our hate crime legislation.
2.2 COMPLAINT # 3. ISRAELI DEFENCE FORCES RECRUITING IN CANADA
The Niagara Palestinian Association and the Niagara Coalition for Peace are also hereby lodging a complaint through you with the provincial government and the Ministry of Education regarding the activities in Canada of two Israeli Defence Force (IDF) representatives via the United Jewish Appeal Federation of Greater Toronto the week of May 29, 2005. UJA event co-chair Sara Zagdanski relayed that the Israeli Defence Force (IDF) representatives spent a week conducting "teach-ins" for children at local day schools and in the community. ("Walk on the weird side - ice cream checkpoints add strange twist to pro-Israel flag-waving" by Daniel Freeman-Maloy, June 2, 2005, Toronto Now, http://www.nowtoronto.com/issues/2005-06-02/news_story4.php ) I am sure you are well aware that it is a very serious violation of Canadian law for a foreign military to recruit in Canada. Imagine the public and governmental outrage if any other foreign country were recruiting in Canada. We request that the RCMP, the Ontario Ministry of Education, and the Toronto District School Board immediately investigate this occurrence. (Unfortunately, we do not have a lot of faith in the process. Two years ago when Concordias chapter of Hillel http://www.hillel.org/ distributed pamphlets recruiting volunteers for the Israeli Defence Force, the RCMP determined that there was no wrong-doing. Yet its also apparently legal for Canadians to train in the Israeli army with impunity. Please refer to "Uniformed vacations". ("Uniformed vacations. Tourists sign up for a stint in the Israeli Army" by Harold Levy, August 6, 2005, Toronto Starhttp://www.thestar.com/NASApp/cs/ContentServer?pagename=thestar/Layout/Article_Type1&c=Article&cid=1123063926626&call_pageid=968867506610&col=969048867196&DPL=IvsNDS%2f7ChAX&tacodalogin=yes)
We look for more fair, equitable and proper application of the law on this occasion.
2.3 COMPLAINT # 4. LOBBYING OF ONTARIO AND CANADIAN OFFICIALS BY UNREGISTERED AGENTS OF A FOREIGN COUNTRY
Fourthly, we ask that the Premiers Office and the Registrar of the Ontario Registered Lobbyists Act, Lynn Morrison, investigate the actions of the CJC, UJAFGT, OACP, and Minister Monte Kwinter as unregistered lobbyists and agents of a foreign country, namely Israel (none of whom are listed as registered lobbyists through the Ontario Registered Lobbyists Act). (Ken Stone, Community Coalition Against Racism. Police Bias Forum, June 30, 2005, University of Toronto.) In the case of Chief Bill Blair for example, we view the act of Minister Monte Kwinter personally asking Toronto Chief Bill Blair to participate in the trip to Israel as Minister Kwinter acting as the de facto agent of a foreign country, Israel. We also ask that the charitable status of the United Jewish Appeal Federation of Greater Toronto be reviewed. (Complaint filed by Sarah Karmi, Acting Secretary, Ontario Committee for Fairness in Policing, August 3, 2005 with the Ontario Registered Lobbyists Registrar.)
3.0 COMPLAINTS BY ADDITIONAL ORGANIZATIONS
Numerous complaints have already been lodged regarding the Police Chiefs trip to Israel and the Toronto "Walk With Israel". Those complaints, which we are aware of, are listed below.
3.1 COMPLAINTS REGARDING THE TRIP TO ISRAEL
Solidarity for Palestinian Human Rights McMasterhttp://www.sphr.org/ and Community Coalition Against Racism Hamilton www.ccarhamilton.ca have filed formal policy complaints with Hamilton Wentworth Police Services Board against Chief Brian Mullans participation in the trip to Israel www.hamiltonpolice.on.ca. The Canada-Palestine Support Network CanPalNet - Ottawa http://www.canpalnet-ottawa.org/ filed a complaint against Deputy Chief Larry Hills participation http://www.ottawapolice.ca/en/serving_ottawa/services_board/index.cfm; Khaled Mouammar, former president of Canadian Arab Federation (CAF) filed a formal policy complaint with York Regional Police Service against Chief Armand La Barges participation in the trip http://ca.groups.yahoo.com/group/equityandaccountability/message/1922, and Ali Mallah filed complaint regarding former Chief Fantino and Chief Blair with Toronto Police Services Board.
It was several months and many e-mails before the complaints filed by the SPHR McMaster and CCAR Hamilton were addressed. As of August 10, 2005 SPHR and CCAR have yet to receive replies actually attempting to resolve the complaints.
3.2 COMPLAINTS REGARDING THE "WALK WITH ISRAEL"
Khaled Mouammar, former CAF president, and Ali Mallah also filed complaints with the Toronto Police Services Board against the subsequent participation of Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair in the Sunday, May 29 "Walk With Israel" events. Elias Hazineh, President of Palestine House, Omar Alghabra, president of CAF, and Karin Brothers, Coalition for a Just Peace in Palestine/Israel did not file formal complaints, but sent letters of concern to Chief Blair. http://www.caf.ca/CAF%20in%20the%20News/letter%20to%20Chief%20of%20Police%2002JUN05.pdf
Complaints by Mehdi Kouhestaninejad president Toronto CUPE, Khalid Mouammar, and Ali Mallah to Toronto Mayor David Miller, Toronto Police Services Board and York Police Services Board were ignored until apparent that public embarrassment would follow if the complaints were not addressed. http://ca.groups.yahoo.com/group/equityandaccountability/message/1934. In the case of Khalid Mouammars complaint, in the 2 months since Mr. Mouammar faxed his signed Public Complaint Form June 3, 2005 regarding Chief Blair to the Toronto Police Services Board, he has yet to have his complaint addressed. Yet he has sent 7 e-mails to the Board and various Councilors requesting information. (June 7. 9, 27 and July 6, 15, 19, 22, 2005)
3.3 Complaints have also been filed by Father Robert Assaly on behalf of the Canadian Friends of Sabeel; by the Ontario Committee for Fairness in Policing with the Ontario Registered Lobbyists registrar, and by Khaled Mouammar against the Ontario Provincial Police participation.
3.4 Omar Alghabra, president of the Canadian Arab Federation met privately with yourself in June 2005 and with Minister Monte Kwinter in early July 2005 regarding the trip to Israel, and with Chief Bill Blair July 28, 2005 regarding the Chiefs participation in the Toronto "Walk With Israel". Islamic Foundation, Ali Mallah of CUPE and Khaled Mouammar met with Chief Bill Blair regarding his participation in the Toronto "Walk With Israel". The public, however, is not privy to these private discussions.
3.5 We would like our complaints addressed formally and publicly with due process and resulting in specific strategies and actions to remedy the damage that has been done.
Additional complaints enclosed in Appendix below. Summary List of Complaints, Appendix A
4.0 CANADA'S HISTORY WITH PALESTINE
Canadas actions at the federal and international levels are now impacting on provincial jurisdictions.
With all due respect I would like to share with you the feelings of many Ontario Canadian supporters of Palestinian human rights.
The conflict between Israel and Palestine is not a battle of equals. One is the oppressor; the other is the oppressed. Ironically, Canada has an international reputation for standing up for the underdog; in the case of Palestine this couldnt be further from the truth.
Canada-Palestine relations are currently at their lowest since Canadian Prime Minister Lester Pearson first initiated the idea to partition Palestine in 1947 when Canada with the British, French, America, and Soviet Union agreed to give 57% of historic Palestine to invading Jewish Zionist colonialists for the creation of the state of Israel. For this and related activities regarding Palestine, Pearson received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1956.
In 1918 when the British Mandate over Palestine began, Jewish Palestinians owned 2% of the land and constituted * 8% of the population. In 1947 Jews owned 6% of the land and the Jewish population had increased through immigration to about * 25% of the population. However, in 1948 the state of Israel was created by force on 78% of historic Palestinian lands. In 1967 the rest of Palestine, the West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem, were occupied by Israel. Since then, by building hundreds of illegal settlements, and now building the up to 25 meter high *Apartheid or Separation Wall (built mostly on Palestinian land in the occupied territories over the 1967 green line) another 12% of Palestine has been illegally taken, leaving the indigenous Palestinian people cut off in the worlds "largest open-air prison" with only 10% of historic Palestine remaining.
* Numbers indicating the increase in the Jewish population in Palestine from 1918 to 1948 are difficult to ascertain reliably as numbers at the time were kept by the British Mandate, which are therefore inherently suspect.
* The word Apartheid comes from the Afrikaans word for separateness. Both the state of Israel and the system of Apartheid were officially put in place in 1948. (Rashid Abu Ghazalah, Arab Student Collective. Police Bias Forum, June 30, 2005, University of Toronto.)
Palestinians are the worlds largest refugee population with approximately 5 to 6 million displaced people and no country of their own. Indigenous Palestinian civilians with legal deeds and multiple generations of living on their properties were forcibly expelled from their lands or fled in terror as reports of massacres such as Dier Yassin and Kjur Qassen were circulated. The memory of long lines of people, carrying bundles of their possessions, being forcibly marched out of their villages by Jewish Zionist colonialists remain vivid in many Palestinian-Canadians memories - such as that of Professor Abdul-Hamid Emwas, an adult member of the University of Waterloos Students for Palestinian Human Rights organization (http://www.sfpr.ca/uwaterloo/index.php ) whose family was marched off its land by invading Zionist Jews. Entire villages and orchards were systematically dynamited and bulldozed in June of 1967. ("Dossier on Palestine" co-editors Gary Zatzman and Tony Seed, p 22, October 2002, Shunpiking Magazine) "Canada Park" now sits on the ruins of his old village Enwas. Canada Park was built as a picnic area for Israelis accessible from Jerusalem and Tel Aviv with tax-deductible Canadian dollars donated by the Canadian Jewish National Fund and by Joseph and Faye Tanenbaum of Toronto, Ontario. Many of the people and children of Enwas and other villages remain stateless.
Canada shares the blame for this intolerable situation. For example, Canadian Justice Ivan Rand of the Supreme Court of Canada in 1947 was head of the United Nations Palestine Commission of Inquiry, which on May 13, 1947 decided to pass as its first item of business an article excluding all reference to the independence of Palestine from the terms of reference of the Commission of Inquiry. Canadian Prime Minister Lester Pearson publicly defended the Zionist armys invasion in April 1948 of territory explicitly reserved by the United Nations for a future Palestinian state. (Globe and Mail Archives)
In May 1968 Canada was one of only two countries to vote against UN resolutions which would invalidate Israeli attempts to change the status of Jerusalem. Then in 1979, under Prime Minister Joe Clark Canada proposed to relocate the Canadian Embassy from the capital of Israel in Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, in essence treating the capital of Israel as Jerusalem, which it is not. Following a public outcry, the Canadian Embassy was not moved.
Although no longer on the UN Security Council, Canada is still a member of the UN Commission on Human Rights, where it blocked the UN investigation of war crimes in Jenin. Of 53 member countries, only two voted against the Jenin investigation: Guatemala and Canada. ("Canada and Palestine: double standards" by Gary Zatzman, p 35, October, 2002, Dossier on Palestine.)
On July 9, 2004, the International Court of Justice in The Hague ruled that the Israeli wall was illegal and ordered it to be dismantled. However, Israel refuses to do so. Canada, who had enthusiastically encouraged the establishment of the International Court of Justice, ironically abstained from the ICJ vote regarding the Wall and refuses to help enforce the ICJ ruling.
Canada is a charter member of the United Nations. The charter is based on the principle that all nations, big and small, are equal; international rule of law is based on preserving their sovereignty and equality - and their inalienable rights to self-determination. Canada repeatedly betrays this fundamental principle on the question of Palestine.
We adamantly disagree with the Canadian policy that, "This support of Israel has been at the center of Canadas Middle East Policy since 1948." (e-mail from John D. Maloney, MP, Welland Riding, April 16, 2005 malonJ0@parl.gc.ca JDM/dd ), possibly a Freudian slip, but a comment reflected in the views of many Canadian MPs and MPPs, and in the policies and actions of our federal government. Canada's strong leaning, both federal and provincial, towards Israel shows bias, a conflict of interest, and an absence of social justice. Israel is in violation of numerous UN Security Council Resolutions and literally hundreds of General Assembly Resolutions. On a daily basis Israel illegally breaks the 4th Geneva Convention and human rights legislations which they are signatory to.
With the establishment of the Canadian Liberal Parliamentarians for Israel Committee (http://www.liberalsforisrael.com/ ) , the Liberal Parliamentarians for Israel policy paper of June 6, 2003 (http://www.liberalsforisrael.com/documents/cda_middle_east.htm , http://www.joevolpe.com/pdfs/CJN%2007-17-03.pdf#search='mideast%20policy%20paper' ) , and with subsequent pro-Israel lobbying, Canada has shifted its foreign policy drastically and unjustly further towards Israel. * 5 members of the Liberal Parliamentarians for Israel are now members of the ruling federal cabinet. A tiny minority, speaking for Palestinian human rights in the cabinet, is rarely heard above the din of pro-Israeli maneuvering. In consequence, Canada fails Palestinians. ("Behind Canadas Mideast Shift Has even-handed Canada swung to Israels side? Surprise No Vote at UN signals marked change" by Lynda Hurst, December 18, 2004, The Star. )
Now this bias, lack of justice, disregard for international law, and naivety has seeped down to the provincial level.
(* Federal liberals who were members of Liberal Parliamentarians for Israel when it released its alarming Mid-east Policy Paper June 3, 2004 and who are now Federal Cabinet Ministers: Jacob Austin, Leader of the Government in the Senate; Jim Peterson, Minister of International Trade; Irwin Cotler, Minister of Justice; Joe Volpe, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration; Carolyn Bennett, Minister of State.)
5.0 THE POLICE TRIP TO ISRAEL
The evening of Tuesday, March 1, 2005 approximately 30 senior Ontario police officers and other provincial and federal officials traveled to Israel returning Tuesday, March 8. The stated purpose of the trip was to learn various Israeli "security measures". The trip was initiated by the highly politicized Bernie Farber, National Chief Executive Officer of the Canadian Jewish Congress ("Column on Chief Mullans trip to Israel draws readers wrath" by Bill Dunphy, March 29, 2005, the Hamilton Spectator), a man viewed by many Canadian Jews as a right wing extremist and Zionist not representative of the voices of most Canadian Jews. (For example views disputed by Jewish-led-organizations such as the Coalition for a Just and Viable Peace in Palestine and Israel, Jewish Womens Committee to End the Occupation, Jewish Youth Against the Occupation, United Jewish Peoples Order, and Solidarity for Palestinian Human Rights -Toronto.)
The police trip was co-chaired by Chief Armand La Barge, York Regional Police Service, First Vice President Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police now President of the OACP; by Joel Richler, Chair of the Canadian Jewish Congress (Ontario); and by Minister Monte Kwinter, Ontario Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services, Ministry of the Solicitor General, founding president Toronto Regional Council of B'nai Brith, and "a leading member of the Jewish community and a staunch spokesman for Israel in the legislature and elsewhere." ("Liberals Bow to Lobbies - Toronto-Premier Dalton McGuinty boasts he does not bow and scrape to lobbies, but he is finding some are too powerful to resist" by Eric Dowd, March 13, 2005, The Thunder Bay Chronicle-Journal. http://www.northernlife.ca/Voices/dowd/default.asp?240id15-pn=&view=83544#log83544 , http://www.oacp.on.ca/content/news/article.html?ID=127)
The trip was funded by both Canadian and foreign pro-Zionist, pro-Israeli lobby groups - the Canadian Jewish Congress Ontario Region, the United Jewish Appeal Federation of Greater Toronto, and by the Israeli government, the Israeli Ministry of Tourism, El Al Airlines, various Israeli hotels, and unbelievably by the Canadian taxpayer !!
"The lobbyists made sure the travelers saw exactly what they wanted them to see, arranging their itinerary and accompanying them every step of the way." ("Liberals Bow to Lobbies - Toronto-Premier Dalton McGuinty boasts he does not bow and scrape to lobbies, but he is finding some are too powerful to resist" by Eric Dowd, March 13, 2005, The Thunder Bay Chronicle-Journal. http://www.northernlife.ca/Voices/dowd/default.asp?240id15-pn=&view=83544#log83544)
Unregistered lobbying of members of the provincial government and our police services by a foreign government and its agents in Canada, such as the unregistered Canadian Jewish Congress (Ontario Region) and the United Jewish Appeal Federation of Greater Toronto, is illegal and MUST BE INVESTIGATED via the Ontario Lobbyists Registration Act.
6.0 POLICE TRIP TO ISRAEL LEARNING "SECURITY MEASURES"
6.1 WHY ISRAEL ?
"These are the people we need to be talking to if we want to learn how to combat terror" York Regional Police Chief Armand La Barge. Why these people Israel? ("Canadian Police Learn how to bolster security at home during Israel visit" by Leora Eren Frucht, March 10, 2005, Canada Israel Committee website.)
Of course we want to protect all Ontario and Canadian residents from harm. But if the goal of the police trip was to learn policing and "security measures", why go to Israel? Would Canada go to old apartheid South Africa, Columbia, Haiti, Turkey, Algeria, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Chili under Pinochet, etcetera to learn their policing techniques? Was there nowhere else to go, if necessary, to train outside Canada?
"Israeli security agencies and military may have experience in employing state of the art policing systems and tools, but they have repeatedly been using them to oppress, extra-judicially, Palestinians. An undeniable fact, even the Israeli government wont dispute." (Omar Alghabra, President Canadian Arab Federation, "Re: Police chiefs Israel trip was bound to blow up on him - and it did. March 26, 2005, Hamilton Spectator.)
God help us - what can Canadian police possibly learn from the Israelis that we would actually want to employ here in Canada? Surprise, surprise, the British plainclothes officers who killed Brazilian Jean Charles de Menezes in London were trained by Israel. ("Operation Kratos": London Met Police Special Operations Unit "Shoot to Kill" by Michel Chossudovsky, July 24, 2005,
Forgive my passion and satirical tone but can you imagine using Israeli tactics in Canada such as torture, sensory depravation, unlawful detention of children and political prisoners; denying detainees access to lawyers and parents, administrative detention (which weve already adopted in the secret "Security Certificate"); targeted assassinations, the use of "rubber bullets" - rubber coated steel bullets that are lethal; collective punishment, random curfews or house arrest of entire towns for lengthy periods, demolishing whole homes often with families still inside them (Amnesty International Reports); deliberately firing upon children both during demonstrations and calm (http://www.guardian.co.uk/israel/Story/0,2763,1516362,00.html, "Children Under Occupation" by Susan Howard-Azzeh May 2004, published on http://www.montrealmuslimnews.net/children.htm in Marxism 3, A Socialist Annual 2005.)
The writers 13 year old cousin was killed by an Israeli army sniper during a period of calm.
Israel does not appear to be a proponent of free expression something most Canadians prize. If we want to emulate Israeli methods, should we fire on peaceful demonstrators who regularly flock to Canadian streets in order to silence dissent, the way Israel does? ("School Children Murdered by Israel Military at Anti-Wall Protest" http://groups.yahoo.com/group/palsolidarity/message/1189) Of course Canadians would not use bulldozers to plow over and silence peaceful demonstrators like Israeli did to the murdered American Rachel Corrie who was using nothing more than a simple megaphone to protect a Palestinian home from Israeli demolition. http://electronicintifada.net/cgi-bin/artman/exec/view.cgi/7/1248 , http://www.rachelcorrie.org/ ) Are we already slowly adopting an Israeli military and police mentality? Dan Freeman-Molloy of York University was also using a megaphone during a peaceful demonstration at York. For this he was expelled from the university. Is this acceptable? (http://www.rabble.ca/babble/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic&f=5&t=001203&p=) On another occasion, York University administration called police and assigned a police detention room prior to a peaceful student demonstration. No violence took place at the demonstration, except against one student who was pro-Palestinian human rights, and who was injured during interrogation by police. Public debate may sometimes be controversial, but it certainly should not be silenced, either by administrative or policing methods. (Additional information "Israel Lobby Loses York" by Jewish anti-Zionist Professor David F. Noble, August 2005)
6.2 "POLICE MEETING POLICE" ?
Bernie Farber, the National Chief Executive Officer of the Canadian Jewish Congress said that the police trip to Israel was simply, " police meeting with police" ("Column on Chief Mullans trip to Israel draws readers wrath" by Bill Dunphy, March 29, 2005, the Hamilton Spectator) This is not true.
Ontario and federal police officials did not just meet with Israel police officials they also met with military officials of the notorious Israeli Defence Forces. These are some of the same people who have tortured Canadian Palestinians who are personal friends and members of the Niagara Palestinian Association and Niagara Coalition for Peace.
A statement from the Greater Sudbury Police Service identified that officers would be meeting with the IDF the Israeli Defence Forces. "The trip will provide opportunities to explore Israeli police procedures, obtain information on anti-terrorism and security matters and meet with senior police and IDF and Palestinian police officials, says a statement from the Greater Sudbury Police Service". ("Top Cop in Israel", Northern Life, March 3, 2005.)
Sault Sainte Marie police service also stated officers would be meeting with the Israeli army. "The majority (of the board) felt that there was a tremendous opportunity to gain a lot of first hand knowledge on some of the new technologies that are involved in policing dealing with the various aspects of security that Israeli police force and army deal with." ("Jury mixed on police chiefs upcoming trip to Israel" by Camilla White-Kirkpatrick, The Sault Star, March 1, 2005.)
It is not appropriate for Canadian police to be learning policing methods from the Israeli military the fourth largest and one of the most brutal militaries in the world.
There also seems to be some confusion between what trip participants saw as police or military forces. In the following statements the numbers quoted by Canadian officers make it unclear whether Canadian officers were meeting with police auxiliary or Israeli army reservists. Everyone in Israel over 18 and under 65 years of age, with a few exceptions, are trained by the Israeli military and are part of the military reserve. "Frank Elsner, Deputy Chief in Own Sound, said he was impressed with the way auxiliary police volunteers are organized in Israel, where there are about 72,000 reservists for close to 22,000 police officers. In Israeli police volunteers typically put in 20 to 60 hours per week; in Canada, the average police volunteer puts in about five hours a week." ("Israel trip highlights northern security worries: Terrorism can happen here by Isabel Vincent, March 22, 2005, National Post.)
Chief Armand La Barge said, "It was amazing to see the partnerships that exist between police, ambulance, armed forces and border police. But whats really interesting is that there are 23,000 police officers in Israel and 23,000 volunteers. Theyre similar to our auxiliary, except they can carry firearms. ("Chief gains insight from police in Israel" by Martin Derbyshire, March 13, 2005, Metroland Papers)
If we want quality policing in Canada we need to pay our Canadian officers; fully and properly train any volunteers; and not permit volunteers to carry firearms or the use of lethal force.
In the meetings with police, there was a missed opportunity. The trip participants, "squeezed in a meeting with 3 representatives of the Palestinian Authority among several [meetings] on its last day". ("Liberals Bow to Lobbies - Toronto-Premier Dalton McGuinty boasts he does not bow and scrape to lobbies, but he is finding some are too powerful to resist" by Eric Dowd, March 13, 2005, Thunder Bay Chronicle-Journal. http://www.northernlife.ca/Voices/dowd/default.asp?240id15-pn=&view=83544#log83544 )
"In this case, the delegates were able to offer information on how they could develop an internal police force that would be free of political interference." Israelis and Canadians offering advice to Palestinian police? Instead of using the time to listen to them, and hear about their living conditions under Israeli occupation and rule? This is biased and patronizing. Canadian police go to Israel to learn from Israelis, but meet with Palestinians to lecture them? ("Middle east trip learning experience" by Julio Gomes, April 18, 2005, Thunder Bay Chronicle-Journal.)
6.3 "IDEAS THAT COULD BE INCORPORATED INTO POLICE SERVICES AT HOME"
"The Missions focus was on policing issues and ensuring delegates gained new knowledge and ideas that they could incorporate into their police services at home", said La Barge." (Media Release, Police Leaders Wrap-up Historic Mission to Israel, Lessons Learned Will Benefit Safety of Communities Across Ontario, March 8, 2005, Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police. http://www.oacp.on.ca/uploads/news/Media%20Release%20-%20Misison%20to%20Israel%20Wrapup.pdf
Chief Ian "Davidson said some of Israels law enforcement innovations could be applied to Sudbury. New training, technical equipment and intelligence gathering will prove essential in the post-911 era." ("Sudburys top cop in Israel: Ian Davidson will learn more about international terrorism", by Laura Stradiotto, March 1, 2005, The Sudbury star.)
Although "We have thankfully not been touched by terror" Deputy Commissioner of Investigations and Organized Crime of the Ontario Provincial Police Maurice Pilon said. ("Canadian police chiefs on visit" by Yaakov Katz, March 7, 2005, The Jerusalem Post.)
"Canada, [the police chiefs] admitted, does not combat the same high level of terrorism, as Israel does, but following the events of 9/11 every western country has had to restructure its security forces and become "a little bit Israel"." ("Canadian police chiefs on visit" by Yaakov Katz, March 7, 2005, The Jerusalem Post.)
"Israel and Canada have an excellent relationship and have joined forces in the past to deal with potential threats. Fantino. ("Canadian police chiefs on visit" by Yaakov Katz, March 7, 2005, The Jerusalem Post.) Well, thats certainly scary.
Dr. James Young, federal government security advisor "said that he and other police officers were eagerly eyeing several Israeli-made security products on display at the trade show including a gun that can see around a corner, a hot-air balloon used for surveillance, and a particularly effective barrier intended to block a car-bomb attack". ("Canadian Police Learn how to bolster security at home during Israel visit" by Leora Eren Frucht, March 10, 2005, Canada Israel Committee website.)
Wes Luloff, chief of the Nishnawbe-Aski Police Service in Thunder Bay "says he plans to consult with other levels of government to put in place surveillance systems, such as unmanned aircraft and GPS technology, to patrol the vast region, which is virtually inaccessible by road and difficult for his force to patrol" ("Israel trip highlights northern security worries: Terrorism can happen here by Isabel Vincent, March 22, 2005, National Post.)
"Mr. Luloff decided that his force needed to put more emphasis on high-tech intelligence gathering. he wants his volunteers to play a more active role in areas such as fraud and hunting down Internet predators." ("Israel trip highlights northern security worries: Terrorism can happen here by Isabel Vincent, March 22, 2005, National Post.)
Armand La Barge is "interested in closed circuit camera system" ("Chief gains insight from police in Israel" by Martin Derbyshire, March 13, 2005, Metroland Papers)
How many innocent Palestinian civilians have paid with their lives for the perfection of these technologies? Technologies that have been frequently used improperly and extra-judiciously against Palestinian civilians. Does Ontario honestly need these technologies?
In the issue of "Security Certificates" or "Administrative Detention" widely used as a "security measure" in Israel, we would do well to listen to the sense of American Judge John Coughenor who recently sentenced Ahmed Rassam to 22 years in jail for a thwarted plot. Judge Coughenor "pointed out that all proceedings took place "in the sunlight of a public trial" without the indefinite detention of Mr. Ressam, subjecting him to a secret tribunal or denying him the right to a lawyer procedures employed against suspected terrorists after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. Unfortunately, some believe that the tragedy of Sept. 11 renders our Constitution obsolete Our system works. We can deal with threats to our national security, without denying people rights". ("Ressam jailed for 22 years" by Rod Mickelburgh, Seattle, July28, 2005, The Goble and Mail.)
6.4 "POLICE MEETING WITH POLICE" ? NOT WITH THE POLITICAL APPARATUS ?
An old saying in Palestine and Israel is that, "If youre a retired Israeli general, you go into the police, if youre retired from policing, you go into politics." (Mughir al Hindi, Al-Awda Right of Return Coalition, Police Bias Forum, June 30, 2005, University of Toronto.)
Aside from this very close connection between Israeli police, military and politics; for a supposedly non-political trip, Ontario officers had an awful lot of meetings with the Israeli political apparatus. Ontario chiefs "will also be hearing keynote addresses from high-ranking officials including Israels prime minister, minister of finance (Benjamin Netanyahu ?!! ), chief of border patrol " ("Deputy chief to study Israeli methods of dealing with terrorism" by Elaine Della-Matta, March 2, 2005, The Sault Star.)
They also met with Israeli Vice-Prime Minister Ehud Olmert ("Police leaders wrap up historic mission to Israel" by David Helwig, March 9, 2005, SooToday.com)
Ontario chiefs "met with Lt. Col. Shawn Myers, Commander of the United Nations forces on the Golan Heights and at a meeting Friday morning in Tel Aviv with Canadas ambassador to Israel, Donald Sinclair ." ("Ontario top cops in third day of Holy Land mission" by Paul Shindman, March 4, 2005, LTVNEWS.com)
"Police must be seen as impartial and not stray into politics and certainly not get entangled in issues of ethnic and international political strife." ("Column on Chief Mullans trip to Israel draws readers wrath" by Bill Dunphy, March 29, 2005, the Hamilton Spectator.)
6.5 POLICE VISITS TO ISRAELI CHECKPOINTS
What do Israeli checkpoints have to do with Ontario lives? "Participants on the trip will be able to observe practices at border checkpoints " ("Deputy chief to study Israeli methods of dealing with terrorism" by Elaine Della-Matta, March 2, 2005, The Sault Star.) Israeli checkpoints control Palestinian lives and have devastating consequences - lack of access to jobs, schools, and hospitals. In the past three years 30 infants have died as a result of pregnant Palestinian women in labour being purposely detained at Israeli checkpoints. Wounded Palestinian civilians have bled to death because Israelis would not permit ambulances through checkpoints. ("Children Under Occupation" by Susan Howard-Azzeh, May 2004, published on http://www.montrealmuslimnews.net/children.htm and elsewhere.)
If you doubt the truth of these statements, they are well documented for your review. Should we follow Israel's example and have checkpoints between Toronto and North York; should we build an Apartheid Wall between Ontario and Quebec? Absurd. To illustrate how Israeli checkpoints control Palestinian lives in even the most mundane daily activities - a trip that used to take the writers Uncle 15 minutes between Bethlehem and Jerusalem to check on an aging relative, now takes 9 hours because of the Wall and checkpoints. This is the equivalent of taking 9 hours to travel from St. Catharines, Ontario to the neighbouring city of Thorold, a trip that also usually takes 10 or 15 minutes.
But it appears that participants did not actually visit internal checkpoints in or near the territories, but rather "border" checkpoints. "On Thursday the delegation got a first hand view of the disputed Golan Heights border area between Israel and Syria, and met the Canadian Forces peace keeping troops who have been stationed there since the 1970s." ("Ontario top cops in third day of Holy Land mission" by Paul Shindman, March 4, 2005, LTVNEWS.com) These additional checkpoints are placed on Israeli unilaterally determined "borders", which are often not borders recognized by the United Nations, international law, or the international community. The "border" with Golan Heights for example is not "disputed" it is occupied. The United Nations and international law have ordered Israel to leave the area because it was illegally taken by force in 1967, but Israel refuses to do so and propagates the falsehood that the area is merely "disputed", not illegally occupied.
The pro-Israeli groups that organized the Canadian police trip did not include a visit to the occupied territories of the West Bank, Gaza Strip, East Jerusalem, or numerous Palestinian refugee camps in their tour. Again, we ask, "What can Canadian police officers possibly learn from the Israelis that we would actually want them to employ here in Canada? Maybe we could learn the Israeli and US definition of "democracy"? "two wolves discussing with a sheep what they should eat for breakfast".
7.0 POLICE TRIP TO ISRAEL - PROPAGANDA EFFECT OF TRIP
The main propaganda agenda of the "Ontario Police Security Personnel Mission to Israel" proved to be a very profitable strategy for Canadas powerful pro-Israel lobby.
7.1 PUBLISHED CRITICISM OF TRIP
Journalists were quick to recognize the propaganda use of the trip. In Thunder Bay we read, "The trip has been criticized in some quarters, including columnists who appear in The Chronicle-Journal. They complain the trip was more a PR stunt for the Israeli government than a practical information-gathering exercise." ("Middle east trip learning experience" by Julio Gomes, April 18, 2005, Thunder Bay Chronicle-Journal.)
Bill Dunphy of the Hamilton Spectator wrote, "Whats startling is a respected Canadian chief of police [Hamiltons Chief Mullan] allowing himself to be used by the Israeli governments sophisticated propaganda machine Accepting an invitation from supporters of one side of a vicious, bloody territorial conflict to study how that side suppresses its enemies and protects itself is wading into the politics of the situation, albeit perhaps with your eyes screwed shut What Mullan and [Hamilton Police Services Board Chair] Morelli failed to see is that by his simple presence, Mullan was lending the good name and reputation of his office to the Israeli governments security apparatus His presence helps legitimize Israels actions in the conflict, actions that have included torture, assassination, the wholesale destruction of homes and illegal occupation The photos and police presence on a partisan Israeli junket sends a (wildly inaccurate) message that terrorism is a mere criminal, not political, problem. Mullan [and other chiefs on the trip] was not merely conferring with his peers on policing techniques." ("Police chiefs Israel trip bound to blow up on him and it did" by Bill Dunphy, March 26?, 2005, The Hamilton Spectator). "Mullans presence unwittingly helped buff Israels image" ("Column on Chief Mullans trip to Israel draws readers wrath" by Bill Dunphy, March 29, 2005, The Hamilton Spectator.)
For his comments, Dunphy came under attack from the pro-Israeli lobbyist Bernie Farber, National CEO of the Canadian Jewish Congress.("Whiff of agenda bias" by Bernie Farber, March 29, 2005, The Hamilton Spectator).
Christina Blizzard of the Toronto Sun wrote in response to Farbers defense of the trip, if a terrorist threat to Canada is real as Farber and others allege, "Do we want that many police chiefs out of the country at the same time? If the answer is yes, then shouldnt we be paying their way and not have them beholden to a foreign airline, a foreign government and an organization that has a political agenda?" ("Why send Top Cops to Israel" by Christina Blizzard, March 2, 2005, Toronto Sun.)
7.2 VERBATIM PARROTING OF PRO-ISRAELI PROPAGANDA
The majority of news articles covering the trip repeat verbatim heavily from the original news releases issued by the Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police, which read very much like direct excerpts from classic Canadian Jewish Congress and United Jewish Appeal texts (making one wonder who actually composed the news releases).
An OACP news release at the conclusion of the trip outlined some of the chiefs activities while in Israel: "Meetings with senior corrections officials at the Ofek Juvenile Facility at Tel Mond where delegates learned of the efforts to address the illiteracy, lack of education and other issues at the root of much of the crime and terrorist activity in Israel." (Media Release, March 8, 2005, Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police.)
That exact line was repeated verbatim in numerous news articles, such as by one of Ontarios northern newspapers, "Meetings with senior corrections officials at Ofek Juvenile Facility at Tel Mond where delegates learned of efforts to address the illiteracy, lack of education and other issues at the root of much of the crime and terrorist activity in Israel" ("Police leaders wrap-up historic mission to Israel" by David Helwig, March 9, 2005, SooToday.com.) In this case the media even parroted the title of the news release verbatim in their articles headline: "Police Leaders Wrap-Up Historic Mission to Israel" (Media Release: March 8, 2005, Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police.)
The Ofek example is one of the most infuriating and insulting examples of propaganda coming out of the trip. Illiteracy and lack of education among Palestinian youth is not "at the root of much of the crime and terrorist activity in Israel" but is a direct and inevitable consequence of the discrimination, harsh living conditions, and barriers to education imposed on Palestinians living under Israeli rule.
Many news articles parroted the misleading news release statement that there was "A meeting with senior police and security officials with the Palestinian Authority to learn about the policing challenges facing that community." (Media Release, March 8, 2005, Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police.) Most news articles did not mention that the meeting was squeezed into the final day of the trip and constituted only 2 of 13 meetings overall, all the others being with Israeli officials.
7.3 ADDITIONAL EXAMPLES OF PROPAGANDA
Other examples of propaganda coming out of the trip are statements such as, "one of the worlds most sophisticated democratic states", Israel "carved a beautiful society out of a desert", "This is about learning from and watching Israels police service, which is widely seen as one of the worlds best", countless references to "terrorism", "the spirit and motivation of the people and their willingness to persevere is deeply admirable". "The bottom line is that Israelis are heroes," Inspector Merle Foster deputy chief of Bellville, Ontario said Monday". ("Canadian police chiefs on visit" by Yaakov Katz, March 7, 2005, The Jerusalem Post.)
Co-chair of the trip, Chief La Barge states, "This is a wonderful opportunity for the OCAP and for Police Chiefs from across the province to witness firsthand the manner in which one of the worlds most sophisticated democratic states deals with terrorism and security in the 21st century,". ("Deputy Police Chief [Bob Kates, Sault Ste. Marie] Heads To Israel", March 1, 2005, LTVNews.com) Israel is certainly not a democratic country, but rather uses "state terrorism" and legislation to control and oppress the native Palestinians living under occupation and in Israel where they are systematically discriminated against in every sphere of life such as housing, education, employment, the right to own or lease land, funding for social programs, even drivers licenses etcetera, and where Palestinians are discriminated against as official second and third class citizens in Israel proper. This year one Israeli Supreme Court Judge ruled, "that the governments handling of the Arab population has been both "neglectful and discriminatory" and it criticized the police service for its attitude towards Arabs" ("Israeli Arabs: Unequal citizens ", by Jonathan Marcus, May 2, 2005, BBC News.)
"I learned that the goal of terror is to demoralize a country to beat it psychologically by attacking the most vulnerable elements the citizens," said Hamilton Police Chief Brian John Mullan. "In that sense, the spirit and motivation of the people and their willingness to persevere is deeply admirable." ("Canadian Police Learn how to bolster security at home during Israel visit" by Leora Eren Frucht, March 10, 2005, Canada Israel Committee website.) Chief Mullan is speaking in reference to Israelis.
Now read the same statement from the perspective of the Palestinians. It applies precisely. "I learned that the goal of [state] terror is to demoralize a country to beat it psychologically by attacking the most vulnerable elements the citizens. In that sense, the spirit and motivation of the [Palestinian] people and their willingness to persevere is deeply admirable." We suspect that officers on the trip may not have realized this point of view, which reflects how their perspective was co-opted by the trips political agenda.
Minister Monte Kwinter, MPP York Centre states, "This is not about protecting Ontario from suicide bombers. This is about learning from and watching Israels police service, which is widely seen as one of the worlds best." ("Fantinoss Flying Start", by Rob Ferguson March 1, 2005, The Star.) Really? I have never heard or read that "Israels police service is widely seen as one of the worlds best", except of course directly from pro-Israeli lobbyists such as Bernie Farber himself. However, we have heard, read, and seen on numerous occasions that Israels police service is one of the most extra-judicial, brutal and oppressive.
The declared master of pro-Israeli propaganda, CJCs Bernie Farber states, "Its post 9/11 and theres a real willingness among police forces in Ontario and across Canada to learn from the best, and sadly Israel is one of those democratic states that has had to learn through tragedy how to deal with security, how to deal with terrorism."("Why send Top Cops to Israel" by Christina Blizzard, March 2, 2005, Toronto Sun.) In all sincerity, this is a quote Ryerson Universitys propaganda class might enjoy as a classic to pick out the 8 or so propaganda techniques crafted into the statement. One propaganda technique for example - Farber purposely leaves out the source of the on-going tragedy Israels horrific treatment of the entrapped Palestinians and the creation of Israel on ancestral Palestinian lands. Tragically, when Israel will not permit peaceful methods of dissent and resistance to occupation, by for example imprisoning people such as the "Palestinian Ghandi" and Huwaida Arraf chair of the International Solidarity Movement, people resort to other methods. ("Palestinian Ghandi Still In Jail" http://groups.yahoo.com/group/palsolidarity/message/1217 , "Israeli military targets leaders of non-violent resistance" http://groups.yahoo.com/group/palsolidarity/message/1233 , "My Wife is in Jail, Again" by Adam Shapiro - Huwaida Arraf in Bil'in http://groups.yahoo.com/group/palsolidarity/message/1232 )
One classical propaganda technique is telling half-truths, distorting facts, and leaving out pertinent information. Unfortunately Chief La Barge has learned this well and adopted the technique. In the Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police Presidential Swearing-in-Speech, Chief Armand La Barge states, "In March of 2005, I had the pleasure of joining Paul (Hamelin) and many members of our Association as we journeyed to Israel with Bernie Farber, Joel Richler and Morris Zubar of the Canadian Jewish Congress and the United Jewish Appeal where we met with representatives of both the Israeli Police Service and the Palestinian National Police Service." La Barge conveniently neglects to mention that he had approximately 13 meetings with not only the Israel Police Service but also the Israeli army, but had only 2 meetings with Palestinian police, squeezed into their final day not the balanced and bias-free meetings implied by the statement, "where we met with representatives of both the Israeli Police Service and the Palestinian National Police Service". (Participants met with policy advisor to the Palestinian Authority Yaser Dajani and Col. Mohamed Jayousi a member of the Palestinian National Security Council. "Canadian police chiefs on visit" by Yaakov Katz, March 7, 2005, The Jerusalem Post.)
One article describes that, "Chief La Barge has always been committed to stamping out anti-Semitism, racism and hate-crimes, but a visit to the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial museum gave him even more insight on how even the smallest act of anti-Semitism concerns the entire Jewish community The approach is never again" ("Chief gains insight from police in Israel" by Martin Derbyshire, March 13, 2005, Metroland Papers.) The visit to Yad Vashem and this statement cast confusion on the issues. "The approach is never again", and yet genocide continues to be repeated. And by some of the most surprising sources. Palestinians are not Nazis. However, many feel that what the Nazis did to the Jews and others, Zionists are now doing to the Palestinians. Not in the same numbers, but with the same intent. (Of interest, "The Holocaust Industry" and "Beyond Chutzpah: On The Misuse of Anti-Semitism and The Abuse of History" by Norman Finkelsteinhttp://www.serendipity.li/more/finkel.html , http://www.normanfinkelstein.com/content.php?pg=11 )
7.4 IMMEDIATE IMPACT OF PROPAGANDA AGENDA
One of the immediate propaganda effects of the trip was already mentioned above in the complaint. On his return from Israel Chief Bill Blair lead the Toronto "Walk With Israel", took the stage and referred to "the great state of Israel". It is inappropriate for a Canadian Ontario Chief of Police to act as the spokesperson for a foreign country, the state of Israel. Chief Blair went on to praise the Israelis for having "carved a beautiful society out of a desert" - old Zionist propaganda. Palestine, now called Israel, was a populated and flourishing agricultural and cosmopolitan country well before the arrival of British, French and Jewish Zionists.
Conversely when Canadian Palestinians and supporters of Palestinian human rights hold a rally or demonstration in Toronto, they are met with riot police and mounted horses. ("Blair Feels a Little Heat. Challenged over pro-Israel event. Youth workshop led by Arab group." by Sikander Z. Hashmi, August 8, 2005, Toronto Star.
An example of the impact of the police chiefs trip in propagating stereotypes was felt in Hamilton. In response to news coverage of a complaint regarding the trip, one of Hamiltons citizenry wrote, "I suppose Ali Cheaib, president of the Hamilton Council of Canadian Arabs and Ann Holubeshen who writes "for the Palestinian community of Hamilton" will now want the police chief to visit the leaders of the Palestinian terrorist organizations for the terrorists perspective to fighting terrorism." ("The desire to live in peace" Harold Pomerantz, April 1, 2005, Hamilton Spectator.)
Interestingly, half of the Chiefs who were newly elected to the executive of the Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police in June, were on the Israel trip. (June 25, 2005, Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police http://www.oacp.on.ca/ )
"Police chiefs across the globe are trying to develop a "far more integrated model of policing, where we gather, analyze and share information so we are better prepared to prevent any terrorist threats," [Sudbury Chief Ian] Davidson said." ("Sudburys top cop in Israel" by Laura Stradiotto, March 1, 2005, The Sudbury Star.) Participants attended meetings for example with, "Dr. Boaz Ganor, an internationally-renowned expert on counter-terrorism " (Media Release, March 8, 2005, Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police.)
There are countless references to "terrorism" throughout the many, many news articles that came out of this trip, creating a climate of unrealistic fear here in Canada.
Although, "We have thankfully not been touched by terror" Deputy Commissioner of Investigations and Organized Crime of the Ontario Provincial Police Maurice Pilon said." ("Canadian police chiefs on visit" by Yaakov Katz, March 7, 2005, The Jerusalem Post.)
If Chiefs were going to Israel to learn anti-terrorism techniques, what does that imply about Palestinians? Any possible threats to Canada are not coming from Palestinians as implied by the trip. Palestinians were not involved in terrorist attacks in the US or London. Palestinians are not a threat to Canada. This trip has contributed enormously to the further stereotyping of Palestinian Canadians and Muslim and Arab Canadians here at home, and further targets them for racial profiling and hate crimes. Even within Israel and the territories, Palestinians are not "terrorists".
In general, the word "terrorist" is used very casually by many trip participants, journalists, and ordinary Canadians. By definition, only those who specifically target civilians are guilty of "terrorism". The majority of Palestinian fighters are engaged in a lawful struggle of resistance to the Israeli occupation of the West Bank, Gaza Strip, East Jerusalem, Golan Heights, parts of Southern Lebanon, and oppression within Israel proper. Resistance is difficult considering there is no Palestinian army, air force, navy, or adequate international support, but only guerrilla fighters, children throwing stones, the non-violent International Solidarity Movement, the Jewish left, and, truly sadly, out of desperation, terrorism by definition - suicide bombers. Palestinians are fighting in this manner against the fourth largest military in the world consisting of the Israeli army, air force, navy, the Mossad and Shabak, Israeli police, armed Israeli settlers, a biased judicial system, and trillions of American dollars supporting the Israeli side.
"Jews have suffered many tribulations, but some find it offensive when police imply terrorism comes from only one side, the Palestinians. Since Arabs began their uprising against those occupying their land by force, Israeli tanks, gunships and troops have killed three times as many [Palestinians], including many women and children, as Arabs have killed Jews, which is terror even if it comes from the state. ("Liberals Bow to Lobbies - Toronto-Premier Dalton McGuinty boasts he does not bow and scrape to lobbies, but he is finding some are too powerful to resist" by Eric Dowd, March 13, 2005, The Thunder Bay Chronicle-Journal. http://www.northernlife.ca/Voices/dowd/default.asp?240id15-pn=&view=83544#log83544 )
8.0 LIST OF POLICE TRIP PARTICIPANTS
TRIP PROPOSED AND ATTENDED BY
1. Bernie Farber,National Chief Executive Officer, Canadian Jewish Congress;
TRIP CO-CHAIRED BY
2. Chief Armand La Barge, York Regional Police Service, First Vice President Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police (as of June 25, 2005 President Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police) http://www.oacp.on.ca/uploads/news/MediaReleaseFinalTorontoConference.pdf );
3. Joel Richler, Chair Canadian Jewish Congress (Ontario Region);
4. Monte Kwinter, MPP York Centre, Ontario Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services, Ministry of the Solicitor General, founding president Toronto Regional Council of B'nai Brith, and "a leading member of the Jewish community and a staunch spokesman for Israel in the legislature and elsewhere." ("Liberals Bow to Lobbies - Toronto-Premier Dalton McGuinty boasts he does not bow and scrape to lobbies, but he is finding some are too powerful to resist" by Eric Dowd, March 13, 2005, The Thunder Bay Chronicle-Journal. http://www.northernlife.ca/Voices/dowd/default.asp?240id15-pn=&view=83544#log83544 )http://www.oacp.on.ca/content/news/article.html?ID=127
5. Monte Kwinters wife, Wilma Helen Kwinter;
6. Morris Zubar?, Canadian Jewish Congress;
7. Morris Zbar, Senior Vice President of Operations, United Jewish Appeal Federation of Greater Toronto UJAFGT;
8. Joe Couto, Director Government Relations, Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police OACP;
9. Andrew Hilton, Senior Communications Officer with Premier Dalton McGuintys Office;
10. Chief Julian Fantino, Toronto Police, now Ontario Emergency Management Commissioner;
11. Bill Blair, former Staff Superintendent, now Chief Bill Blair, Toronto Police Service;
12. Deputy Chief Larry Hill, Ottawa Police Service;
13. Chief Brian Mullan, Hamilton Wentworth Regional Police Service;
14. a second officer from Hamilton Wentworth Regional Police Service;
15. Chief Ian Davidson, Greater Sudbury Police Service;
16. Deputy Chief Bob Kates, Sault Ste. Marie Police Service;
17. Chief Paul David Hamelin, Midland Police Service, President OACP;
18. Chief Bill Rose, Township of Michipicoten Police Service (Wawa);
19. Chief Paul Cook, North Bay Police Service;
20. Chief Bob Herman, Thunder Bay Police Service;
21. Chief Wesley Luloff, Nishnawbe-Aski Police Service Thunder Bay;
22. Chief Stephen Tanner, Bellville Police Service;
23. Inspector Merle Foster, Bellville Police Service;
24. Deputy Chief Frank Elsner, Owen Sound Police Service;
25. Deputy Chief Dennis James Poole, Chatham-Kent Police Service;
26. Deputy Chief Charles Mercier, Durham Regional Police Service;
27. Deputy Chief Gary Smith, Windsor Police Service;
28. Chief David Nicolas Halcovitch, Hanover Police Service;
29. Chief Shayne MacKinnon, Dryden Police Service;
30. Gwen Marie Boniface, OPP Commissioner;
31. Maurice Pilon, Deputy Commissioner Investigations & Organized Crime OPP;
32. Rudy Gheysen, Director Ontario Police College;
33. Dr. James Young, federal government security expert, former Commissioner Ontario Emergency Management;
(William Malpass, Executive Director Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police, did not go.)
9.0 BIBLIOGRAPHY OF SOURCES
"Dossier on Palestine", Co-editors Tony Seed, Gary Zatzman, October 28, 2002. Shunpiking Magazine;
"Four Years On: Cases of Brutality by Israeli Police Against Palestinian Arab Citizens", report by Arab Association for Human Rights, October 4, 2004, http://electronicintifada.net/v2/article3158.shtml.
"Children Under Occupation" by Susan Howard-Azzeh, May 2004, published on http://www.montrealmuslimnews.net/children.htm in Marxism 3, A Socialist Annual 2005;
"Stolen Youth: The Politics of Israels Detention of Palestinian Children", by Catharine Cook, Adam Hanieh, Adah Kay, http://www.amazon.ca/exec/obidos/ASIN/0745321623/701-8254844-2922701.
"Behind Canadas Mideast Shift Has even-handed Canada swung to Israels side? Surprise No Vote at UN signals marked change" by Lynda Hurst, December 18, 2004, The Star;
"Fantinos Flying Start. Junket to Israel will study security. Starts provincial assignment today" by Bob Fergsuon, Tuesday, March 1, 2005, Toronto Star;
"Deputy Police Chief Heads to Israel", March 1, 2005, LTVNews.com;
"Sudburys top cop in Israel. Ian Davidson will learn more about international terrorism" by Laura Stradiotto, March 1, 2005, The Sudbury Star;
"Jury mixed on police chiefs upcoming trip to Israel" by Camilla White-Kirkpatrick, March 1, 2005, The Sault Star;
"Why send Top Cops to Israel. Chiefs and Deputy Chiefs to study security" by Christina Blizzard, March 2, 2005,Toronto Sun;
"Deputy chief to study Israeli methods of dealing with terrorism" by Elaine Della-Mattia, March 2, 2005, The Sault Star;
"Top Cop in Israel", March 3, 2005, Northern Life;
"Chief headed for Middle East", March 3, 2005, Metroland York;
"Top Ontario cops in Holy Land for talks" by Laura Czekaj, March 3, 2005, The Ottawa Sun;
"Ontario Top Cops in Third Day of Holy Land Mission" by Paul Shindman, LTVNEWS.com;
"Canadian police chiefs on visit" by Yaakov Katz, March 7, 2005, The Jerusalem Post;
Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police http://www.oacp.on.ca/ ;
"Media Release, Police Leaders Wrap-up Historic Mission to Israel, Lessons Learned Will Benefit Safety of Communities Across Ontario", March 8, 2005, Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police. http://www.oacp.on.ca/uploads/news/Media%20Release%20-%20Misison%20to%20Israel%20Wrapup.pdf;
"Annual General Meeting and Election", Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police,June 25, 2005, http://www.oacp.on.ca/uploads/news/MediaReleaseFinalTorontoConference.pdf ;
"Police leaders wrap up historic mission to Israel" by David Helwig, March 9, 2005, SooToday.com;
"Israel and the International Community Canadian police learn how to bolster security at home during Israel visit" by Leora Eren Frucht, March 10, 2005, Canada Israel Committee website;
"Trip to Israel eye-opener. City police second in command takes part in mission", March 10, 2005, Owen Sound Sun Times ;
"Liberals Bow to Lobbies - Toronto-Premier Dalton McGuinty boasts he does not bow and scrape to lobbies, but he is finding some are too powerful to resist" by Eric Dowd, March 13, 2005, The Thunder Bay Chronicle-Journal. http://www.northernlife.ca/Voices/dowd/default.asp?240id15-pn=&view=83544#log83544 ;
"Chief gains insight from Police in Israel" by Martin Derbyshire, March 13, 2005, Metroland Papers;
"Israel trip highlights northern security worries. Terrorism can happen here." by Isabel Vincent, March 22, 2005, National Post;
"Police chiefs Israel trip was bound to blow up on him and it did" by Bill Dunphy, March 2005, The Hamilton Spectator;
"Column on Chief Mullans trip to Israel draws readers wrath" by Bill Dunphy, March 29, 2005, The Hamilton Spectator;
"Whiff of agenda bias" by Bernie Farber, March 29, 2005, The Hamilton Spectator;
"Apology can end discord" by Ali Cheaib, March 31, the Hamilton Spectator;
"Black officers confirm profiling" by Philip Mascoll and Jim Rankin, March 31, 2005, Toronto Star;
"The desire to live in peace" by Harold Pomerantz, April 1, 2005, The Hamilton Spectator;
"Objective treatment of a thorny issue" by Omar Alghabra, April 9, 2005, The Hamilton Spectator. http://www.caf.ca/CAF%20in%20the%20News/Omar%27s%20letter%20to%20the%20Spectator%20MAR05.pdf ;
"Middle East trip learning experience" by Julio Gomes, April 18, 2005, Thunder Bay Chronicle-Journal;
"Four Palestinian policemen beaten and arrested by Israeli troops in the southern West Bank town of Hebron, witnesses said on Tuesday" 4/5/2005 http://www.aljazeera.com/me.asp?service_ID=7696;
"Israeli Arabs: Unequal citizens ", by Jonathan Marcus, May 2, 2005, BBC News;
"Walk on the weird side - ice cream checkpoints add strange twist to pro-Israel flag-waving" by Daniel Freeman-Maloy, June 2, 2005, Toronto Now: http://www.nowtoronto.com/issues/2005-06-02/news_story4.php ;
"May 2005 Eye On Queen's Park - What's Impacting Police Services Today!",June 3, 2005, http://www.oacp.on.ca/uploads/news/May%2005.pdf ;
"Snipers with children in their sights. Palestinian civilians have been killed by the (Israeli) army with impunity" by Chris McGreal, June 28, 2005 The Guardian, http://www.guardian.co.uk/israel/Story/0,2763,1516362,00.html;
"Hurndalls' fight for justice goes on.Israeli soldier convicted of shooting son in head as he shepherded young children to safety from gunfire in the Gaza Strip" by Chris McGreal, June 28, 2005, The Guardian, http://www.guardian.co.uk/israel/Story/0,2763,1516194,00.html;
"Just Another Day in Palestine" July 7, 2005, http://groups.yahoo.com/group/palsolidarity/message/1221 ;
Is Hillel in violation of Canadian hate-crime laws? Hillel http://www.hillel.org/ provides link to website that advocates the ethnic cleansing of 3 1/2 million Palestinian Arabs, "99% in favor of disengagement" by Shmuel Sackett, International Director of Manhigut Yehudit, July 11, 2005, http://web.israelinsider.com/Views/6001.htm - Quote "This is why, as painful as it initially sounds, we must disengage from the Arabs. All Arabs in Gaza, northern Samaria and, eventually, all of Israel must be removed from the land";
""Operation Kratos": London Met Police Special Operations Unit "Shoot
"Sign posted in London subway" July 26, 2006http://www.montrealmuslimnews.net/signsubway.jpg
"Ressam jailed for 22 years" by Rod Mickelburgh, Seattle, July28, 2005, The Goble and Mail.http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/Page/document/v4/sub/MarketingPage?user_URL=http://www.theglobeandmail.com%2Fservlet%2Fstory%2FRTGAM.20050427.wressam0427%2FBNStory%2FInternational&ord=1122581654674&brand=theglobeandmail&force_login=true;
"Video convicts officer, tape of assault persuasive evidence, Judge criticizes police testimony, notes", by Betsy Powell, July 29, 2005, Toronto Star, http://ca.groups.yahoo.com/group/equityandaccountability/message/2046 ;
"The Holocaust Industry" by Norman Finkelstein,http://www.serendipity.li/more/finkel.html;
"Beyond Chutzpah: On The Misuse of Anti-Semitism and The Abuse of History" by Norman Finkelstein,http://www.normanfinkelstein.com/content.php?pg=11 ;
International Solidarity Movement Palsolidarity, http://groups.yahoo.com/group/palsolidarity/ ;
"Lapierre unveils plans to tighten travel security" by Karen Rook, August 5, 2005, Globe and Mail,http://www.caf.ca/CAF%20in%20the%20News/ReadAlso/Lapierre%20unveils%20plans%20to%20tighten%20travel%20security-GM-5AUG05.pdf;
"Uniformed vacations. Tourists sign up for a stint in the Israeli Army" by Harold Levy, August 6, 2005, Toronto Star, http://www.thestar.com/NASApp/cs/ContentServer?pagename=thestar/Layout/Article_Type1&c=Article&cid=1123063926626&call_pageid=968867506610&col=969048867196&DPL=IvsNDS%2f7ChAX&tacodalogin=yes;
"Blair Feels a Little Heat. Challenged over pro-Israel event. Youth workshop led by Arab group." by Sikander Z. Hashmi, August 8, 2005, Toronto Star.
"Zionism definition" http://www.brainydictionary.com/words/zi/zionism186636.html
APPENDIX A SUMMARY OF COMPLAINTS
COMPLAINTS REGARDING THE TRIP TO ISRAEL
1. Formal policy complaint filed by Solidarity for Palestinian Human Rights SPHR McMasterhttp://www.sphr.org/ against Hamilton Chief Brian Mullan.
2. Formal policy complaint filed by Community Coalition Against Racism CCAR Hamiltonwww.ccarhamilton.ca against Hamilton Chief Brian Mullan.
3. Formal policy complaint filed by Canada Palestine Support Network CanPalNet - Ottawahttp://www.canpalnet-ottawa.org/ against Ottawas Deputy Chief Larry Hill.
4. Khaled Mouammar former president of the Canadian Arab Federation (CAF) filed formal policy complaint with the York Regional Police Service against Chief Armand La Barge.
5. Ali Mallah filed formal policy complaint regarding former Chief Julian Fantino and Chief Blairs trip to Israel with Toronto Police Services Board.
6. Khaled Mouammar filed complaint against Ontario Provincial Police OPP participation in trip.
COMPLAINTS REGARDING THE "WALK WITH ISRAEL"
7. Khaled Mouammar filed formal complaint with the Toronto Police Services Board against participation of Chief Bill Blair in the May 29 "Walk With Israel" events.
8. Mehdi Kouhestaninejad, President Canadian Union of Public Employees filed formal complaint against Chief Bill Blair leading "Walk With Israel".
9. Ali Mallah filed complaint re comments at "Walk With Israel" with Toronto Police Services Board.
** Elias Hazineh, president Palestine House; Omar Alghabra, president Canadian Arab Federation, Karin Brothers Coalition for a Just Peace in Palestine/Israel did not file formal complaints but sent letters of concern to Chief Blair and/or Mayor David Miller. Letters of complaint to the Justice Critics of all three provincial parties from the Ontario Committee for Fairness in Policing.
10. Formal complaint filed by Father Robert Assaly on behalf of Canadian Friends of Sabeel.
11. Formal complaint filed by Sarah Karmi, Ontario Committee for Fairness in Policing with Ontario Registered Lobbyists registrar re Canadian Jewish Congress and United Jewish Appeal.
12. Comprehensive formal policy complaint filed by Susan Howard-Azzeh on behalf of the Niagara Palestinian Association and Niagara Coalition for Peace with Premier McGuinty.
Omar Alghabra, president Canadian Arab Federation met privately with Premier McGuinty June 10, 2005 and Minister Kwinter July 2005 regarding the trip to Israel, and with Chief Blair July 28, 2005 regarding Chief Blairs participation in the Toronto "Walk With Israel". Islamic Foundation, Ali Mallah, and Khaled Mouammar met privately with Chief Blair re the "Walk" June 28, 2005.
The public, however, is not privy to these private discussions.
(Many thanks to all the individuals and organizations who forwarded their complaints to be included in this complaint to the province.)
COMPLAINT FROM SOLIDARITY FOR PALESTINIAN HUMAN RIGHTS McMASTER
Chair of the Polices Services Board,
The McMaster University branch of Solidarity for Palestinian Human Rights (SPHR) wishes to submit a complaint concerning Chief Brian Mullan's recent trip to Israel.
Whatever were you and the other members of the PSB thinking about when you approved this trip, paid for by taxpayers' dollars? Were you aware that the State of Israel is in violation of over 60 resolutions of the United Nations General Assembly? Among these are Resolution 242, which calls for the withdrawal of Israeli troops from the Occupied Territories seized after the 1967 Six Day War, and Resolution 194, which declares the right of return for all Palestinian refugees forcefully dispossessed from their lands since 1948.
Were you aware that the Prime Minister of Israel, Ariel Sharon, has been investigated by the International Court of Justice as being complicit in war crimes? We refer of course to the slaughter of at least 900 innocent civilians (mainly women and children) at the Sabra and Shattila refugee camps in Lebanon in 1982.
Did you know that Israel has been constructing a barrier between itself and the illegally occupied territories of the West Bank? This wall, often up to 25 metres high, is commonly referred to as the "Apartheid Wall". Recently, the International Court of Justice in the Hague found that this wall was illegal and ordered it to be dismantled. However, Israel refuses to do so.
In short, your decision to allow Chief Mullan to visit Israel at taxpayers' expense was, to say the least, insensitive. We also understand that over half the cost of the junket was paid by the Canadian Jewish Congress and the United Jewish Appeal and was also subsidized by El Al Airlines, and the israeli Ministry of Tourism. If this is true, it was completely inappropriate for you to allow the Chief to accept money from these organizations.
Our next point is what was to be learned about policing in Israel. Are you aware that ordinary, law-abiding Palestinians in the thousands are routinely rounded up by police and soldiers, in middle-of-the-night raids without search warrants, and are jailed for years in conditions unfit for animals, without the benefit of lawyers or trials, or even seeing the evidence against them? These prisoners are often subjected to extreme forms of torture.
Is this the kind of policing you wished Chief Mullan to learn from in Israel?
In Israel, the government has a policy of selective assassination of persons engaged in the lawful struggle to end the illegal occupation of the West Bank, Gaza, and the Golan Heights. Are you hoping that the Hamilton police service can learn from the Israelis about this kind of war crime?
Finally, Israel has for years demolished the homes of persons engaged in the Intifada (uprising). Does the Hamilton Police Service intend to buy some fortified bulldozers to demolish the homes of convicts in Hamilton?
What exactly were you hoping the Chief would learn there in Israel at the taxpayers' expense?
We suppose you are going to reply: anti-terrorism tactics. If so, let us ask you who do you think are the real terrorists in Palestine, the Israeli government that has stolen the lands of the Palestinian people, ethnically-cleansed them from their homes, farms, and villages, chased them out the country into refugee camps where they have languished for over half a century, killed them in many massacres like Deir Yassin and Kfur Qassem and in three wars (1948, 1967, 1973, as well as in the
invasion of Lebanon in 1982), which uses the latest planes and tanks and missiles to herd them into Bantustans where its soldiers and settlers terrorize them in their homes and shoot them if they try to farm their lands or the Palestinians who have nothing but rocks and small arms with which to fight back?
By sending the police chief to Israel you have reinforced the stereotype that Arabs and Muslims are terrorists. We are not impressed with the press release from the Hamilton Police Service, which terms Israel as "one of the world's most sophisticated democratic states." Your press release shows that you have swallowed the line (along with the hook and sinker) that Israel is OK and that it is the Palestinians who are the troublemakers, when, in reality, exactly the opposite is true. Perhaps what you need is a lesson in the history of the Middle East since the arrival of the first Zionist settlers in Palestine. And If you believe that what goes on in Israel today passes for democracy, then please
protect us from it here in Canada by not sending any more of your officers over there to learn from the Israeli government.
Frankly, you owe the entire Palestinian and Arab community of Hamilton an apology for sending the police chief on this junket. Your Board needs sensitivity training about Arabs and Muslims as well as some history lessons. Moreover, we believe that any public money spent on this trip for Chief Mullan ought to be recovered and put back into the Hamilton Police Service budget. It was money not spent in the public interest.
Solidarity for Palestinian Human Rights,
McMaster University Branch
Solidarity for Palestinian Human Rights ®
SPHR is a non-profit, student-based organization that advocates on a strong social justice platform to uphold the rights of the Palestinian people in the face of human rights violations and all forms of racism, discrimination, misinformation and misrepresentation.
Through awareness raising, advocacy work, non-violent direct actions, solidarity building, and the promotion of Palestinian identity, culture and history, SPHR works to support and protect Palestinian human rights both locally and internationally.
COMPLAINT FROM COMMUNITY COALITION AGAINST RACISM CCAR HAMILTON
Bernie Morelli, Chair,
Police Services Board.
Dear Mr. Morelli,
After careful consideration and discussion, the Community Coalition Against Racism (CCAR) has decided to follow the example of Solidarity for Palestinian Human Rights (SPHR) and file a policy complaint about Chief Brian Mullan's recent trip to Israel. We find this trip offensive as it can only adversely affect policing in the new City of Hamilton.
Since September 11, 2001, two of our most persistent worries about policing in Hamilton have been the stereotyping of Arabs and Muslims as terrorists and the consequent racial profiling of these two groups for discriminatory treatment. These two issues do not just impact policing, of course. They have an impact on employment, housing, education, and many other issues in regards to these two communities. Our concern was reflected in the recent Ipsos-Reid poll conducted on behalf of the Dominion Institute and released on March 21, the International Day for the Elimination of Racism. It showed, among other things, that 38% of the Canadians surveyed felt that the groups most likely to be targets of racism in their communities were Arabs and Muslims. (Hamilton Spectator, March 21, 2005, page A4)
Chief Mullan's visit to Israel will definitely reinforce the stereotype of Arabs and Muslims as terrorists. In your media release, the stated purpose of the visit to Israel of Hamilton's police chief, along with Ontario Community Safety Minister Monte Kwinter and some thirty other Ontario chiefs of police, was to " obtain information on anti-terrorism and security matters." You further describe Israel as "one of the world's most sophisticated democratic states". What is implicit in the rationale for the trip, then, is the notion that it cannot be the State of Israel which is engaged in terrorism, but rather others who are nameless in the text but, in the sub-text, can only be Palestinians, who are Arabs and mostly Muslim, engaged in the Palestinian uprising. Like Solidarity with Palestinian Human Rights, we challenge the notion that Israel is a "sophisticated democratic state" and agree with the many examples of violations of human rights and international law by Israel that they cite.
In particular, we wish to draw to your attention that the Government of Canada is committed to both international human rights and humanitarian law by virtue of being a signatory to a number of United Nations' conventions and covenants. We would like to remind you that Amnesty International has documented grave violations by the State of Israel of the Fourth Geneva Convention, the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, and--of greatest concern to our coalition--the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination. The State of Israel has repeatedly refused to abide by resolutions of both the UN Security Council and the UN General Assembly, has regularly engaged in torture of prisoners and extra-judicial assassination, and has carried out systematic discrimination on the basis of nationality, ethnicity, and religion. While we recognize that a large minority of Israel's Jewish citizens are opposed to the actions of their own government, we are nonetheless appalled to think that chiefs of police in Ontario would be flown to such a state for education or training.
Since your Police Services Board must have authorized this trip and spent public funds on it, you are sending a message to every uniformed police officer in Hamilton that it was so important for the chief to find out how to deal with terrorists that it warranted a special trip to Israel to see how they do it there. Your officers are well-educated and worldly. They know that the people in charge in Israel are of the Jewish faith. Despite the fact that the delegation heard from security officers of the Palestinian Authority for a couple of hours on one day during the week of the visit, they can figure out that the chief went to Israel to learn how to deal with the stereotypically "bad guys", the Arabs and Muslims. How can this knowledge not negatively affect your uniformed officers when they are dealing with Arabs and Muslims in Hamilton? How can it not reinforce the negative stereotype of these two groups as prone to terrorism?
By the implicit suggestion that it is the Palestinians who are the terrorists, moreover, we can expect that persons fitting their description, namely Arabs and Muslims, will be singled out for prejudicial treatment by police in Hamilton. This prejudicial treatment is usually termed "racial profiling". Over the years, CCAR has been adamantly told in many discussions with our chiefs of police that racial profiling does not exist in Hamilton. However, study after study of policing, sentencing, and corrections in Ontario has repeatedly pointed to racial profiling (mostly of blacks) as pervasive in our justice system. Unless the Hamilton Police Services Board has a magical solution for racial profiling, we assume that racial profiling is alive in Hamilton policing as well. (And, in fact, most of the complainants who come to CCAR with grievances about their treatment by police are people of colour.)
After the chief's visit to Israel, where the racial profiling of Arabs and Muslims is a sad fact of life, we can expect the Hamilton cop on the beat suspiciously to eye and deal with Hamilton youths of Arab origin (perhaps wearing the distinctive keffiyeh) if they are near a school or hanging out in a mall or strolling downtown. And we fear that Hamilton police officers may not act in an even-handed manner if there is a confrontation between white kids and Arab kids. When several Middle Eastern men were recently arrested and convicted of scamming debit cards in our city, the Hamilton Police Service publicly declared that they were stealing money for terrorist causes in the Mideast. There was never any evidence for such a shocking and serious claim. And one of the young men convicted had his sentence reduced from jail time to community service. (If the man was a terrorist, why was his sentence reduced?) So, the racial profiling of Arabs has recently been noted in the Hamilton Police Service. We fear that it will occur more often now that the Government of Ontario has authorized this trip to Israel.
Finally, aside from problems of stereotyping and racial profiling, there is the further question, regarding this trip to Israel, of what policing methods might be learned from the Israelis. Israeli police have been charged with torturing prisoners, of entering Palestinian homes in a violent manner without search warrants during which time they have been accused of stealing the possessions of family members, of arresting Palestinians and holding them indefinitely without laying any charges, of refusing prisoners the bare necessities not to mention access to lawyers, of participating in the demolition of homes of families of Palestinians they have convicted, of selective assassination of suspects, and many other war crimes and violations of the Geneva Convention. Despite what your press release says about Chief Mullan seeing "the latest enforcement innovations in Israel which could be applied to policing in our community", we in CCAR sincerely hope that none of these policing methods are imported to Ontario.
Of what possible benefit, then, was this trip to the taxpayers? It certainly was not the "wonderful opportunity" trumpeted in your media release. From our point of view, this trip was at best an unfortunate and insensitive decision on the part of the Police Services Board and the Government of Ontario. Clearly, when there are large numbers of members of both ethnic/religious communities to an international conflict represented in our city and province, it was unwise for both Chief Mullan and Ontario Community Safety Minister Monte Kwinter even to consider becoming embroiled in the debate at all, much less take a stand favouring one side (the State of Israel) so much. At worst, it will have negative effects upon two sizeable communities of people in Hamilton and Ontario (Arabs and Muslims) and upon policing in Hamilton that might take years to undo. The chief and the minister need to be reminded that policing in Hamilton and Ontario is not only supposed to be free of bias, it must also appear to be free of bias. After the trip to Israel, it is neither.
For these reasons, we have chosen to lodge a policy complaint against the expenditure of public funds on the trip of Chief Mullan to Israel and wish to urge you to deliberate more carefully in the future before spending the taxpayers' money on such potentially negative initiatives. We request the following as corrective actions:
1. The recovery of public funds spent on this trip;
2. An apology to the Hamilton community, and especially to Hamilton's Palestinian community, which has seen relatives and families under Israeli occupation subjected to multiple abuses;
3. A program of education and sensitivity training for the police chief and members of the Police Service Board on the special problems of racial discrimination faced by members of Hamilton's Arab and Muslim communities;
4. The establishment, through a careful review, of criteria for sending officials of the HPS on trips outside of Canada.
Ken Stone, Chair,
Community Coalition Against Racism.
COMPLAINT FROM CANADA-PALESTINE SUPPORT NETWORK CanPalNet - OTTAWA
6 Nakota Way, Ottawa, Ontario, K2J 4E9
A member of the Canada Palestine Support Network.
April 6, 2005.
Mr. Herb Kreling
Chair, Ottawa Police Services Board
110 Laurier Avenue West
Dear Mr. Kreling:
The Ottawa Branch of the Canada-Palestine Support Network (Canpalnet-Ottawa) wishes to submit a complaint concerning Assistant Chief Larry Hills recent trip to Israel.
Police forces throughout the country claim to want to build links to ethnic communities but this is a slap in the face to the Arab community of this city.
Perhaps you are not aware that the State of Israel is in violation of over 60 United
Nations Resolutions. Among these are Resolution 242, which calls for the withdrawal of
Israeli troops from the Occupied Territories seized after the 1967 Six Day War, and
Resolution 194, which declares the right of return for all Palestinian refugees forcefully
dispossessed from their lands since 1948.
The Prime Minister of Israel, Ariel Sharon, has been investigated by the International Court of Justice for being complicit in war crimes. We refer of course to the slaughter of at least 2,900 innocent civilians (mainly women and children) at the Sabra and Shattila refugee camps in Lebanon in 1982. The United Nations has condemned the massacre and declared it to be an act of genocide.
Did you know that Israel has been constructing a wall between itself and the illegally
occupied West Bank? At some points this wall extends 40 km into Palestinian territory.
Barely 10% of it is actually built on the border between Israel and the West Bank. On July
9th, 2004, the International Court of Justice in the Hague found that this wall
was illegal and ordered it to be dismantled. However, Israel refuses o do so.
The press releases regarding this trip claimed that its purpose was to learn about anti-terrorism tactics. But right-wing discriminatory policies such as those adopted by the government of Israel only fuel violence. Are you aware that ordinary, law-abiding Palestinians are routinely rounded up by police and soldiers without search warrants and jailed without charge? These prisoners are often subjected to torture. The Israeli government also engages in policies such as selective assassination collective punishment. All of these measures are counter to the Fourth Geneva Convention. Are you considering adopting such tactics in Ottawa?
In short, the decision of this board to allow Assistant Chief Larry Chief Hill to visit
Israel was insensitive. We also understand that over half the cost of the junket was paid
by the Canadian Jewish Congress and the United Jewish Appeal and was also subsidized by El
Al Airlines, and the Israeli Ministry of Tourism. It was completely inappropriate to
accept money from these organizations.
We suggest that you continue pursuing the path of building bridges with the Ottawas ethnic communities. It is the Israeli police that should be coming to Canada to learn from our police forces. In the interest of good community relations you should apologize to the Palestinian and Arab community of Ottawa for sending Mr. Hill on this ill advised junket.
Canpalnet-Ottawa would be happy to provide you with further background and current information about Palestine and Israel.
EXCERPTS FROM LETTERS TO TORONTO'S CHIEF BLAIR AND MAYOR MILLER
RE "Walk With Israel".
From Khaled Mouammer, former president CANADIAN ARAB FEDERATION:
"Bill Blair's participation in a walk whose declared aim is
to express solidarity with the State of Israel will be perceived as endorsing such a
political stand. . . Furthermore, Bill Blair's participation in the Israel Walkathon,
coming on the heel of his recent trip to Israel, which was sponsored by the UJA
Federation, sends the wrong message to the public and the police force that he is a
partisan in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. Needless to say, this is sowing deep fear
amongst Arab Canadians and all supporters of the Palestinian people who suspect they will
now be targeted and harassed by the police for expressing support for the Palestinian
people's quest for freedom and self-determination."
From Elias Hazineh, president PALESTINE HOUSE:
"I am writing to convey to you our community's deep concerns in your participation in 'Walking with Israel' . . . As chief of police, you sir, must always remain above politics. By supporting Israel, you have sided with a state that incarcerates people without trial, demolish homes, uproots farmer's trees, confiscates Arab land to build exclusive Jewish neighbourhoods [settlements] as well as tortures prisoners to obtain confessions. Is this the Israel that you support? We in the Arab community are extremely worried by this slanted and biased view of Israel as many of our members are refugees that were mistreated and persecuted by Israel."
From Karin Brothers, COALITION FOR A JUST PEACE IN PALESTINE/ISRAEL:
Posted by Ms. Brothers to email@example.com July 4, 2005.
The Hon. Mayor [David] Miller
Mayor City of Toronto
100 Queen St. W.
June 8th, 2005
I hope that when you read this week's NOW Magazine's "Walk on the Weird Side" by Daniel Freeman-Malloy that you will be as outraged as we were at Chief of Police Blair's appearance and spirited support of the militaristic Israel event May 29th.
Many of us would like to express our feelings about this in person. We are members of the Coalition for a Just Peace in Palestine/Israel that includes Israelis, Jewish Canadians, English Canadians, as well as those of Arab descent. Despite differences in our backgrounds, we are united in believing that the only valid, long-term solution for the Israeli/Palestinian tragedy is through justice, not militarism and support for the brutal occupation. We are very disturbed by the implications of Chief Blair's blatant support for Israel after his having received what we believe was Israeli training based on highly racist perspectives. This racism - and this bias - should have no place in Toronto's police forces.
Further notes from Karin Brothers to Toronto Mayor David Miller:
Israel continues to maintain a brutal, almost 40-year long military occupation of Palestinian territory. While trying to annex as much as it can of their territory and plundering their water resources, Israel has been treating the population so criminally that UN Security Council Resolution 1322 labeled this treatment of Palestinians as a "crime against humanity'; many humanitarian lawyers note that it even fulfills the legal definition of genocide.
Regarding the use of the word "terrorists" by police chiefs and journalists in news coverage of the trip to Israel: Israel's cavalier attitude toward the law in their treatment of "terrorists" should be very disturbing to anyone who cares about human rights. While international humanitarian law allows all human beings to defend themselves and their homes, and legitimates resistance to military occupation, Israel is calling ALL Palestinian defense "terrorist", whether legally-mandated or not. As former Member of the Knesset Uri Avnery points out, "where Palestinians are concerned, the Israeli political and legal system makes no distinction whatsoever between the killing of civilians and of soldiers, between assaults on civilian population centres and shooting while in a combat situation. All are equally 'terrorists with blood on their hands'." This attitude, largely unchallenged, is prejudicing those aligned with Israel and creates an ignorant and racist perspective in which "Palestinians" and their supporters are by definition suspected of "terrorism"... Is this the mentality that is now being exported to Canada? From Chief Blair's statements, I would assume so.
There has always been resistance to oppression when people's dignity forces them to act out for their freedom. By Nazi definition, there were Jewish "terrorists" in the Warsaw Ghetto who resisted Nazi oppression. By German definition, there were French "terrorists" who resisted the Nazi occupation of France. Nelson Mandela's efforts to attain freedom and equality for non-whites living under apartheid was labeled "terrorist" by white South Africans, despite the legal legitimacy of his actions and demands. We must resist adopting an oppressor's terms for legitimate resistance and remain grounded in the demands of international humanitarian law - the only fair criteria; the only fair solution; the only legitimate way to eliminate world "terrorism".
NPA & NC4P MEMBERSHIP:
Niagara Coalition for Peace- 16 member organizations, 342 individual yahoogroup members, full membership untabulated;
Niagara Palestinian Association Annual Meeting 2004- 400 attendees;
Niagara Palestinian Association local- 12 member organizations, 146 individual yahoogroup members, full membership untabulated;
Niagara Palestinian Association news group- 330 individual yahoogroup members,; full membership untabulated .
COMPLAINT TO PREMIER DALTON McGUINTY
Written by Susan Howard-Azzeh, Co-President, Niagara Palestinian Association
in consultation with members of the Niagara Palestinian Association, Niagara Coalition for Peace,
and Ontario Committee for Fairness in Policing. August 2005.