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June 16, 2010

To Libby Davies, MP:

Susan Howard-Azzeh

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Dear Libby: Please don't over apologize or backtrack too much here. Occupied or conquered? What difference does it make? It's still all stolen land. Ask an Israeli or pro-Israeli what the borders of Israel are.

They’ll tell you from the Nile to the Euphrates, including “Samaria and Judea,” or simply won’t answer because Israel recognizes no borders.

There are no borders mentioned in “The Basic Laws of Israel” and no borders are verbalized to the West because they’re still taking land away from the Palestinians, such as through illegal settlements in Arab East Jerusalem, the West Bank, the Golan Heights, and inside the Green Line.

Many people were very happy to hear your mention of 1948. Personally, I hate to use the term “Israel” and prefer to say “48.”

Palestinians have been suffering since the British mandate, so why not mention 1900 or 1917?

I grew up calling the entire area “The Holy Land” and once I knew the history of the area, I recognize it all as Palestine. If I need to refer to the areas conquered by Zionists and their allies, “48” is a more accurate and less painful descriptor than “Israel.”

By comparison, if present-day Canada were invaded by the Americans or Russians imagine how many people would continue to call it Canada, and wouldn’t care whether it was technically conquered or occupied. However, the West Bank and Gaza are the longest “occupation” in history and the occupation needs to end.

Over the years, many in the pro-Israel lobby have tried to bully me into compliance with their agenda by asking: “Do you believe Israel has a right to exist?” A wrong answer will mean that career, political and social doors will be closed. As a practical person I acknowledge the existence of Israel, but it does not have a right to exist.

And I don’t appreciate pro-Israelis trying to shove that “right to exist” phrase down my throat. Israel was created and is maintained by violence, ethnic cleansing, land theft, oppression, war crimes and international collaboration. Zionist Israel does not have a “right” to exist. It just exists.

People now talk about a two-state solution. Where?

Logistically speaking, Israel has created a map where there is nowhere to build two states. With the creation of Israel in 1948, 78% of historic Palestine was stolen. With the illegal wall another 12% of historic Palestine has been taken. Palestinians now somewhat control only 8% of historic Palestine. The Zionists have pretty much won.

Despite Israel’s propaganda, the West Bank and Gaza are still occupied, and under international law, Israel is responsible for the well-being of the people she occupies.

Instead she brutalizes them and makes life miserable, if not impossible. Yet, if any private citizen or politician dares to express sympathy with the Palestinians, they are attacked and branded as anti-Semites.

So, what are Palestinians to do to gain their freedom? And how are politicians like you supposed to inform themselves and make a positive contribution when public debate and information sharing is censored, forbidden and punished?

Imagine how a Jewish person or Holocaust survivor feels when they see a Nazi swastika. That’s how I feel when I see an Israeli flag.

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M. Elmasry

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