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Letter: You can’t cherry-pick historic fact

I am responding to the letter to The Telegram by Mike Fegelman on Dec. 23, “Canada did the right thing.”

Mr. Fegelman did not address the issues that Carmel Conway raised in her original letter of Dec. 19, “Canada’s response on Jerusalem disappointing.”

Mr. Fegelman completely ignores the fact that the Holy Land has, since the dawn of history, been a multicultural region inhabited by a variety of peoples (recall the Canaanites). To suggest that the temporary (and disputed!) existence of a kingdom 3,000 years ago gives “eternal” rights to the land above other people claiming descent from there is ahistorical and simplistic.

It is especially ironic because, in ignoring the fact that Israel has been illegally occupying the Palestinian land and subjecting the Palestinian people to cruel and inhumane treatment, Mr. Fegelman is voicing the same argument that colonialists and regimes like apartheid South Africa have been propagating throughout history.

The evidence of this illegality is found in the balance expected in the Balfour Declaration wherein “it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine,” and in the creation of Israel in 1947 by the United Nations when that body adopted a Partition Plan for Palestine recommending the creation of independent Arab and Jewish states and an internationalized Jerusalem. The plan was accepted by the Jewish Agency for Palestine, and rejected by Arab leaders. Mr. Fegelman clearly ignores this very recent history and by doing so eliminates any credence to being an “honest” reporter.

When Ms. Conway wrote her letter expressing disappointment for Canada’s stand at the United Nations, she was expecting that this country would stand for international law and the resolutions that Canada voted for in the past regarding the Palestine-Israel conflict, and specifically Jerusalem.

Honest people all over the world are standing by the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination. One example is the letter written by the famed Israeli conductor Daniel Barenboim in the Guardian (“After Trump’s Jerusalem gambit, the world must recognize a Palestinian state,” on Dec. 22nd) about Jerusalem and his appeal to the nations of the world to recognize Palestine as an independent state living in peace side by side with Israel.


Majed Khraishi
St. John’s


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