Open Letter to Belinda Stronach: Your Endorsement of the Jewish National Fund

Anonyme, Thursday, December 2, 2010 - 12:07

Bruce Katz, President of Palestinian and Jewish Unity (PAJU)

Ms. Stronach,

Recently you were honured by the Jewish National Fund for helping to raise funds for the building of settlements in the Negev. (see news article) Those settlements are being built on land stolen from the Bedouin who are being driven off their land as the Palestinians have been for the past sixty-two years. I was recently in Israel and in the Palestinian territories and I would like to tell you about the Bedouin village of Al-Arakib which has now been destroyed for a seventh time in a period of four months. The Israelis come in, bulldoze the village, then the Bedouin come back and rebuild. This is what is happening in the Negev by way of the Jewish National Fund, with your help. That makes you an accomplice to ethnic-cleansing.

The Jewish National Fund is an an Israeli land-agency which has been used to disposess Palestinians, and now Bedouin, of their land. One of the stipulations for delivering the land is that its inhabitants must be Jewish. Recently, Benjamin Netanyahu stated that there must be a Jewish majority in the Negev. That means expelling the Bedouin.

Could you tell me, Ms. Stronach, what difference you see in the expulsion of Palestinians from East Jerusalem,the expulsion of Bedouin from the Negev, the collective incarceration and mass starvation of the residents of Gaza, and the expulsion of Jews from Germany and the incarceration and mass starvation of Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto? You stand for equality did you say, Ms. Stronach? I think not. Rather, you are an accomplice to ethnic cleansing by your support of the Jewish National Fund.

I am adding in this letter to you an account of ethnic cleansing sent to me by a Palestinian I met while in Ramallah. It concerns the destruction of Palestinian villages (three villages) razed to the ground on which the Jewish National Fund and good Canadian individuals like yourself built Canada Park. Enjoy the read!

Bruce Katz, President of Palestinian and Jewish Unity (PAJU)

P.S. My letter to you will be rendered public and as my reach is quite extensive you can rest assured that the letter will make the rounds.


The Story of Canada Park

I was born in 1956 in a small village called Imwas. Imwas lies midway between the cities of Jerusalem and Tel-Aviv. Until the year 1967, it used to be under the Arab Jordanian Rule. Like other children of this world, we were living peacefully and leading happy lives. I used to play with my mates different games. I was part of the nature surrounding me. At that age, nothing bothered me. There were no big questions about life, economy and politics. We used to live simply and take every day as it is. I felt I was like the butterflies flying in the fields from one flower to another and from one tree branch to another. In short, life was smooth, pleasant and interesting.

Everything changed radically on the fifth of June 1967 when the six-day war broke out between Israel and the Arabs. In a very short period of time, Israel was able to occupy the Wes Bank and Gaza Strip (part of Palestine), the Golan Heights (part of Syria), Sinai (part of Egypt), and some parts of Jordan and Lebanon. I was one of the most unfortunate because immediately after the Israeli occupation, we were forced to leave our village, Imwas, and to wander aimlessly through neighboring villages and towns. At that time I felt that the hammer of fate struck my head and awakened me as if this hammer wanted to tell me, “This is the real world with all its disasters and hardships. Wake up, son, and look around you!” For about two weeks, my family and many other families were living under trees with no food or drink sometimes or with very little at other times. My family tried to go back to Imwas during these two weeks. We managed to do that one time and stayed for two days, but the Israeli soldiers located us and forced us to evacuate. Then we settled down in a nearby village for a year. Since then and for a long time, we suffered from poverty, hunger and various kinds of deprivation. I, myself, underwent depression which I couldn’t diagnose at that early age.

Most of the people of my village settled down in Amman, the capital of Jordan. During our one-year stay in the nearby village, my father with some other guys jeopardized their lives by going back to Imwas under the cover of night to find out something for their starving children like a chicken, a sheep, some fruits or some piece of furniture. They were about to get killed several times by the Israeli soldiers who used to chase any infiltrator into the village.

The Israeli army started to knock down the houses of my village nearly six days after the occupation. Within a short period of time, they demolished every building except a church, a monastery and a Muslim shrine.

After suffering for one year in that nearby village, we moved to live in the city of Ramallah. Ten members of my family lived in a one-room house for sixteen years. There was no water supply and no sufficient room. Even the bathroom was outside the house. We led a very poor life with all kinds of deprivation day after day for 16 years until we grew up and got our university education which enabled us to improve our lives.

A few years after the Israeli occupation, Israel started to clean up the debris of the demolished houses and plant old trees in place of the houses to prove that there was no village there. Then we were astonished to find out that our village was renamed Canada Park. We came to know that some Canadian Jews funded that project.

Nowadays, the people of my village are not allowed to visit their village. Imwas has become a park for the Israeli people and families to enjoy themselves at weekends at the expense of thousands of people and children, who are now dispersed in different towns and villages in Jordan, the West Bank and other parts of the world.

Written by,

Hisham Yousef

CMAQ: Vie associative

Quebec City collective: no longer exist.

Get involved !


Ceci est un média alternatif de publication ouverte. Le collectif CMAQ, qui gère la validation des contributions sur le Indymedia-Québec, n'endosse aucunement les propos et ne juge pas de la véracité des informations. Ce sont les commentaires des Internautes, comme vous, qui servent à évaluer la qualité de l'information. Nous avons néanmoins une Politique éditoriale , qui essentiellement demande que les contributions portent sur une question d'émancipation et ne proviennent pas de médias commerciaux.

This is an alternative media using open publishing. The CMAQ collective, who validates the posts submitted on the Indymedia-Quebec, does not endorse in any way the opinions and statements and does not judge if the information is correct or true. The quality of the information is evaluated by the comments from Internet surfers, like yourself. We nonetheless have an Editorial Policy , which essentially requires that posts be related to questions of emancipation and does not come from a commercial media.