Charlottetown couple invite thoughtful discussion on complex Israel-Palestine conflict

Jim Day
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Jim and Myrna Wicks of Charlottetown want to spearhead discussion locally on the plight of the Palestinian people. The couple, both retired teachers, recently returned from an emotional two-week visit to see what conditions are like for Palestinians living in Israel and in the West Bank.

Jim and Myrna Wicks visited West Bank with United Church group in November

Jim and Myrna Wicks of Charlottetown have been a strong team over the years in partnering to promote social justice.

They came to Prince Edward Island in 1969 with Frontier College and worked on Lennox Island First Nation and in Georgetown. Jim got Habitat for Humanity off the ground in P.E.I. in the late 1990s, a cause the couple dove into with full force and relentless commitment.

The retired teachers have also focused much energy, emotion and thought on the life of people far from here. For the past number of years, the pair has been deeply concerned with the long drawn-out Israel-Palestine conflict.

They have read voraciously on this complex conflict that has ethnic, religious and economic overtones. The pair have watched videos and attended presentations on what they have increasingly grown to view as unjust conditions for the Palestinian people.

In conjunction with the Park Royal and Spring Park United Churches, Jim and Myrna organized and led a four-session workshop on the conflict. They are members of the Maritime Conference Just Peace in Israel and Palestine Working Group. They and many others would like to see the occupation of Palestine territory finally come to a peaceful and just resolve.

When an invitation came from United Church partners, The Sabeel Centre in Bethlehem and Kairos Palestine, inviting concerned Christians to “Come and See” the couple set out with 10 other members of the United Church of Canada in November for a first-hand look at what the conditions are like for Palestinians living in Israel and in the West Bank.

They were shocked by the experience that saw them over the two week visit to Nazareth, Hebron, Jerusalem, Bethlehem, a number of small villages, two refugee camps and one farm, “The Tent of Nations”, isolated by the construction of Israeli settlements and the closing of the access road to what they claim is their ancestral farm.

They spoke with Palestinians ranging from seven to 93 years in age.

“We visited their homes, had meals with them, listened to their stories: both historic and their plans for the future,’’ says Jim.

“We discovered people with more courage and stamina than we have ever seen — people who have suffered under 65 years of oppression and they still talk of non-violent resistance. Names like Gandhi, Mandela and Martin Luther King Jr. came up frequently in discussion.’’

Both he and Myrna were deeply moved by the Palestinian peoples’ strong attachment to their family history, connection to their land and crops and the hope that one day their children can grow up and live in peace again.

One family they visited live on five acres of land that has been in their family for three generations. The family cannot build a home on the land and they cannot farm it. They cannot sell the property except to an Israeli.

Jim says the family has a blank check for their land but will not sell because the land is theirs and has been theirs through the Ottomans, the British, the Jordanians and the Israelis and all they want is to be permitted to farm it and live on it as an extended family.

The family of four that includes two young girls pays high taxes but receives very few services, adds Myrna.

“That they are unable to travel to visit friends and relatives unless they have Israeli permission and must be prepared to produce their identity cards, a 20 minute trip turns into hours as they try and get through check points and bypass Jewish only roads,’’ she says.

“They have to pay for schooling. They have to pay for health care. If one of them gets sick, it’s a disaster.’’

The purpose of so many restrictions, observes Jim, is to discourage the Palestinians to the point where they just give up and move out.

The Palestinians want a state in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and east Jerusalem. These were territories Israel captured in the 1967 Mideast war.

Jim has next to no confidence in the latest U.S.-sponsored peace talks that are about halfway through their allotted nine-month timespan with mounting concern at the marked lack of progress.

Jim says what is needed is a concerted global response, not unlike the major sanctions that were imposed on South Africa in the fight to end apartheid in that country.

“I was very hesitant to use the word ‘apartheid’ to describe the situation in Israel-Palestine but now, after being there and seeing the separation on purely ethnic and religious grounds, I have no qualms,” he says.

“I think the real hope is in the international community supporting a just, peaceful solution, whatever that means, whether it’s two states, three states, one state.’’

Jim concedes that he does not know what the solution is. He is, though, certainly keen to continue talking about what he feels is an unacceptable situation that needs to change sooner rather than later.

“We have this conflict bubbling away there and eventually it is going to erupt,’’ he says.

Jim agrees with Israeli Jew Jeff Halper, founder of The Israel Committee Against House Demolition, when he says “Israel’s security will only be guaranteed by a just peace with the Palestinians based on human rights and international law.”

Jim and Myrna have been adding their collective voice to the “Unsettling Goods Campaign” of a network of United Church of Canada members calling for a boycott of products made in illegal Israeli settlements.

“We know Canadian consumers want to make ethical choices,’’ says Jim.  “The stopping of the growth of illegal Israel settlements on stolen Palestinian land is essential to a true just peace.’’

Jim and Myrna also want to keep their own peace talks going.

In January, they will look to set up a movie night or discussion evening to examine the heavy issue.

“Through our church and other churches as well and a lot of secular groups, there are a lot of good resources to study the topic,’’ says Jim. “I hope that what we are is a spark that can start a discussion and help people understand.’’

People interested in getting involved in discussions about the Israel-Palestine conflict can call Jim or Myrna Wicks at 368-3207 or email them at mjwicks@eastlink.ca.

Organizations: Frontier College, Habitat for Humanity, United Church of Canada Park Royal The Sabeel Centre The Israel Committee House Demolition

Geographic location: Israel, Charlottetown, West Bank Prince Edward Island Georgetown Bethlehem Jerusalem Palestine territory West Bank.They Nazareth Hebron Gaza Strip South Africa

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Recent comments

  • Valerie Pitt
    January 11, 2014 - 06:48

    Thank you for such an interesting and insightful article acknowledging that for peace to take place there is a need for justice and equality for all people who live in Israel/Palestine. Thanks for reminding us Jim and Myrna that we can all make a difference. One way is to support the boycott of products made in the occupied territories. Another is to let the Government of Canada know that we do not support their position on the State of Israel.

  • Betty Darby
    January 09, 2014 - 09:12

    Thank you so much for this excellent, thoughtful article. It is so good to read something of firsthand experience from people I know and trust. There is so much propaganda around this subject that it is hopeful to read some "truth'. Betty

  • Dundas Sue
    January 08, 2014 - 14:39

    Wonderful article. Thanks to Jim and Myrna for their work, now its time for more support. Guardian, maybe some fuller coverage would help.

  • Dundas Sue
    January 08, 2014 - 14:29

    Wonderful article. Thanks to Jim and Myrna for their work, now its time for more support. Guardian, maybe some fuller coverage would help.

  • Emily Kierstead
    January 07, 2014 - 15:23

    We are privileged to know Jim and Myrna Wicks, and feel that this story needs to be shared with a multitude of Canadians. The injustice which has been perpetrated against the Palestinian people cannot go much longer without an eruption. Our Canadian government needs to take a second look at what is really happening in the conflict between Israel and Palestine, with eyes open to the degrading, inhumane conditions which are forced on the Palestinian people. The international Community needs to be confronted with the truth, also, that some kind of justice might be enacted for the Palestinian communities which are living in "prison-like" ghettoes. Please share this article in every way possible. Thank you to Jim and Myrna, from those of us who cannot travel and see for ourselves!

  • Margaret Jennings
    January 07, 2014 - 09:20

    I would like our Prime Minister to show some understanding of difficulties faced by Palestinians and temper his total support for Israel.

  • Ali Smith
    January 07, 2014 - 08:19

    Thank you to Jim and Myrna for helping people to understand the reality in Palestine. These are issues that we should be very aware of in Canada but we are not. So, by people visiting and coming back to share what they witnessed and the deep stories of displacement that they have heard, we are enriched. Thank you for the article.

  • Ifo Ikede
    January 07, 2014 - 06:04

    "Israeli Apartheid Week (IAW) is an annual international series of events held in cities and campuses across the globe. The aim of IAW is to educate people about the nature of Israel as an apartheid system and to build Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) campaigns as part of a growing global BDS movement. Lectures, films, and actions will highlight some of the successes of the BDS movement and build / support ongoing campaigns. Speakers and full programme for each city will be available on this website. Join us in making this a year of struggle against apartheid and for justice, equality, and peace. " http://apartheidweek.org/

  • Ifo Ikede
    January 07, 2014 - 06:01

    Thank you Jim and Myra Wicks, for bringing to light the need for justice in the occupied territories. I shall provide some links that will help clearify that it is indeed accurate to call the isrea and Apartheid state .. ArchBishop Desmond Tutu --calls for a boycot of "isreali aparthied " http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Ov2KVAJY_E "he outgoing South African ambassador to Israel used the opportunity of his departure to make striking criticism of Israeli policies, calling them a "replication of apartheid". http://www.thenational.ae/thenationalconversation/comment/israels-similarity-to-south-africas-apartheid-is-more-than-skin-deep

  • John
    January 07, 2014 - 00:21

    Its ethnic cleansing , plain and simple and no one is standing up for the Palestinians , even the Muslim nations who use the Palestinian issue like a football to be kicked around for their own political expediency and gain. And on the Israeli side we have people who would prefer to keep the issue in endless negotiations knowing full well with the most powerful nation in the world at their backs , peace is just a byword to be ignored , like justice .

  • Don & Jeanette Scott
    January 06, 2014 - 17:42

    We were very pleased to see the article about the Wicks's visit to Israel and Palestine. Having had an interest inthis situation for some time now, it is good do see such a balanced presentation on the ongoing conflict. Iit seems that for many years we have only been getting the Israeli point of view in much of the Canadian media. The impression one is left with is that the Israelis are always in the right and the Palestinians always in the wrong. This is also the impression one gets when one sees the reaction of the Canadian government. While the policy statement may say that Canada supports the movement towards a peacefull resolution, it seems that our government inevitably supports the Israeli side in any discussion of the conflict. The state of Israel originally got its support from a western world ashamed of what it had allowed to happen to the Jewish population in Europe before and during the second world war. Unfortunatly in making a homeland for the Jewish population the Palestinians were made victims and forced out of the area they had ocupied for centuries. Subsequent actions by israel have made the situation much worse. All this is not to deny that there have been actions on the part of the Palestinians and their supporters which were unacceptable and have prompted some of the Israeli actions. It is a difficult situation and reaching a peacefull settelment will be very difficult. The reaction of both the government of Canada and the United states has often been to defer to the political power of the Jewish lobby in both countries rather than to take an unbiased approach to tryind to obtain a settlement. We would hope that the Guardian will continue to focus attention on this situation and continue to provide the balanced and unbiased approach which is displayed in this article. Jeanette and Don Scott

  • Kathleen Gilbert
    January 06, 2014 - 09:47

    Thank you for such an insightful article about an amazing couple. I would love to hear more about them and this issue

  • David Lewis
    January 06, 2014 - 08:00

    Well done Jim and Myrna! On Tuesday, December 3rd, 2013, myself and a number of other United Church people from Greater Moncton, joined United Church minister the Rev. Steve Berube, a recently returned Ecumenical Accompaniment Program observer, near the entrance to Canadian Tire and Walmart in Dieppe as part of the nation wide launch of the United Church of Canada's Unsettling Goods Campaign. After 40 plus years of shopping at Canadian Tire for myself and my business, it has been difficult not to shop there since then, especially in the days leading up to Christmas. I recently emailed Canadian Tire to tell them just that. However, it will be well worth it if it helps in any way to raise the awareness of this apartheid like situation that many Palestinians and Israelis are peacefully trying to resolve, justly, for both the peace and security of Palestine and Israel, as well as the whole region. Thanks for your efforts to raise awareness and get a conversation going.

  • bassam
    January 06, 2014 - 05:34

    i thought i saw the situation here and u can says just what u saw , i trust u jim and maryana

  • Doris McCallum
    January 06, 2014 - 00:40

    This situation in P&A have been bothering me as well, I have read and listened of the many sufferings and hardships. what this is doing to future citizens one can only guess, the little children are fair game in all of this. It Hurts. I have ask clergy their opinion on this matter, the response was -we are trying to be open minded in this . It feels like no one wants to stir the pot. Thanks for your article, keep up the good work Shalom Doris P.S. Bus and I are doing OK. at this time.

  • Dale Hildebrand
    January 05, 2014 - 21:30

    Kudos to The Guardian for bringing this story to light. We need more informed discussion about the realities on the ground in the Holy Land. First hand accounts from people like Jim and Myrna are exactly what we need to develop a better understanding as Canadians about how we can contribute to peace. Discouraging the illegal Israeli settlements--one of the largest obstacles to peace--by not buying products made there, seems like an excellent place to start.

  • Gerry Punke
    January 05, 2014 - 19:20

    There are always at least two sides to every story and thanks to folks like Myrna and Jim Wicks, and the United Church of Canada, some needed publicity is being given to the story from a Palestinian point of view. Instead of yelling at each other, we need to grasp the opportunity that the Wicks are providing to listen and learn, and share ideas and opinions. I have always been a strong believer in the Israeli cause but, may years ago now, I had the opportunity to visit a Palestinian refugee camp in Lebanon. There I became of Palestinians as real people with a painful story to tell. I am glad, at last, that both stories are starting to be given a more balanced opportunity to be told and shared. Keep up the good work, Jim and Myrna - we need more like you.

  • mr.nobody
    January 05, 2014 - 19:06

    I make no claim to be able to solve this crisis, but I can assure you that this article is not balanced. It takes historical liberties and paints the Israelis as the absolute villain, ignoring the reality that is evident. Both sides are guilty of much. Both sides feel historically connected and entitled to the land. It is wrong to pretend that those who call themselves Palestinians are blameless victims. This news item is more of an editorial and should be advertised as such.

  • Makes me think
    January 05, 2014 - 19:04

    I myself really don't understand what is happening in the area. We hear so many sides to all stories. But I must commend this couple for getting involved, to try to help people they don't even know. It's hard to help your neighbour some days but strangers in a far off land. Maybe instead of pulling people like this couple down we start to step up and help. Doesn't matter what nationality a hurting person is .. Pain is pain. Bringing light to pain is never a bad thing. This couple has challenged me to do something for someone this year.. May not be as far away as Israel or Palestine but maybe it will.

  • Gary MacDonald
    January 05, 2014 - 18:35

    How fortunate we are to have these two dedicated people willing to spend much time and effort in raising awareness concerning this issue. It's a wonderful opportunity they are offering to their community.

  • Island Boy
    January 05, 2014 - 18:23

    The blind leading the blind. These people do not even approach a minimum level of knowledge about the Middle East. Let them waste their efforts trying to get Christians to agree on the use of holy places. We, the developed world basically Christian, created Israel to "hide" our guilt about the holocaust. We GAVE away the Palestinian land and we created the REFUGEES and the CAMPS. The United Church is the last and most unknowing organization the Middle East needs. It sickens me to see this story printed never mind the front page! If only they really KNEW of what they talk about much less to take sides. Canadian should be ashamed of not helping to establish and maintain recognition of a Palestinian state.

  • jerry
    January 05, 2014 - 18:22

    ku-dos to the Guardian for putting this on the front page.Great to hear the real story,from people who have been there,instead of the one sided slant fed to the masses by the so called news media.Which is almost all controlled by the same few.Dont expect any help from John Baird,we know who butters his bread.

  • jerry
    January 05, 2014 - 18:21

    ku-dos to the Guardian for putting this on the front page.Great to hear the real story,from people who have been there,instead of the one sided slant fed to the masses by the so called news media.Which is almost all controlled by the same few.Dont expect any help from John Baird,we know who butters his bread.

  • jerry
    January 05, 2014 - 18:20

    ku-dos to the Guardian for putting this on the front page.Great to hear the real story,from people who have been there,instead of the one sided slant fed to the masses by the so called news media.Which is almost all controlled by the same few.Dont expect any help from John Baird,we know who butters his bread.

  • John A C Wilson
    January 05, 2014 - 17:58

    This is a well-written article and gives a viewpoint that we do not often hear or see. And it is an important perspective that needs to be shared. I am glad that we have this first-hand report from Palestine itself and from the local ordinary people who are living their lives in the midst of a difficult situation. And I am glad at the stance that the United Church of Canada has taken in regard to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Israel has a right to exist but so does Palestine. Continuing violence will solve nothing. This article gives the human side of the Palestinian story. And there is no question that there is the human side of the Israeli story as well. Both voices are important to hear in the midst of all that has taken place in Israel and Palestine in addition to all of the political voices that we hear all the time. This is an important perspective for us to hear.

  • Garth Staples
    January 05, 2014 - 17:46

    Arafat was a thug. How could anyone defend such a regime? How many billions do we have to pour into Palestine only to have our Western values given the thumb. Arab neighbours wouldn't accept them in 1948. It is about time busybodies and social types understand who WE are in the Christian domain. Christianity is under attack in the Middle East and beyond if the Islamic terrorists have their way. Get over your social 'conscience.

    • Enlighten Me
      January 06, 2014 - 10:50

      This article is about helping people who are suffering from occupation. For your knowledge, Judaism views Jesus as a heretic. Islam views Jesus as a prophet. Who is attacking who?

    • Island Boy
      January 06, 2014 - 14:14

      Garth: I assure you Abou (Arafat) was not a "thug". Harper "politics" have prejudiced your ideas but, it would be worth your while to see the Palestine refugee problem as it is,,,stateless; subsidized by anti West states; voted against in the UN by Canada and other countries looking for "wins" in domestic politics and "under the thumb" of Israeli military might. Last thing needed is the United Church to get involved much less the "do gooders" with a minimum of understanding of Middle Easy history. Canada USED to be seen and known as the "honest brokers" but the Conservatives have traded that in for domestic votes.

  • Steve Berube
    January 05, 2014 - 16:52

    It is always interesting to read comments from people who have never been to the West Bank or Gaza. I lived there for over three months this year. Witnessing human rights abuses by Israeli forces on an almost daily basis was shocking. Standing by the bedside of an innocent 12 year old critically wounded by an Israeli sniper was gut wrenching. Being with a 16 year old bystander shot by the Israeli military who still has a bullet lodged in his brain was sickening. Watching their families fall to pieces ripped my heart apart. Violence only serves to beget more violence. Most people have no idea that between 2000 - 2012 almost 8,000 people died in the conflict, over 6,800 were Palestinians including over 1,000 Palestinian children. But - a single death alone is one too many. For over 46 years Israel has occupied Palestine. The International Court of Justice ruled all Israeli settlements are illegal based on the Geneva Convention. This is supported by the UN Security Council, General Assembly and Canadian government. Yet, Israel continues to expand its settlements. Another reality is Israeli courts in Palestine have a conviction rate of 99% against Palestinians. This has lead the ASA and others like Nobel winner Stephen Hawking to join the academic boycott called for by Palestinians against Israel. Jim and Myrna thank you for your faithful witness and for sharing the stories of Palestinians that we seldom hear in North America.

    • Island Boy
      January 06, 2014 - 12:34

      For Steve Berube: Please YOU obviously are the one that lacks experience and knowledge of the Middle East. Three months?,,,how about six tours (each six months or longer)working for Peace,?,,,how about knowing and working closely with Arafat?? You can go on about Israeli "crimes" and I do agree, Israel is a police state, however, we (BRITS/FRENCH/ USA to name a few) took the land from Palestine and allowed Israeli to grow in the manner it has grown. We sat in judgement and decided to allow approximately two million Palestinian refuges to be created. We voted against the establishment of a Palestinian state in the UN. You suggest we now get a conscience and impose our values on them again? The United Church owes Christians the right not to be embarrassed by their concepts of "do gooding" . The Wicks should either climb back on their previous "band wagons" or silence their lack of knowledge. Above all, The Guardian owes its readers the publication of the other side of this story.

    • The Onus is on
      January 06, 2014 - 18:42

      The onus is on the theocratic, democratic, police state apartheid. Most of the time I see their arguments on the news or read about it on the BBC and other news sites, including US. Israel constantly breaks international law, they send spies everywhere. Read US comments in US news sites, many Americans think Israel is blackmailing their Politian's. If you create a situation, you fix it and move forwards, not lie and make things up and boss everyone around. Israel is now saying no one knows what's going on in the mid east except for them, but how is this so when you've only been a country for 65 years. Also you should make peace with your neighbours and concentrate on the biggest threat who all of you don't like, who are actively pursuing WMD's. Not people who shoot big firecrackers at you.

  • Carol
    January 05, 2014 - 16:41

    Thank you so much for giving substantial coverage to this action for justice in the Palestinian, Jewish land and related issues. This is a long festering sore in that part of the world.

  • Carol
    January 05, 2014 - 16:33

    Thank you so much for giving substantial coverage to this action for justice in the Palestinian, Jewish land and related issues. This is a long festering sore in that part of the world.

  • bruce garrity
    January 05, 2014 - 16:29

    very good article - well written well thought out very informative -- great to see locals getting in depth info on this ongoing problem bruce garrity

  • David Lewis
    January 05, 2014 - 16:06

    Well done Jim and Myrna! On Tuesday, December 3rd, 2013, myself and a number of other United Church people from Greater Moncton, joined United Church minister the Rev. Steve Berube, a recently returned Ecumenical Accompaniment Program observer, near the entrance to Canadian Tire and Walmart in Dieppe as part of the nation wide launch of the United Church of Canada's Unsettling Goods Campaign. After 40 plus years of shopping at Canadian Tire for myself and my business, it has been difficult not to shop there since then, especially in the days leading up to Christmas. I recently emailed Canadian Tire to tell them just that. However, it will be well worth it if it helps in any way to raise the awareness of this apartheid like situation that many Palestinians and Israelis are peacefully trying to resolve, justly, for both the peace and security of Palestine and Israel, as well as the whole region. Thanks for your efforts to raise awareness and get a conversation going.

  • Rick Gibbs
    January 05, 2014 - 16:02

    This is the kind of conversation people should have all over the world. With respect, tolerance, and a willingness to listen as well as speak. Perhaps we could all learn something from each other.

  • Jim Guild
    January 05, 2014 - 16:02

    Thanks to The Guardian for printing so prominently this firsthand account from Islanders who actually visited Israel and the West Bank. Much effort is expended -- including by name-callers in your paper's comments section -- on silencing Israel's legitimate critics. Your newspaper's example with regards to the story on Jim and Myrna Wicks sets the Guardian above most newspapers in the region.

  • peter
    January 05, 2014 - 15:09

    The article is interesting. I wish that we could become acquainted with how the Israeli intrusion on the lives of ordinary Palistinian people really affects their daily living.

  • Always hope
    January 05, 2014 - 15:02

    There is always hope for peace and learning how to live together. Northern Ireland is a prime example.

  • Jack Spencer
    January 05, 2014 - 14:40

    Thanks for this article - people need to realize that to be opposed to the political policies of the government of Israel is not anti-Semitic. No government has the right to deny basic human rights to its people. The government of Israel is a political body. Judaism is one of the world's great religions that has long stood for justice and mercy for all people. The Israeli government could learn much from the Jewish scriptures .

  • gloria
    January 05, 2014 - 14:07

    Jim and Myrna, I applaud your commitment and dedication to not only this issue but to issues of justice for all people. As part of the United Church of which I am extremely proud for their stand on such controversial issues, I'm only now trying to become educated about the Palestinian and Israeli conflict, its history, root causes, and present day situation so don't feel qualified to comment other than to say I respect people's opinions if they are informed opinions and not just a result of propaganda put out by the media. It seems to me that whenever a people's land, property, and basic human rights are being oppressed, we need to take notice and speak up. So thank you, Jim and Myrna and thank you to the Guardian for publishing this article. May it inspire others to become more educated and take up the cause.

  • B. Cairns
    January 05, 2014 - 14:04

    This is an important social justice issue. One that requires compassion, sensitivity and knoweledge. thanks for covering it. I know that as a community of concerned citizens we need to become aware of how we can be a positive presence in the world.

  • Ernie Stavert
    January 05, 2014 - 13:53

    The Guardian and Jim Day are to be thanked for the excellent article on the Israel/Palestine situation. Jim and Myrna Wicks are such capable and passionate advocates for situations where social injustice exists. The Guardian is to be commended for carrying the story particularly for making it a front page article. Please continue carrying information on the Palestine situation as we, and much of the world, are either uninformed or choose to ignore the plight of the Palestine people. Thanks Ernie Stavert, Church in Action Committee, PEI Presbytery, The United Church of Canada

  • Mary Lou
    January 05, 2014 - 13:49

    Thank you for this article which has stimulated comments revealing that the readership has a significant level of misunderstanding of the present situation and legal issues, as well as the social justice issues. I would like to see this news media carry some in-depth articles, starting with the legal issues at this time associated with the Israeli occupation of Palestine and the Israeli settlements.

  • Kathryn Anderson
    January 05, 2014 - 13:40

    Many thanks to the Guardian for this excellent article. Both this article and the recent article by Mary MacKay on the Maritimes-Guatemala Breaking the Silence remind us that we can contribute to seeking peace and justice, first through educating ourselves and then by acting. I hope many people will come out to the educational events Myrna and Jim will offer.

  • Resident
    January 05, 2014 - 09:54

    God bless your work Jim and Myrna! You are on the justice quest against the most powerful interest group in the world. I salute your courage, and wish you all the best in exposing Israel's apartheid against Palestinians on illegally occupied territories. For those "anti - anti-Semitic critics" who are trying to dispute credibility of your work I say one thing: Palestinians are Semitic people. Check the records before sharing your “expert” opinion.

  • islander
    January 05, 2014 - 09:41

    Great article! Thank you for this!

  • Frank
    January 05, 2014 - 00:08

    Great story, it's time people knew the truth, seems this forum been hijacked by the Zionists, majority of people in Canada are pro Palestinian, go to any article about the issue, the comments suggest Canadians want justice for the Palestinian under occupation, Israel is all about Apartheid, that's why netanyahu never went to Mandelas funeral, he be skinned alive

  • Shoaib Ahmed
    January 04, 2014 - 21:58

    Pretty one sided story in favour of Palestinians

    • On the Scales of Justice
      January 05, 2014 - 13:29

      My neighbour and I have been having disputes for eons, it goes back many generations. We have differing points of view about our god, but it is the same god and all based on ancient teachings from the neighborhood. Some awful and terrible things happened to members of my extended family in another part of the city. My neighbour and his family had nothing to do with it. In fact people who were fighting my extended families oppressors used my neighbours place as a place of entry to land spies to fight the oppressors, they were given passports by my neighbour. The fight has ended and now my extended family has decided to go to my neighbours yard and pitch tents on his property and push my neighbour out and declare his home to be theirs because god said they could have it over 4000 years ago. Did I mention that my neighbour and the squatters both believe in the same god? Makes a whole lot of sense imo. This analogy being said I can understand why things happened and agreements did happen under the UN in 1948. Wars happened, things changed. Time to have some respect to all that was given to you, make a deal with the Palestinians, agree to peace, you both apologize to each other, one side more so than the other and move forwards with the rest of the planet. Stop being such pricks.

  • Stew
    January 04, 2014 - 17:34

    Simon Wisenthal centre has listed the United Church of Canada on their list of "Top 10 Anti-Semetic slurs" list. Check it out. The United Church has no credibility and it's numbers are dwindling, no wonder.

    • Rabbi David Mivasair
      January 04, 2014 - 22:21

      Quite to the contrary! The Simon Weisenthal Centre has next to zero credibility. They thrive on seeing anti-Semism everywhere. They raise millions of dollars by raising fear. They put a good, solid Jewish organization on their list for condemnation because of its truth-telling about Israel. (See "Jewish Voice for Peace" and its Canadian counterpart "Independent Jewish Voices".) The United Church is very deliberative and carefully courageous in daring to speak the truth about this subject. What the United Church is doing about Israel and Palestine is right on.

    • I read the document
      January 05, 2014 - 09:33

      Much of it is propaganda, pretty sure most oppressive regimes have massive propaganda machines. Also that symbol was taken out of context, it is not a Nazi symbol, it is on of their ancient cultural symbols. Fal un gong who we would all agree is peaceful also has a symbol similar to the swastika, in fact that symbol goes back thousands of years and doesn't always mean people are Nazis. Pretty sure mass paranoia is another sign of an oppressive regime. Grow up and stop acting like a spoiled brat on the school yard, you got your country, and trillions of dollars to help make it happen. Now give the people you have been bullying their country and become a responsible member the international community. Oh yea, drop the constant accusations of people who don't agree with you. Pretty sure I didn't agree with a lot of G.W. Bushes policies, this don't mean I am raciest against Texans. This argument just makes you look like idiots.

    • Jim Wicks
      January 05, 2014 - 10:49

      Hi Stew I will not enter into a discussion about the Wisenthal centre everyone is entitled to express their opinion from their perspective. I will however comment on your statement concerning the United Church of Canada. I and many others stand strong with the United Church because of it’s record of seeking justice for all of Creation. The United Church was the first church to Ordain Women, among the first in Canada to oppose apartheid in South Africa, the first church to Ordain an openly Gay person and to accept a Gay person as its Moderator, a big player in seeking justice for Residential School Survivors. The list could go on. We continue to oppose the devastation of communities and the environment worldwide by Canadian Mining Companies. The call to oppose the oppression of the Palestinian People is part of that historic mission. Standing up with and caring for the oppressed and disadvantaged locally and worldwide is what we do, reminds me of Jesus’ mission.

  • Oh Really
    January 04, 2014 - 17:10

    Names like Gandhi, Mandela and Martin Luther King Jr. came up frequently in discussion Thes names speak for peace and non-violence.... did they ask the palistinians why they choose violence to defend their country which doesn't even exist?

    • Crazy Idiots
      January 04, 2014 - 20:12

      The same reasons Zionist militia's attacked the British during the Mandate of Palistine?

    • Jim Wicks
      January 05, 2014 - 09:49

      Hi Oh Really I respect your willingness to express your opinion. The main method of confrontation of the majority of the Palestinian people for over sixty years has been that of passive resistance. The problem with passive resistance is that it does not make good TV. Could I suggest that you look to alternative sources for your information other than the 15 second clip on the news networks. Also read some of the many Jewish voices who support the Palestinian cause for justice. Just as an aside Mandella was a supporter of the Palestinian cause in 1997 he said: "We know too well that our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians. Yes, all of us need to do more in supporting the struggle of the people of Palestine for self-determination." With regards to your last comment do I draw from that that you believe the Native Peoples of Canada had no claim on the land because there was no country when Europeans came? There are over 4 million Palestinian refugees, do they have no claim to their ancestral land?

    • Jim Wicks
      January 05, 2014 - 09:49

      Hi Oh Really I respect your willingness to express your opinion. The main method of confrontation of the majority of the Palestinian people for over sixty years has been that of passive resistance. The problem with passive resistance is that it does not make good TV. Could I suggest that you look to alternative sources for your information other than the 15 second clip on the news networks. Also read some of the many Jewish voices who support the Palestinian cause for justice. Just as an aside Mandella was a supporter of the Palestinian cause in 1997 he said: "We know too well that our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians. Yes, all of us need to do more in supporting the struggle of the people of Palestine for self-determination." With regards to your last comment do I draw from that that you believe the Native Peoples of Canada had no claim on the land because there was no country when Europeans came? There are over 4 million Palestinian refugees, do they have no claim to their ancestral land?

  • Shocked political nerd
    January 04, 2014 - 13:39

    This article appears to have been written by the couple themselves, not by an objective journalist. The Palestinian conflict will end when the Palestinians stop shooting rockets at Israel and embrace peace.

    • Hypocryptes
      January 04, 2014 - 20:26

      I was wondering if you meant the rockets than do no damage, and kill no people, 98% of the time........

    • Jim Wicks
      January 05, 2014 - 10:06

      Hi Shocked Thank you for your comment. Do you think that the coverage of the Israel Occupation of the West Bank and Gaza has been objective for the last 40 plus years? The time comes when you have to stand up and say there is an evil taking place and speak out against it. That time is now, we as a civilized society must stand up and say what has and continues to oppress the Palestinian people. By calling yourself a nerd I assume you like to read and research. I would challenge you to do some objective research and see what happens. I will not even suggest where to starts since that may prejudice your research. Good luck. (Oh by the way Jim Day did an excellent job writing the article after an interview with us. I think Jim’s objective was to convey our dedication and feeling for the cause and I thank him for his bravery.)

    • Real Canadian
      January 05, 2014 - 19:07

      People wake up Isreal could wipe Palestine off the map but they don't want that why is it that only retaliation from Jews against Palestine is all they report what about all the terrorist acts against Isreal after what Hitler did the Jews will never be pushed around again and I don't blame them

    • Real Canadian
      January 05, 2014 - 19:08

      People wake up Isreal could wipe Palestine off the map but they don't want that why is it that only retaliation from Jews against Palestine is all they report what about all the terrorist acts against Isreal after what Hitler did the Jews will never be pushed around again and I don't blame them

  • Angus
    January 04, 2014 - 12:37

    The United Church and others of their ilk are hypocrits to not call their stance what it is. The anti-apartheid movement is basically anti-semitism. The only place in the mid-east where there is even a flicker of democracy is Israel. It is certainly the only place where women, all religions and the average citizen are free to live their lives without restraints on their freedom of action. Most Arab citizens of Israel have no desire to see the Palestinian Terrorist Organizations overcome the Jewish state. In fact it istheir greatest fear. As I said at the beginning this is all about anti-semitism nothing else.

    • Jim Wicks
      January 04, 2014 - 13:28

      I appreciate your comment. I would ask you to listen to American Jew Richard Forer http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RY6Qv3Uywew Also I do not equate the State of Israel or Zionism with Judaism most of the reading and people I have talked with are Jewish and were the ones who changed my mind.

  • Bob MacDonald
    January 04, 2014 - 11:18

    To call it apartheid is a bit of a stretch. It's obvious the two peoples are enemies of each other and living together is simply not an option. If they were joined together we would be complaining of assimilation. There is no solution to this problem, short of packing up and leaving. It's too bad the other muslim nations wouldn't take them in..

    • Jim Wicks
      January 04, 2014 - 13:39

      I appreciate your comments. These two peoples are not enemies. What I heard most often from both Jew, Muslin and Christian was that we could live together if the Politicians, Zionists and Americans would stay out of it. With regarded to your last comment the people of Palestine, Jew, Muslin and Christian are the Indigenous people of this area of the world and have a right to live in their ancestral land. Perhaps Canada/PEI should take in more, the Palestinian reputation for being great contributors to a country is beyond debate.

    • Don
      January 05, 2014 - 08:25

      Yes great idea... bring 'em here. and give them what jobs exactly Mr Wicks? There are no jobs on PEI for current Islanders.