A missed opportunity

Letters to the Editor (The Guardian)
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The dome of a mosque, destroyed by Israeli strikes during the war, is seen in Khuzaa, east of Khan Younis, in the southern Gaza Strip on Aug. 11, 2014

Editor: In the past we, as Canadians, have prided ourselves as peacekeepers and promoters of understanding around the globe. So it was with disappointment that we read in the Guardian Liberal MP Irwin Cotler’s remarks at a Liberal fundraiser. The recent escalation in the conflict between Israel and Palestine and in particular the violence in Gaza that has cost more than 1,800 Palestinian lives and more than 60 Israeli lives has led to calls for international efforts to bring a just and peaceful end to this conflict.

We call upon our Canadian government to stand for life, peace and justice while confronting both sides with their shortfalls.

It was with shock that we read of a Liberal MP vilifying and blaming one side of the conflict. This is not Canadian and it is not helpful. Every comment made by Mr. Cotler can be questioned.

The three of us met with Mr. Cotler for over an hour Tuesday afternoon to discuss his views of the Palestine-Israel conflict. What is in The Guardian article is a true reflection of his views. During our meeting it became obvious that he has either no concern for or no knowledge of the day-to-day life of Palestinians who live in fear under Israeli military occupation in the West Bank or under the Israeli siege in Gaza. His solution for living in peace and security is for Palestinians to just stop resisting the Israeli military and all will be well. Mr. Cotler is entitled to his personal views and prejudices but as a Canadian parliamentarian we feel he has an added responsibility to promote peace, to encourage Canadians to educate themselves on issues and stand with the oppressed. Instead of doing this, Mr. Cotler used his position as a Canadian parliamentarian to take sides, to promote hate, to blame and vilify one side.

Mr. Cotler missed an opportunity to lead us to a higher level of peace, acceptance and understanding; instead he clouded the issue with prejudiced information.

Marian White,

Island Peace Committee;

Myrna and Jim Wicks,

Islanders for a Just Peace in Palestine and Israel

Organizations: Island Peace Committee

Geographic location: Israel, Palestine, Gaza West Bank

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