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RICHARD DEATON: Mr. Nice Guy time is long over

Pro-Palestinian demonstrators display signs outside New York’s City Hall near where a pro-Israel rally was taking place in this file photo. 

(LUCAS JACKSON/REUTERS)
Pro-Palestinian demonstrators display signs outside New York’s City Hall near where a pro-Israel rally was taking place in this file photo. (LUCAS JACKSON/REUTERS) - FILE

BDS MOVEMENT: There will be no peace or reconciliation without justice for the Palestinians

Honest Reporting Canada, and its executive director, are considerably less than honest with Guardian readers (Nov. 6, 2017). Indeed, Mr. Fegelman is downright misleading and disingenuous.

In the first instance, Honest Reporting Canada, a misnomer if there ever was one, is a pro-Israel lobby group. This is quite clear from their website. Why doesn't Mr. Fegelman inform people of his organization's mission and their political purpose? Why does he hide this political affiliation? In this capacity Mr. Fegelman is hardly a neutral journalist.

Indeed, it is his responsibility, as Shill-in-Chief, to rationalize Israel's draconian and savage policies in the Occupied Territories, including their recent illegal land grabs, and the continuous harassment and humiliation of Palestinians.

In Feb.-March 2017 Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle-East (CJPME) and Independent Jewish Voices (IJV) commissioned the respected and well-known polling firm EKOS Research Associates to undertake a Survey of Canadian Attitudes Towards Israel and Palestine (available online).

Fegelman's many vacuous claims are repudiated by the results of that survey. Key conclusions of that Canada-wide poll include the following.

About 91per cent of all Canadians believe that sanctions are a reasonable way for Canada to censure countries that violate international law. This survey indicates that, given the 2016 UN Security Council's condemnation of illegal Israeli settlements on Palestinian territory, nearly 70 per cent of all Canadians believe that Canadian government sanctions on Israel would be reasonable.

In the order of 46 per cent of all Canadians have a negative view of the Israeli government, whereas only 28 per cent have a positive view?

About 61 per cent of Canadians view the Canadian government (and press) as being biased towards Israel. Significantly, 91 per ent of all Canadians believe that criticizing Israel is not anti-Semitic.

In 2004 the International Court of Justice (ICJ) unanimously ruled that Israel settlements on Palestinian territory violate international law. More recently, the UN Security Council voted 14-0 in December 2016 that Israeli settlements were a "flagrant violation under international law."

Notwithstanding this, Israeli PM Netanyahu in November 2017 bluntly vowed, with Trump's approval, that Israel would never remove its settlements from the West Bank (Haaretz, Nov. 6, 2017). Such are Israeli peace overtures.

Given this background, this Canadian Jew openly supports and calls for the implementation of the original 1993 Oslo Accord agreed upon by Israel and the PLO, and demands the removal of all Israeli settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. Furthermore, the Palestinian people's right to self-determination based on a one or two state solution should be determined by a UN supervised referendum.

This Canadian Jew says these objectives should be achieved by: "By any means possible," including the legal and non-violent tactics of the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement.

Nice guy time is over. Contrary to Fegelman, the BDS movement doesn't have to make Israel a pariah and rogue nation, it has done a good job all by itself. There will be no peace or reconciliation without justice for the Palestinians.

- Richard Deaton, Ph.D., LL.B., Stanley Bridge

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