Let me introduce Dr. Ismail Zayid, an 81-year-old Halifax pathologist, retired after 27 years at Dalhousie University Medical School and Capital Health. He was born and grew up in the Palestinian West Bank village of Beit Nuba. In 1967, after the "Six-Day War", Israeli troops seized Beit Nuba and two nearby villages (Yalu and Imwas) without firing a shot. In violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention, they expelled all of the 10,000 noncombatant villagers and dyanamited and bulldozed their homes, including that of Dr. Zayid's family.
|Dr. Larry Haiven at Canada Park
||Location of Canada Park on the West Bank||Dr. Ismail Zayid|
I'm in the picture on the left, Dr. Zayid is on the right. I'm standing in Canada Park (map in centre), in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, built on the ruins of these villages. As a Jew, I can go to Canada Park any time I wish, have a picnic and see the remains of those villages. And as a Jew, I can become a citizen of Israel and move to the occupied West Bank automatically. But because Dr. Zayid is Palestinian, neither he nor his family can visit his birthplace, by order of the Israeli government. An excellent CBC Fifth Estate documentary about Dr. Zayid can be found at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mcZL-z9fdLA.
Canada Park is funded to the tune of $15 million by The Jewish National Fund Canada (JNF Canada), a registered Canadian charity and donations are tax-deductible. That means that up to 25% of JNF Canada's budget comes from our taxes. But Canadian law forbids tax status to charities that violate international law and engage in racialist practices. As well as owning 13 percent of Israel's land and having significant control over a further 80% of public lands, the JNF aids in the expulsion of Bedouin citizens of Israel from the Negev and cleansing the Galilee of Palestinian citizens. Moreover, the JNF's charter prohibits it from selling or leasing land to non-Jews, even if those non-Jews are citizens of Israel! This is in clear violation of Canadian and international law.
THE ISRAELI OCCUPATION OF THE PALESTINIAN TERRITORIES IS THE GREATEST OBSTACLE TO THE PEACE PROCESS.
In 2007, the United Nations Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) rejected the application of the JNF for consultative status with the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) citing that the JNF's work violated the principles of the UN Charter, which emphasizes respect for human rights and equality.
The Hebrew-Yiddish word "Chutzpah" means "shameless audacity and impudence" and that describes the 22 May 2014 JNF Canada celebratory $250-a-plate "Negev" fundraising dinner. The honoree was local developer and JNF devotee Jim Spatz, and the money raised will fund part of a bike path in Independence Park (Gan Ha'atzmaut) in Tel Aviv. Trouble is, that park was built on top of the Abdel Nabi Muslim cemetery without permission of the families of those buried there, an indignity similar to Canada Park. Spatz is chair of the Dalhousie University Board of Governors. This is a slap in the face of the diverse student body at that university and Spatz should remove himself from that position due to his clear conflict of interest.
Larry Haiven, PhD Saint Mary's University, Halifax