Canadian writers urge halt to evictions of Palestinians, Bedouin

Writers and poets are the canaries in the coal mine. With sharp antennae they smell that something’s rotten in the state of Denmark. In tis case case it is the ongoing, festering odor coming from Israel’s ongoing oppression of the Palestinian people.

Recognizing that we do indeed live in a global village, 69 of Canada’s top writers have signed a joint letter urging Israeli authorities to halt the evictions of 1000 Palestinians in the Southern Hebron Hills (West Bank). Under the Prawer Plan 20,000-70,000 Bedouin citizens of Israel will be forcibly relocated and several destroyed. all for more land  for an Israeli military firing The day is long past when Israel with such powered methods of Hasbara ( state lying) can pull this off with at least some of the more sensitive crying foul.

Israeli writers

Grossman, Yehoshua,Oz.

In Israel some of the great writers like Amos Oz. David Grossman, A.B.Yehoshua have raised prophetic voices against this land grab.In an open letter written by Grossman,Israel’s most famous novelist the statement said  that he population of around 1,000 lives “in constant fear, helplessly facing a ruthless power that does everything to displace them from the home they have inhabited for centuries”, It went on: “In a reality of ongoing occupation, of solid cynicism and meanness, each and every one of us bears the moral obligation to try and relieve the suffering, do something to bend back the occupation’s giant, cruel hand.”

Another group  the Association of Civil Rights in Israel, point out that international laws of occupation forbid the transfer of populations unless it is temporary or for immediate military needs, such as the prosecution of war. As per usual israel snubs its nose at international law.

Noted Canadian writers and poets who have added international voices to this protest  are Michael Ondaatje, Alberto Manguel, Lorna Crozier, Rawi Hage, Edeet Ravel,  Patrick Lane, Maggie Helwig, Kyo Maclear, Kerri Sakamoto, George Bowering Stan Persky, Shani Mootoo, Lorna Croizier, Robert Priest, Camilla Gibb, Wayson Choi,Vincent Lam, Lisa Moore, Shyam Selvadurai, Susan Musgrave, Silver Donald Cameron,Susan Crean and Michel Tremblay inter alios. One looks in vain for Catholic prophetic voices here.

“It is inspiring to see Canadian writers demonstrating ethical leadership, especially at a moment when Canada’s political leaders seem to have lost their moral compass,” notes Thomas Woodley, President of CJPME. He adds that the fact that Israeli authorities plan to evict another 1000 Palestinians from the South Hebron Hills to make way for an Israeli army firing zone bodes ill for resumption of peace negotiations.

The Committee for Peace and Justice in the Middle East (CJPME stated in a press release  “that the Israeli government’s refusal to seriously consider the Bedouin’s concerns and alternative proposals exemplifies the second-class standing of Israel’s Arab citizens —20 percent of the population. Israel’s massive land-grab in the West Bank (occupied Palestinian territory) violates the Fourth Geneva Convention and Palestinians’ fundamental human rights. CJPME points out that the South Hebron Palestinian communities facing destruction have lived there for hundreds of years, and that Israel has designated about 18 percent of the West Bank as Israeli military training territory. The Bedouin have inhabited the Negev since the 7th century.

To see the complete list of signatories, please go to

1 Comment »

  1. 1

    One looks in vain for Catholic prophetic voices here.

    But that’s not true. Father Bob Holmes is the voice of the Church on this matter.

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