Canadian Jewish Political Affairs Committee
MCDONOUGH CONDEMNS HARPER’S COMMENTS ON THE MIDDLE EAST

Alexa McDonough sent the following open letter to Foreign Affairs Minister Peter MacKay regarding Canada’s unbalanced Middle East position.
Alexa’s letter…..
July 14, 2006
Hon. Peter MacKay
Minister of Foreign Affairs
Lester B. Pearson Bldg., A-10
125 Sussex Dr.
Ottawa, ON K1A 0G2

Dear Minister,

I write to express outrage at your government’s response to the destruction levelled by Israel on the innocent civilians in Gaza and Lebanon.

The world has rightly condemned the killings and kidnapping of Israeli soldiers, however Israel’s response has been illegal, brutal and disproportionate.

It is more apparent than ever that your government’s desire to appease George Bush is so all-consuming, that you are prepared to turn a blind eye to the massive destruction in Gaza and in Lebanon, going so far as to deem these Israeli government assaults as ‘measured’.

Even George Bush has been compelled to bow to international pressure and caution Israel to "limit as much as possible so-called collateral damage not only to facilities but also to human lives."

Israel, Hamas and Hezbollah must all assume responsibility for their actions. However, it is impossible to ignore Israel’s disproportionate response:

– Bombing of the Palestinian Interior Ministry and other government offices:
– Arrest of duly elected Palestinian parliamentarians;
– Bombings of Palestinian infrastructure including a power station that was the sole generator of electricity and running water for hundreds of thousands of Gazans;
– Destruction of the Lebanese airport;
– Air and sea blockade of Lebanon preventing Lebanese as well as Canadian citizens, including many of my constituents, from returning to or leaving Lebanon; and
– Killing of scores of Palestinian and Lebanese civilians, including children.

Canadians expect their government to reflect our strongly held values of fairness, and justice and to uphold our obligations to international law. They also expect their government to defend and protect their citizens overseas. Your inability to reach out to the families in Canada whose relatives are trapped in Lebanon, or to put in place any evacuation plan to bring those citizens home, is irresponsible and unacceptable.

I urge you to set in motion an immediate plan to bring Canadian citizens home, to call on Israel to halt its assault on Lebanon and to negotiate in good faith a resolution to this latest crisis which has already cost too many innocent lives.

Sincerely,
ORIGINAL SIGNED BY
Alexa McDonough, MP Halifax
NDP Foreign Affairs and International Development Critic