"I appreciated that your article included a reference to the Nakba. Too often media reporting neglects to tell the complete story of Israel’s creation. For Palestinian citizens of Israel, the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza, the creation of the state of Israel ‘was’ and ‘continues to be’ a ‘catastrophe’"
To: Joseph Federman, Laurie Kellman, Isabel Debre, Stephanie Zeigler
Dear Mr. Federman, Ms. Kellman, Ms .Debre and Ms. Zeigler,
I’m writing to you as a member of Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME, https://www.cjpme.org) about the article, “Israel marks Memorial Day plagued by divisions,” which was published online on April 26, 2023.
I appreciated that your article included a reference to the Nakba. Too often media reporting neglects to tell the complete story of Israel’s creation. For Palestinian citizens of Israel, the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza, the creation of the state of Israel ‘was’ and ‘continues to be’ a ‘catastrophe’. At least 700,000 Palestinians fled or were forcibly expelled from their homes and land. More than 500 villages were destroyed and millions of refugees continue to be banned from ever returning to their homes.
I take exception however to your sentence, ‘Critics fear the changes would weaken the Supreme Court and erode the country's democratic character.’ The question that is raised for me is: “Who describes Israel as a country having ‘democratic character’? The use of ‘democratic character’ in your article ignores the legitimate criticism and consensus opinion of Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, UN experts and Israeli and Palestinian human rights groups.Their critique is that Israel is not a democracy but an apartheid state. To exclude any mention of this critique of Israel does not help me or other readers fully understand the character and qualities of current day Israel. In fact the reference to Israel as a ‘democratic state’, is quite misleading. For that reason, I would request that you remove the phrase ‘erode the country’s democratic nature’. I would also ask that these findings of apartheid be included in any future reporting on Israel’s accomplishments over the past 75 years.
Kelowna, British Columbia
 Amnesty International, “Israel’s Apartheid against Palestinians: Cruel system of domination and crime against humanity,” February 1, 2022
 Human Rights Watch, “A Threshold Crossed: Israeli Authorities and the Crimes of Apartheid and persecution,” April 27, 2021
 B’Tselem, “A regime of Jewish supremacy from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea: This is apartheid,” January 12, 2021
 United Nations Human Rights Office, “Israel’s 55-year occupation of Palestinian Territory is apartheid – UN human rights expert,” March 25,