"The West Bank and East Jerusalem are widely (if not universally) considered occupied territory. Palestinians there live under Israeli military law and have no right to vote for the government that rules them."
August 2, 2023
Robert Walker’s criticism—on behalf of pro-Israel lobby group Honest Reporting Canada—of Frank Holden’s letter to Saltwire is itself rife with falsehoods and obfuscations.
Mr. Walker asserts that “Israel is well within its rights to have some roads for citizens, and others for non-citizens.” While this is of course true, one might ask: What sort of state would wish to implement such policies? After all, there aren’t any roads in Canada reserved exclusively for use by Canadians and others by non-Canadians. In fact, one would be hard-pressed to find such a system in place in any of the world’s liberal democracies—among which Israel so desperately wishes to count itself. What, then, is the animating force behind such practices? At best, it’s a paranoid, discriminatory impulse; at worst, a hyper-nationalistic, overtly racist one. Had Mr. Holden used a more accurate adjective to describe Israel’s road policy (e.g. segregationist or discriminatory), what objections could Mr. Walker have then raised?
In Israel’s specific case one might also ask who these “non-citizens” are and why they are barred from using Israeli roads. This relates to Mr. Walker’s claim that “Israel did not steal a square inch of Palestinian land.” Such brazen duplicity would be laughable if it wasn’t so odious: The West Bank and East Jerusalem are widely (if not universally) considered occupied territory. Palestinians there live under Israeli military law and have no right to vote for the government that rules them. While the latter territory has been completely annexed (legalese for “stolen”) by the state of Israel, the former has been for decades now incrementally annexed through Israel’s incessant establishment and expansion of illegal settlements. It bears notice that Israel’s occupation and subsequent annexation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem is not a matter of opinion, but one of legal fact and international consensus. Both the United Nations General Assembly and Security Council have countless times condemned these ongoing crimes as major obstacles to peace. Curious, then, that Mr. Walker chooses to invoke the “international community” of 1920 to support his dubious claims.
Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME)
Address: 580 Sainte-Croix, Suite 060, Montreal, QC H4l 3X5