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Canadian Foreign Minister Baird RESIGNS!

John Baird to resign as foreign affairs minister, sources say

Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird will resign from his position in the Harper cabinet as early as Tuesday (Feb. 3rd), CBC News has learned.Sources say that Baird, who has served in several of the highest portfolios in Prime Minister Stephen Harper's cabinet, has told members of his staff that he won't run again and will be resigning this week.
Click: http://www.msn.com/en-ca/news/other/john-baird-to-resign-as-foreign-affairs-minister-sources-say/ar-AA8UWuL?ocid=DELLDHP


Dear Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs John. Baird,

Re.Canadian Government response to the conflict between Israel and Palestine

The reason Canada does not have a seat on the United Nations Security Council is your failure as a Canadian foreign minister to uphold UN Resolutions that recognize Palestine as a state. Moreover, after reading your recent correspondence (read below), not ONCE do you refer to UN demands to end Israel's occupation of Palestine.

When European countries are establishing diplomatic ties with the state of Palestine while demanding an end to Israeli human rights abuses in the Occupied Territories, Canada isolates itself by explicitly siding with the military occupier. By excusing Israel from international condemnation for its decades long occupation, you continue to alienate Canada from foreign policy objectives even the Americans now adhere to (I,e. an end to Israel's illegal settlements, the cessation of bombing campaigns in Gaza, the building of a multi-ethnic, multi-denominational, and multicultural states with pre-existing 1967 borders) ...it is no wonder that your Canadian diplomatic entourage was mocked, egged and asked to leave after your recent mission to Palestine. Click video: http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2015/01/18/palestinian-protesters-throw-eggs-shoes-at-john-baird.html

On that most recent visit, Saeb Erekat, the chief Palestinian negotiator demanded that Canada apologize to Palestinians, Arabs and Muslims “for standing in the way of recognizing an independent state of Palestine." He also declared that Canada was standing on “the wrong side of history by blindly supporting the Israeli occupation and its apartheid policies.” Click video: http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2015/01/18/palestinian-protesters-throw-eggs-shoes-at-john-baird.html

So as Canadian foreign policy remains on the wrong side of history, you defend Israel and its human rights abuses, acknowledging that International Criminal Court proceedings into Israeli war crimes in Gaza are "deeply regrettable." What is truly regrettable, Mr. Baird is how you have become the sole apologist for Israel's occupation of Palestine, vindictively maligning domestic critics and UN member states (132 countries who voted to except Palestine as an observer state) who were once close allies of Canada.

Your displeasure with those who boycott Israel because of its treatment of Palestinians misses a crucial point - even South Africans make the link that Israel's apartheid policies are far worse than what they endured under white rule. Willie Madisha, President of COSATU, one of South Africa's largest labour unions, explains, "As someone who lived in apartheid South Africa and who has visited Palestine I say with confidence that Israel is an apartheid state. In fact, I believe that some of the atrocities committed against the South Africans by the erstwhile apartheid regime in South Africa pale in comparison to those committed against the Palestinians." Mr.Baird, that is why the University of Johannesburg severed ties with Israel’s Ben-Gurion University, following a campaign by apartheid foe Archbishop Desmond Tutu and over 400 South African academics.

As concerned Canadians for peace in the Middle East, we support academic unions in the UK, India, the US, South Africa, Ireland, Norway, Spain, Germany, Italy, Chile, Brazil, Pakistan, and Canada who have voted to support academic boycott campaign initiatives to put pressure on Israel to end its brutal occupation of Palestine. In its attempts to whitewash its system of colonization, occupation and apartheid, "Brand Israel" campaigns sell 'occupation lite' (allowing Jewish emigre their right of return while denying millions of Palestinians the same right) while draconian domestic laws make it illegal to participate in cultural boycotts within Israel as a form of protest and free speech.

This has only added impetus to a worldwide cultural boycott of Israel by musicians, filmmakers and writers who have refused to perform in Israel or have cancelled scheduled performances following pressure from the BDS movement including Bono, Snoop Dogg, Jean Luc Godard, Elvis Costello, Gil Scott Heron, Carlos Santana, Devendra Banhart, Faithless, the Pixies, Cassandra Wilson, and Canada's own - Cat Power. Artists and cultural figures now speak publicly of their support for BDS including : Roger Waters, Alice Walker, Naomi Klein, John Berger, Judith Butler, Etienne Balibar, Ken Loach, Arundhati Roy, Angela Davis, Sarah Schulman, among others.

In calling on Canada to adopt UN resolutions that recognize the state of Palestine, Ahmet Davutoğlu, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Turkey, said that, for 65 years, the whole world has shut its eyes to the plight of the Palestinian people, “[t]he reality of Palestine “is a bleeding wound in the conscience of all humanity." Click: http://www.un.org/press/en/2012/ga11317.doc.ht In the face of mounting criticism of Israeli foreign and domestic policy, Canada cannot remain silent about Palestinian political prisoners; it cannot remain silent about illegal Israeli settlements; it cannot remain silent about illegal walls that divide communities; and in the memory of Rachel Corrie - who was killed trying to stop a Caterpillar bulldozer from destroying Palestinian homes and olive groves - we can no longer be forced into silence.

Canada's blatant alignment with the plunderers of Palestine does a historic disservice to our proud tradition of peacekeeping and humanitarianism in the region. Prime Minister Lester Pearson would be rolling in his grave knowing Canada's mission of peace in the Middle East was now defined as constructive complicity in the slaughter of Palestinians in Gaza as well as the bombing of towns and villages in Iraq and Syria.

Canada practices an insidious form of political duplicity. When Palestinian leaders go to the UN or Geneva Convention to demand an end to the Israeli occupation of Palestine, they are immediately accused of operating outside the parameters of a "negotiated settlement." Meanwhile, Canada simultaneously supports Israel when it ignores international resolutions and several peace proposals that have already established a "negotiated settlement" to end the Israeli occupation.

This is how, as Minister of Foreign Affairs, you can practice an official 'doublespeak' allowing yourself to ignore your own foreign policy paper whereint Canada, " does not recognize permanent Israeli control over territories occupied in 1967 (the Golan Heights, the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip)." Even when Palestinians remind Canadian consular staff not to attend meetings in East Jerusalem with Israeli officials - as it legitimizes the presence of Israeli occupiers on Palestinian land - Canada spins the "negotiated settlement" wheel by blaming the occupied for operating outside of diplomatic jurisdictions when they attempt to gain Palestinian statehood at the UN or demand that ICC lawyers investigate the killing of Palestinian Minister Ziad Abu Ein, 55 and the demolition of Palestinian homes in East Jerusalem. Canada's unilateral interpretation of international law makes a mockery of our foreign policy commitments: a legacy of peace-keeping and diplomatic multilateralism that has been ideologically dismantled by the Conservative Party of Canada. Sadly, it has turned Canada into an international pariah among global nations, especially within the Arab world.

After reading your recent diplomatic missive: "... Israel Defense Forces have taken extraordinary steps to reduce civilian casualties in very difficult and trying conditions.... Israel should be commended—not criticized—for these efforts....", we find it deeply offensive that you could stand on Palestinian soil just a week ago and declare the murder of 2300 Palestinians, including the deaths of 550 children, as a commendable effort by the IDF.

Never before have we been so ashamed of such Canadian foreign policy posturing and reckless unilateralism on behalf of Israel; your abandonment of Canadian moral and political values like fairness, humanitarianism, conflict resolution and social justice actually increases insecurity and distrust in the region. For this, we demand your immediate resignation as Canada's Minister of Foreign Affairs.


Davis & Rhonda Costas Mirza
Toronto, CANADA

Davis more than 1 year ago

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