How is this irrelevant?

Canadian Foreign Minister, John Baird, has in effect declared that the internationally recognized Green Line is “irrelevant” (click here and here; commentary here and here). So, he had coffee with Israeli Justice Minister Tzipi Livni (the Israeli government’s chief negotiator with the Palestinians) in East Jerusalem last week (click here); so what?

So… Baird disregarded international consensus on what is occupied territory and on Israel’s illegal annexation of East Jerusalem. He went along with Israeli government hopes that we might all forget that the status of Jerusalem is one of the “permanent status issues – borders, Jerusalem, settlements, refugees and water” (UN General Assembly media release, 12 Feb. 2010) yet to be resolved in terms of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

So…the line is named, green, based on the colour of the ink used in the 1949 armistice following the 1948 Nakba/Catastrophe (click here) or Israeli War of Independence (click here). I disagree with Baird’s suggestion that whether he meets on one side of the ‘street’ (known as Road No. 1 on Israeli government maps, one way to encourage people to forget that it’s the Green Line) or on the other is ‘just a matter of words’. On the west side of the line (in Israeli West Jerusalem), the municipal infrastructure is maintained. On the east side (in Israeli government occupied East Jerusalem), the municipal infrastructure is left to crumble by Israeli authorities. In addition, the fact that the Israeli Separation Barrier runs inside of the Green Line for 85% of its route (including within East Jerusalem as a high concrete wall) rather than along the Green Line violates international law (click here and here). The International Court of Justice (ICJ) (the principal judicial body of the United Nations) advised in 2004 that the sections of the Barrier that run inside occupied territory are illegal.

So…is Samer Issawi’s hunger speech…irrelevant? (click here)

So…is this call from liberal Jews and Israelis…irrelevant? (click here)

I remember this stark difference when I lived within a block of the Green Line, with occupied Palestinians, in 2010-2011. For reference, see how the Green Line runs between East and West Jerusalem: ocha_opt_the_closure_map_2011_12_21_jerusalem  . The dark red line on the map indicates the illegal path of the Israeli Separation Barrier. (For additional maps here).

So what?

P.S. I extend ‘thanks’ to I.C.L. Marshall for offering this response to this posting: “To the great shame of us, i.e. Canadians, John Baird, supported by Stephen Harper, pursue a policy that supports Israel’s occupation and unlawful behavior unconditionally. Such attitude will never bring peace and it concerns us all. We need to lobby the Canadian government to change their course. Please, write to Prime Minister Harper and Foreign Minister Baird to make it clear that Canadians are greatly disturbed by their policies and demands changes.
I.C.L. Marshall”

JLRT tracks on the Green Line - Jerusalem - 13 Feb. 2011 - Photo: Sherry Ann

The Green Line – between West Jerusalem on the left and occupied East Jerusalem on the right – 13 Feb. 2011 – Photo: Sherry Ann

A just peace: The ‘threat’ for Palestine and Israel… a threat for the world…

The Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME) recently posted a link (click here) to a well-articulated statement by Canadian Member of Parliament Jean-François Fortin.

“On March 26 [2013], after exchanges with CJPME staff (and leveraging CJPME’s research), MP Jean-François Fortin delivered an excellent critique of Israeli’s colonization of the West Bank, and Canada’s silence on this ongoing violation of international law. Watch the video here – debate starts at 9:49:40. For the full text of Mr. Fortin’s critique, see this link.”
In the video, for all that the Parliamentary Secretary (Foreign Affairs) Bob Dechert responds that Canada’s foreign-policy position is “principled Middle-East policy” as it stands with the United States, dear Canada, we increasingly stand alone  with our neighbour. See this helpful map (below) (or click here). Are we not obstructing the potential for a just peace in Palestine and Israel and thereby slowing the global journey to a peaceful world?

I invite you to take action. Learn more about the situation and how it is a global issue. If you live in Edmonton, drop into the 2nd Annual Palestinian Bazaar (Human Serve International) on Sat., 30 March 2013 (click here). Share this posting with family, friends, acquaintances. Share your thoughts with your MP…

By B1mbo (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Results of U.N. General Assembly vote [Dec. 2012] on granting observer state status to Palestine. Green: In favor; Red: Against; Yellow: Abstaining; Blue: Absent; Black: Palestine. Map by B1mbo/Wikimedia (source). License: CC BY-SA
After hearing friends describe this stark map, I found it at this webpage (click here).