Saturday 21 October 2023

My Letter to Prime Minister Trudeau urging him to encourage Israel to lift its Siege of Gaza

Note: I am not an expert on Israel/Gaza, although I have posted some blogs on Gaza and the West Bank from research I conducted for my book, State Food Crimes (Cambridge University Press, 2016). I've posted blogs on water rights of West Bank Palestinians,; on Palestinian property rights: a blog explaining my position on criticizing Israel: I believe that Israel is a state that has the right to exist in peace, but that it must also obey international law. 

 So I am not going to post blogs on what I think should be done regarding the current Israel/Gaza conflict..  But I do oppose the siege of Gaza. I post below a letter I sent today to Canada's Prime Minister.

Dear Prime Minister Trudeau,

I am a Jewish Canadian living in Hamilton Centre.  I am also a scholar of international human rights: in that capacity I have researched the high rates of malnutrition in Gaza and the West Bank before recent events, and the responsibilities of Israel and Egypt in creating that malnutrition.

I appreciate your support for Israel’s right to defend itself, a right asserted in international law. I also agree with you that Hamas is a terrorist organization holding the majority of the population of Gaza hostage. I also appreciate your insistence that Israel should obey international laws of warfare. In that connection I urge you to continue encouraging Israel to cease its siege of Gaza, and to permit the normal 100 truckloads of aid Gaza needs every day to survive.  

Aside from urgent humanitarian reasons to cease the siege, there are compelling political reasons. Nothing can be gained from a siege of 2.2 million people who have no means of escape from Gaza.  This siege will only encourage the enemies of Israel and of the West in general. That these enemies include many dictatorships such as Iran does not obviate the need for world peace.

Yours sincerely,

Rhoda E. Howard-Hassmann, CM, FRSC, Ph.D.