Kelowna Peace Group speaks out for Palestinians

Group stages protest outside Premier Christy Clark's MLA office in West Kelowna to voice objection to her pro-Israel statement.

  • Aug. 1, 2014 5:00 a.m.

The Kelowna Peace Group staged a protest outside Westside-Kelowna MLA Premier Christy Clark’s office this morning regarding a verbal missile she sent out last week, a letter posted on the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs website.

Mark Haley, a Kelowna Peace Group member, said his group was upset at how the premier, from their perspective, appeared to be downplaying the suffering of the Palestinians who were being subjected to daily bombing from the Israel army prior to a 72-hour ceasefire negotiated on Thursday between the Israeli government and Hamas, the political representative of Palestinians living on the Gaza Strip.

In a letter to Clark delivered to her office today, the Kelowna Peace Group states: “As our news media fills with pictures of smoke and explosions in the densely populated Gaza strip and reports of the bombing of a UN school and Gaza’s only electricity generating plant, we read your words “British Columbia can be counted as a friend of Israel.”

“As electricity is cut, the water purification plants cannot operate and the drinking water ends up being mixed with sewage or salt water. Without electricity, patients on life support in the hospitals just die. And we read your words, “ Israel is an example, not only to the region, but the world.”

“As Israeli bombs and missiles have completely reduced to rubble some 5,000 homes and damaged 26,000 more, 200,000 people are left homeless. But since the Gaza Strip is so small, they have no place to go. Israel won’t let them leave the strip, but is intensifying bombarding it.  And we read your words “Israel has the right to defend itself and its citizens against terrorist attacks.”

“We look at the profoundly tragic history of an illegal occupation, an illegal wall, illegal settlements built on stolen land, the economic strangulation of both the West Bank and Gaza and severe racism directed at the non-Jewish citizens of Israel.  And we read your words “…let us remember the values we share with Israel: a vibrant, culturally rich democratic nation…”

“Te suffering of the brave Palestinian people is bad enough; please don’t sadden and shame us further by speaking in our names to condone what can only be called war crimes in Gaza.”

Clark hasn’t made any further public comments on the Israeli-Hamas conflict since her letter was posted online last week.


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