For Canadians. This website gives an easy way to find your MP and a send a letter to them, CCing the bigwigs. Here’s my modified version. My MP is a decent man, so while my utter dismay at Harper, Mulcair, Trudeau and May’s stances remains, I toned down the form letter as I want to allow Mr. Chong a chance to consider and make a public statement on Gaza first.
The modified letter (original is HERE):
Dear Michael Chong, As you may know, I have lived a collective 3 of the past 6 years in the Gaza Strip, including during two major Israeli assaults (2008/9 and Nov 2012). I've also experienced the daily assault of Israel's strangulating siege on Gaza, which at its height banned not only construction materials (still banned), fertilizers (likewise), but also fishing equipment, food products, baby diapers, spices, A4 paper, toys, shoes...As a father, I am sure that you would never want to be in a position where you could neither feed nor clothe your children, let alone provide adequate nutrition or rest assured they would not be killed while at school, by Israeli army gunfire (the Khoza'a Martyrs school is one example of a school which routinely comes under Israeli army fire) or bombing ...surely you've heard that the Israeli army has targeted UN and other schools throughout Gaza, including those housing Palestinian internally-displaced. They've also targeted hospitals, including two I am intimately familiar with: the Wafa rehabilitation hospital (mostly invalid patients there, the only of its kind in Gaza. I knew a young teen who had been sniped in the spine by an Israeli soldier and ended up in the hospital... the hospital saved his life. It was bombed repeatedly in Jan 2009, including with the chemical weapon White Phosphorous, and it was destroyed recently by Israeli bombing, even though the staff communicated the presence of many invalids and several foreign observers.) The Aqsa hospital has also been repeatedly shelled, injuring and killing Palestinian civilians within. In Nov 2012, I was based in that hospital, and saw many injured and murdered Palestinians roll in, including 4 year old Reham, killed by shrapnel to her head, and 14 year old Nader, "exterminated" by an Israeli precision drone strike, just before the ceasefire was to be enforced. It is unacceptable to me that over 1940 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza since July 8th. This genocide has happened with the full and unequivocal support of the Canadian government - and indeed all three political parties. If you read some of the English-language Israeli media, or if you delve into Hebrew speaking media (which a few Israelis of conscience have translated), there are calls for the genocide, the extermination, of the Palestinians of Gaza. This is not only immoral, it is criminal. At least six UN schools have been bombed now, killing children and civilians sheltering in them. The only working power plant in Gaza was destroyed by the Israeli military last week, meaning no refrigeration for food and electricity for hospitals. Israeli snipers deliberately targeted civilians in the Shuja'iyya neighborhood of Gaza, and one even shot dead an unarmed civilian on video - while he was looking for his family! Entire families have been wiped out while buying food, ambulances destroyed and journalists killed. Enough is enough. And yet, the response from Canada has been utter silence with regard to the suffering of Palestinians. Actually, it hasn't been utter silence. It's been Mr. Harper, Mr. Baird parroting the Israeli line of "defending itself". Since when, Mr. Chong, is bombing homes, bombing hospitals, murdering medics, bombing shelters for the displaced... defending oneself? I know that you are far more principled that Mr. Harper and Mr Baird, not to forget Mulcair and Trudeau. I ask that you speak out against the genocide in Gaza and stop giving Israel a free pass to commit war crimes. World leaders and global organizations have taken strong action, including cabinet resignations, the withdrawal of ambassadors, and economic sanctions against Israel. It is truly unconscionable that your party is silent. Canada, once recognized on the world stage as a peacekeeping nation, has lost any remaining shred of moral credibility at home and abroad with its position on Gaza. Mr. Chong, your constituency includes my small town, but in talking with people, I am discovering that they are aware and disgusted by the actions of Israel, which has one of the world's most powerful armies. You might be interested to know that every time Israel massacres Gaza, their arms industry benefits: http://www.worldbulletin.net/palestine/142305/israeli-arms-producers-profit-from-gazas-pain As a political representative that is respected for your conscientious stances in the past, I expect that you will speak out to stop this moral outrage immediately. ----------- Eva Bartlett Canadian Voter N1M1J5, Wellington—Halton Hills.