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Dion's statement regarding Dryden's offencive comments on Gaza

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  • Dave Williams
     FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE   October 10, 2008   Dion s statement regarding Dryden s offencive comments on Gaza   CAF, CMF-FMC & Parole Arabe acknowledge Mr.
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 10, 2008
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      FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
       
      October 10, 2008
       
      Dion's statement regarding Dryden's offencive comments on Gaza

       
      CAF, CMF-FMC & Parole Arabe acknowledge Mr. Dion's statement* on Ken Dryden's offencive comments justifying the punishment of the civilian population of Gaza , where Mr. Dion stated: "The international community cannot turn a blind-eye to the tragic humanitarian situation in Gaza .  The Liberal Party position on this issue has remained consistent throughout my time as leader and from well before."

      Mr. Dion’s statement brushed aside the seriousness of Ken Dryden’s statement “Stop all aid that flows into Gaza . While that may seem a harsh measure that will hurt Palestinian civilians… it is the right thing to do at this time.” Mr. Dryden has still not denied or withdrawn his statements supporting or justifying collective punishment (even in his letter to the editor of NOW magazine*).  Collective punishment is a war crime under Articles 146 and 147 of the IV Geneva Convention. Accordingly, it remains our position that, as such, Mr. Dryden is unfit to serve as an MP representing the Canadian people or as a member of the Liberal party unless he unequivocally retreats his statement.
       
      We call on Mr. Dion and on all Canadian politicians to take a just and fair position towards the Middle East conflict by:
      - Denouncing any action that may lead to collective punishment.
      - Insuring that Canada should do all what it can to end the immoral Israeli blockade of Gaza and to insure humanitarian relief reaches the people of Gaza.
      - Committing to defend human rights and fight any and all forms of racism or discrimination.
      - Abiding by international law and UN resolutions.
      - Supporting the unity talks underway between Palestinian factions including all democratically elected representatives.
       

      Contacts: 
      Khaled Mouammar
      National President, Canadian Arab Federation
      416-879-6766
      benwalid@rogers. com
       
      Mohamed S. Kamel
      President, Canadian Muslim Forum
      (514) 863-9202
      mskamel@fmc- cmf.com

      Ehab Lotayef
      V.P. Communications, Parole Arabe
      514.941.9792
      lotayef@gmail. com

      ------------ --------- --------- -----




      Dear Correspondent,
      I thank you for taking the time to write about the Liberal Party position on the delivery of humanitarian aid to Gaza.  I understand that a concern has emerged with respect to our position due to a report in Now Magazine about comments made by Ken Dryden.  I know Ken to be personally committed to the promotion of human rights and human dignity in Canada and around the world.  I appreciate that he has taken the time to clarify the comments he made that were the basis of that article.  His clarification is available here http://kendryden. liberal.ca/ p3459_e.aspx- I encourage you to review Ken’s letter before passing judgment on this matter.
      I would like to take this opportunity to outline our position on this matter. The international community cannot turn a blind-eye to the tragic humanitarian situation in Gaza.  The Liberal Party position on this issue has remained consistent throughout my time as leader and from well before.  Direct government-to- government assistance is not possible since the current government of Gaza is controlled by Hamas, which is recognized in Canada and around the world as a terrorist organization.  Innocent civilians, however, should not have to suffer for the policies and actions of failed leadership.  For that reason, the Liberal Party has supported and will continue to support the provision of humanitarian aid to Gaza through international aid organizations.  Any suggestion to the contrary is false.
      I believe that the Palestinian Authority (PA) is the appropriate interlocutory on behalf of the Palestinian people.  I fully support the providing of Canadian development aid to the PA – a position I publicly enunciated when Prime Minister Harper was slow to resume Canadian aid to the PA following in 2007. 
      Sincerely,

      On behalf of the Office of the Hon. Stéphane Dion, P.C., M.P.
      Leader of the Official Opposition
      Leader of the Liberal Party of Canada
       
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