Last May, a Canadian subscriber to Israel Resource News Agency’s news service wrote to Pierre Pettigrew, the Canadian External Affairs Minister, to inquire about Canadian policy towards the Palestinians, and recently got a detailed response from Pettigrew, who delineated Canadian policy which the Canadian voter may want to peruse, just prior to elections.
Following are statements of Pettigrew, taken from his letter, with questions that Canadian voters may wish to consider.

Pettigrew statement:

“In his letter of September 9, 1993, to Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, Palestinian Chairman Yasser Arafat recognized Israel’s right to exist in peace and security and stated that certain articles of the Palestinian Charter no longer applied. Articles which denied Israel’s right to exist, or were inconsistent with commitments to Israel undertaken by the Palestinian Liberation Organization following their mutual recognition, were declared inoperative and no longer valid.”

Q

Does Pettigrew not know that Arafat did not get the PLO executive to ratify the letter which recognized Israel and denounced violence? When the PLO executive met in special session to consider ratification October 6th, 1993, the PLO executive did not have the required quorum of 12 out of 18, so the “DECLARATION OF PRINCIPLES” of mutual recognition and denunciation of violence were never ratified by the PLO.

Pettigrew statement:

On April 24, 1996, an overwhelming majority of Palestinian National Council members voted to amend the charter by revoking the relevant clauses and assigned their legal committee with the task of redrafting the charter.

Q

Does Pettigrew not know that The April 24th, 1996 VOTE to amend the charter NEVER TOOK PLACE, and that the PNC only voted to establish a committee to consider changes in the PLO charter?

Pettigrew statement:

Today, the Palestinian Authority recognizes the State of Israel and the Government of Israel has recognized the creation of a Palestinian state, as envisioned in the Quartet’s Road Map to peace, which Canada supports.

Question:

Can Pettigrew show any statement on the record that the Palestinian Authority recognizes the state of Israel? Has Pettigrew not seen new official maps of the PA which do not indicate the name of the state of Israel in any part of Palestine, while new Israeli maps designate the areas now under PA control? Pettigrew need not have gone further than THIS WEEK IN PALESTINE, the glossy brochure of the PA Ministry of Tourism which marks Tel Aviv as an “Israeli built up area inside Palestine”.

Pettigrew statement:

There is a widespread international consensus on the urgent need to reconstruct and reform the institutions of the Palestinian Authority. Israeli authorities have told us repeatedly that they support such measures.

Q

Has Pettigrew seen evidence that the PA is implementing any such reform?

Pettigrew statement:

Prime Minister Martin underscored the incompatibility between terrorism and democracy. He called on President Abbas to make firm statements against violence and encouraged his initial efforts to reform security services. The Palestinian Authority remains obliged to undertake sustained, targeted and effective operations aimed at confronting all those engaged in terrorist activity and dismantling their capabilities.

Q

How does Pettigrew react to the fact that, by all accounts of western intelligence, the PA has not begun to confront “those engaged in terrorist activity and [has not been] dismantling their capabilities”.

Pettigrew statement:

As a government, we have consistently spoken out against all types of discrimination, including religious discrimination such as Anti-Semitism, in a multiplicity of forms. We maintain ongoing dialogues with key interlocutors in the Middle East on issues such as media content and school curricula. Canada has repeatedly called for an end to incitement to violence in our statements to the United Nations Human Rights Commission, and we have taken every opportunity to raise the issue of incitement to violence with Palestinians, including with the Minister of Education. For example, in May 2005, Canada told the Ministry of Education of the Palestinian Authority that validation of the said “Protocols of the Elders of Zion” in a grade 10 textbook was unacceptable. We believe that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is serious about his commitment to eliminate incitement, and I have personally encouraged his efforts in this regard. The deliberate promotion of hatred is an impediment to peace and must cease.

Q

How does Pettigrew respond to the reality that the anti-semitic dirges of PA clerics which are broadcast on PA TV and PA radio from the mosques under the control of the PA have not changed, and that the curriculum of the PA schools has remained the same, and that the “Protocols of the Elders of Zion” was never removed from the PA tenth grade text book?

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David Bedein is an MSW community organizer and an investigative journalist.   In 1987, Bedein established the Israel Resource News Agency at Beit Agron to accompany foreign journalists in their coverage of Israel, to balance the media lobbies established by the PLO and their allies.   Mr. Bedein has reported for news outlets such as CNN Radio, Makor Rishon, Philadelphia Inquirer, Los Angeles Times, BBC and The Jerusalem Post, For four years, Mr. Bedein acted as the Middle East correspondent for The Philadelphia Bulletin, writing 1,062 articles until the newspaper ceased operation in 2010. Bedein has covered breaking Middle East negotiations in Oslo, Ottawa, Shepherdstown, The Wye Plantation, Annapolis, Geneva, Nicosia, Washington, D.C., London, Bonn, and Vienna. Bedein has overseen investigative studies of the Palestinian Authority, the Expulsion Process from Gush Katif and Samaria, The Peres Center for Peace, Peace Now, The International Center for Economic Cooperation of Yossi Beilin, the ISM, Adalah, and the New Israel Fund.   Since 2005, Bedein has also served as Director of the Center for Near East Policy Research.   A focus of the center's investigations is The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). In that context, Bedein authored Roadblock to Peace: How the UN Perpetuates the Arab-Israeli Conflict - UNRWA Policies Reconsidered, which caps Bedein's 28 years of investigations of UNRWA. The Center for Near East Policy Research has been instrumental in reaching elected officials, decision makers and journalists, commissioning studies, reports, news stories and films. In 2009, the center began decided to produce short movies, in addition to monographs, to film every aspect of UNRWA education in a clear and cogent fashion.   The center has so far produced seven short documentary pieces n UNRWA which have received international acclaim and recognition, showing how which UNRWA promotes anti-Semitism and incitement to violence in their education'   In sum, Bedein has pioneered The UNRWA Reform Initiative, a strategy which calls for donor nations to insist on reasonable reforms of UNRWA. Bedein and his team of experts provide timely briefings to members to legislative bodies world wide, bringing the results of his investigations to donor nations, while demanding reforms based on transparency, refugee resettlement and the demand that terrorists be removed from the UNRWA schools and UNRWA payroll.   Bedein's work can be found at: www.IsraelBehindTheNews.com and www.cfnepr.com. A new site,unrwa-monitor.com, will be launched very soon.