Letter Of The Day On The Mideast Conflict
In order to bring peace to the Middle East, long term problems between the Palestinians and the Israelis have to be addressed. Here are a few below:
"In a recent opinion column, Ofer Eini, chairman of Israel's Histadrut General Federation of Labour Unions, challenged Canadian labour to assist Palestinians in developing "an authentic economy." He also acknowledged the important role trade unions play in international affairs. I was also pleased to hear Eini call upon Canada's trade unionists to assist in forming a "brotherhood and sisterhood of workers involving Israeli and Palestinian workers."
Unfortunately, in Israel and the Occupied Territories, not all workers feel they are being treated fairly or equally.
A report by the Director General of the International Labour Office titled The Situation of Workers of the Occupied Arab Territories shows that 57 per cent of all wage earners in the Occupied Territories earned monthly salaries below the official poverty line. Eini calls upon Canadian labour to assist in developing an "authentic economy" for Palestinians.
With all due respect, how does he envision this happening when Palestinians are prevented from having control over their air space and prohibited from building airports or seaports so as to import raw materials or export finished goods? Palestinians in the West Bank are prohibited from visiting friends and relatives in Gaza and, by extension, they are prohibited from trading their goods and services with fellow citizens.
Making matters worse, Israel has a blockade of Gaza providing only a few crossing points that are increasingly locked down completely. Agricultural produce sits in boxes rotting, while Israeli soldiers inflict collective punishment and humiliation on thousands of workers and farmers trying to get through checkpoints on a daily basis.
In the West Bank, Israel has built a wall that cuts through some of the best Palestinian farmland, destroying crops and orchards in the process. A series of checkpoints, roadblocks and the wall make it impossible to conduct commerce.
If Eini is serious about setting up a climate of "brotherhood and sisterhood" in order to address some of the above-mentioned problems, then he will have an ally in CUPE Ontario."
Sid Ryan, President CUPE Ontario
If the Palestinians want more respect, they should recogize the validity of the Israelian State and work towards peaceful co-existence with it. DB
Posted by qualteam
at 7:00 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, 26 July 2006 7:09 PM EDT