The Death of Ariel Sharon

Dear Paul Dewar and Thomas Mulcair,

Though I see there is a bit of kerfuffle in the ranks of CP for either not asking the question or failing to print the opinions of the leaders of the NDP and Liberal parties respectively in a piece entitled ‘Canadian Leaders react to Ariel Sharon’s death’, Paul’s short statement seems to tell us the NDP’s posture on this event.  Our Prime Minister was clear and the distance between the two statements was negligible.  I attach here an article by Max Blumenthal that expresses well my concerns.  

Why does the NDP (and, yes, every other federal leader) insist on this topic in ignoring clear international covenants, conventions, and innumerable declarations, statements and resolutions – falling into line with the demands of US and Israeli exceptionalism?  One set of rules for them, another set of rules for everyone else.  Of course, Ariel Sharon was a great supporter of Israel – if one assumes their cause and means are correct.  To many of us Ariel Sharon is the intellectual author of Sabra and Shatila.  Point finale. 

Before that he fulfilled every definition of a terrorist, an enthusiastic leader in the expulsion project that was al naqba and later as Ben Gurion’s messenger in countless Qibyas; as a general, Sharon was blatantly and insubordinately self-promoting, at the expense of both Egyptian/Syrian and Israeli soldiers, glorying in over-the-top kill ratios; as Agriculture(!) Minister under Begin, he was the architect of the settlement strips that would atomise and further decimate Palestinian communities and land-holdings.  

Having bullied his way into Begin’s Defence Ministry and consumed by a dream of an Israeli-friendly Christian puppet in Beirut, Sharon laid waste to one of the Mediterranean’s most beautiful and cosmopolitan cities with Dresden-ish indiscriminate and over-the-top obliteration bombing.  Sharon blocked the arrival of UN-mandated peacekeepers meant to prevent reprisals against the thousands of Palestinian refugees left behind – setting the stage for Sabra and Shatila, Israel’s Warsaw. Temporarily bowed under by international opprobrium and the results of the 1983 Kahan commission and threats of the use of universal jurisdiction processes, Sharon came back with dramatic force with the September 2000 strut through the Al Aqsa accompanied by a thousand armed security agents and police – setting off the second intifada.  Palestinians rallied and rioted; the IDF pummelled them.  And his reward for all of this?  Elected as prime Minister the following year by an Israel fearful of Palestinian rage provoked by his stunt. 

With a free hand to deploy tanks and combat jets against Palestinian population centers, Sharon oversaw a campaign of carefully calculated brutality, culminating, in 2002, in the comprehensive demolition of the Jenin refugee camp.’  While Israeli bulldozers trundled through Gaza and the West Bank, Sharon began to woo Israelis into his separation strategy:  the wall.  And today the implications of that strategy are clear for anyone interested in truly seeing.  Strangulation, isolation, starvation, open-air prisons, bantustans of the highest order.  

So, what are you honouring with your statement?  You couldn’t even do what so many of our cowed leaders and media are doing – adding words like ‘controversial’; maybe that’s what ‘significant’ is supposed to do, rather like ‘interesting’.  For the NDP, clearly a hero, ‘dedicating his life…’ He was the terminator of the 1948 war, strutting towards the only possible solution, the final one.  

Lee A. McKenna



by Jim Loney (CPT Reservist), Toronto, Ontario.  First prayed on 8 February 1991 during a Pax Christi march against the Gulf War.  To be adapted and revised as needed.  No rights reserved. There are seven litanies; see 'Printable flyer' button below to get all of them in pdf. 
Par Jim Loney, reservista,  Equipos cristianos de acción por la paz, Toronto, Ontario.  Oradas para la primera vez el 8 de febrero 1991, durante una marcha de Pax Christi en contra de la Guerra del Golfo. Para ser adaptadas y revisadas como sea necesario. No hay derechos reservados. Hay siete letanías; ver 'printable flyer' abajo por obtenir todas en formato pdf.

L = líder; T = Todas y todas

Litany # I

One:     Let us pray…
You have learned how it is said –  
All: Love your neighbour and hate your enemy.

But I say this to you who are listening:
Love your enemies: Do good to those who hate you; bless those who curse you.

Be compassionate:
Do not judge.

Grant pardon:
Do not condemn.

Because the amount you measure out
Is the amount you will be given back.

Let everything you do
Be done in love.

One:   Blessed are the poor:
For theirs is the reign of God.

Blessed are they who mourn:
For they will be comforted.

Blessed are the meek:
For they will inherit the earth.

 Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for justice:
For they will be satisfied.

Blessed are the merciful:
For they will be shown mercy.

 Blessed are the pure in heart:
For they will see God.

Blessed are the peacemakers:
For they will be called the daughters and sons of God.

Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of justice: 
For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.


Letanía # I

L:  Oremos.   Ustedes han oído que se dijo
T:  Amarás a tu prójima y aborrecerás a tu enemigo.

Pero yo les digo a ustedes que me escuchan:
Amen a sus enemigos; hagan el bien a quienes les odian; bendigan a quienes les maldicen.

Sean compasivas.
No juzguen.

No condenen.

Con la medida con que midan
les medirán a ustedes.

Que todo lo que hagan
ea con amor.

Felices las pobres
Porque de ellas es el Reino de Dios.

Felices los que lloran
Porque recibirán consuelo.

Felices las pacientes
Porque recibirán la tierra en herencia.

Felices los que tienen hambre y sed de justicia
Porque serán saciados.

Felices las compasivas
Porque obtendrán misericordia.

Felices los de corazón limpio
Porque ellos verán a Dios.

Felices las y los que trabajan por la paz
Porque serán reconocidas como hijos e hijas de Dios.

Felices los que son perseguidos por causa de bien
Porque de ellos es el Reino de los Cielos.

Letanías de Resistencia / Litanies of Resistance




It's a week from Christmas: today's reading of the Annunciation stops me in my tracks. The images on offer by Google are typically anachronistic, with Mary disturbed at her desk while reading a book, or unrealistic in their portray of some well-to-do chatelaine, draped in her blue robes, welcoming her wingéd visitor. My mind, in search of an image, goes to Faidah. Faidah has just given birth. She is 15 years old, about Mary’s age. There are plenty of mangers about but the baby has, according to local custom, been placed on a grass mat on the floor, not held or suckled, but placed on the floor. Her first baby died after a few days; the second was stolen by cattle raiders, re-branded with the facial scars of the raiding tribe and sold to one of those husbands suffering the twin misfortunes of a barren first wife and insufficient cow-wealth to purchase a second.

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Known Unknowns and Unknown Unknowns

...Because if I know
         then, knowing,
                  I can no longer unknow
                         what I know
                                  and I know
that the consequences of knowing
       will change me.

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Egypt's Good Week: Reading the Entrails

Sunday 13 February 2011

Greetings, Peacemakers:
It's been quite a week, hasn't it?  Not just for Egyptians; not even just for Tunisians and Algerians and Yemenians and Jordanians.  But for Canadians and US Americans.  For the United Nations.  For the world.

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