by Stephen Lendman
Canada is as hostile to Palestinians as America – MP Helene Laverdiere a rare exception, pressing her government to comply with international law in defense of Palestinian child detainees.
In a letter to Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland, she cited appalling Israeli mistreatment of 16-year-old Ahed Tamimi, a heroic supporter of Palestinian rights, an activist since age-10.
She’s a redoubtable teenager, guilty only of wanting to live free from oppressive occupation harshness – why Israel wants her prosecuted, imprisoned and silenced.
Laverdiere called her mistreatment “one of many troubling cases of military detention of children under the Israeli occupation.”
She’s been in pretrial detention for weeks, denied bail, innocent of bogus charges against her.
On Monday, noted Israeli poet Yehonatan Geffen wrote the following as Ahed’s 17th birthday approaches in days:
“A beautiful 17-year-old girl did a terrible thing
And when a proud Israeli officer
Once again invaded her home
She slapped him
She was born into it and in that slap
Were contained 50 years of occupation and humiliations.
And on the day the story of the struggle is told,
You, Ahed Tamimi,
With red hair,
Like David who slapped Goliath,
Will be mentioned in the same line
As Joan of Arc, Hannah Szenes and Anne Frank.
Ziofascist Israeli defense minister Avigdor Lieberman responded furiously, saying “(t)he state of Israel should not give a platform to a drunk who compared a girl who was murdered in the Holocaust and a heroine who battled the Nazi regime, to Ahed Tamimi, the bimbo who attacked a soldier.”
She slapped an Israeli soldier in response to being slapped, along with courageously defending her family’s property from oppressive soldiers intruding where they don’t belong.
Hardline Israeli culture and sports minister Miri Regev called Ahed a “terrorist” – perhaps that phony charge to be added to other bogus ones against her.
Will Geffen be charged with terrorism for the crime of poetry?
Laverdiere is an anomaly in Canada. Few in her country and America dare criticize Israeli actions, no matter how lawless and oppressive.
Here’s her January 22 letter:
“Re: Ahed Tamimi and the No Way to Treat a Child campaign
Dear Minister Freeland,
I write to you regarding the detention of Palestinian children by the Israeli military.
No doubt you are already aware of the case of Ahed Tamimi, a 16-year-old Palestinian child detained in December, who could face up to 10 years in prison over an altercation with Israeli soldiers in the occupied West Bank.
On the same day as the incident in question, Ahed’s 15-year-old cousin was shot in the head with a rubber bullet fired by an Israeli soldier.
Human rights organizations…called for Ahed’s release from detention, and her case has earned international attention, including from many Canadians…”
Ahed Tamimi’s case is but one of many troubling cases of military detention of children under the Israeli occupation.
(T)he No Way to Treat a Child campaign…and UNICEF’s reports on “Children in Israeli Military Detention” have revealed widespread and systematic mistreatment of Palestinian children in the Israeli military detention system.
Close to 700 Palestinian children…are prosecuted through Israeli juvenile military courts under Israeli military orders.
Military courts in the West Bank deny bail in 70 percent of cases involving Palestinian children.
Palestinian children detained by Israeli authorities often face long periods of solitary confinement.
(T)he Israeli government must uphold its obligations under the Convention on the Rights of the Child. I am deeply concerned by the reaction of Israeli government officials to many of these cases.
I urge you to speak on behalf of thousands of concerned Canadians by pressing the Israeli government to fully comply with the Convention on the Rights of the Child, and ensure that Palestinian children are treated fairly, and in full respect of their internationally-recognized rights.”
Nothing is likely to come from Laverdiere’s plea. Canada’s one-sided support for Israel won’t change.
Nor will its government forthrightly criticize Israeli ruthlessness. America operates the same way – partnering in Israeli high crimes.
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