CJPME: Canada must protest shooting of citizen by Israeli Army

NAzzal-PR-with-white.pngMontreal, Dec. 17, 2015 – Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME) joins with other Canadians to protest the wanton shooting of Canadian Rehab Nazzal by an Israeli Army soldier in Bethlehem last Friday.  Nazzal, currently a Ph.D. student at the University of Western Ontario was shot while doing research in Bethlehem to investigate the impact of robotic and unconventional Israeli surveillance and crowd control techniques on Palestinian civilians.  Shot in the leg, Nazzal is expected to recover fully.

Entirely alone at the time – not near any clashes or stone throwers – Nazzal was shot in the leg while photographing.  She was apparently shot by an Israeli Army sniper who was seen crouched on the ground nearby near the gate of a hotel, and captured in a photo she took.  Live fire against unarmed civilians violates international law.  In the past, Israeli Army spokespeople have also asserted that use of a .22 calibre bullet – the type used against Nazzal – would violate official Israeli Army crowd dispersal guidelines. 

“While use of such weapons is illegal against any unarmed civilian, our government should take particular exception when such weapons are used by an Israeli government agent against a Canadian,” asserted Thomas Woodley, president of CJPME.  CJPME repeatedly calls attention to Israel’s use of lethal and disproportionate force against Palestinians.  CJPME calls on the Trudeau government to formally demand an apology from the Israeli government, and insist that Israel cease using lethal force against civilians, Palestinian or international. 

The president of Dar Al-Kalima university, where Nazzal had been lecturing since September has written a letter of protest.  CJPME and other Canadians are also calling on the president of the University of Western Ontario to also issue a statement of concern and protest.  CJPME views the shooting of Nazzal as part of a broader problem with the Israeli Army, which often acts recklessly and with disregard for human life when dealing with Palestinian and other civilian protesters.

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  • Lawrence Chanin
    commented 2015-12-17 21:43:41 -0500

    Dear Friend of the Jewish Community and Israel, In October 2015 Israelis commemorated the 42ndt anniversary of the Yom Kippur War.

    The Yom Kippur War against Egypt, also known as the October War – along with the War of Attrition on the Golan Heights against Syria from October 6, 1973 until May 31, 1974 – were the most traumatic times in the history of Israel.
    The Golan Heights, the highest point in Israel, are the strategic hills from which Syrians have threatened to bombard, overrun and annihilate Israel’s breadbasket below, the kibbutzim nestled in the lush Jordan Valley.
    The Golan Heights, furthermore, is where the Yom Kippur War raged for eight months after the war was officially over. Although the 1973 October War was long over, the war with Syria in the Golan Heights went on until the end of May 1974.
    Shocked and horrified by the surprise attack, Israelis evacuated women and children from the area. When Israel threatened to use nuclear weapons the US sent billions of dollars in armaments to fight Egypt and Syria.
    Israeli planes bombed Syrian civilian power stations and the Israel Defense Force pushed the Syrians back across the Heights, penetrating within artillery distance of Damascus. Only when the Soviet Union threatened to intervene did the Israelis withdraw to the Heights. However, long after disengagement had been negotiated with Egypt, the war raged on the Golan until May 31, 1974. In December 1973, having graduated from McGill University, on my way to London and Paris to write and tutor English, I was manipulated by recruiters of a Canadian Zionist organization to work in Israel where, the recruiters said, the oranges were dying on the trees. Reassured that the war was over and there was no danger, I signed a contract to work in an orange orchard with a group of Chicago college students living in a hotel on the beach in the Mediterranean resort of Netanya. Arriving on January 22, 1974 in the rain and cold, I was depressed that the program turned out to be an industrial experiment to determine how many immigrants could be absorbed into a dark, dirty, noisy, dreary processing plant, picking out damaged and rotten oranges as thousands rolled by on a conveyor belt. After eight days of this demoralizing situation I, along with one of the Chicago group, went to Jerusalem to be transferred to a kibbutz. Without asking my medical restrictions and preferences, the Jewish Agency dispatched us to a kibbutz in the Jordan Valley, where, unbeknownst to us, war was raging only three kilometers away in the Golan Heights. At Beit Zera and Deganya Aleph, depressed and demoralized, I laboured under degrading and dehumanizing war conditions. I toiled at heavy labour in mud and extreme heat of banana jungles, sneezing all day from a hay fever allergy. Jet fighters screeching overhead every 15 minutes and rumours of Syrian infantry infiltration created an atmosphere of dog-eat-dog hostility in the spartan volunteer work camp. Mortar explosions, rocket firings and tank bombardments in the Heights, heard all day but not seen or mentioned in the kibbutz, produced an aura of paranoid unreality. Terrorist massacres at Maalot and Kirhyat Shmona, a few kilometers north, spread a pall of death on the camp where I subsisted, misled, misinformed and isolated from the kibbutzniks. I suffered shell shock and a paranoid breakdown. I finally managed to realize my best interests and leave the kibbutz at the end of May 1974. Co-incidentally that was the day the war ended. On my return home to Montreal, I was wrongly treated with denial by my guilt-ridden parents, misdiagnosed by a psychiatrist, and addicted to heavy doses of psychotropic drugs. I have not been able to hold a job since that time. My work life was over, my social life destroyed, my family life ruined. Many years later I learned a War of Attrition had raged for eight months only three km. from the kibbutzim where I worked, isolated, uninformed and mistreated. I also learned that by Israeli law (and laws of every democracy in the world) I’m entitled to a disability pension as a civilian veteran disabled in a war zone (Victims of Hostile Action Pensions Law 1970). Sometimes work/study programs in Israel don’t work out the way they’re advertised. When tragedy strikes in Israel the Jewish Community needs to replace wrong with right for reasons of morality, compassion, gratitude, legality and justice. Please help me find the appropriate authorities who will help expedite the pension or other compensation I need for my survival. For more information or to make your contribution call (250) 381-7152 or email: [email protected] Lawrence Chanin 408-1466 Hillside Ave. Victoria, BC V8T 5H5 (250) 381-7152 [email protected]
  • David Heap
    commented 2015-12-17 16:16:00 -0500
    You can take action in support of Rehab and call on Canadian authorities to condemn her shooting at this petition link:


    You need to select “Canada” from the drop down menu, otherwise the postal code etc. won’t work.
  • Peter Lake
    commented 2015-12-17 15:16:30 -0500
    Maggie Murphy: I’m sending this link to my MP, who is with the NDP as well as to the PM. All MP’s emails are on the parliamentarty website.
  • Maggie Murphy
    commented 2015-12-17 13:41:16 -0500
    Thank you CJPME… Is there a way we can add our voice to this "CJPME calls on the Trudeau government to formally demand an apology from the Israeli government, and insist that Israel cease using lethal force against civilians, Palestinian or international. "
    a petition…? or a suggested email, or link to whom we should voice our support?
    Thanks, Maggie