Citizen Action Monitor

Tribute to Linda Belanger, Ottawa’s indefatigable champion for justice for the Palestinians in the Occupied Territories

No 8 Posted by fw, April 17, 2010

This morning I received an email plea for help from my friend Linda:

Subject: Bil’in’s Legal Defence Needs Help Urgently.

It begins:

PLEASE DONATE NOW!!

SUPPORT BIL’IN’S LANDMARK CANADIAN LAWSUIT

IN THE FACE OFINCREASING ISRAELI REPRESSION

Linda and I have been corresponding by email for, what . . . about three years. Never have met face-to-face. Forget now how we first met — maybe it was through our association with Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East.

Never met anyone so fervently committed to a cause.

How many years has she been doing this? Today, to satisfy my curiosity, I Googled her name and got this hit:

Linda Belanger: the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: the Story Behind 

15 Mar 2002  by Linda Belanger. For the last month, since the Israeli attacks on Palestine my …. Linda Belanger can be reached at ...
http://www.counterpunch.org/belanger0613.html

Really? Ottawa’s Linda Belanger? Published in counterpunch?

The opening two paragraphs nail the author’s identity and mark the depth of Linda’s compassion for a people brutalized by the Israelis and largely ignored by most Western governments and media:

“For the last month, since the Israeli attacks on Palestine my feelings have shifted several times daily from swallowing back tears to anger and despair. I have attempted to assuage these feelings by an obsessive and masochistic search for information, information beyond the images on television, information that could explain these images. This has only led to more tears and anger.”

“I am embarrassed to admit my ignorance of this situation that has been going on for 35 years. I did not know that even since the early days of the occupation, the Israeli government expropriated Palestinians from their land and homes without compensation. I did not know that the homes of people resisting the occupation, even by peaceful means, were demolished. I did not know that the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) imposed curfews and shot people who were caught outside after hours on sight. I did not know that the Israeli government has diverted water away from Palestinian farmland to serve the Jewish settlements that they have established within Palestine.”

The “landmark Canadian lawsuit”, Linda refers to in her urgent email, was disallowed. The two Canadian corporations charged with “aiding, abetting and assisting and conspiring with Israel . . . in carrying out an illegal act [establishing settlements at the expense of the indigenous population]” were off the hook. But not for long. The judge found that there was a basis for civil liability. Quebec’s Court of Appeals allowed Bil’in’s suit to proceed. The hearing is scheduled for this June in Montreal.

In acts of apparent retribution, immediately after the original lawsuit began in June, 2009, the Israeli Army started a series of night raids in Bil’in, arresting many of the leaders of the non-violent demonstrations, as well as teenagers, some as young as 14.

Legal cases require funds:

In behalf of Linda and Palestinians in the Occupied Territories, please consider donating to this landmark case. Information on how to make a donation is available here.  All donations are tax deductible.

Linda concluded her 2002 counterpunch piece this way:

“Yes I know, writing letters takes time; your kids have soccer practice tonight, you haven’t done your workout in a week, you are getting together with a friend, you are tired after a long days work. I understand. But silence kills.”

Amen!

READ MORE / VIEW VIDEO CLIP

  • Read more about Bil’in, a village of Palestine, and about the rapidly growing global support from activists, including Israeli and non-Israeli Jews.
  • Watch a 3:33-minute video clip of an Israeli military bulldozer levelling a Palestinian home after IDF soldiers have driven out the inhabitants. The soldiers find the destruction of homes and humiliation of Palestinians amusing.
  • For a Canadian perspective on the latest developments in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, visit Canpalnet Ottawa, coverage that you won’t readily find in pro-Israeli mainstream media.

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This entry was posted on April 17, 2010 by in counterpower of one, political action and tagged , , .
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