Letter to Canada Post on Israel stamp

April 26th, 2010 | Posted in Boycott, Canada, Palestine, Solidarity
    Canadian Union of Postal Workers letter to Canada Post, April 2010


    Photo: Palestinian children mourn the dead in Gaza, January 2009.
    Moya Greene
    President and Chief Executive Officer
    Canada Post Corporation
    2701 Riverside Drive
    Ottawa, Ontario
    K1A 0B1

I am writing to you on the eve of Canada Post issuing a joint stamp with Israel.

A recent article in Canada Stamp Detail said “Canada Post will issue the stamp “to celebrate Canada’s strong bilateral relationship with Israel – a friendship that spans six decades and is marked by shared values, common interests and strong political, economic, cultural and social ties.”

While CUPW is glad to see Canada Post taking on new and innovative ways to sell stamps, we are somewhat concerned that Canada Post is launching a stamp with Israel on the basis of “shared values”.

CUPW recognizes that Israel is a democracy and has taken steps to end discrimination against lesbian and gay citizens. However, we are puzzled about the concept of shared values with a country that has consistently ignored United Nations and World Court decisions in regards to the ongoing Occupation of the West Bank and Gaza.

A fundamental value is that all human beings have equal rights without discrimination on the basis of race, religion, ethnicity, and other categories. Sadly, in Israel there are still over 20 laws that discriminate against the Palestinian national minority on such basic issues as education, jobs, land ownership and access to public resources.

Israel is still building a “separation wall” around the West Bank. A number of human rights groups have found that approximately 80% of this Wall is being built on West Bank land that has been illegally confiscated. On July 9, 2004 this Wall was declared contrary to international law by the International Court of Justice. This Court cited Israel’s obligation to dismantle the Wall, and to pay reparations for all the damage caused by its construction. To date, the Government of Israel has refused to abide by this ruling, thereby ignoring an important value of adhering to the principles of International law.

Israel is continuing to build settlements in East Jerusalem and the West Bank. The construction of some of these settlements has been criticized by Barack Obama, the President of the United States. These settlements are illegal under international law. In the same July 2004 decision, the International Court of Justice declared that “Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory including East Jerusalem are illegal and an obstacle to peace and to economic and social development. The continuing failure to live up to international law and respond to international pressure is a questionable value.

There are many United Nations resolutions which Israel is failing to live up to. One of the most important ones is UN resolution 242 which calls for Israeli withdrawal from the territories occupied during the 1967 war, is based on the principle of “the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war”. Disregarding United Nations resolutions is hardly a value which we want to uphold and endorse.

In the winter of 2008/2009, Israel carried out Operation Cast Lead in Gaza. A number of eminent people have concluded that Israel’s use of white phosphorous was unacceptable. Others, including jurist Richard Goldstone condemned Israel’s apparent targeting of schools, ambulances, and UN Institutions in Gaza. More recently, Israel’s participation in the blockade of Gaza has resulted in a serious undermining of living conditions. There have been desperately sad reports of increased child and maternal mortality as a result of this siege. Taking actions which result in the death or pregnant women and children is not an acceptable value.

The conditions of the Palestinian citizens in the West Bank is troubling for any one who holds the value of treating people with fairness and respect. John Dugard, the UN special envoy to Palestine reported that the rules governing the granting or permits which allow Palestinians to travel through the West Bank are constantly changing and create great hardship. In addition, Mr. Dugard reported that within the Palestinian territory there are highways solely for the use of Israeli’s. Palestinians are banned from these roadways. In addition, these checkpoints put lives in jeopardy in the west Bank as they often restrict quick access to hospitals. These are not conditions where respect is fundamental.

In light of these facts, CUPW is concerned that Canada Post is celebrating “shared values, common interests and strong political, economic, cultural and social ties.” with a country, whose Government has repeatedly failed to act with courtesy and sensitivity towards Palestinians.

Yours truly,

Denis Lemelin
National President
Canadian Union of Postal Workers

National Executive Board
CUPW Locals


I am a Canadian, now aged 66, who has chosen to leave Canada to live in Morocco.
This article gives me one more reason to stay where I am. Having lived and worked for more than two years in the West Bank city of Nablus, I have come to sympathize greatly with the plight of Palestinians and I am continually shocked and dismayed that my home country of Canada has sided so strongly with Israel.

Comment by David James Vickery — April 26th, 2010 @ 7:36 AM

Ce qui et le plus grave,c’est de voir que le peuple canadien est tellement submergé par ses propres problèmes,souvent individuels,de réussite qu’il ne s’aperçoit pas que nous avons un gouvernement qui nous entraine à l’extrême droite sur tous les plans….Harper est un fanatique…mais le plus grand danger c’est qu’on ne le voit pas venir…tout se fait sournoisement jusqu’à ce que nous soyons mis devant le fait accompli…

Comment by joane bourget — May 13th, 2010 @ 2:59 PM

I am a Canadian and very proud to see my country anf government support what is right. The problem in the Middle Eat started when the Arabs rejected the partition of British mandate Palestine in 1948 and engaged in a war of annihilation against the fledgling Israel. Ever since the so called “Palestinians” have been trying to destroy Israel through immoral (terrorist) means. The wall in the West Bank was constructed to protect Israeli citizens from terrorist attacks. And it works! The day “Palestinians” will stop their actions to destroy Israel and its citizens, peace will come. Until then western countries such as Canada must support Israel and discourage terrorism. A+ to Canada for its new stamp! (Of course my comment will not be published, but you need to know what the intelligent world thinks!).

Comment by Marc Saurel — May 16th, 2010 @ 11:14 PM

What about the Palestinian Authority stamp that was issued in 1998 to honor Baal which was offensive to Jews, Christians and Muslims. There are even some Islamic “Fatwas” that were issued against this stamp.

Comment by John Gilbert — May 17th, 2010 @ 12:17 AM

Kudos to Canada for being honest and understanding of the truth regarding Israel. Those who continuously repeat the lies they have been taught will never open their eyes to the truth. Canada and Israel together can be a light unto other nations.

Comment by Glo Kesty — May 17th, 2010 @ 6:37 PM

I am for one will never buy that stamp. I am Very disappointed with Canada Post.

Comment by Nageeb — June 30th, 2010 @ 4:18 PM

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