Letter: Speak out about treatment of Palestinian teens

Protect children in that war torn part of our world

Speak out about treatment of Palestinian teens

Dear MP Alistair MacGregor,

I have become aware of some truths about the Palestinian occupation and what has been happening in that area since the late 1940s. With what I have learned in my heart and mind, I cannot sit and say nothing.

A concerned and educated group met outside your constituency office today and one of the speakers was a local church minister who had spent time there, as an Ecumenical Accompaniment. His stories of what was happening to Palestinian children brought the hair on the back of my neck up.

I learned there are teenagers there who are still bedwetting (a high incidence of this) because of the rolling trauma they endure, day after day. In the middle of the night, their family home might be broken into and the young are stolen from their parents and put in jail. They may have and usually, it’s the case, done nothing. Perhaps their father was a protester of the conditions under which they have lived for decades. This assault and those of its kind are meant to destroy family systems, thus producing fear and upset, dysfunction and separation. Is it any wonder that high school youth are exhibiting problems like wetting their beds?

Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream stopped selling their products there and the Israeli government, at the highest levels, has taken notice. I wonder what would happen if this sort of thing carries on, where other companies refuse to do business in Israel?

I am asking you to find a couple of your colleagues, in the NDP and also in the other parties, to put together a plan to begin to speak out about this issue, and hopefully protect children in that war torn part of our world. I understand it may be considered by some to be a type of discrimination, or anti-Semitic behaviour. I think not. I am speaking of atrocities committed against children and youth and their families. If any person is guilty of a crime, I don’t care where they hail from, it is a crime.

I think Canada can do a lot more than we have done, to raise awareness and put some pressure on the Israeli government to protect Palestinian children and families from any further assault and kidnapping. It’s the least we can do in the time of international agreements like UNDRIP and the rights of the child at the UN.

Please consider carefully what I am writing about and think of what it might be like for your children, or my grandchildren, to live in that kind of fear and persecution. Then, please, my dedicated Member of Parliament, act.

Thank you for your time and what you do for Cowichan/Malahat/Langford people and Canadians in general.

Beverley McKeen

North Cowichan