Not a word in the letter from Muslim leaders referred to the 1,200 people who were massacred in the Oct. 7 Hamas terrorist attack

Hymie Rubenstein: Hamas War: Muslim open letter to MPs distorts the truthIn late February, over 250 Canadian Muslim associations issued an open letter to Members of Parliament. The letter stated that MPs would be barred from entering mosques and other sacred sites during Ramadan, which runs from Mar. 10 to Apr. 9, if they failed to comply with certain demands.

These demands included:

  1. condemning the “war crimes” being committed by Israeli forces
  2. supporting an immediate ceasefire
  3. restoring funding to the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) and
  4. opposing the flow of arms and military equipment to Israel, which, “as confirmed by the ICJ (International Court of Justice), is engaged in plausible genocide.”
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The letter also argued, “The Muslim community (Ummah) throughout our country is deeply affected by the loss of all innocent life, including the tens of thousands of our brothers and sisters in Gaza who have fallen victim to the collective punishment imposed upon them by the Netanyahu (Israeli) government.”

“Millions more are at risk of death due to indiscriminate bombardment, the targeting of hospitals, systematic starvation and the proposed military operation in Rafah.”

Not a word in the letter referred to the 1,200 people who were murdered in the unprovoked Oct. 7, 2023, Hamas invasion of Israel, during which this jihadist group kidnapped 253 hostages. If they’re still alive, 130 remain prisoners in Gaza.

Each of the letter’s demands is false or distorted.

To wit: There have been carefully targeted bombardments supported by advance notices to civilians. No hospitals have been singled out as such. This is because the sole aim of the war has always been to destroy Hamas, a genocidal organization that indiscriminately uses its people as human shields in hospitals, schools, and on the streets and whose founding documents call for the extermination of Israel’s Jews.

The commission of “war crimes,” as defined by the 2010 United Nations Rome Statute of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) by the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF), are unsubstantiated incendiary charges at most because they have not been proven.

In late January, the International Court of Justice issued an interim emergency ruling on South Africa’s claim that the war in Gaza amounts to an act of genocide. The court ordered Israel to take measures to prevent and punish direct incitement of genocide in its war in Gaza but did not order a ceasefire or call Israel’s actions in Gaza “war crimes.”

Nor did it “confirm” that Israel was “engaged in plausible genocide.” It merely found it plausible that Israel’s acts could amount to genocide. A final decision on this charge is years away.

Conversely, even the chronically anti-Israel UN has said that Hamas’ indiscriminate killing on Oct. 7 of hundreds of non-combatants, including children and the abduction of about 200 others as hostages and human shields in Gaza, is a crime under international humanitarian law: “Reports that armed groups from Gaza have gunned down hundreds of unarmed civilians are abhorrent and cannot be tolerated. Taking civilian hostages and using civilians as human shields are war crimes,” it said.

Moreover, “supporting an immediate ceasefire” in Rafah is an unacceptable demand absent the surrender of all the hostages and a guarantee that Hamas will cease its chronic missile attacks on Israel.

The unconditional ceasefire demanded by those who signed the letter would also allow Hamas to regroup and resume its promise of committing Oct. 7 atrocities over and over, as would the demand to halt “the flow of arms and military equipment to” the Israelis but not to Hamas.

“Demanding the immediate resumption of funding for UNRWA,” because it was not “suspended without reasonable basis,” is also grounded in bad faith and a denial of facts.

Funding was temporarily halted by Canada, the U.S., Australia, Italy, Germany, Finland, the Netherlands, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and Scotland for good cause: 12 of its employees have been accused plausibly of actively participating in the Oct. 7 pogrom; allegations that around 10 percent of its 13,000 employees in the Gaza Strip have connections to Islamist militant groups, primarily Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad; and accusations that 190 UNRWA employees are militants.

It has also been shown that UNRWA facilities, such as hospitals and schools, have been used as Hamas storage, planning and operational facilities.

This deeply biased Ummah unity letter needs to be ignored.

Hymie Rubenstein, a retired professor of anthropology at the University of Manitoba, is editor of REAL Israel & Palestine Report and REAL Indigenous Report .

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