May 4, 2011 – 1:18 pm
For Immediate Release
Ottawa, ON – The Canada-Israel Committee together with the CIJA-family of agencies denounced today’s signing, in Cairo, of a “unity” agreement between Fatah and Hamas as a major setback to peace.
“It is a sad day when Hamas, labeled a terrorist organization in Canada and dedicated to the destruction of Israel, is formally embraced by Fatah which claims that it is committed to peace with Israel,” said Steven Cummings, National Chair of CIJA.
“Our soldiers are putting their lives on the line every day in Afghanistan to keep Canadians and the world safe from international terrorism,” Mr. Cummings observed. “Yet, grotesquely, Hamas, an organization that targets civilians and praises terrorists, is gaining international legitimacy at this very moment by forging a ‘unity’ deal among Palestinians. World leaders need to stand up against Hamas’s destructive course.”
Moshe Ronen, Chair of the CIC, added: “Only when Hamas accepts the basic conditions set out by the international community to recognize Israel’s right to exist, renounce terrorism and accept the Israel-PLO agreements, will a promising new hope for peace emerge. As long as it continues to openly insist on pursuing its extremist aim, shared by its principal sponsor Iran, for the elimination of Israel, Canada and all nations of peace must continue to isolate and reject Hamas.”
Following U.S. President Barack Obama’s announcement that American special forces had killed Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh condemned the operation and praised bin Laden as “an Arab holy warrior.” Reflecting on Haniyeh’s radical statements, Mr. Ronen noted that “Prime Minister Netanyahu was correct when he asked, ‘How can peace be reached with a [Palestinian unity] government in which half of it calls to destroy Israel and even praises mass-murderer Osama bin Laden?’”
Mr. Cummings concluded: “There is a need for a genuine peace based on two states for two peoples. This can only come about through mutual recognition, direct negotiations and a commitment to painful compromises from both sides.”