(Monday December 17th 2002) Jaggi Singh Montreal based activist, writer and anarchist was granted entry into Israel after winning an appeal filed by Israeli lawyer Shamai Leibowitz on December 16th in Tel Aviv by the District Court. An illegal deportation order was issued by Israeli authorities upon Jaggi’s arrival in Tel Aviv on December 14th. Jaggi spent 2 days in detention at Ben-Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv fighting the illegal deportation order from Israel with support from many Israeli peace activists and international solidarity activists.
Jaggi is now allowed entry into Israel under many strict conditions, the most important being that Jaggi is barred from entering the Occupied Territories. This condition imposed by the Tel Aviv District Court, is illegal according to Canadian and International Law. Israel has no has absolutely no authority over the Palestinian Territories and cannot decide who is allowed entry and who is not. Clearly the Tel Aviv District Court’s ruling highlights and exposes Israel’s illegal occupation.
Jaggi traveled to Israel to work in the Occupied Territories with the International Solidarity Movement, a Palestinian lead movement fighting the Israeli occupation using methods of non-violent direct action. At this point it is clear that Jaggi will enter the Occupied Territories at the will of the Palestinians who have the legal authority over the Territories.
Upon Jaggi’s pending entry into the Occupied Territories to work with the International Solidarity Movement, there is a great chance that Israel will attempt to arrest Jaggi and deport him back to Canada. In this circumstance it is Canada’s obligation to defend Jaggi as a Canadian Citizen in the event of Jaggi’s potential illegal arrest and possible illegal deportation from the Occupied Territories.
Today a letter was sent to Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Bill Graham by Attorney Tiphaine Dickson to apply pressure for the Canadian Government to intervene in Jaggi’s situation which states, “Canada’s stated foreign policy recognizes the West Bank and Gaza as occupied territory under international law and denies any permanent Israeli jurisdiction over these territories. It is submitted, therefore, that coherent, adequate consular assistance to Mr. Singh must necessarily include a strong objection, by Canada, to any measure imposed on a Canadian citizen by a country illegally occupying a territory, to enter that very territory whose occupation Canada does not recognize.”
This case highlights a rare opportunity to exposes the contradictions within the laws and policies of the Canadian Government in it’s complicity towards Israel’s illegal occupation. Jaggi Singh is on the ground to report on, expose and take direct action against the brutal reality of the Israel Occupation. To be clear on some facts an average day of occupation means 27 Palestinians are injured by Israeli forces and settlers, 45% percent of Palestinian children, age six months to five years old are suffering from chronic malnutrition and 896 Olive Trees are uprooted.
We are encouraging people to contact the Department of Foreign Affairs to make clear that the Tela Aviv District Court ruling which bares Jaggi from the Occupied Territories is illegal. In building a resistance movement against the Occupation of Palestine, against the continuing efforts by Israel to enforce an illegal occupation this case is painting a clear picture of the situation and must be fought.
Please contact Bill Graham Minister of Foreign Affairs and make clear Canada’s legal obligation to defend Jaggi in the case of an illegal arrest by Israel.
Minister of Foreign Affairs
The Hon. Bill Graham, P.C., M.P.
Telephone: (613) 992-5234
Fax: (613) 996-9607
The Right Hon. Jean Joseph Jacques Chretien, P.C., M.P.
Telephone: (613) 992-4211
Fax: (613) 941-6900
Stefan Christoss is a spokesman for Solidarity for Palestinian Human Rights and Solidarity International, a Montreal-based pro-Palestinian group.