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An open letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

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An open letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

Oussama El-Mohtar

Mr. Prime Minister,

I listened to this excerpt from your speech at the 2024 Holocaust memorial:

“In a country like Canada, it should be, and it must be safe to declare oneself a Zionist, Jewish or not. Zionism is not a dirty word or something anyone should be targeted for agreeing with. It is the belief, at its simplest, that Jewish people, like all peoples, have the right to determine their own future. Shortly after the Holocaust, Israel was established as a safe haven for Jewish people; a place to live in security and with dignity, a place to build a future without fear. Threatening, harassing and excluding Canadians because of their faith, their identity or because they support the Jewish people’s right to self-determination in their ancestral homeland is absolutely unacceptable.”

This excerpt, Prime Minister, takes one minute of video time. One minute that encapsulates more than a century of tragic life for the Palestinians, and more than a century of lies to cover it up. Almost every word in it is a lie or a misrepresentation. I would like to dissect it within the context of a few words uttered by a great Canadian Prime Minister, your father, in his farewell speech almost forty years ago.

“Whenever the going was tough, and we were opposed by the multinationals or, by the provincial premiers, or by the superpowers, I realized that if our cause was right, all we had to do to win was to talk over the heads of premiers, over the heads of the multinationals, over the heads of the superpowers, to the people of this land, to the people of Canada.” (Pierre Trudeau’s farewell speech, June15, 1984.)

Israel did not materialize out of thin air when it was declared as a state in 1948. It was conceived as a colonial project by Britain, France, Italy, the Vatican and the United States, in 1917. (The Forgotten Truth About the Balfour Declaration.) So, let us not peddle the “safe haven following the Holocaust” lie anymore. Israel was planted in Palestine when the superpowers of the day, addressed their so called Balfour Declaration to the representative of the biggest multinational of that time, Lord Rothschild. Britain did not own Palestine and the Palestinians never agreed to give up their homeland. It was forcibly taken away from them and they have been fighting for it ever since.

Colonizing Palestine began in 1920, when Britain appointed Sir Herbert Samuel, a British Zionist, as High Commissioner in charge of the Zionist settlement enterprise.  It was entrenched in 1922, when the League of Nations incorporated the Balfour Declaration in Britain’s mandate over Palestine. It was systematically enforced when the British army terrorized the Palestinians and drove them to revolt in the 1920s and 1930s. It reached a major milestone in the 1948 Nakba after the Zionist terrorist gangs like “Stern”, “Irgun Zvi Leumi” and the “Haganah”, joined the British army in its ethnic cleansing campaign. That Nakba is ongoing today with Israel’s genocidal campaign in Gaza and ethnic cleansing in the West Bank.

Turning Palestine into a “safe haven for the jews” robbed the Palestinians from their safe home. “Security and dignity for the Jewish People” terrorized and humiliated the Palestinians in occupied Palestine and in their “Taghriba” or forced exile. “Building a future for the Jewish people” erased the Palestinians’ past and robbed them of their present and future.

Palestine, Mr. Trudeau, (to you Israel) is not the “ancestral land of the Jewish People”. It is the ancestral land of all the peoples who have been living there since time immemorial. It has never been the exclusive domain of a single race as some would have you believe. The Palestinians are the indigenous owners of the land. They have been known by many names and practiced many religions. They are a wonderful bunch; honest, courageous and generous. You should get to know them.

In your speech, Mr. Trudeau, you refer to a lesson you learned from Irwin Cotler, a known Zionist mouthpiece. I wish you had turned to other Jewish voices like Naomi Klein, (We need an exodus from Zionism); Norman Finkelstein, (The Holocaust Industry and Beyond Chutzpah); Alfred Lilienthal, (Israel’s Flag is not Mine and The Zionist Connection); Moshe Menuhin, (Decadence of Judaism in Our Time); Tony Judt’s (Israel, the Alternative, an essay on ethnocentric religious nationalism); Lord Edwin Montagu’s famous memo in 1917, on the Rothchild-Balfour correspondence just before issuance of the Declaration.

Is Zionism a dirty word? To the millions around the world, Jews and non-Jews, including hundreds of thousands here in Canada, it sure is. They took to the streets in opposition to Israel and its Zionist genocidal ideology. They are not antisemitic as you keep insinuating. No! like those who opposed the Vietnam war and South Africa’s Apartheid regime before them, they abhor the violent and racist ideologies that led to such wars and such regimes. To them, Zionism is a racist ideology that underpins the ongoing genocide in Palestine.

Mr. Trudeau, the Palestinians have taken your father’s advice. They went over your head, over the heads of the multinationals and the governments that support them; they took Palestine straight to the peoples of the world and they embraced it. This is the new reality that you must contend with.


Oussama El-Mohtar,

Pontiac, Quebec.

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  1. Avatar
    Raymond 10 مايو، 2024

    It is a very good letter that,s what you should be doing because you are good at it and leave other things that you fable into
    A friend

    1. أسامة المهتار
      أسامة المهتار 10 مايو، 2024

      Thank you, Raymond. The same mind that tackled this issue tackles other issues

  2. Avatar
    Simon Ibrahim 10 مايو، 2024

    Awesome letter, R. Oussama. Thank you for sharing.

    1. أسامة المهتار
      أسامة المهتار 10 مايو، 2024

      Thank you, R. Simon.


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