World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


Action Alerts: Write to the Toronto Star

Action Alerts: Write to the Toronto Star / The Fortunate Few / Caterpillar Protest

1) Apologies. WRITE TO THE TORONTO STAR 2) The Fortunate Few _ Melissa in Rafah 3) Join Rachel's family and Joe Car protesting Caterpillar in Iowa 4) Bring the Wall Down! November 9, 2003


In our hurry to forward yesterdays updates, we forgot to ask you to write to the Toronto Star protesting their description of Jenin as a "beehive of militant activity."

Letters to the Editor via email to; via fax to 416 869-4322; or by mail to One Yonge Street, Toronto, Ontario, M5E 1E6.

Letters must include full name, address, and phone numbers of sender. The newspaper will not publish your street name and phone number.

A sample letter is provided below, but please compose your own. -------------------------------

November 4, 2003 To Whom It May Concern at the Toronto Star

Thank you for covering the story of Canadian human rights advocate Mustafa Henaway, Toronto Man Sues Israelis, November 3, 2003. His lawsuit against the Israeli government for the treatment he received at the hands of the Israeli police - including racial profiling and verbal abuse due to his ethnicity -- is important because thousands of Palestinian citizens of Israel fall victim to similar abuse and worse, and are not accorded the same rights to protest and sue.

However, in his article Mr. Mitnick does a great disservice to your readers with the following statement: "Henaway spent most of his time in the West Bank city of Jenin, escorting Palestinians who were breaking curfew in an area known as a beehive of militant activity." I know Mr. Henaway personally and here are the facts: he spent his time in Jenin accompanying Palestinians who were trying to go about their daily lives: children going to school, farmers going to their fields, shop owners going to their stores and people going to market, and were prevented from doing so by the Israeli military. In the spirit of Martin Luther King, he also joined nonviolent demonstrations, protesting the confiscation of Palestinian land and the wall that is caging Palestinians in their towns and villages.

Mr. Mitnick presents Jenin as "beehive of militant activity" as if it were a fact, but where does he get this fact? Perhaps Israeli military propagandists consider Jenin to be a "beehive of militant activity" rather than a bustling town of schoolchildren, shopkeepers, farmers, teachers and more - who happen to be Palestinian.

Stating that Jenin is "known as a beehive of militant activity" is false, has racist undertones and is below the journalistic standards of the Toronto Star.

Sincerely, Huwaida Arraf


2) THE FORTUNATE FEW November 5, 2003 Melissa Rafah

About one week ago a small group of internationals approached Erez Checkpoint separating the Gaza Strip from Israel. We were hopeful that we would be allowed entry- however we were all prepared to be denied, like so many who have come before us. Fortunately, we were allowed to enter into the prison that is Gaza. Once checked through Erez we passed through a Palestinian Border Point and were on our way to Gaza City. We passed areas that had been totally destroyed in various past invasion, areas so over populated that 95,000 people are living in one square kilometer and wherever we went we were surrounded by sniper towers watching our every move.

To read the full report, please see:


3) Join Rachel's family and Joe Carr in Caterpillar Demonstration at Iowa State University Friday November 7, 2003

My name is Joe Carr, and I witnessed the Murder of US peace activist Rachel Corrie while doing peace work in Rafah, Palestine. She was crushed to death by an Israeli bulldozer while she was attempting to prevent the destruction of the home of a Palestinian physician and his family.

The Israeli military has destroyed over 10,000 Palestinian homes since 1967, and is now constructing a massive wall that confines Palestinians to small areas and annexes large amounts of Palestinian land to Israel. The bulldozers and heavy equipment that make these atrocities possible are designed, modified, and sold to the Israeli military by the Caterpillar Corporation, an American-based heavy equipment producer.

There is an international campaign that is pressuring Caterpillar to stop selling equipment to the Israeli military until it agrees to ensure human rights for Palestinians, stop the construction of the Apartheid Wall, and stop the demolition of civilian property illegal under international law.

Iowa Sate University in Ames, Iowa receives enormous amounts of money from Caterpillar. The corporation has just given a new grant to the school, so they are hosting an honorary reception this Friday, November 7th at 3:30pm on ISU's campus in the Hoover Building near the back of campus.

Rachel's cousin and I attend Grinnell College, and Rachel has various other family members and friends in Iowa. We would like to invite you to a non-violent demonstration outside the reception this Friday. We are planning to meet at 2:30pm at the Iowa Memorial near the ISU main entrance right off Highway 30, and process to the entrance of the building, where we will try to educate Caterpillar officials and their supporters. We encourage you to make and bring placards that demand Caterpillar stop selling equipment to Israel. You are welcome to use images of Rachel and other Palestinians killed and injured by Caterpillar equipment, images of the destruction of civilian infrastructure, or images of the wall.

You may email me at or call me at 816-805-7133 if you have any questions.


Check these websites for more information:



Sunday, November 9, join us in protesting the Apartheid Wall that Israeli is building in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, creating the ghettos of the 21st Century. The Stop the Wall Campaign, a grassroots Palestinian campaign effort against the Wall is asking that we come out in large numbers on November 9, the anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, and say NO to the Wall. There are demonstrations being planned in cities around the world. For information on what's happening near you, please see:

© Scoop Media

World Headlines


Decriminalising Same-Sex Relationships: UN Rights Chief Applauds Indian Decision

“This is a great day for India and for all those who believe in the universality of human rights," Bachelet said. "With this landmark decision, the Indian Supreme Court has taken a big step forward for freedom and equality...” More>>


Myanmar: UN Chief Rohingya Refugee Crisis Enters Second Year

Over 700,000 Rohingya fled Myanmar to ramshackle refugee camps in neighbouring Bangladesh’s Cox’s Bazar area, Bangladesh after being forced from their homes by a military operation which UN human rights chief Zeid Ra’ad al Hussein compared, at the time, to ethnic cleansing. More>>


Scott Morrison In Hot Seat: NZ Congratulates Current Australian PM

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has today congratulated Scott Morrison on winning the leadership of the Australian Liberal Party and has acknowledged outgoing Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. More>>


Swing States: Gordon Campbell On Why The US Needs MMP

After the bizarre events this week in Helsinki, the world will be hoping and praying that the US midterm elections in November can put a restraining brake on the presidency of Donald Trump. This may happen, but there’s a highly undemocratic reason why such hopes may be frustrated. More>>