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Open Letter to Minister of Foreign Affairs Bill Graham

7 October 2003 809 Views

By John and Elizabeth Beeching

October 7, 2003
Hon. Bill Graham Minister of Foreign Affairs
House of Commons Ottawa,
Ontario, K1A 0A6

Mr. Bill Graham,

I was shocked to learn at a meeting October 4, 2003 that over 94,000 volunteer have gone to Israel to join their armed forces according to the Jewish Western Bulletin A link on the web site indicates that 278 or 3% are Canadians. The Foreign Enlistment Act, 1967 was enacted after the start of the Spanish Civil War 1936-1939. My brother was jailed, I believe, under that act because he went to Spain in 1936 in support of a duly elected democratic government. Why has your government not applied this act to the 278 Canadians enlisted in a foreign army?

I quote here from my information about the Act, which I feel is relevant. Your staff can verify.

“2. (d) “Illegally enlisted person” means a person who has accepted or agreed to accept any commission or engagement, or who is about to quit Canada with the intent to accept any commission or engagement, or has been induced to go on board a conveyance under a misapprehension or false representation of the service in which such a person is to be engaged with the intention or in order that such person may accept or agree to accept any commission or engagement contrary to the provisions of this Act;

“5. If any person induces (emphasis mine) any other person to quit Canada, or to go on board any conveyance within Canada under misrepresentation or false representation of the service in which such a person is to be engaged, with the intent or in order that such person may accept or agree to accept any commission or engagement in the armed forces of any foreign state at war with a friendly state, such person shall be guilty of an offence under this Act.”

The English language is famous for allowing multiple interpretations of a document. I cannot believe, however, your government would resort to such a tactic to defend an army clearly in defiance of United Nations resolutions and International Law. You have the power to stop this injustice and order those Canadian citizens to return home.

We will Cc this letter to Prime Minister Jean Chr├ętien and others.

John and Elizabeth Beeching

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