Martow: Professor bases stance on ‘distorted facts’

Regarding faculty member David Heap (“Floating hope with a Canadian boat to Gaza,” June 23), who is part of the latest flotilla to Gaza.

Israel exited Gaza a few years ago and must continue to monitor its borders with Gaza due to security concerns. Egypt also shares a border with Gaza and enforces a blockade due to security concerns as well – where are the protesters trying to end Egypt’s blockade of the border with Gaza? In fact, where are the protesters: for women who cannot drive, work and live freely in many Arab states; for gays who are abused and often killed in almost every Arab nation (and receive refuge in Israel); for non-Muslims who are not able to practice their religion in many Arab states, etc.?

Within Israel all citizens receive equal rights under the laws. There is not a single law within the Jewish state treating Arabs differently if they are citizens. There is proportional representation of Arabs studying and working at Israeli universities and hospitals. There are Arab representatives in the Israeli Parliament. Recent surveys show most Israeli Arabs chose to stay a part of the Jewish state than join an Arab state.

Within several Arab countries, such as Jordan, Palestinians are not treated equally under the law – where are the protests and the calls for boycotts due to Jordanian “Apartheid”?

There are many examples of suffering within Arab States and territories: Why is Israel, where women and homosexuals are treated fairly, singled out for condemnation? I am disappointed that a faculty member from The University of Western Ontario has chosen to align himself against the only democracy in the Middle East, the only Jewish state in the world.

Gilat Shalit has been held captive against international law without access to Red Cross representatives for more than years. He was patrolling on Israeli soil when terrorists crossed into Israeli territory to kill and kidnap. Where are the protests?

I understand faculty members are free to form their own opinions, but I am chagrined when their opinions are based on distorted facts as well as unbalanced. The constant criticism of Israel for protecting her citizens while ignoring all human rights abuses in the undemocratic Arab nations (where the lack of a free press hides abuses and corruption) smacks of anti-Semitism.

Gila Martow, Western alumni parent, Thornhill, Ont.