MONTREAL (May. 22)
The Federation of Canadian Arab Societies demanded last night the removal from office of Foreign Affairs Minister Mitchell Sharp on grounds that he “cannot be impartial in the vital Israeli-Arab conflict because he yields to pressure from the sizeable Zionist vote in his constituency.” Sharp is a member of Parliament from Toronto.
The demand from the group, which represents 10 Arab organizations in Canada, came at the close of a two-day conference here. The conference was addressed both by Arabs and by Canadian supporters of the Arab cause, one of whom attacked the Jewish community in Quebec, There are 80,000 Arabs in Canada, half of them in Quebec Province, but only 1000 belong to the Federation. There are an estimated 300,000 Jews in Canada and approximately 127,000 live in Quebec Province.
Resolutions adopted at the conference urged the Canadian Government to make representations to Israel “regarding the Israeli practice of terrorizing and starving the Palestinian people,” and to “safeguard the lives of 16,000 Palestinians in Israeli prisons.” The conference also called on the government to “prevent terrorist acts in Canada by the Jewish Defense League and the Bnai Yehuda Association.” It thanked the United Church of Canada for supporting the Palestinian cause.
CHARGE JEWS POLLUTE THE ATMOSPHERE
Rene Leversque, a leader of the Quebec separatist movement, told the conference that his group supports “two homelands in the Palestinian area, one for Arabs and one for Jews.” He said Israel had the right to exist and that there could be no serious possibility of destroying the Jewish State. However, he said, injustice committed against the Jews in Europe became the excuse for another injustice against the Palestinians.
Michel Chartrand, president of the National Trade Union, denounced Israel as a “bad copy of American imperialism.” He claimed that the Jewish community in Quebec enjoyed more privileges than any other minority in the country, and added, “We do not want them to pollute any more the atmosphere of the country.” He said Canadians were tired of being called anti-Semitic every time they criticized Israel.