Monday, December 18, 2006

Open letter to Tarek Fatah

A letter to Tarek Fatah December 18, 2006 Derrick O'Keefe

The following letter was sent to Tarek Fatah some ten days ago. The response was so flailing and off topic that we felt it was worthwhile to post the original note to him as an open letter, though we have no illusions of generating a coherent response or a change of course. Mr. Fatah’s slide to the Right – in his case from the NDP to the Liberals, and from opposing Israeli apartheid to collaborating with authorities and some of the most repellant columnists the corporate media has on offer – is hardly unique, but disturbing nonetheless.

Dear Tarek Fatah,

We met a couple of years ago in Toronto at a rally opposing the November 2004 siege of Fallujah. At the time, I congratulated you on a letter you and 24 other Arab and Muslim NDP members had sent to leader Jack Layton, urging him to take a stronger stand in opposition to the apartheid wall that Israel is building to annex additional territory in the West Bank of occupied Palestine. What a difference two years can make. It would have taken quite a macabre imagination to envision the political journey you have made in such a short period of time. I would not dare to call you an apostate of the Left, knowing the cynical way in which you have distorted the words of your critics to criminalize the Muslim population at large. And before you fire up a response, let me assure you that this critic of yours is very secular, downright atheistic in fact. Some of the things I do believe in very strongly are progressive principles of solidarity, and opposition to attacks on civil liberties and wars of Empire.

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