Montreal, May 24, 2016 - On May 19, the Ontario Legislature blocked the passage of Bill 202 which would have imposed sweeping economic sanctions on Canadian entities and individuals who support BDS. A group of Canadian organizations has come to together to applaud the blockage of this bill in a joint statement. These organizations include: Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME – CJPMO) The Canadian Muslim Forum (CMF – FMC) Palestinian Canadian Congress (PCC – CPC) The United Network for Justice and Peace in Palestine-Israel (UNJPPI) Independent Jewish Voices (IJV - VJI)Continue readingMontreal, May 19, 2016 — Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME) denounces Ontario Bill 202 as an affront to free speech in Ontario. CJPME points out that Bill 202 both attacks Canadians’ right to express themselves through boycott action, and smears an entire movement of human rights activists by accusing them of anti-Semitism. Bill 202, the so-called “Standing Up Against Anti-Semitism in Ontario Act,” would prevent entities from entering into contract with provincial institutions if these entities support the “BDS” human rights movement based in Israel-Palestine. BDS stands for “Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions” and is a movement to put economic pressure on Israel so that it respects the human rights of Palestinians in Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza.Continue reading
The struggle for justice and peace in the Middle East is happening at home in Canada as successive Conservative and Liberal governments sustain a $15 billion arms deal for Light Armoured Vehicles (LAVs) with Saudi Arabia. Early in 2016, the Liberal government granted the required "export permits" for the deal despite the fact that the sale of the LAVs would be in clear violation of both the word and spirit of Canada's export controls. CJPME and other Canadian human rights groups have highlighted the incompatibilities between the granting of the permits, and Saudi Arabia's appalling record of human rights abuses.Continue readingThe Liberal government is considering re-instating Canada's contributions to the UN aid agency for Palestinian refugees: UNRWA. UNRWA’s role is to provide education, health care, and other services to the 5 million Palestinian refugees living in Gaza, the West Bank, Lebanon, Jordan and other countries. Canada, with the US and Europe was a consistent donor to UNRWA for years, until Harper cut all funding 3-4 years ago. CJPME has been active in trying to encourage the Liberal government to give generously to this need, through press statements, action alerts, letters signed by a large variety of Canadians organizations, and other means.Continue reading
CJPME Political Blog, Feb. 23, 2016: Dear Mr. Trudeau Given that the House of Commons yesterday passed a motion calling the government “to condemn any and all attempts by Canadian organizations, groups or individuals to promote the BDS movement, both here at home and abroad,” I anxiously await your condemnation. Although I regret that I have not had the opportunity to promote the BDS movement abroad, I have done my utmost to promote it in Canada. I note that you are required to condemn “any and all” attempts to promote BDS, so I will list as many of my attempts as I can think of below.Continue readingCJPME Political Blog, June 26, 2015: Not since the early 1970s has Egypt been so militarily active in the Middle East. The calamitous legacy of Egypt’s previous military engagements in Yemen and Israel had long deterred an active military response to regional insecurity. Yet, under the emboldened leadership of President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi, Egypt has expanded police and military operations in the Sinai Peninsula, and it has been playing a pivotal role in countering Islamic State activities in eastern Libya and in the Saudi-led coalition airstrikes in Yemen. Indeed, this bellicose strategy signals a clear break from abstention in regional conflicts.Continue reading
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