CJPME: New UNRWA Funding Good, But More Action Needed

Montreal, October 15th, 2018 — Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME) applauds the Trudeau government’s decision to expand funding to the UN aid agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA). Last Friday, Minister of International Development Marie-Claude Bibeau announced that Canada will provide $50 million in multi-year funding to Palestinian refugees through UNRWA, as well as $12.5 million to Right to Play International. While CJPME believes this is a healthy step toward bridging a funding gap for Palestinian refugees, Canada must work seriously toward a long-term solution for Palestinian refugees. Continue reading




CJPME Calls for an Honest Discussion of Canadian Policy on Israel

Montreal, September 28, 2018 — Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME) is concerned about a double-standard around the Israel-Palestine conflict that seems all too common in Canadian politics.  Notably, many Canadian politicians seem foremost interested in vilifying individuals and organizations that criticize the Israeli government and its policies rather than having an honest debate about Canada-Israel relations. Continue reading




CJPME: Canada missing chances to aid Palestinian refugees

Montreal, October 1st, 2018 — Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME) calls on the Canadian government to take concrete action to renew its commitment to the UN aid agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA). Late last week, the Vice-President of the European Union and several Foreign Ministers hosted a meeting in New York in response to the Trump administration’s cancellation of key funds to UNRWA. Thirty-four UN member-states and organizations were in attendance, raising $122 million in funds for the organization. Canada was notably absent from this meeting. Continue reading




Trump Position on Palestinian Refugees Is Dead Wrong

Montreal, September 2, 2018 — Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME) opposes US President Donald Trump’s decision to cease all funding to the UN aid agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA).  The Trump administration declared Friday that it was cutting all funding to UNRWA, calling the organization an “irredeemably flawed operation,” and seeking to reduce the number of Palestinians recognized as “refugees” under the UN system.  Nevertheless, CJPME points out that it is the UN which defines which individuals are considered refugees, and that UNRWA adheres to international norms in defining the population of Palestinian refugees that it serves.  “This is a sad ploy by Trump to further disempower Palestinians, to the political advantage of the US’ ally Israel,” declared Thomas Woodley, president of CJPME. Continue reading




CJPME: Saudi Crackdown on Student’s Family Betrays Canadian Values

Montreal, August 29, 2018 — Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME) opposes Saudi Arabia’s repressive actions against human rights defenders, most recently demonstrated through the arrests of Saudi activist Omar Abdulaziz’s family and friends. CJPME points out that Saudi Arabia’s authoritarian actions betray Canadian democratic values, and calls the Canadian government to condemn these most recent Saudi violations of basic human rights. Continue reading




CJPME: Tory Vote on Jerusalem Ignores Palestinian Rights

Montreal, August 28, 2018 — Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME) opposes the recent Conservative Party of Canada (CPC) resolution which ignores legitimate Palestinian claims to Jerusalem as a capital. Over the weekend, Conservative Party members gathered in Halifax for a national policy convention, where a majority of Conservative members voted in favour of a resolution that recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and calls for Canada to move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Continue reading




CJPME: Saudi Reaction to Canada will Backfire

Montreal, August 13, 2018 — Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME) believes that Saudi Arabia’s recent sanctions on Canada are likely to backfire, with Saudi students paying the highest price in this international spat. Last week, after the Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland criticized Saudi Arabia’s arrest of human rights activists, Saudi Arabia sought to punish Canada: recalling the Saudi ambassador, suspending flights between Toronto and Riyadh, withdrawing Saudi students from Canada, and halting wheat and barley purchases from Canada.  Continue reading




CJPME: Canada Must Ignore Petty Saudi Sanctions

Montreal, August 9, 2018 — Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME) urges the Trudeau government to ignore Saudi Arabia’s petty sanctions. Late last week, Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland issued a tweet criticizing Saudi Arabia’s arrest of Saudi women’s rights activists Samar Badawi and Nassima al-Sada. The Saudi government reacted angrily and imposed broad-reaching sanctions on Canada: recalling the Saudi ambassador, suspending flights between Toronto and Riyadh, withdrawing Saudi students from Canada, and halting wheat and barley purchases from Canada. CJPME calls on Canada to stick to hold firm to its principles and ignore rash Saudi backlash. Continue reading




CJPME Urges Canada to Hold Firm on Saudi Rights Abuses

Montreal, August 6, 2018 — Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME) urges Canada to hold firm to its critique of Saudi Arabia, maintaining a principled stand for human rights activists who have been wrongfully imprisoned by the Saudi monarchy. Late last week, Global Affairs issued a statement calling on the Saudis to release arrested civil rights activists, including women’s rights activist Samar Badawi – the sister of imprisoned Saudi writer Raif Badawi. The Saudi monarchy has reacted by expelling Canada’s ambassador and freezing new trade deals between the two countries. CJPME urges the Canadian government not to back down on its criticism of Saudi Arabia’s human rights record. Continue reading




CJPME: Canadian assistance to Palestinians must go beyond aid

Montreal, July 31, 2018 — Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME) applauds the announcement of $50 million in Canadian aid to Palestinians on Monday by Minister of International Development Marie-Claude Bibeau.  CJPME points out, however, that the economic deprivation suffered by Palestinians is largely a result of Israel’s crippling military occupation of the Palestinian territories.  As such, in addition to the aid, CJPME calls on Canada to take more forceful diplomatic steps to encourage Israel to loosen and ultimately end its military occupation of the West Bank and Gaza.  Continue reading