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Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East

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    CJPME: Canada must pursue independent foreign policy in Mideast

    Montreal, January 8, 2020  – Following the Trump administration’s escalation of hostilities with Iran, Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME) again calls Canada to pursue a more independent foreign policy in the Middle East.  The US carried out a strike last week which killed Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani, and Iran retaliated early this morning with a ballistic missile strike on US bases in Iraq.  Canada has troops in Iraq, ostensibly as an ally in the fight against ISIS, but the US decision to leave Canada in the dark suggests that the US considers Canada irrelevant to its own foreign policy plans.  CJPME considers that the US’ failure to consult Canada is a clear sign that a new era of Canadian foreign policy in the Middle East needs to emerge.    
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    CJPME: NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh Must Not Disavow BDS

    Montreal, January 2, 2020  — Like many Canadians, Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME) was disappointed to hear NDP leader Jagmeet Singh disavow the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign targeting Israel in a podcast late in December.  During the podcast (https://t.co/aqaUY51GiA), Singh said that he personally doesn’t support BDS, and considers it counterproductive to Middle East peace.  He also said, “The official position of the [NDP] is that we do not endorse BDS.  The issue has been raised in convention and has been defeated in convention.”  In fact, polls show, and CJPME observes that many Canadians – especially NDP voters – strongly support democratic, participatory, non-violent strategies like BDS to pressure Israel to respect the human rights of Palestinians.
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    Make the Middle East a Nuclear-Free Zone

    The proposal for the establishment of a nuclear weapons-free zone (NWFZ) in the Middle East was formally introduced by Iran and Egypt in a resolution submitted to the UN General Assembly in 1974. This UN resolution initiated the global push for nuclear disarmament in the region. In 1995, the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference adopted a resolution which called upon states to take the necessary measures to ensure the establishment of a NWFZ in the Middle East. Despite officially supporting the creation of a NWFZ in the Middle East, Canada has consistently voted against resolutions that call upon Israel to sign the NPT and dismantle its nuclear weapons program. It has also repeatedly blocked resolutions calling for a regional conference on the establishment of a NWFZ. Canada should play a more active role in advancing negotiations on a NWFZ in the Middle East. Instead of blocking attempts to convene a conference on this matter, Canada should lead the push for disarmament in the region. Canada should leverage its relationship with Israel in order to encourage its participation in disarmament negotiations. 
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    Cease Arms Sales to Autocratic Governments

    In recent years, Canada has soared in global rankings to become the second largest arms dealer to the Middle East. Its position as such is largely owed to its $15-billion arms deal with Saudi Arabia—the largest military contract in Canadian history. Aside from Saudi Arabia, Canada also sells a considerable amount annually in defence and security equipment to Egypt ($2.8 million in 2017) and the United Arab Emirates ($6.3 million in 2017). Each of these countries has been deemed “not free” by watchdog organization Freedom House, with Saudi Arabia ranking among the worst of the worst on human rights. Nonetheless, the Canadian government has continued to sell weapons and military technology to these autocratic regimes. In order to comply fully with the requirements outlined in the Arms Trade Treaty, Canada must cancel what is left of its $15 billion arms deal with Saudi Arabia. The Liberal Party cannot condemn Saudi Arabia’s human rights abuses while simultaneously arming the very same regime.
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    Position Paper: Response to Motion M-153

    This chart compares the various violent incidents cited by Scott Reid's Motion 153 and shows how they fail to relate to each other, contrary to what the motion suggests.              
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    Position Paper: Quebec’s Bill 21: Islamophobia manifested again

    Bill 21, which in the name of government “secularism,” will now bar Quebeckers who wear religious symbols from taking certain government positions. Despite months of public outcry and severe criticism from human rights groups, the Quebec government passed Bill 21 into law on June 16th. Bill 21 will further entrench division and difference, while infringing on the democratic values of Quebeckers, such as the rights to religious equality and gender equality. 
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    The Kurds of the Middle East

    CJPME Factsheet No. 216, published December, 2019: This factsheet provides a summary analysis of the Kurds of the Middle East, explaining who they are as a people and outlining their diverse visions for their political future. 
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    Céline Dion: Don’t Play in Israel

    CJPME Factsheet No. 215, published December, 2019: This factsheet outlines the reasons why Céline Dion should cancel her 2020 concerts in Israel. This factsheet discusses Céline Dion's ties to the Middle East and history of support for humanitarian causes, arguing that she should boycott Israel until it respects Palestinian human rights. 
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