March 24, 2022
We are super pleased to announce that, because of CJPME's ongoing commitment to advocacy for human rights in the Middle East, we were recently certified as a registered lobbyist in Canada. To our knowledge, CJPME is the first registered lobbyist focused specifically on Palestinian human rights in Canada's history!
In Canada, official lobbyist status is achieved after an organization exceeds a minimum threshold of resources and engagement with elected officials. Even though CJPME has been meeting with members of Parliament and senators since 2004, we had never met the minimum threshold for registration. Thanks to our recent growth and expanded capacity, we’ve recently been able to expand our engagement with Parliamentarians.
Below, we talk more about the lobbying work we're doing currently, and the lobbying work we've conducted over the past 20 years. If you support such important work, please consider becoming a monthly donor. If monthly support is beyond your means, any donation is gratefully accepted. If you're uncomfortable giving on-line, call us at 438-380-5410, or complete and mail in this form.
Lobbying in 2022 – What it takes
In the past year, CJPME has spoken with dozens of politicians from all of Canada's political parties, including two foreign policy critics and one party leader.
Advocacy strategies must adapt with the political dynamics. A perfect example of this is CJPME's current strategy of pressuring the government for, on the one hand, opposing Russia's occupation of Ukraine while, on the other hand, acquiescing to Israel's occupation of Palestine. Our latest position paper allows us to pressure MPs on this hypocrisy, calling them to challenge this contradiction, whether in their committees, caucuses or Parliament.
Another position paper that CJPME has been using these past few months highlights the difference between Canada's "official" policy on Palestine human rights, and its day-to-day failure to uphold this policy. For example, Canada's official policy condemns Israeli settlement construction as a violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention and an obstacle to peace. Yet the Canadian government fails to condemn Israeli settlement expansion, and actually offers trade benefits to businesses in illegal Israeli settlements.
This same position paper highlights other timely and important developments: e.g. Amnesty's apartheid report, Israel's outrageous criminalization of Palestinian human rights organizations, and Israel's actions to ethnically cleanse Palestinians from Sheikh Jarrah and other neighbourhoods in Palestine.
In our advocacy, we also try to communicate a sense of urgency in striving for justice for Palestinians. Canada's major federal parties all claim to support a negotiated two-state solution, but this is meaningless if there have been no negotiations since 2014. CJPME's "Beyond the Two-State Solution" document condemns inaction while negotiations are stalled, and urges politicians to find ways to support justice for Palestinians in the interim.
Lobbying since 2004
In the past 20 years, as CJPME staff and volunteers have met with MPs and Senators, we have seen governments rise and fall. We've seen backbenchers become ministers, and ministers expelled from politics in disgrace. Throughout this time, CJPME has advocated for a more just, humane and peaceful Middle East. Here is a sampling of some of our position papers from years past:
Thank you to our many donors who have enabled our work over the past twenty years. Countless politicians have a better understanding of the dynamics in Palestine-Israel and the broader Middle East because of our work. We also believe that millions of lives in the Middle East have been improved through our positive influence on Canadian policy.
In our new role as registered lobbyists, we will only work harder for justice for Palestinians and others in the Middle East.
Tom, Michael, Madeleine and Nur