"Start by doing the necessary; then do what’s possible; and suddenly you’re doing the impossible!" - Francis of Assisi
Together with you – our supporters – we feel we’ve truly accomplished the “impossible” this past year. Please take a look below and celebrate with us our many successes of the past year!
Of course, our accomplishments depend very much on your support. Could you consider a donation? A monthly donation, even if it's a small amount, makes a huge difference. You can donate on-line here, by calling 438-380-5410, or you can mail in this form. Thanks for your support - when you contribute to our work, you share in our many successes!
Through the year, CJPME Meets with MPs on Parliament Hill Since the beginning of the year, CJPME reps were on Parliament Hill repeatedly, meeting with dozens of members of Parliament from each of Canada’s five political parties. By the end of the year, CJPME had had almost 100 one-on-one meetings on the Hill. CJPME covered a range of issues with MPs, discussing the crisis in Gaza, Canada’s role in the Israel-Palestine conflict, Islamophobia, arms in the Middle East, Syria, Yemen and Saudi Arabia, among other issues. CJPME works hard to communicate all the facts to members of Parliament, reminding them constantly of the human rights abuses faced by Palestinians, and Canada’s obligations under international law.
CJPME Testifies before Senate Foreign Affairs Committee In late November, CJPME was invited to testify before the Senate on Bill C-47 and Canada’s accession to the Arms Trade Treaty. CJPME opposes the indiscriminate sale of arms to authoritarian governments in the Middle East, and has pushed hard for Canada to accede to this new arms treaty. CJPME worked with Oxfam, Amnesty and others to strengthen Canada’s arms control mechanisms, and was proud to challenge the government during the hearings.
CJPME Partners with Muslim Community for Recognition of January 29 In October, CJPME partnered with the Canadian Muslim Forum to launch a campaign calling for the government to designate January 29 as a national day of remembrance and action on Islamophobia and other forms of religious discrimination. Thousands of emails and postcards have gone to Parliament Hill in support of this campaign. The campaign builds on previous initiatives and has garnered fantastic support from individuals, organizations and academics. Add your name here!
CJPME Holiday Cards Challenge MPs to Think About Palestine Most MPs don’t realize it, but many of Christianity’s most revered sites are located in Palestine – among them Bethlehem, the Biblical site of the birth of Jesus. Over 1000 Canadians signed up to send the CJPME holiday card to their MPs, and to challenge MPs to do something for the millions of Palestinians living under Israeli occupation. Design by Brazilian cartoonist Carlos Latuff, the feedback on the cards has been fantastic.
CJPME hosts speaking tour for veteran Middle East journalist. Hundreds turned out in Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto and London to hear Donald MacIntyre, former political commentator and Jerusalem correspondent for The Independent. MacIntyre spoke authoritatively and sympathetically about the prospects for Gaza, the subject of his most recent book, Gaza: Waiting for Dawn. MacIntyre also answered inquiries about the Palestinian Solidarity movement in the UK, and Jeremy Corbyn’s prospects in UK politics.
CJPME helps 20,000 Canadians email Trudeau on Gaza International outrage was building even earlier, but when Israel shot and killed over 55 protesters on Monday, May 14th, even Trudeau called publicly for an investigation into Israel’s conduct. Of course, the pro-Israel lobby tried to get Trudeau to recant, but CJPME was able to set up a platform allowing over 20,000 Canadians to email their support for Trudeau’s statement on Gaza. The Trudeau government continued to waffle, but never retracted its call for an investigation.
CJPME Campaigns Against Trump Offences Toward Palestinians CJPME worked hard to respond to Trump’s outrageous acts against Palestinians. Early in the year, CJPME challenged Trudeau to ignore Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem. When Trump withdrew US funding, Canada promised $50 million to Palestinian refugees following pressure from CJPME and others. Late in the year, CJPME pressured politicians to have Canada fill the leadership void after Trump closed the Palestinian embassy in Washington.
CJPME Publishes Survey on Islamophobia in Canada In anticipation of the government’s release of the M-103 Report on religious discrimination in Canada, CJPME published the results of an EKOS poll on Islamophobia co-sponsored by CJPME. This survey, done in partnership with the Canadian Muslim Forum (CMF), confirmed that many Canadians recognize the problem of Islamophobia in Canada, stand opposed to it, and expect the government to take measures to address it. The survey also revealed how politically polarized attitudes on Islamophobia are. For example, around 50% of Liberal, NDP and Green supporters consider Islamophobia to be a significant problem, whereas only 14% of Conservative supporters do. This survey received national media coverage!
CJPME Press Conference on Islamophobia Receives National Coverage Immediately after publishing its EKOS survey results on Islamophobia, CJPME convened a press conference on Parliament Hill. Hosted by CJPME and the CMF, our statements were covered by several Canadian news agencies, including Global News, which broadcasted the press conference on national television. The press conference highlighted the ongoing problem of Islamophobia in Canada, and challenged the government to enact the recommendations of the M-103 Report on Islamophobia.
CJPME Urges the Government to Condemn Israel’s Land Day Massacre in Gaza When Israel first opened fire on peaceful protestors in Gaza on March 31st, CJPME moved quickly to condemn Israel’s massacre of innocent Palestinian civilians. CJPME issued a heavily-worded press statement and produced a video condemning Canada’s silence on the massacre – a video which reached nearly 50,000 Canadians online! CJPME is working hard to ensure that Canadians are aware of what is really going on in Gaza. CJPME also met with Canadian politicians at the end of April to discuss the need for Canada to join the international condemnation of Israel’s actions.
CJPME Empowers Canadians to Meet with Members of Parliament CJPME has always sought to enable average Canadians to meet with their elected representatives. CJPME always involves volunteers, whether meeting MPs locally or in Ottawa. CJPME has been thrilled to involve volunteers from the Muslim community in Kingston and Laval for 2018’s spring delegations to Parliament Hill. In preparation for this collaboration, CJPME travelled to Kingston to give a Sunday-afternoon delegation training session to members of the Islamic Society of Kingston. Likewise, CJPME gave in-person training sessions in Laval and Montreal.
CJPME Active at NDP Convention to Support Palestine Resolutions This past February, CJPME President Thomas Woodley and other CJPME members were present at the NDP convention in Ottawa to support pro-justice resolutions on Israel-Palestine. CJPME officially endorsed the most prominent resolution calling for a ban on settlement products and developed a unique flyer that argued in favour of economic pressure on Israel, given Israel’s human rights violations. CJPME faithfully handed out the flyer to hundreds of participants at the NDP convention, engaging party members in discussions around Israel-Palestine in the process.
CJPME Works with Canada-Palestine Parliamentary Friendship Group This year, CJPME met repeatedly with MPs involved in the Canada-Palestine Parliamentary Friendship Association, including members of the executive team such as Marwan Tabbara and Alexandre Boulerice. With the encouragement and involvement of many players across Canada, the Association helped to organize a fact-finding trip to Palestine in April, a step that CJPME had repeatedly called for in its meetings with MPs.
Fighting for Justice with Amazing Campaigns CJPME’s mission is to enable everyday Canadians to engage with their politicians and the media. We try out best to respond rapidly when key issues arise. Here are some of the campaign highlights from 2018:
CJPME Produces Videos to Reach Youth Last Fall, CJPME launched the increasingly popular “Reality Check” video series, where we highlight government hypocrisy on issues of Middle East human rights. This year, CJPME has produced more videos for the “Reality Check” series. For instance, one of our videos alerted Canadians to how the Trudeau government has maintained Harper-era policies on Israel. Another set the record straight on the Israeli massacre in Gaza in March. In January, CJPME also launched a new series of short videos that respond to breaking news and timely topics such as BDS victories, the status of Jerusalem, and Israel’s mistreatment of Palestinian child detainees. Through each of these videos, CJPME captures the attention of tens of thousands of Canadian viewers, especially younger Canadian viewers. CJPME is working hard to reach out to the Millennial generation and inform and involve them in our human rights campaigns.
CJPME Pushes for Canadian Financial Support for UNRWA For years, CJPME has urged the Canadian government to maintain Canada’s funding to the UN aid agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA) continues. These efforts met with success as the government has twice pledged $25 million in annual funding to UNRWA. As mentioned above, after Trump withdrew US funds, CJPME pressure encouraged Canada to pledge another $50 million to Palestinian refugees. CJPME also thanked MPs for the $10 million in emergency funding to UNRWA earlier this year as a response to the Trump government cuts in funding.
CJPME Follows Through with Syrian Family Sponsorships In 2017, the first Syrian refugee families co-sponsored by CJPME began to arrive in Canada. CJPME sponsored 9 different families from 2014-2016, and all but one have now arrived. While CJPME is not a “refugee resettlement” organization per se, we could not ignore the obvious need for Canadians to do all that they could for Syrian refugees. Thanks to our like-minded supporters who helped make this possible.
CJPME Reaches Thousands of Canadians Through Op-eds CJPME staffers Thomas Woodley and Miranda Gallo continue to argue powerfully for human rights and social justice in Canadian media:
CJPME Speaks Authoritatively on Middle East Issues CJPME uses many different channels to communicate with politicians, including press statements, position papers and factsheets. Below are some of the ones we’ve published this year:
The CJPME team has worked hard for values and principles that we all hold dear, both for Canada and in the Middle East. While we do as much as we can, we depend on your ongoing support for the continuance of our work.
Please consider making a donation, or renewing your donation to enable CJPME to continue its vital work.
We’ve got some great projects lined up for next year, so you’ll be hearing from us again soon!
The CJPME Team
Tom, Miranda, Khaoula, Jessica, Leila, Shaida