Tell Ministers Joly, Hussen, and Miller to stop genocide or resign!

Canada has ignored repeated warnings from UN experts and the World Court on the risk of Israel committing genocide in Gaza, and Canada’s response to developments have even worsened the crisis. In particular, Ministers Joly, Hussen, and Miller have each mismanaged their ministerial portfolio: Foreign Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly has resisted calls for a ceasefire, refused to condemn Israel’s violence against Palestinians and ignored the World Courts finding of a “plausible” genocide in Gaza. Thankfully, Minister of International Development Ahmed Hussen has restored UNRWA funding.  We now expect him to work within cabinet to call for pressuring Israel to allow funding to enter Gaza despite the life-threatening conditions faced by Gaza's civilian population Minister of Immigration Marc Miller delayed a program of temporary visas for Gaza relatives of Canadians, and ultimately delivered a racist program with limited spots, and unreasonable application requirements for people in a war zone. We cannot accept this to be Canada’s legacy amid the genocide unfolding before our eyes in Gaza. If these Ministers are not able to step up in this moment of extreme crisis and redress these errors, they should step aside.

 

Tell Minister Hussen: Reverse the UNRWA cuts, don’t punish Gaza!

In a shamefully cruel decision last Friday, Canada suspended funding to UNRWA, the UN agency for Palestine refugees following unproven Israeli claims about a few of its employees. Earlier that day, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruled that Israel’s actions in Gaza are potentially genocidal, so Canada’s decision to defund UNRWA is tantamount to an act of collective punishment against a population facing genocide. 2 million people in Gaza depend on UNRWA as a humanitarian lifeline, as Israel’s siege is manufacturing conditions of famine and disease. Canada must immediately reverse its decision on UNRWA cuts to ensure that the population of Gaza continues to receive humanitarian aid.

 

Tell Canada: Support South Africa’s ICJ case, stop genocide in Gaza!

South Africa is taking Israel to the World Court! South Africa has taken the principled step of invoking the UN’s Genocide Convention which enables the Court to impose “provisional measures,” including an end to Israel’s military operations against Gaza. Many other countries have expressed support for South Africa’s genocide case against Israel, and as a signatory to the Genocide Convention, Canada has an obligation to oppose genocide too. This may be the world’s best chance of ending Israel’s murderous carnage in Gaza. 

 

Protect medical trainees from anti-Palestine bigotry in medical placement process

A recent CBC news article revealed that pro-Israel doctors planned to use their influence to manipulate the professional placement of medical students. The article showed screenshots where members of a private Facebook group discuss plans to pressure medical residency program (CaRMS) administrators to penalize students who had signed a petition calling for an end to Israel’s bombing of Gaza hospitals.  This interference with the “objective and transparent” Canadian Resident Matching Service (CaRMS) process is an appalling breach of ethics, and should trigger an immediate investigation into the CaRMS process and targeting of medical students advocating for a ceasefire in Gaza. (See below for more info). We call on the CaRMS administration to implement important remedial measures, including: Conducting an investigation into allegations of physicians and CaRMS selection committee members attempting to introduce bias into the CaRMS process, Ensuring that faculty involved with the Facebook group posts are identified and excluded from the CaRMS interview process and selection decisions, Statements from CaRMS, Faculties of Medicine and program directors across the country to reassure applicants and the public that the residency matching process is fair and free from organized political targeting.

 

Please support the pro-Palestine health professionals targeted by UofT's Temerty School of Medicine

On October 12th, just minutes before the launch of the program Building the Foundations of Anti-Oppressive Healthcare, the University of Toronto School of Medicine (TFOM) made the decision to cancel the program as long as social justice educator, Rania El Mugammar, was involved. Citing vague concerns about “antisemitism” on El Mugammar’s Twitter platform – without reference to any specific Tweet – the TFOM leadership abandoned its complaint process and effectively cancelled the anti-oppression program because of its Black, Muslim, female facilitator. While the TFOM leadership never identified the problem it had with any specific Tweet, El Mugammar had simply Tweeted views in support of Palestine liberation, and in overt criticism of Israel as an apartheid state. (See below for more info). Simply put, in mind-boggling hypocrisy, TFOM de facto cancelled an anti-oppression program citing vague disagreement with the personal views of its Black, Muslim, female facilitator. Dr. Nanky Rai, a faculty member and co-facilitator of the program was similarly targeted for her Palestine advocacy in 2022.

 

Tell Joly: Impose an Arms Embargo on Israel!

Israel’s brutal war against Gaza has targeted civilians and civilian infrastructure at an alarming rate. Over 70% of the casualties have been women and children, and Israel has severely damaged all of Gaza’s necessities of life: housing, water, energy, food, and the healthcare system. Not only do Israel’s military actions amount to war crimes, but UN experts warn of a “genocide in the making.” Despite Canada’s vote for a ceasefire at the UN, Canada continues to export weapons to Israel at record-high levels, making the Canadian government complicit in Israel’s violence. (See below for more info). Given the scale of death and destruction, Canada must not continue to export arms to Israel. Canada must instead use its arms trade as leverage to enforce a ceasefire and bring an immediate end to the violence.

 

Please support the Alhalees and other Canadian families with loved ones in Gaza

Since Oct. 7, Ontario-based Palestinian-Canadian Nael Alhalees has been imploring the Canadian government to help him evacuate his family from Gaza. Alhalees’ two children Layan and Kareem are Canadian citizens, but his wife Enas is not, and the Canadian government has so far refused to put her on the evacuation list. His wife and children have moved 35 times since Oct. 7, and have gotten sick with fever and vomiting from eating tainted food and water. Unfortunately, Alhalees is not alone, as Canada continues to impose strict rules on the evacuation of extended family members of Canadian citizens. On Dec. 4, the NDP proposed excellent new guidelines to make it easier for family members of Canadians citizens to be evacuated from Gaza.  In the past, Canada has developed special rules for crises in Ukraine, Afghanistan and Syria, and it should likewise help Palestinian-Canadian families separated by Israel's brutal assault on Gaza's civilian population.  Australia has already implemented such emergency, temporary measures, and Canada should do likewise.

 

Drop the Charges against the ‘Peace 11’ Indigo Protestors

Last month, 11 peace activists were violently arrested by Toronto police and are being investigated for criminal mischief for allegedly putting red paint and posters on the storefront of an Indigo bookstore, in protest of Indigo CEO Heather Reisman’s indirect financial support for the Israeli military. The severe charges and mistreatment of these activists, and terming their actions “hate-motivated” by the police were completely unjustified.  These actions were also an act of intimidation intended to silence critics of Israel’s genocidal war on Gaza.

 

Tell Trudeau: Reverse your shameful UN vote, and condemn Israel’s settlements!

One month ago, Canada voted AGAINST a preliminary UN resolution condemning Israel’s settlements as illegal and detrimental to peace. In fact, Canada has voted against similar resolutions for the last 12 years! This sends a message that Canada supports Israel’s theft of Palestinian land, at a moment when Israel’s racist government is expanding settlements, annexing territory, and enabling settler attacks on Palestinians. This week, the final UN “plenary” vote is set to take place, and Canada has a chance to change its vote and be on the right side of history.

 

Please support Principal Rich Ward, suspended for calling out Israeli genocide

On Nov. 13, Rich Ward, principal of Tribune Drive Public School in Brampton was suspended from his job while the Peel District School Board (PSDB) “investigates” a brief tweet he made the day before. In that tweet, Ward rightly suggests that Israel is committing a genocide against Palestinians in Gaza, and that Israel’s violence was triggering anti-Zionist sentiment in Canada. The PDSB has clearly caved to vague criticisms about Ward’s post, while 1) seemingly unaware of expert concerns over Israel’s genocidal violence, and 2) contemptuous of Ward’s right to free expression.