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Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East

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    Canadians Reject Champagne's Condemnation of BDS

    Montreal, Feb 11, 2020  — Along with thousands of Canadians, Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME) rejects Foreign Minister François-Philippe Champagne’s condemnation of BDS last week.  In his statement, Champagne stated, “Let me be firm and clear to all Canadians: We condemn BDS. As a country, we need to urgently address the resurgence of antisemitism at home and abroad.”  While Canadians wholly reject anti-Semitism, they are highly offended that Champagne has conflated the BDS movement with anti-Semitism.  BDS, standing for “Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions,” is a movement to apply economic pressure on Israel such that it fully respects the human rights of Palestinians.  Polls show that many Canadians – including a majority of Liberal voters – strongly support democratic, participatory, non-violent strategies like BDS to pressure Israel to respect the human rights of Palestinians.
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    Remembrance of January 29; Call for Action on Islamophobia

    Montreal, January 29th, 2020 — On the third anniversary of the Quebec City Mosque Massacre, Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME) commemorates and remembers the tragic events at the Islamic Cultural Centre of Quebec City on January 29, 2017 which left 6 dead and 19 injured.  The victims included Azzeddine Soufiane, 57, father of three; Khaled Belkacemi, 60; Aboubaker Thabti; Mamadou Tanou, 42, father of two; Ibrahima Barry, 39, father of four; Abdelkrim Hassane, 41, father of three.  CJPME continues to call on the Federal government to designate January 29th as a national day of remembrance and action on Islamophobia and other forms of religious discrimination.  In 2018, CJPME and the Canadian Muslim Forum (FMC-CMF) launched the “I Remember January 29” campaign (http://january29.ca) which enables Canadians to add their voice in support of this campaign. 
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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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