Montreal, February 2, 2017 — Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME) considers the Trudeau government’s behaviour embarrassing in the face of dramatic announcements by Israel to expand its illegal “settlements.” In addition to announcing 3000 new settlement units yesterday, the Israeli government announced plans to break ground on an entirely new settlement – the first time since the late 1990s. “The Trudeau government says it believes in the two-state solution, but its silence these past few weeks tells a different story,” declared Thomas Woodley, President of CJPME. “The Trudeau government gives lip-service to Middle East peace, but continues to turn a blind eye to the illegal Israeli colonization of land that is slated to be part of a Palestinian state.”
Amnesty International is just one of many organizations internationally who have roundly condemned Israel’s announcements since the beginning of the year. “The Israeli authorities’ authorization of the construction of 3,000 further illegal settlement homes in the occupied West Bank today - the fourth such announcement within weeks - highlights their shocking willingness to flout international law,” said Amnesty International. Amnesty calculated that Israel has announced the construction 6,219 new housing units in settlements since the beginning of the year.
“Even the Harper government was more firm with Israel on the issue of settlements than the Trudeau government,” announced Woodley. During his tenure as Harper’s foreign affairs minister from 2008 until 2011, even Lawrence Cannon made several statements expressing disapproval of Israel’s unilateral moves to colonize Palestinian territory. CJPME points out that whereas some pundits had considered the current foreign affairs minister Chrystia Freeland as being somewhat left-leaning, this has so far proven untrue on the question of Israel’s illegal settlements.
CJPME points out that as with so many issues, the Trudeau government “talks left” but “walks right” on the settlements issue. CJPME leaders expect Israel’s new boldness in illegal settlement building to continue, and Canada’s apathy on the issue makes an independent Palestinian state even less likely. Israeli officials admitted last week that they have a backlog of 11,000 settlement units waiting to be approved following 8 years of pressure from the Obama administration.
About CJPME – Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME) is a non-profit and secular organization bringing together men and women of all backgrounds who labour to see justice and peace take root again in the Middle East. Its mission is to empower decision-makers to view all sides with fairness and to promote the equitable and sustainable development of the region.
For more information, please contact CJPME at 438-380-5410
Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East www.cjpme.org
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