Montreal, June 15, 2017 — Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME) urges Canada to sign on to Amnesty International’s campaign calling on all countries to refuse to recognize or assist illegal Jewish-only Israeli “settlements” (a.k.a. colonies.) Late last week, Amnesty introduced their “Occupation @ 50” campaign urging governments around the world to ban the import of all goods produced in Israeli colonies. In addition, Amnesty encourages countries like Canada to introduce national legislation to ensure that companies operating in Canada are not involved in Israel’s settlement enterprise or in the trading of settlement goods.
Salil Shetty, Secretary General of Amnesty International stated, “Fifty years on, merely condemning Israel’s settlement expansion is not enough. It’s time for states to take concrete international action to stop the financing of settlements which themselves flagrantly violate international law and constitute war crimes.” CJPME President Thomas Woodley added, “While the Liberals were elected with a promise for ‘real change,’ the Trudeau government has failed to address human rights violations in Israel-Palestine. Amnesty’s campaign is the perfect catalyst to bring about ‘real change.’” In the absence of an active peace process, CJPME has repeatedly called the Canadian government to condemn violations of international law and to support pro-justice non-violent action.
CJPME encourages the Canadian government to follow through on Amnesty International’s campaign. While the European Union labels goods entering European markets from Israeli-only colonies, Canada makes no distinction between goods from the colonies, and goods from Israel proper. Both the Harper and Trudeau governments have only reluctantly condemned Israeli colonies as an obstacle to peace. While official Canadian policy recognizes that “settlements constitute a serious obstacle to achieving a comprehensive, just and lasting peace,” the current government refuses to admonish Israel for its ongoing human rights violations.
Aptly labelled “Occupation @ 50,” this campaign coincides with the 50th anniversary of Israel’s inhumane occupation of the Palestinian territories. Despite decades of human rights violations against Palestinians, Israel continues its illegal practices with impunity. In December, the UN Security Council passed resolution 2334, unanimously condemning Israeli colonies. Canada must support the international consensus of the UN Security Council and the Amnesty campaign to boycott these colonies and defend fundamental human rights.
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 Miranda Gallo, 438-380-5410
Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East www.cjpme.org
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