June 6, 2018 — Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME) is disappointed by the Conservatives’ attempt to divide and mislead with today’s opposition motion to condemn Hamas. The motion makes a number of assertions about the current Gaza situation and Hamas which don’t stand up to scrutiny. The statement also ignores the broader context of the Israel-Palestine conflict, one where Israel is the belligerent occupier of Palestinian territory. CJPME believes the motion is intended to score cheap political points in Canada on the backs of dispossessed and oppressed Palestinians.
“If the Conservatives truly support a Palestinian state – which they claim to – then the first step is to ensure respect for international law,” said Thomas Woodley, president of CJPME. “Instead, the Conservative motion seeks to absolve Israel of any accountability for the deaths of at least 120 Palestinians and injuries to over 13,000.” CJPME points out that by trying to assign blame entirely to Hamas, the motion has no hope of advancing the peace process and can only serve to destroy whatever credibility Canada might have in the eyes of the protagonists.
CJPME also points out that the motion advances highly dubious claims. The motion asserts that Hamas has used “human shields” in Gaza in recent weeks, but there is no independent evidence for this assertion. The motion also asserts that the Palestinians launched a “violent attack” on Israel’s border, but few would argue that stones and smoke would constitute a “violent attack” by today’s standards. The motion also faults the Palestinians for refusing Israeli humanitarian, but the Palestinians have accepted humanitarian aid willingly provided through Egypt by other countries, and the indignation of Palestinians against Israel is understandable, given Israel’s 12-year blockade of Gaza, and the fact that Israel is the perpetrator in the killing and maiming of literally thousands of Palestinian protesters.
CJPME points out that the motion explicitly contradicts Trudeau’s demand for an independent investigation into the recent killings in Gaza, including the shooting of Canadian doctor Tarek Loubani. The motion asserts that Israel can investigate itself, but all evidence suggests otherwise. Following incidents “investigated” by Israel several years ago, Amnesty International responded saying, “The investigations undertaken by Israel fail to meet international standards of independence, impartiality, transparency, promptness and effectiveness. The Israeli military is investigating itself and in no way can this be adequate in obtaining the truth and ensuring justice for the victims.” Moreover, if Israel were serious about stopping the killing, they could have brought a halt to all violence and launched an investigation after the killing of the first 17 Palestinian civilians on March 31.
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 on the protest, contact Dimitri Lascaris, 514-941-5991
For more information generally, please contact Miranda Gallo, 438-380-5410
Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East www.cjpme.org
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