Labour and civil society organizations press Trudeau for Gaza ceasefire

Montreal, October 23, 2023 — Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME) has joined dozens of labour, faith and civil society organizations in a joint statement pushing Canada to call for an immediate ceasefire and an end to the blockade of Gaza, including the restoration of aid, electricity, fuel, food, and water. These demands from labour and civil society follow on the heels of urgent calls from Canada-based Palestinian and Jewish groups supporting Palestinian human rights and calling for a just and lasting peace in Palestine.

“The Trudeau government is increasingly out of touch with the public’s sentiments on Gaza,” said Thomas Woodley, President of CJPME. “As Canadians continue to witness Israel’s atrocious retaliation against the civilian population in Gaza, more and more are calling for a ceasefire and an end to the inhumane siege.” CJPME is proud to stand with organized labour and civil society in challenging the government to live up to its pretensions of support for the rules-based international order.

In addition to the joint statement’s two key demands, the statement also condemned the rise in anti-Arab and anti-Palestinian racism, Islamophobia, and antisemitism which has been observed in Canada in recent weeks. The statement also pushed for the international community to address the root causes of the conflict, and meaningful action to bring about a just peace in Palestine-Israel.

The statement was signed by a broad cross-section of Canadian civil society including the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Ontario, the Canadian Union of Postal Workers, the Public Service Alliance of Canada, Unifor, Black Lives Matter – Canada, the United Church of Canada, and National Council of Canadian Muslims. Similar calls for a ceasefire have since been issued by 33 Members of Parliament in the Canada-Palestine Parliamentary Friendship Group, the Ontario Federation of Labour, and a coalition of humanitarian organizations including World Vision, Oxfam, and Save the Children.

These statements build on the important declarations by the Palestinian-Canadian Academics and Artists Network (PCAAN), the Association of Palestinian Arab Canadians (APAC), the Coalition of Canadian Palestinian Organizations (CCPO), and Independent Jewish Voices (IJV). Since the outbreak of war, almost 20,000 Canadians have written to Prime Minister Trudeau in support of a ceasefire, a call which is also supported by the federal NDP and Green Party.

“Israel’s collective punishment of Palestinians for Hamas’s attack is illegal under international law and Trudeau knows it,” said Woodley. “Organized labour is united with civil society in calling for an end to Trudeau’s hypocrisy, an immediate ceasefire, and an end to Israel’s brutal revenge on Gaza.”

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 Michael Bueckert, 613-315-7947
Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East

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