Montreal, October 31, 2023 — Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME) emphatically condemns the current Israeli ground invasion of the besieged Gaza Strip. In a major and preventable escalation, Israeli ground forces have begun operating in Gaza since October 28 after indiscriminately bombing Gaza for over 21 days. Over 8500 Palestinians have already been killed, including over 3500 children, and over 1 million people have been displaced. CJPME argues that Canada’s refusal to de-escalate the war is a major failure of diplomacy, and reiterates its call for an immediate ceasefire.
“For over 75 years Israel has tried to bomb its way to peace and security, but that strategy has failed,” said CJPME President Thomas Woodley. “This ground invasion is the continuation of Israel’s futile policies of military aggression and apartheid towards Palestinians. The international community must reject Israel’s collective punishment of the civilian population of Gaza,” added Woodley.
To date, Canada has refused to endorse calls from international civil society for an immediate cessation of hostilities in Israel and Palestine but has instead expressed its support for Israel’s “right to defend itself.” Furthermore, CJPME believes Israel has been emboldened to launch this ground war because Canada and other countries have shielded Israel from international condemnation and public outrage over ongoing violations of international law, including through Canada’s shameful abstention on last week’s United Nations resolution for a humanitarian truce. Canada has consistently worked against diplomatic accountability for Israel throughout all UN bodies, whether the General Assembly, the International Court of Justice, or the International Criminal Court. This approach has prevented Canada from playing a constructive role both with Israel’s current invasion of Gaza, and with Israel’s 56-year-old belligerent occupation of Palestine more generally.
“This invasion is a failure of Canadian diplomacy,” said President Thomas Woodley. “From day one, we could have called for an immediate ceasefire. Instead, Prime Minister Trudeau has mindlessly defended Israeli violence, despite weeks of egregious breaches of international law by Israel in Gaza.” CJPME considers that Canada’s flagrant hypocrisy on Israel-Gaza demonstrates that its foreign policy is broken and its global leadership is in shambles. CJPME points out the blatant contradiction between Canada’s touting of the international rules-based order when Russia annexes Ukrainian territory, and its disregard for this same order when Israel annexes Palestine.
CJPME is deeply concerned that, unchecked by international accountability, the Israeli ground invasion will lead to the further dispossession and annexation of the northern Gaza Strip and an ever-expanding humanitarian disaster in an already unstable region. CJPME is also monitoring the human rights situation of Palestinians in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, where over 100 Palestinians have been killed and thousands more detained since Oct 7th. In addition, CJPME warns that Canada’s lopsided pro-Israel position will lead to its increasing diplomatic isolation from the majority of the world’s governments – two-thirds of whom supported last week’s UN resolution for a humanitarian truce.
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, ###-###-####
Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East www.cjpme.org
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