Montreal, November 08, 2023 — Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME) sent a formal letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau this week urging him to join the international community in calling for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza. Canada has so far opposed calls for a ceasefire and appears to support Israel’s indefinite military escalation with the goal of “eliminating” Hamas. However, with more than 10,000 Palestinians killed in Israel’s offensive, and the siege on food, water, and electricity creating a catastrophic humanitarian toll, CJPME is urging Trudeau to acknowledge that its failed approach is only perpetuating further human suffering.
“For the last two weeks, Trudeau has meekly pleaded with Israel to ‘pause’ its indiscriminate bombardment of civilians to allow entry to humanitarian aid, and it hasn’t worked,” said Thomas Woodley, President of CJPME. “Canada has a responsibility to protect Palestinian civilians from the hell on earth that Israel has created in Gaza. Our diplomatic approach is failing because all we do is ask nicely. Now is the time to withdraw support for this genocidal war.”
CJPME’s letter explains that there is no military solution in Gaza, and calls on Canada to discourage Israel, and the US, from going down this destructive path. The letter urges Canada to:
- Demand the immediate and unconditional cessation of all hostilities.
- Call for an end to Israel’s siege of Gaza and for the restoration of humanitarian aid and access to the basic necessities of life. There must be a rapid, sufficient, and unconditional influx of aid and other supplies to avert mass deaths.
- Call on Israel to rescind the evacuation order of the north, and work to avert the mass forced displacement of the population from Gaza. CJPME fears that Israel will convince Canada to be complicit in their ethnic cleansing plan centred on the displacement of all Gazans to Egypt.
- Suspend Canada’s two-way military trade with Israel. This is particularly necessary given the severe risk that Canadian exports may be used by Israel to target civilians in Gaza, therefore implicating Canadian policy in war crimes.
- Support international investigations into possible war crimes, to hold all violators accountable. This includes supporting the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court, which has confirmed that it has jurisdiction to investigate the ongoing actions by both Israel and Hamas.
- Demand an end to Israel’s illegal blockade and 56-year occupation of Palestinian territory, and work to guarantee the right to return for Palestinian refugees.
“Canada must use any material leverage it has to force Israel and the US from forging ahead with its irresponsible invasion of Gaza,” said Woodley. “We must suspend all two-way military and security trade with Israel to ensure we are not complicit in war crimes, and to push Israel to stop targeting civilians. We cannot sit by, just resting on our words, as Israel pursues the ethnic cleansing of Gaza.”