Canada’s sanctions on Hamas, but not Israel, expose double standard: CJPME

Montreal, February 6, 2024 — Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME) is expressing concern over the double standard evident in today’s sanctions announcement by Minister Joly, which imposed sanctions on 11 individuals affiliated with Hamas but no Israeli officials. CJPME notes that Canada has not yet imposed sanctions on a single Israeli, even though the number of Palestinians killed by Israel is more than 20 times the number of Israelis killed on Oct 7, and even as Israel’s actions may plausibly amount to genocide according to the International Court of Justice (ICJ). CJPME urges Canada to bring some proportion to its response by imposing broad sanctions on Israeli leaders responsible for war crimes in Gaza and the occupied West Bank, including (but not limited to) Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Defence Minister Yoav Gallant, and National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir.

“Canada’s limited sanctions are a stark reminder of its blatant double standard, which constantly penalizes Palestinian actors but never imposes consequences for Israeli crimes. Given the ICJ’s ruling that Israel must act to prevent genocide, Canada’s failure to hold Israel accountable is especially morally bankrupt,” said Thomas Woodley, President of CJPME. Israeli leaders including Netanyahu, Ben-Gvir, and Gallant, have been instrumental in inciting and directing the slaughter of tens of thousands of Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank. Canada must impose sanctions on these war criminals,” added Woodley.

Last week, Minister Joly announced that she was “looking into” the possibility of sanctions on extremist Israeli settlers involved in violence against Palestinians. Similar commitments were made by the US, UK, and EU in December of last year, and last week the US imposed its first sanctions on 4 settler individuals. CJPME has previously written to Minister Joly urging her to hold settler individuals and Israeli officials equally responsible for what amounts to state-sponsored settler terrorism. Settler terrorist violence was skyrocketing even prior to the Oct 7th attacks. Further, CJPME rejects an approach to sanctions that penalizes actions in the West Bank while ignoring the genocidal violence unleashed by Israeli officials in Gaza.

CJPME is not aware of any instance of Canada imposing sanctions on Israeli leaders. “After 75 years of dispossession and 56 years of occupation, Canada has never sanctioned an Israeli political leader for their role in these violations of international law or their crimes against Palestinians. This failure to hold Israelis accountable for their actions reflects a structural policy of anti-Palestinian racism that justifies the massacre of Palestinians,” said Woodley.

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, VP CJPME, 613-315-7947

Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East

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