Over 75 CSOs sign open letter calling on Ministers Joly, Hussen, and Miller to “Stop Genocide or Resign”

Montreal, February 22, 2024 — In an open letter published today, Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME), Canadian Muslim Public Affairs Council (CMPAC), the Canadian Palestinian Social Association – London (CPSA) and over 75 other Canadian civil society organizations are calling on Ministers Joly, Hussen, and Miller to “Stop Genocide or Resign,” noting that Palestinians can no longer endure the policy failures of these Ministers and this Liberal government. Amid Israel’s unfolding genocide against Palestinians in Gaza, the organizations claim that each of these Ministers has implemented policy decisions, possibly at the direction of the Prime Minister’s Office, that have exacerbated the crisis, causing further harm to those facing catastrophic levels of death and destruction. The organizations claim that these policy failures will continue to cost Palestinian lives on the ground, while contravening Canada’s responsibilities as a third-party state to the Genocide Convention and vis-a-vis the International Court of Justice’s provisional measures.

As the organizations write, “We cannot accept this to be Canada’s legacy amid the genocide unfolding before our eyes. If these Ministers are not able to step up in this moment of extreme crisis and redress these errors, they should step aside.” The open letter demands that the Ministers take the following actions or else resign from their roles:

  1. Minister Joly must declare unequivocal support for the ICJ’s recommended emergency measures, demand that Israel comply with the court’s rulings to prevent genocide in Gaza, and take steps to ensure that Canadian policy is not contributing to genocidal acts. The first step must be the imposition of an embargo on Canada-Israel military trade;
  2. Minister Hussen must immediately and unconditionally restore humanitarian aid to UNRWA, and double Canada’s existing funding commitments to UNRWA for the next three years;
  3. Minister Miller must remove the arbitrary, discriminatory and ultimately racist barriers on family reunification visas for Gaza, and fast-track the process to bring loved ones out of harm’s way.

The organizations released the letter publicly today at an online press conference on Zoom. At the press conference, the speakers outlined their concerns with each Minister’s decisions.

“Minister Miller has put up unnecessary barriers that complicate the ability of the loved ones of Canadians to flee a context of genocidal violence. This seems to be rooted in the notion that all Palestinians should be viewed as a security threat. In doing so, Miller is causing unnecessary harm and panic among Palestinian Canadians and their families,” said Majid Abudiya of the Canadian Palestinian Social Association - London.

“Not only has Minister Joly failed to take any measures to stop Israel’s murderous campaign in Gaza, but she has approved more military exports to Israel since October 7 than in any single year in three decades, accelerating the transfer of weapons into a context of genocide,” said Michael Bueckert, Vice-President of CJPME. “Making things worse, she has continued to deliberately mislead Canadians about the risk that these exports pose to human rights and international law. Despite Canada’s obligations under the Genocide Convention, Joly continues to permit corporations in Canada to profit off the slaughter of Palestinians. She lacks the moral authority to lead,” added Bueckert.

“Minister Hussen has suspended critical funding to a refugee population facing genocide, without seeing any evidence to back up Israel’s allegations. This was a purely political decision that put the lives of millions of people in danger. Hussen is defying the many warnings that cutting UNRWA’s funding will severely harm a population already facing famine, disease, and genocide. This eliminates the primary humanitarian agency and amounts to willful complicity in collective punishment of Palestinians,” said Dr. Yaser Haddara, Chairman of CMPAC.

Key signatories of the open letter include, but are not limited to: the Arab Palestine Association of Ontario (APAO), the Association of Palestinian Arab Canadians (APAC), the Canadian BDS Coalition, the Canadian Palestinian Association of Manitoba (CPAM), the Canadian Muslim Public Affairs Council (CMPAC), Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME), the International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group (ICLMG), Just Peace Advocates, Labour for Palestine (L4P), The Rideau Institute, United Jewish People’s Order, and World Beyond War (WBW).

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 www.cjpme.org

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