CJPME Supports International Protests for Racial Justice and Against Police Brutality

Montreal, June 2, 2020  — Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME) expresses its support for ongoing protests in the US, Canada, and around the world following the murder of George Floyd, a 46-year-old unarmed black man, at the hands of police in Minneapolis. These demonstrations have forced a necessary public discussion on issues of anti-black racism and police brutality and remind us of the ongoing struggle for racial justice in Canada. Oppressed communities in the Middle East and elsewhere have also expressed their common cause and solidarity, noting similar experiences with police violence and discrimination. Continue reading

CJPME: Canada Must Oppose Israel’s Annexation Plans

Montreal, May 21, 2020  — Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME) urges the Canadian government to take a strong stand against Israel’s planned annexation of huge swaths of Palestinian territory in the West Bank.  Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his rival, Blue and White leader Benny Gantz, struck a deal in April to annex parts of the West Bank as part of their bid to form a unity government.  Many of Canada’s European allies have spoken strong against Israel’s plans, but to date Canada has not substantively addressed the issue.  France, Belgium, Germany and Estonia have stated, for example, they will not recognize such Israeli annexations, and called Israel to “refrain from any unilateral decision that would lead to the annexation of any occupied Palestinian territory and would be, as such, contrary to international law.” Continue reading

CJPME Applauds Government’s Int’l Aid During Covid-19 Crisis

Montreal, Mar. 3, 2020  — Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME) applauds the Canadian government’s decision yesterday to provide international aid to help poorer countries and communities struggling with the Covid-19.  The government’s new international assistance seems oriented around three different poles: $50 million to help vulnerable countries prepare for and respond to the Covid-19 crisis; support for the UN’s appeal for USD $2 billion to help poorer countries and refugee communities; and support for a USD $5 trillion global stimulus fund from the G20 countries to support more vulnerable countries.  This funding is on top of funding already promised to Canadians who are struggling from the changes imposed by the crisis.  Continue reading

CJPME Disagrees with Trudeau Letter Discouraging ICC Prosecution of Israel

Montreal, Mar. 3, 2020  — Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME) vehemently disagrees with the message of a letter sent by the Trudeau government discouraging the International Criminal Court (ICC) from pursuing an investigation of possible war crimes in Israel-Palestine.  The existence of the letter came to light late last week.  Sent to the ICC on February 14, the letter from Trudeau asserts that because Palestine is not recognized as a full state, the court has no jurisdiction to pursue investigations.  In December the ICC’s chief prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, issued a report stating she was satisfied that there was sufficient evidence that war crimes had been committed, but asked for a legal opinion as to whether the court had jurisdiction to proceed with an investigation.  Continue reading

Canadians Reject Champagne's Condemnation of BDS

Montreal, Feb 11, 2020  — Along with thousands of Canadians, Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME) rejects Foreign Minister François-Philippe Champagne’s condemnation of BDS last week.  In his statement, Champagne stated, “Let me be firm and clear to all Canadians: We condemn BDS. As a country, we need to urgently address the resurgence of antisemitism at home and abroad.”  While Canadians wholly reject anti-Semitism, they are highly offended that Champagne has conflated the BDS movement with anti-Semitism.  BDS, standing for “Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions,” is a movement to apply economic pressure on Israel such that it fully respects the human rights of Palestinians.  Polls show that many Canadians – including a majority of Liberal voters – strongly support democratic, participatory, non-violent strategies like BDS to pressure Israel to respect the human rights of Palestinians. Continue reading

Remembrance of January 29; Call for Action on Islamophobia

Montreal, January 29th, 2020 — On the third anniversary of the Quebec City Mosque Massacre, Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME) commemorates and remembers the tragic events at the Islamic Cultural Centre of Quebec City on January 29, 2017 which left 6 dead and 19 injured.  The victims included Azzeddine Soufiane, 57, father of three; Khaled Belkacemi, 60; Aboubaker Thabti; Mamadou Tanou, 42, father of two; Ibrahima Barry, 39, father of four; Abdelkrim Hassane, 41, father of three.  CJPME continues to call on the Federal government to designate January 29th as a national day of remembrance and action on Islamophobia and other forms of religious discrimination.  In 2018, CJPME and the Canadian Muslim Forum (FMC-CMF) launched the “I Remember January 29” campaign (http://january29.ca) which enables Canadians to add their voice in support of this campaign.  Continue reading

CJPME: Trump’s Farcical Mideast Deal Ignores International Law

Montreal, January 28, 2020  – Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME) is highly critical of the Mideast Peace Plan announced by US President Donald Trump today – one that CJPME considers preposterous.  The plan was done without the participation of the Palestinians, and ignores both international law and international precedent on the conflict.  The Plan further entrenches pro-Israel decrees that Trump has made in recent years, including that Jerusalem will be Israel’s “undivided” capital and that Israel will be able to annex major illegal Israeli colonies in the occupied West Bank.  Given that the Plan virtually ignores Palestinian interests, CJPME considers it useless in terms of resolving decades of violent conflict.     Continue reading

CJPME: Canada must pursue independent foreign policy in Mideast

Montreal, January 8, 2020  – Following the Trump administration’s escalation of hostilities with Iran, Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME) again calls Canada to pursue a more independent foreign policy in the Middle East.  The US carried out a strike last week which killed Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani, and Iran retaliated early this morning with a ballistic missile strike on US bases in Iraq.  Canada has troops in Iraq, ostensibly as an ally in the fight against ISIS, but the US decision to leave Canada in the dark suggests that the US considers Canada irrelevant to its own foreign policy plans.  CJPME considers that the US’ failure to consult Canada is a clear sign that a new era of Canadian foreign policy in the Middle East needs to emerge.     Continue reading

CJPME: NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh Must Not Disavow BDS

Montreal, January 2, 2020  — Like many Canadians, Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME) was disappointed to hear NDP leader Jagmeet Singh disavow the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign targeting Israel in a podcast late in December.  During the podcast (https://t.co/aqaUY51GiA), Singh said that he personally doesn’t support BDS, and considers it counterproductive to Middle East peace.  He also said, “The official position of the [NDP] is that we do not endorse BDS.  The issue has been raised in convention and has been defeated in convention.”  In fact, polls show, and CJPME observes that many Canadians – especially NDP voters – strongly support democratic, participatory, non-violent strategies like BDS to pressure Israel to respect the human rights of Palestinians. Continue reading

CJPME: Canada must support ICC investigation in Israel-Palestine

Montreal, December 23, 2019  — Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME) calls for the Canadian government to endorse Friday’s announcement by the International Criminal Court (ICC) that it wishes to proceed with an investigation of war crimes in Palestine-Israel.  Whereas the US is not a member, and the Trump administration has announced that it considers itself and Israel to be deserving of immunity from prosecution by the ICC, Canada is a member, and must support the work of the ICC.  Moreover, should the ICC find Israeli or Palestinian leaders guilty of war crimes, Canada will need to be prepared to arrest these individuals should they travel to Canada.  Continue reading