CJPME: Canada Must Ignore Petty Saudi Sanctions

Montreal, August 9, 2018 — Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME) urges the Trudeau government to ignore Saudi Arabia’s petty sanctions. Late last week, Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland issued a tweet criticizing Saudi Arabia’s arrest of Saudi women’s rights activists Samar Badawi and Nassima al-Sada. The Saudi government reacted angrily and imposed broad-reaching sanctions on Canada: recalling the Saudi ambassador, suspending flights between Toronto and Riyadh, withdrawing Saudi students from Canada, and halting wheat and barley purchases from Canada. CJPME calls on Canada to stick to hold firm to its principles and ignore rash Saudi backlash. Continue reading

CJPME Urges Canada to Hold Firm on Saudi Rights Abuses

Montreal, August 6, 2018 — Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME) urges Canada to hold firm to its critique of Saudi Arabia, maintaining a principled stand for human rights activists who have been wrongfully imprisoned by the Saudi monarchy. Late last week, Global Affairs issued a statement calling on the Saudis to release arrested civil rights activists, including women’s rights activist Samar Badawi – the sister of imprisoned Saudi writer Raif Badawi. The Saudi monarchy has reacted by expelling Canada’s ambassador and freezing new trade deals between the two countries. CJPME urges the Canadian government not to back down on its criticism of Saudi Arabia’s human rights record. Continue reading

CJPME: Canadian assistance to Palestinians must go beyond aid

Montreal, July 31, 2018 — Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME) applauds the announcement of $50 million in Canadian aid to Palestinians on Monday by Minister of International Development Marie-Claude Bibeau.  CJPME points out, however, that the economic deprivation suffered by Palestinians is largely a result of Israel’s crippling military occupation of the Palestinian territories.  As such, in addition to the aid, CJPME calls on Canada to take more forceful diplomatic steps to encourage Israel to loosen and ultimately end its military occupation of the West Bank and Gaza.  Continue reading

CJPME Opposes Israel’s Illegal Interception of Aid Boat to Gaza

Montreal, July 31, 2018 — Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME) strongly opposes Israel’s illegal interception of a civilian boat carrying humanitarian aid and medical supplies to the besieged Gaza Strip. The boat, “Al-Awda” – meaning “the return” in Arabic – was carrying 22 internationals and around 50,000 dollars’ worth of medical equipment when it was intercepted in international waters by Israeli warships on Sunday. The boat’s passengers were immediately arrested. While a few participants have been released, most of the crew and passengers – including Canadian Larry Commodore of the Stó:lo First Nation – are currently being held under unlawful detention in Israeli prison. CJPME calls on the Canadian government to facilitate the swift release of these human rights defenders and ensure the safe passage of “Al-Awda” and its aid supplies to Gaza. Continue reading

CJPME Echoes Call to Boycott Lacrosse Championship in Israel

Montreal, July 6, 2018 — Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME) echoes the call of human rights defenders urging the Iroquois National lacrosse team to boycott the upcoming World Lacrosse Championships held in Israel from July 12th to 21st. In addition, CJPME calls on the Canadian national team to boycott the championship in Israel – a state whose human rights abuses are repeatedly condemned by the United Nations, as well as international human rights organizations like Amnesty International.    Continue reading

Canadian Arrested by Israel; Canada Must Intervene

Montreal, July 5, 2018 — Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME) is calling for Canadian intervention following the arrest of 21-year old Canadian citizen Michaela Lavis in the Palestinian village of Khan al-Ahmar. Lavis and a dozen other international human rights activists were arrested this morning while trying to defend Khan al-Ahmar from Israeli demolition. CJPME calls for Canadian intervention to ensure the immediate release of Michaela Lavis, and to protect the Palestinians of Khan al-Ahmar from more Israeli human rights violations. Continue reading

CJPME Calls for Independent Review into Misuse of Canadian Arms in Saudi Arabia

Montreal, July 5, 2018 — Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME) is proud to join Amnesty International, and six other human rights organizations in calling for an independent, external review into allegations of misuse of Canadian military exports by Saudi Arabia. While the government conducted an internal review of the allegations last year, CJPME and its collaborating organizations* issued a joint letter to Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland that expresses deep concerns with major shortcomings in the report and calls for an independent review. Continue reading

CJPME Applauds Parliamentary Report on Israel-Palestine

Montreal, July 3, 2018 — Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME) applauds the work and recommendations of the Canada-Palestine Parliamentary Friendship Group’s (CPPFG) following its March 30th to April 6th educational trip to Palestine. The delegation's report, issued late last month, provides a detailed account of the MPs’ itinerary and experiences, while highlighting the struggle of Palestinians living under Israeli military occupation. Continue reading

CJPME: TD Bank should not partner with Israel in Jazz Festival

June 21, 2018 — Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME) opposes the TD Ottawa Jazz Festival’s “Focus Israel” series sponsored by the Israeli embassy in conjunction with the Canada-Israel Cultural Foundation. The “Focus Israel” series is set to begin tonight and will run until Sunday, June 24th.  CJPME calls on the festival organizers to reconsider collaboration with the state of Israel – a state whose policies are regularly called out for human rights abuses by Amnesty International and other human rights organizations.  Continue reading

CJPME Regrets Canada’s Abstention on UN Vote on Gaza

June 14, 2018 — Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME) is disappointed by the Trudeau government’s decision to abstain on a UN General Assembly vote yesterday condemning Israel for its disproportionate violence against Palestinians in Gaza in recent weeks.  The resolution text rightly deplored the “excessive, disproportionate and indiscriminate force by the Israeli forces against Palestinian civilians in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and particularly in the Gaza Strip,” and called attention to Israel’s use of live ammunition against civilian protesters, including children, medics and journalists.  Continue reading