CJPME condemns surge in violence between Israel, Islamic Jihad

Montreal, March 13, 2014  — Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME) condemns the recent escalation of cross-border violence between Israel and the militant group Islamic Jihad, operating in Gaza.  CJPME also condemns the Canadian government’s lop-sided response to the escalation. The Harper government condemned the rocket attacks from Gaza, but ignored Israel’s role – beginning on Tuesday – in the current surge of violence.  “On what basis does the Harper government condemn one act, and condone another,” says CJPME President Thomas Woodley. Canada has thus far also failed to critique Israeli airstrikes in Gaza conducted late Wednesday.  CJPME urges the Canadian government and Canadian MPs to press both Israel and Islamic Jihad to respect the cease-fire. Continue reading




Palestinian lawyer to the ICJ to speak in Canada

Montreal, February 25,  2014  — Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME) is pleased to announce that it is hosting a three-city lecture tour by Diana Buttu March 19th to March 21st. Ms. Buttu is a Canadian human rights lawyer, now based in Ramallah, occupied Palestinian territories (oPt). From 2000 to 2005, Ms. Buttu worked as an advisor to the Palestinian peace negotiations team. In that capacity she was part of the legal team that successfully represented Palestinians before the International Court of Justice (ICJ), resulting in the ICJ’s Advisory Opinion on the Israeli Wall: Legal Consequences of the Construction of a Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (2004). Continue reading




Canadians to protest detention of journalists in Egypt

Montreal, February 25, 2014  — Canadians will demonstrate with others around the world this Thursday, February 27th, in a global Day of Action against the arrest of journalists in Egypt.  Protests are planned for Toronto, Nathan Phillips Square, and Montreal, the Egyptian Consultate, and perhaps other Canadian sites at noon on Thursday.  They join dozens of other events around the world in a global Day of Action under the theme: “Journalism is not a Crime.”  “Journalists are being arrested and detained in Egypt simply for doing their jobs,” asserted Thomas Woodley for Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME).  “It is time for the world – Canada included – to demand their release.”   Continue reading




Detention of Fahmy extended; Canadian gov’t detached

Montreal, February 20, 2014  — As news that Canadian Mohamed Fahmy and two other Al Jazeera journalists will remain in jail until March 5, Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME) has learned that Canadian officials have underserved both Fahmy and his family.  The three journalists are accused of supporting the Muslim Brotherhood – now virtually outlawed in Egypt – and of broadcasting “misleading” news about events in Egypt.  The three journalists pleaded not guilty, but the Egyptian court has refused them bail.  Continue reading




CJPME urges Egypt to free Canadian journalist Mohamed Fahmy

Montreal, February 3, 2014  — Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME) calls on Egypt to release Canadian journalist Mohamed Fahmy and the other Al Jazeera journalists currently languishing in jail there.  CJPME also calls on Canadian political leaders to get involved to prompt Egypt to drop all trumped up charges that have been filed against Fahmy and other Al Jazeera journalists. Egypt’s Prosecutor General announced on January 29 that it would try 20 Al Jazeera journalists on charges of incitement, distorting Egypt’s image broad and fabricating news to aid the Muslim Brotherhood. “Egyptian authorities must release Mohamed Fahmy, and Canadian political leaders must address this terrible travesty of justice,” says CJPME President Thomas Woodley. Continue reading




Three years after Tahrir, democracy eludes Egyptians

Montreal, January 27, 2014 — CJPME laments that three years after the massive protests that eventually toppled authoritarian president Hosni Mubarak began in Tahrir Square, democracy is still eluding Egyptians. According to a January 23 Amnesty International (AI) report, at least 1400 people had been killed in political violence since the military ousted elected president Mohammed Morsi July 3. AI says that Egypt has witnessed “state violence on an unprecedented scale over the last seven months.” In addition, on Saturday, January 25, 49 anti-government protesters were killed, and another 1079 were arrested, according to media reports. Continue reading




Torture report reflects need for more urgent engagement in Syria

Montreal, January 23, 2014  — Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME) implores the Canadian government to address the Syrian civil war with urgency and greater substance.  Earlier this week, a report by renowned international war crimes judges, with the aid of forensic scientists, confirmed evidence of massive torture of prisoners committed by the Assad regime.  The thousands of photos document severe beatings, starvation and strangulation. This report makes meaningful involvement by Canada even more urgent.  Canada must press both sides of the Syrian conflict to respect human rights and international humanitarian law. Continue reading




CJPME: Harper’s trip should not be a love-in with Israeli right

Montreal, January 16, 2014  — CJPME is troubled that Prime Minister Stephen Harper appears poised to miss an excellent opportunity to contribute to a just peace between Palestinians and Jewish Israelis during his upcoming trip to the Middle East. “Harper should press Israel to halt settlement expansion, once and for all; if it continues, a viable Palestinian state cannot be created, nor peace ever achieved,” states CJPME President Thomas Woodley. CJPME believes that the PM has a responsibility to Canadians, Israelis and Palestinians to uphold international law and fundamental human rights at all times, especially during such a state visit. CJPME reminds the PM that Israel’s establishment of “settlements” in the occupied Palestinian territories is a grave violation of international law and has been repeatedly condemned by most western nations. Continue reading




CJPME: Ariel Sharon leaves legacy of violence, settlement growth

Montreal, January 13, 2014  — CJPME laments that Ariel Sharon has died without ever facing justice for his role in massacres of Palestinian refugees and in the expansion of Israel’s illegal settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories.  In multiple roles in successive Israeli governments, Sharon was cited for several violations of international law. “With Sharon’s death, there is surprisingly scant mention of the war crimes in which he is directly implicated, let alone any remedial action by western governments, including Canada,” says CJPME President Thomas Woodley.   Continue reading




CJPME laments re-establishment of police state in Egypt

Montreal, December 3, 2013  — CJPME urges Canada’s government and MPs to press Egypt’s interim government to rescind an anti-protest law severely curtailing freedom of assembly. The law, ratified November 24 by interim president Adly Mansour, obliges groups wanting to demonstrate to obtain seven separate permissions to protest publicly. It gives police the final say on whether a protest can take place and allows police to forcibly disperse even a legal protest if even a single protester throws a stone. It also bans overnight sit-ins. The law also stipulates harsh prison sentences for vaguely defined offences, such as attempting to “influence the course of justice” or “impeding the interests of citizens.” Continue reading