CJPME: Egypt must immediately release Canadians detainees

Montreal, August 20, 2013  — CJPME is calling for the immediate release of Tarek Loubani, an emergency room physician from London, and John Greyson, a Toronto-based filmmaker and a York University professor.  Both were arrested on Friday, August 16, after walking to a police station in Cairo to ask for directions to their hotel. CJPME is extremely concerned that Loubani and Greyson are still detained in at Tohra prison in Cairo four days later, with very limited consular access.  Continue reading


CJPME: Coup is blow to democracy in Egypt

Montreal, July 4, 2013  — Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME) is deeply concerned for the future of Egypt’s democracy following the Egyptian military’s ousting yesterday of President Mohamed Morsi.  Morsi is the first elected President since the 2011 revolution and was removed following massive protests and an arbitrary ultimatum issued by the military. Morsi was declared deposed yesterday by a council led by defense minister Al-Sisi, and including the Grand Imam of Al Azhar, the Coptic Pope, and Mohamed ElBaradei—former Director General of the UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). The military’s move came on the heels of days of massive demonstrations estimated to be Egypt’s largest ever.  Continue reading


CJPME: Canada’s aid to Palestinians avoids underlying issues

Montreal, June 17, 2013  —  Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME) welcomes today’s announcement of a $25 million aid and security package for Palestinians.  However, CJPME strongly urges the government to complement the aid package with policy stances that address the underlying causes of the Palestinians’ dire  situation. Although Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird suggested the aid was for “prosperity and greater security,” the package as conceived will do little to improve Palestinians’ long term prospects for  either.  Continue reading


CBC Ombudsman upholds CJPME complaint

Montreal, May 22, 2013  — CBC Ombudsman Esther Enkin has upheld a complaint from Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME) against a documentary it broadcast in April.  Enkin ruled that, in the interests of full disclosure and transparency, CBC management should have prominently included information on the funding of a comedy tour featured in the film “A Universal Language.”  “With that information, a viewer would have an important bit of context to understand what is shown, and to make up his or her own mind how much influence it had on the outcome” stated Enkin in her review, released last week. Continue reading


CJPME: Palestinian Nakba (catastrophe) remains unrecognized

Montreal, May 15, 2013  — Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME) strongly urges Canadian MPs of all stripes to recognize the gravity, causes and unresolved nature of the Palestinian Nakba (Arabic for “catastrophe.”)  The Nakba is marked this week by Palestinians across the Middle East, those in the occupied Palestinian territories, those in Israel, and those living as refugees outside historic Palestine.  As a result of the 1947 UN partition of Palestine, and the establishment of the state of Israel, at least 700,000 Palestinians were forcibly displaced, the Palestinian civil leadership was decimated, and many Palestinian cultural institutions were partially or fully destroyed.      Continue reading


CJPME: Boycott of Israel gains steam with Hawking’s decision

Montreal, May 13, 2013  — On May 8, it was revealed that world-renowned physicist Stephen Hawking had cancelled his participation in an annual Israeli conference “Facing Tomorrow,” sponsored by Israeli President Shimon Peres and to be held in June. Initially some media outlets implied that the decision was strictly health-related. However, a statement published with Hawking's approval by the British Committee for the Universities of Palestine clarified that Hawking had decided to respect the boycott of Israel, based on his knowledge of the Israeli-Palestinian situation. Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME) believes that Hawking’s decision is emblematic of major shifts in the international community’s attitude to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Continue reading


May 15: 65th anniversary of Palestinians’ “Nakba”

Montreal, May 8, 2013 —May 15 is the 65th anniversary of the massive forced displacement of Palestinians following the UN’s decision to partition Palestine. During that process, referred to as the “Nakba” (Arabic for “catastrophe”) by Palestinians, at least 700,000 Palestinians fled their homes and lands. They and their descendants—for decades the globe’s largest single refugee group—now number 5 million. Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME) is hosting events in Ottawa May 15 and 18 to draw attention to this ongoing tragedy and to press Canadian MPs to seek a just solution. Continue reading


Baird’s diplomatic blunder flouts international law

Montreal, April 15, 2013  — Late last week, it was revealed that on Tuesday, April 9, Foreign Minister John Baird met with Israeli cabinet minister Tzipi Livni in East Jerusalem. Under international law, East Jerusalem is occupied Palestinian territory. Most nations, including Canada, do not recognize Israel’s unilateral military annexation of East Jerusalem, and therefore refuse to meet there with Israeli politicians, out of respect for international law and Palestinians. Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME) condemns Baird’s blunder. Continue reading


CJPME assesses Liberal leadership candidates on Middle East

Montreal, April 4, 2013  — Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME) today released its assessment of the Middle East stances of the six Liberal leadership contenders. After weighing various factors, CJPME grades the leadership candidates as follows: Martha Hall-Findlay, B; Karen McCrimmon, B; Martin Cauchon, C+; Deborah Coyne, C; Justin Trudeau, C -; Joyce Murray, D.   Continue reading


CJPME: Canada not doing its share to fund UNRWA

Montreal, March 28, 2013  — Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME)— a grassroots Canadian organization with over 43,000 supporters—today expressed deep disappointment over Canada’s paltry contributions to the United Nations Relief Works Agency (UNRWA) in 2012 and 2013. “Canada has become the developed world’s ‘slacker skinflint’ when it comes to UNRWA funding,” asserts CJPME President Thomas Woodley. CJPME notes that Canada has not contributed a penny since 2008 to UNRWA’s General Fund, which finances essential educational and health services for Palestinian refugees.  CJPME believes that Canada ought to contribute at least $18.8 million to the General Fund in 2013 – 2.83 percent, as it did in 2008. Continue reading