CJPME: Canada’s Loss at UNSC Shows It Must Change Course

Montreal, June 17, 2020  — Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME) believes that Canada’s defeat in its campaign for a seat on the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) proves that Canada’s failure to demonstrate leadership on human rights and international cooperation has isolated it from world opinion. Canada lost in the first ballot to both Norway (population 5.3 million) and Ireland (population 4.9 million). CJPME suggests that Canadian foreign policy must be critically re-examined if Canada wants to improve its international reputation and be a viable UNSC candidate in the future. Continue reading

EKOS Poll: Canadians Want Their Government to Oppose Israeli Annexation, Increase Contributions to International Community

Montreal, June 16, 2020  — As Canada’s candidacy for a seat on the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) comes to a vote tomorrow, a new survey conducted by EKOS Research Associates reveals that Canadians want more from their government on foreign policy. The survey found that three out of four Canadians want their government to oppose Israel’s annexation of large parts of the West Bank, while almost half support the use of sanctions. It further shows that Canadians support increasing international contributions in several specific areas where Canada lags behind its competitors, including peacekeeping, combatting climate change, and support for Palestinian human rights. Continue reading

Canada’s UNSC Bid Shaken by Canadian Protests on Israel

Montreal, June 11, 2020  — Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME) believes that Canada’s bid for a UN Security Council (UNSC) seat has been badly shaken by an influential Canadian grassroots campaign. CJPME obtained a letter from Canada’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations, addressed to all UN Member and Observer States and signed June 10, 2020, which seeks to defend Canada’s record on Israel and Palestine. Canada’s letter is a direct response to the campaign “Canada does not deserve a seat on the UN Security Council,” which is supported by hundreds of organizations and prominent individuals calling UN member states to vote against Canada’s candidacy for the UNSC seat.  Continue reading

If Canada Wants a UNSC Seat, It Needs to Work for It

Montreal, June 8, 2020  — In light of the upcoming UN vote for new Security Council (UNSC) members, Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME) urges the Canadian government to commit to a dramatic reorientation of its foreign policy priorities. Canada is in a run-off election for a UNSC seat against Ireland and Norway, two countries whose international records demonstrate an impressive commitment to human rights and international development. The vote for the temporary, two-year seat on the UNSC is scheduled for June 17. Continue reading

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