Tell Canada: Support the ICJ decision, end the genocide in Gaza!

Today, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) released its important decision imposing preliminary measures on Israel to avert the genocide of Palestinians in Gaza.  Among other things, the ICJ demanded that Israel 1) take measures to end any genocidal violence in Gaza, 2) prevent and punish incitement to genocide by its leaders, and 3) allow humanitarian aid to flow into Gaza.  While the ICJ did not demand a ceasefire, South Africa's Foreign Affairs Minister asserted that "by implication, a ceasefire must happen." 

Please join CJPME in insisting that Canada strongly affirm the Court's legally binding ruling. Among other things, Canada should 1) firmly condemn Israel’s genocidal violence in Gaza; 2) pressure Israel to fully comply with the ICJ’s emergency provisions; 3) end all arms trade between Canada and Israel, and 4) reassess Canada’s diplomatic stance toward Israel. 

Use the fields below to send an email to PM Justin Trudeau, Foreign Affairs Minister Joly, other federal leaders and your local MP. Canada must support the ICJ's strong admonishment of Israel and pressure it to halt its genocide in Gaza!

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On Friday, January 26, 2024, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) issued a preliminary ruling that Israel’s actions in Gaza could plausibly fall within the Genocide Convention, and ordered Israel to comply with provisional measures that would restrain its genocidal actions. The ICJ demands that Israel: take all measures to prevent the commission of acts of genocide (including the killing of members of the group and imposing conditions of life designed to destroy the group); ensure that its military forces do not commit genocidal acts; prevent and punish the direct and public incitement to commit genocide; and enable the provision of humanitarian aid, among other measures.

This is the first step in a case brought forward by South Africa, who invoked the United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (‘Genocide Convention’) to initiate proceedings against Israel, another State party, based on its obligations to prevent and punish genocide. South Africa’s 84-page application to the ICJ substantiates two grave allegations: first, that Israel has “failed to prevent genocide and has failed to prosecute the direct and public incitement to genocide”; and second, that “Israel has engaged in, is engaging in and risks further engaging in genocidal acts against the Palestinian people in Gaza.” These acts include killing Palestinians in Gaza, causing them serious bodily and mental harm, and inflicting on them conditions of life calculated to bring about their physical destruction. Such acts are alleged to be “genocidal in character because they are intended to bring about the destruction of a substantial part of the Palestinian national, racial and ethnical group, that being the part of the Palestinian group in the Gaza Strip.”that being the part of the Palestinian group in the Gaza Strip.”

While a final judgement on the merits of the charge of genocide will be years away, South Africa had requested as a “matter of extreme urgency” a series of provisional measures that would apply immediately and extend for the duration of the trial. These measures include the immediate suspension of Israel’s military operations against Gaza, an end to Israel’s mass displacement of the population of Gaza, and an end to Israel’s deprivation of food, water, and other essential supplies to that population. While the ICJ did not call for a full ceasefire, it has ordered significant restraints on Israel’s genocidal campaign against the people of Gaza, which CJPME believes cannot be reasonably met without a full ceasefire and an end to the bloodshed.

As a State party to the Genocide Convention, Canada can intervene in the proceedings as a State party in support of South Africa, either in the initial stage or during potential proceedings on the merits. Earlier, CJPME sent a letter to Foreign Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly urging Canada to put its full weight behind South Africa’s application against Israel, and make a formal submission to the ICJ expressing its support.

CJPME insists that Canada must now take a stand in support of the court’s ruling, following weeks of confusing and contradictory statements. Support for the ruling can and should take the form of 1) strong public condemnation of Israel’s brutal violence against the Palestinians in Gaza; 2) pressure on Israel to fully comply with the ICJ’s emergency provisions; 3) a halt to all arms trade between Canada and Israel and a formal review of Canada’s security cooperation with Israel, and 4) a strict reassessment of Canada’s diplomatic stance vis-à-vis Israel to ensure that Canada is not complicit in, or enabling, genocide.