As the hunger strike for Freedom and Dignity by 1,500 Palestinian political prisoners enters its 37th day, the Canadian BDS Coalition issues the following statement in solidarity with the hunger strikers:
The Government of Canada risks becoming complicit with the actions of the Government of Israel in the mistreatment of Palestinian political prisoners held in Israeli prisons. Now is the time for Prime Minister Trudeau and Minister of Foreign Affairs Chrystia Freeland to tell the Israeli government to treat the Palestinian prisoners with respect and with basic human rights. In the continued absence of such treatment, Canada must commence an incremental application of sanctions against Israel until such time as prisoners are allowed basic human rights, such as family visits, appropriate medical care, full access to legal counsel, and freedom from imprisonment without charge or trial. As well, Canada must tell Israel to cease their systemic imposition of solitary confinement, humiliation, and torture as well as cruel, inhumane, and degrading treatment of Palestinian prisoners.
In making this statement, the Canadian BDS Coalition stands in solidarity with the over 1,500 Palestinian prisoners on the hunger strike, in solidarity with Palestinian prisoner support groups Samidoun and Addameer, and in solidarity with many other peace-seeking organizations world wide.
The Government of Israel has responded to the hunger strike by placing the striking prisoners into solitary confinement, confiscating personal possessions, depriving the prisoners of salt [their only source of nutrition taken in their water], conducting nightly raids of the prisoners’ cells by IDF Security Forces, and threatening forced feedings. This is not a response the Government of Canada should accept and must stand against.
The Canadian BDS Coalition requests everyone who believes political prisoners deserve basic human rights to tell the Government of Canada to sanction Israel until such basic rights are given to their prisoners. Tell Prime Minister Trudeau; tell Minister of Foreign Affairs Chrystia Freeland; and tell your Member of Parliament. Organize your own protest against the Government of Israel along the lines of the #SaltWaterChallenge; tell your family and friends about the extreme abuse of human rights by the Government of Israel; and write to your local newspaper to expose the indignities perpetuated by the Israeli prison system.
In the broader picture, the Canadian BDS Coalition requests each individual to commence their own mission of boycotting Israeli products, managing their investments so as to divest from Israeli companies and those companies which assist Israel in the military oppression of Palestine, and to call for sanctions by federal, provincial, and municipal governments against Israel, and those who support their occupation of Palestine.