Open letter from Canadian organizations on Gaza massacre

The Canadian BDS Coalition and many of its member groups and friends are among the more than 50 signatories to this open letter sent yesterday to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Minister of Foreign Affairs Chrystia Freeland.

May 17, 2018

Dear Prime Minister Trudeau and Minister Freeland:

We are concerned Canadians who cannot remain indifferent and quiet to the massacre of innocent civilian Palestinians whose only crime is their peaceful protest of a brutal and illegal occupation.

Palestinians in Gaza live in an open prison denied basic necessities, electricity, clean water and medicines. The UN has already declared Gaza an unlivable place. How many Palestinians should die or get injured before the world would wake up to these war crimes? Why are Canadians silent and oblivious to these crimes against humanity?

We are calling on our government, our representatives in parliament, the human rights organizations and fellow Canadians to condemn and protest the slaughter of innocent people who are exercising their natural right to resist peacefully their occupiers. We are calling on Canadians to condemn those who have imprisoned and besieged their land and water and those who have denied them their basic human rights. Portraying all Palestinians in Gaza as members of Hamas or their protest as a terrorist activity is a callous trick to dehumanize them and justify their massacre.

We call on all Canadians and particularly the constituency of justice and peace to raise their voices in protest of these war crimes. Those who are silent at this juncture are complicit with these crimes. It is time to assert that Palestinians’ lives are precious too and that Canadians do not acquiesce with the brutal and disproportionate use of violence by the Israeli military against unarmed civilians.

It is high time that Canada lives up to its obligation as a high signatory under Article 1 of the Fourth Geneva Convention which requires that the Convention is upheld in all circumstances. Beyond this our domestic legislation, the Special Economic Measures Act, calls for action where gross and systematic human rights violations have been committed in a foreign state. Based on international and domestic law we call on the Canadian government to condemn Israeli actions and that a military embargo be put in place.

Our organizations demand the Canadian government to call for the lifting of the blockade on Gaza, and to denounce the opening of any embassies in Jerusalem/Al Quds. We join together to demand that the Canadian government immediately call Israel to cease and desist the massacre of civilians and recall the he Canadian ambassador to Israel until Israel abides by its obligations under international law to protect Palestinian civilians.

Sincerely,

Canadian Arab Federation/ Canada
Palestinian Canadian Congress /PCC
Palestine House
Association Of Palestinian Arab Canadians/ APAC
Canadian Palestinian professional foundation/CPPF
The Canadian Syrian Cultural Club
The Canadian Lebanese Progressive Society/ LCPS
Canadian Arab Network
Arab Canadian Theatre of Kitchener Waterloo/KW-ACT
Association Of Progressive Palestinian Canadians/ APPC
Palestine Aid Society – Canada
Palestinian Association of Hamilton
Annahda Club of Montreal
Syrian Canadian Club of Ottawa
Canadian palestinian Foundation of Quebec
Independent Jewish Voices/ Canada
United Network for Justice and Peace for Palestine and Israel/ UNJPPI
Canadian Unitarian For Social Justice/CUSJ -Canada
NDP Socialist Caucus
Just Peace Advocates
Canadian Peace Congress
Canadian BDS Coalition
Socialist Action
The International league of People’s Struggle/ILPS-Canada
CODEPINK
Barnard-Boecker Centre Foundation/BBCF- BC
Canada Palestine Association/Vancouver
The Canada Palestine Support Network/CanPalNet- Vancouver
Coalition Against Israel Apartheid/ CAIA- Victoria
Canada-Palestine Support Network – Winnipeg
Winnipeg Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid
Mid-Islanders for Justice and Peace in the Middle East/MIJPME
Justice for Palestinians Calgary
Palestine Solidarity Network-Edmonton
Regina Peace Council/ Saskatchewan
Bathurst United Church Of Canada
Palestine Study Group/Okanagan
Christian PeacemakerTeams/CPT-Ontario
Educators for Peace and Justice/Ontario
Palestinian Solidarity Working Group-Sudbury
People for peace, London
Palestinian and Jewish Unity/PAJU-Quebec
Amnesty International Kelowna
Coalition Against Israel Apartheid / CAIA- Toronto
Al-Quds Committee/Toronto
Al-Haadi Musalla/Toronto
Science for Peace/Toronto
Beit Zatoun
Zatoun
Toronto BDS
International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network/IJAN
Women in Solidarity with Palestine
Jewish Liberation Theology Institue
Oakville Palestinian Rights Association/Oakville
Conscience Canada

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