Making Peace Vigil

Standing up for peace

MAKING PEACE IN PALESTINE AND ISRAEL

Posted by strattof on August 16, 2010

In the on-going conflict in the Middle East, the Canadian government, rather than working for peace, has chosen to side with one of the combatants, Israel. As the Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman put it, “It’s hard to find a country friendlier to Israel than Canada these days.” Indeed, in recent years, Canada has become the most pro-Israel country in the world. 

CANADA’S ONE-SIDED POLICY           

  • In 2006, when Hamas won Canadian-monitored and facilitated Palestine parliamentary elections, Canada was the first country after Israel to cut its assistance to the Palestinian Authority. The aid cutoff, designed to sow division within Palestinian society, had devastating social effects.
  • In 2008, Canada was the only country at the UN Human Rights Council to vote against a resolution that called for “urgent international action to put an immediate end to Israel’s siege of Gaza.” The resolution was adopted by 30 votes with 15 abstentions.
  • During the December 2008–January 2009 Gaza War, the Canadian government sided with Israel and exonerated it from all blame–even though Israel’s illegal blockade of Gaza and illegal West Bank settlements were major causes of the conflict. At the same time, it demonized Hamas, Gaza’s democratically elected government, calling it a terrorist organization, and accusing it of starting and prolonging the crisis by firing rockets into Israel. More than 1,400 Palestinians were killed in the three-week war –as compared to only 13 Israelis. Despite the lopped-sidedness of the death and destruction, Canada did not reconsider its one-sided, pro-Israel/anti-Palestine policy.
  • When, in June 2010, Israeli forces killed nine Turkish activists on a ship carrying humanitarian aid to Gaza, most world leaders denounced Israel and called for an end to the Gaza blockade. But not Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, who uttered not a single word of condemnation. Instead, Mr. Harper stood beside Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who happened to be in Canada, and merely expressed regret about the loss of life and the disruption of Mr. Netanyahu’s visit to Canada. 
  • Hypocritically, the Canadian government regularly calls for new sanctions on Iran for its nuclear program, but it never asks Israel to give up its sizable, undeclared arsenal of nuclear weapons or to sign the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons–to which Canada is a signatory.

MAKING WAR

Why has the Canadian government adopted such a one-sided, war-promoting approach to the Middle East? ●Is it because Canadian foreign policy is effectively subservient to Washington, which also supports Israel, though currently less uncritically? ●Is it because a number of Canadian companies have lucrative contracts with the Israeli government? ●Or is the Conservative Party playing to its Christian base, some of whose members are very pro-Israel because of beliefs about Christ’s second coming?  

Whatever the reason, by failing to be even-handed, Canada has become complicit in the horrifying humanitarian tragedy in Gaza and the bloodshed on both sides of the conflict.

MAKING PEACE

We call on the Canadian government to uphold Canada’s reputation as a peacemaking country by working with other nations to create a just and lasting peace between Israel and Palestine. 

Conditions required for a just and lasting peace:

  • Israel to lift its 3 year blockade on Gaza.
  • Hamas to stop firing rockets into Israel and to renounce violence.
  • Israel to withdraw from all Arab territories occupied in the 1967 war and to recognize the right of Palestinian people to an independent state.
  • Palestine to recognize the right of Israel to exist.
  • Israel to recognize the rights of Palestinians living in Israel and to commit to a just solution for Palestinian refugees.
TAKE ACTION FOR PEACELet Prime Minister Stephen Harper know how you feel about his government’s pro-war stance on the Israel-Palestine conflict: pm@pm.gc.ca or 613-992-4211.

 

MAKING PEACE VIGIL August 12 2010

 

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