Making Peace Vigil

Standing up for peace


Posted by strattof on July 25, 2014

As the violence in Israel and Palestine continues to intensify, the death toll keeps on mounting. Earlier this week, it rose above 600, with a disproportionate number of the dead ‒ 96% ‒ being Palestinian, the vast majority of them civilians.

What can be done to end the bloodshed and bring a lasting peace to the region?

Canada used to be known as a peace-making nation. In this ongoing conflict, however, the Canadian government, rather than working for peace, has chosen to promote war by siding with one of the combatants.

“Israel has every right to defend itself,” is Prime Minister Harper’s mantra. At the same time, he is quick to denounce every Palestinian action.

By failing to be even-handed, Canada has become complicit in the destruction and bloodshed on both sides of the conflict.


  1. Israel was founded on land that was already occupied. Its creation in 1948 caused the displacement of 750,000 Palestinians. Many of them, along with their descendants, continue to live in refugee camps in Jordan and Lebanon.
  2. Israel’s Law of Return entitles any Jewish person, from any part of the world, to immediate Israeli citizenship, whereas Palestinians whose families were expelled in 1948 have no right of return.
  3. 1.1 million Palestinians live in Israel where they are second class citizens. Making up about 20% of the population, they suffer from widespread discrimination, affecting everything from education and employment to landownership.
  4. Since 1967, Gaza and the West Bank have been under Israeli military occupation. In 2005, Israel withdrew its soldiers from Gaza. However, it has maintained an air, land, and sea blockade, preventing people and goods from entering or leaving and creating a humanitarian catastrophe.
  5. In the West Bank, the Israeli army has complete control. Palestinians are subject to Israeli military justice, under which torture, mass arrests, detention without trial, harsh restrictions on movement, and house demolitions are legal.
  6. Since the 1970s, Israel has been confiscating Palestinian land in the West Bank and establishing Israeli settlements. Today, about 350,000 Israeli settlers live in these settlements, which are illegal under international law.
  7. Israel is building a separation wall in the West Bank. The wall will be 700 km on completion and is putting prime land into Israeli hands and further restricting the movement of Palestinians.
  8. Israel has the most powerful military in the Middle East and one of the most powerful militaries in the world. In addition to conventional weapons, it has an undeclared arsenal of nuclear weapons. In contrast to Iran, which Canada regularly condemns for its nuclear program, Israel has not signed the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons treaty. Both Iran and Canada are signatories.

M A K I N G   W A R

Why has the Canadian government adopted such a one-sided, war-promoting approach to Israel and Palestine?

  • Canadian companies have lucrative contracts with Israel.
  • The Conservative Party is playing to the beliefs of its base about Israel.
  • Canada and Israel are both colonial settler countries founded on the dispossession and impoverishment of Indigenous peoples.

M A K I N G   P E A C E

We call on the Canadian government to work with other nations to create a just and lasting peace between Israel and Palestine.

Some of the conditions required for a just and lasting peace:

  • Both sides to renounce violence.
  • Israel to end its occupation of Palestinian territory, to dismantle Israeli settlements and the separation wall, and to withdraw to the legally recognized 1967 borders.
  • Israel to recognize the right of Palestinians living in Israel to full and equal citizenship.
  • Israel and Palestine to find an agreed upon solution to the future of Palestinian refugees expelled from Israel in 1948.
  • Israel and Palestine to recognize the right of the other to exist.


Learn more about making peace in Israel and Palestine. Visit the website of Jewish Voice for Peace:


Let Prime Minister Stephen Harper know you want the Canadian government to uphold Canada’s reputation as a peace-making country by working with other nations to create a just and lasting peace between Israel and Palestine: or 613-992-4211.

Walls turned on their sides are bridges.” —Graffiti on the US-Mexico border wall


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