In light of Canada’s silence on Israel’s human rights abuses, Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME) launches the Peace in Palestine campaign in an effort to force Canada’s politicians to have an honest public discussion about Israel’s illegal settlements and how Canada must respond. The goal of the campaign is to have Parliament pass a motion condemning Israel’s illegal “settlements” (aka colonies), which are an ongoing obstacle to peace and violate Palestinians’ human rights.
A core component of the campaign is a Parliamentary ePetition, calling on the government to “demand that Israel immediately and completely cease all settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territories.” The Peace in Palestine petition launched by CJPME mirrors the wording of UN Security Council resolution 2334 (December 2016), and has the sponsorship of NDP Foreign Affairs Critic Helène Laverdière. CJPME is launching a four-month cross-Canada campaign promoting this Parliamentary petition and the follow-up Parliamentary motion CJPME hopes this campaign inspires.
CJPME President Thomas Woodley stated enthusiastically,
“If we all stand up together, there’s no reason we can’t get tens of thousands of Canadians supporting this motion.” CJPME points out that last year, over 70,000 Canadians signed a Parliamentary ePetition condemning Islamophobia – the highest number of signatures on any Parliamentary petition. Parliament then discussed and passed two motions condemning Islamophobia. “If we all work together,” concluded Woodley, “We can equal or better this accomplishment!”
In the absence of negotiations, CJPME believes Canada has a duty to call out violations of international law and human rights. The Peace in Palestine campaign is a peaceful initiative that puts pressure on the government to do just that: to condemn Israel’s settlement enterprise, which constitutes a “flagrant violation” of international law. Thus far, over 60 Canadian unions and civil society organizations have already endorsed the initiative. Other organizations wishing to endorse the campaign may do so on-line. Canadian individuals are also encouraged to sign the Parliamentary ePetition, thus demonstrating support for the “Peace in Palestine” campaign, an end to Israel’s illegal settlements, and respect for Palestinian human rights.