Feb 032020

On January 28th Canadian Friends Service Committee, the peace and social justice agency of Quakers in Canada, was dismayed to learn the details of the United States’ Middle East “peace” plan. This plan makes a mockery of the word “peace.”

Over our 89 years of peace work, CFSC has come to know deeply that peace is delicate and difficult to obtain, and, as Friend and lifelong peace advocate Ursula Franklin put it, “You don’t have peace and justice to yourself.”[1] These two, justice and peace, are indivisible. They can only be obtained when there is peace and justice for all. Any plan toward peace must involve all parties in the negotiation process. It must reflect the needs of all affected parties, not just the needs of the party in the more powerful position.

Scene near the Israel-Gaza border December 29, 2008 – credit Amir Farshad Ebrahimi CC-BY.

A plan that ensures permanent Israeli power over many aspects of Palestinian life, allows for the further illegal annexation of Palestinian land (a grave violation of the international legal order with far reaching consequences), and grants to the Palestinian people a weak quasi-state with few actual powers, must be rejected in the strongest of terms. This is not a formula for the just peace that the world and so many Israelis and Palestinians long for.

Michael Lynk, UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, notes that the plan would create a Palestine that is simply “scattered archipelagos of non-contiguous territory completely surrounded by Israel,” giving it “no geographic basis for a viable economy.”[2]  

This plan is in violation of international law and strongly clashes with Canada’s policies about key issues in the region, in particular the illegality of the occupation.[3]

For these reasons, we call on Canada to show leadership and respect for international law and the principles that will ensure a real and lasting peace, by rejecting this dangerous plan.

In Friendship,

Lana Robinson,

Clerk, Canadian Friends Service Committee (Quakers)

[1] quoted in Nicholas Keung, “Peace Isn’t Optional, Scientist Activist Declares,” The Toronto Star, January 16, 2002, B2

[2] quoted in United Nations Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner, “Israel/OPT: UN Expert Alarmed by ‘Lopsided’ Trump Plan, Says Will Entrench Occupation,” January 31, 2020

[3] Government of Canada, “Canadian Policy on Key Issues in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict,” updated March 19, 2019, https://www.international.gc.ca/world-monde/international_relations-relations_internationales/mena-moan/israeli-palistinian_policy-politique_israelo-palestinien.aspx?lang=eng

Download this open letter in PDF. Learn more about our concern for a just peace in Israel/Palestine.