Dear Prime Minister Trudeau,
The undersigned organizations are writing to express our deep concern regarding the Canadian government’s evolving stance on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict since October 7th. Your government has aligned itself more closely with the Israeli government’s position, disregarding the majority of Canadian voices calling for a permanent ceasefire and an end to the conflict. This shift raises serious questions about Canada’s commitment to a just and lasting peace in the region.
Canadian civil society, faith based and human rights groups have observed, with great concern, that the current political discourse in Canada has indirectly emboldened institutions – including public agencies, corporations, and educational establishments – to suppress expressions of support for Palestinian rights.
In light of these concerns, we urge your government to consider the following points:
1) The resumption of Israeli bombardment of Gaza, the escalating toll on civilians, and the rhetoric from Israeli officials that appears to be committed to a sustained and increasingly violent campaign against the population of Gaza, are deeply troubling. All people of conscience and the Canadian government must stand against this sustained and unprecedented brutality.
2) It is alarming that Israel has released over a hundred minors from detention, only to arrest a similar number from the West Bank. This cycle of detention, and the inhumane treatment of the detainees, raise serious human rights concerns and Canada should not remain silent about it.
3) We question Israeli administrative laws that are used to justify the detention of Palestinian children arbitrarily for indefinite periods. This practice is in stark opposition to international human rights norms. We find it shocking that Canada’s government does not condemn the illegal detention of Palestinians, especially children.
Prime Minister, Canada has a proud history of advocating for human rights and peace on the global stage. We hope that your government will realign its foreign policy to reflect these values, especially in the context of the conflict in the Middle East.
The Canadian Muslim community, along with many communities represented by the diverse undersigned organizations and beyond, are deeply concerned about the Government of Canada’s unquestioning and uncritical support for the Israeli government’s actions . This stance has raised serious concerns among us about the impartiality of our nation’s foreign policy. We can no longer remain silent in the face of Canada’s biased approach that contradicts the values of justice and fairness. This approach has proven to be a failure on all fronts. It has neither promoted justice nor positioned Canada to help broker peace.
To facilitate a more in-depth discussion on this matter, we request a meeting with your office and a representative delegation from the undersigned.
We look forward to the possibility of a dialogue and are ready to arrange a meeting at the earliest time possible.
We strongly urge the Canadian government to press for an immediate and permanent ceasefire, advocate for the release of all children, women and administrative detainees from captivity, support Palestinian right to self-determination, oppose the illegal occupation, end the siege on Gaza, and work towards a just and enduring peace in accordance with international law.
Prime Minister, children are dying in the thousands. We are witnessing ethnic cleansing and a genocide. Our hearts bleed for entire families erased, refugees displaced anew, and the complete abandonment of law and compassion. History will not be kind to those who stand silent today. The time to act is now.
For a list of all signatories download this letter (PDF).
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