Many times over the last few months, I've been out on the streets of Toronto, standing alongside supporters of justice and human rights to make our voices clear – protect the people of Gaza. Our demand has been for Canada to pressure Israel to provide the most basic of human rights to safety, shelter, food, and dignity. While people continue to take a stand on the correct side of justice, Justin Trudeau and the Liberal government dither and wallow in inaction while more and more lives are lost each day.

As charged by the Government of South Africa before the International Court of Justice, Israel is committing acts that "are genocidal in character because they are intended to bring about the destruction of a substantial part of the Palestinian national, racial and ethnical group,.. The acts in question include killing Palestinians in Gaza, causing them serious bodily and mental harm, and inflicting on them conditions of life calculated to bring about their physical destruction. The acts are all attributable to Israel, which has failed to prevent genocide and is committing genocide in manifest violation of the Genocide Convention.”

In its provisional orders, the International Court of Justice was clear in stating that Israel must do everything in its power to prevent genocide. That same standard should be held to Canada. The Canadian government should be doing everything in its power to prevent genocide, but it is not.

The Liberals are inconsistent on the issue, speaking of the humanitarian disaster caused by Israel, but unwilling to do anything to pressure Israel to cease its attacks while continuing the sale of weapons and military goods to Israel, knowing full well they are being used to commit genocide. The Conservatives are content to let violence escalate and instead focus on attacking the United Nations and aid groups all while stoking white supremacy, which exacerbates Anti-Semitism and Islamophobia here in Canada.

The October 7th attack was terrorism and was conducted by a political group with the aim of inciting political violence against Israelis. But this cannot be used by Israel and western countries, like Canada, as justification for genocide in Gaza. As the legendary Jewish organizer Marshall Ganz has said "The reality is that the tragedy of October 7 did not begin on October 7.The issues of prejudice and violence against Palestinians is long-standing. As Amnesty International has concluded: “Israel has established and maintained an institutionalized regime of oppression and domination of the Palestinian population for the benefit of Jewish Israelis – a system of apartheid.” Israel is an apartheid state that has forcibly occupied and displaced Palestinians for generations. Human Rights Watch categorizes the apartheid state in three elements: 

  1. an intent to dominate by one racial group over another;
  2. systematic oppression by the dominant group over the marginalized group; and
  3. inhumane acts.

The detail of inhumane acts is widely known and documented

  • Sweeping movement restrictions on Palestinians within, between, and outside of occupied territories
  • Land Confiscation through the Israeli legal system resulting in fractured communities and over-densification of what little secure land there is
  • Forcible Transfer of people by depriving access to basic civilian necessities forcing them to move elsewhere for basic needs
  • Denial of Residency Rights by arbitrary denial of residency, IDs, and passports
  • Suspension of Civil Rights criminalizing protest, freedom of speech, right to association, and due process for Palestinians

Finally, the violence in Gaza is directly resulting in a disproportionately gendered effect. I was proud to participate in International Women's Day 2024 which centered Palestinian Women under the theme "No One is Free Until We Are All Free."

Tens of thousands of women and children have died as a result of the violence; 70% of the deaths in Gaza have been Women and children. Ignoring the genocide is resulting in the disproportionate loss of life amongst the Palestinian Women and children of Gaza. The violence is resulting in reproductive harm to countless Women giving birth in inhumane conditions. 

I am committed to standing stalwart on the side of justice and against genocide. Our path forward must be through multilateralism and commitments to international peace and justice.

This includes:

  • Canada recognize Palestine as an internationally recognized state
  • Commitment to the right to self-determination of the Palestinian people in their traditional lands
  • Demanding an immediate ceasefire and the release of all hostages and political prisoners
  • Suspending the trade of all military goods with Israel
  • Supporting the documentation and prosecution of war crimes and human rights violations in the region
  • Repatriation of Canadian Palestinians, family reunification, and the right to return
  • Ensuring Canada uses its power and influence to enforce the provisional orders of the ICJ: That the state of Israel and its military prevent the following:
    • Killing Palestinians
    • Causing serious bodily or mental harm to Palestinians
    • Inflicting conditions of life on Palestinians calculated to bring about physical destruction in whole or in part
    • Preventing births of Palestinians
    • Prevent and punish incentivization of genocide of Palestinians
    • Immediately provide humanitarian assistance
    • Preserve evidence related to allegations of genocide
    • Report to the ICJ on its actions to prevent genocide
  • Combating politically motivated attacks on the United Nations, the International Court of Justice, the International Criminal Court and UN Agencies providing vital services to those in need
  • Rejecting the politicized defunding of UNRWA
  • Implementation of a permanent national strategy to combat white supremacy, Christian nationalism, Anti-Semitism, and Islamophobia that is not project-based, nor time-limited
  • Reform to the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal to implement fundamental changes over rampant accusations of Anti-Black and Anti-Indigenous Racism
  • A rejection of the IHRA definition of Anti-Semitism that conflates any criticism of Israel with Anti-Semitism and is actively used to silence dissent

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