2nd CALL to action from the Coalition du Québec URGENCE Palestine

Together for Gaza and Palestine:
Demand sanctions against Israel!

Since October 2023, incessant bombardment, successive evacuation orders and Israel’s merciless blockade have reduced the Gaza Strip to rubble and plunged its entire population into conditions of flight, hunger, disease, exhaustion, trauma and grief. 70% of civilian infrastructure has been destroyed, 36,479 killed (civilians), 10,000 buried under rubble and 821,777 injured (as of May 27, 2024).

On May 6, Israel rejected a negotiated ceasefire agreement that Hamas had just accepted. Defying all warnings, Israel has launched its announced offensive on Rafah, the last refuge for 1.5 million Palestinians. Already, one million people have been forced to flee Rafah for devastated areas that have no facilities to accommodate them and are more difficult for humanitarian aid to reach.

How far will Canada’s abhorrent complicity go?

For months, Canada has been content to argue for Israel’s right to defend itself, a right that does not exist under international law for an occupying power. Meanwhile, from October to December 2023, Canada authorized record levels of arms exports to Israel. It claimed it was shipping only « non-lethal » military equipment but provided the media with only heavily redacted documents. It then announced that it would not approve any further military sales but would honour already signed agreements, although the International Court of Justice (ICJ) had ruled on January 26 that it was plausible that Israel was committing acts of genocide in Gaza.

As Israeli atrocities mounted, Canada expressed « concern » and eventually called for a ceasefire. On February 12, Foreign Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly said that an invasion of Rafah would be « totally unacceptable ». But for almost three months, Canada did nothing to prevent it. On the contrary, it continued to support Israel. On May 10, the United Nations General Assembly voted overwhelmingly to admit the State of Palestine to the UN. Canada abstained. This was, in the words of Justin Trudeau, a « fundamental shift » in policy.

Sanctions against Israel now

All human life is sacred. All human rights violations must be condemned and those responsible held to account. Canada’s inaction is abhorrent and contrary to its international obligations. We call for tough sanctions against Israel, starting with an embargo on all military equipment. Canada’s special bilateral relationship with Israel, including the free trade agreement, must also be reviewed: business as usual is not an option. Going ahead with the opening of the Quebec office in Tel Aviv, on the pretext that the decision was made before October 2023, is shameful. Sanctions must be imposed until a just and lasting solution is established, giving concrete form to the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination and to equal rights in the land of Palestine. We should be wary of Western attempts—led by the U.S., with Canada following loyally behind—to impose a « two-state » solution, one of which, the Palestinian state, would not be viable.


Signatories as of today

Sign the call to action!

The Coalition du Québec URGENCE Palestine invites organisations to add their name to the list of signatories to express their support to the call TOGETHER FOR GAZA AND PALESTINE: DEMAND SANCTIONS AGAINST ISRAEL!

To do so, we ask that before June 8 you send an email indicating your organisation’s name to urgencepalestine.qc@gmail.com.