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Jewish-Canadians Decry Canada’s Open Door to Israeli PM Netanyahu

May 31, 2010

Independent Jewish Voices finds it abhorrent, but not surprising, that the Canadian Government extends a warm welcome to Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu to Canada on May 30/31. IJV spokesperson Dylan Penner (Ottawa) states that “an honest and responsible government would instead indict Mr. Netanyahu for war crimes and crimes against humanity and would seek his arrest as he arrives in Canada. An honest and humane government would demand that Israel lift the siege of Gaza and make substantial reparations for persistently killing and crippling the citizens of Gaza in violation of many international laws.”

While the Canadian Government aims to make uttering the words “Israeli apartheid” a hate crime, even PM Netanyahu’s nephew, Jonathan Ben-Artzi writes “Yes, apartheid”: “What should one call this situation? The International Criminal Court defines the crime of apartheid as ‘inhumane acts’ committed in the context of an institutionalized regime of systematic oppression and domination by one racial group over any other racial group …Much as the struggle for equality and freedom in South Africa required international support and motivation, so does today’s struggle for justice in the Holy Land.” Netanyahu’s nephew and former PM Olmert’s children refuse to serve in the Israeli army.

We remind the citizens of Canada that the Canadian government was the only country to vote against the UN Human Rights Commission ceasefire resolution in January, 2009 and directly contributed to hundreds of civilian casualties. Canada has knowingly reduced humanitarian aid during this manmade humanitarian disaster inflicted on Gaza, and our government has approved continued weapons and surveillance trade with Israel. Contrary to the image of Canada as a peace-promoting country, the Canadian government is unconscionably silent about Israel’s nuclear weapons. Only the rare Member of Parliament has joined with civil society and with most nations of the world in condemning Israel’s ongoing crimes.

Halifax IJV member Judy Haiven says that “thousands of Jewish people in North America and Europe are outraged by Israel’s crimes but that this is rarely reported in the media.” In the United States, Jewish Voice for Peace lists Israel’s midnight raids on activists, media gag orders, crushing non-violent protests even with live ammunition, silencing NGOs, banning internationals who are critical of Israel. “Enough is enough.” We ask Canadian leaders to actually assume leadership and finally speak up for justice.

For more information contact:
Dylan Penner
Ottawa Peace and Justice
Phone: 613-859-6996

Judith Deutsch
Phone: 416 929-8180

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Independent Jewish Voices


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