13 May, 2021

Courage demands more to aid Palestine

We encourage all NDP members to present the following letter to their riding associations. Click here to view and download the letter.

Please send the signed letter to: Anne.McGrath@ndp.cadhananjai.kohli@ndp.ca, Jagmeet.Singh@parl.gc.ca, and info@couragecoalition.ca

Courage Calls on the Government of Canada to Sanction Israel.

As Canadians, we have watched in horror as Israel has committed new atrocities and human rights violations against Palestinians with our government’s moral and financial support. As NDPers, we have been dismayed that our party has not called for sanctions in response to this escalating violence – despite members voting overwhelmingly for just such a response at our federal convention last month. 

The recent Israeli home invasions at Sheikh Jarrah, the violent assault on worshippers at Al-Aqsa mosque, and the ongoing state violence across all of Israel-Palestine are part of a continued campaign of ethnic cleansing and apartheid by the occupying power, the State of Israel, against the Palestinians. The Israeli government is deliberately targeting worshippers during Ramadan. They are rallying racist nationalists around “Jerusalem Day”, and targeting Palestinian civilians, neighbourhoods, and places of worship including in the Gaza strip with rubber-coated steel bullets, flash and stun grenades, and airstrikes. These attacks have so far killed at least 83 Palestinians including 17 children, seven women, and injured and maimed hundreds of Palestinians, destroyed many civilian sites including a 12-story residential building in occupied Gaza, and vandalized Al-Aqsa mosque, the third holiest site in Islam. 

There is no foreseeable end to this violence. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has threatened to increase the “frequency” and “strength” of the air raids. Benny Gantz, the Israeli defence minister, said: “Israel is not preparing for a ceasefire. There is currently no end date for the operation. Only when we achieve complete quiet can we talk about calm.”

This current wave of state violence is part of the 73-year brutal colonization of Palestine that Canada and its allies have supported by failing to apply any consequences for the perpetrators of war crimes. Canada must sanction the State of Israel for its actions and work to liberate the Palestinians from their oppressor. We are glad to hear Singh and other MPs call for an end to the arms trade and urge them to go further. The NDP must honour the will of its members and demand that the government immediately implement sanctions against Israel. 

The NDP Policy Book Clause 4.1.f states:

New Democrats believe in:

f. Working with partners for peace in Israel and Palestine, respecting UN resolutions and international law, supporting peaceful co-existence in viable, independent states with agreed-upon borders, an end to Israeli occupation of Palestinian land, and an end to violence targeting civilians. To that end:

  1.  Ending all trade and economic cooperation with illegal settlements in Israel-Palestine
  2.  Suspending the bilateral trade of all arms and related materials with the State of Israel until Palestinian rights are upheld.

Following this policy, we, the undersigned, call on Jagmeet Singh and the NDP to clearly demand an end to all trade and economic cooperation with illegal settlements in Israel-Palestine and a suspension of all bilateral trade of arms and related materials with the State of Israel until Palestinians rights are upheld. In addition, we call on Jagmeet Singh and the NDP to demand the State of Israel return the homes in Sheikh Jarrah to the Palestinians that were forcefully evicted as the forcible transfer of the occupied civilian population is prohibited by the Fourth Geneva Convention.

We would also like to remind the leadership of NDP that as a party committed to opposing racism, it must never accept policies of settler-colonialism, ethnonationalism, ethnic cleansing or apartheid. Just as labour unions, students, and artists united to pressure South Africa in ending apartheid over forty years ago, so too has civil society been speaking out now to end injustice and longstanding systems of oppression against Palestinians in Israel-Palestine.

We all call on our fellow riding associations, labour partners, and allied organizations to support us in our demands in pursuit of justice and peace in Israel-Palestine.