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Letter: Canada’s response on Jerusalem disappointing

The Dome of the Rock Mosque in the Al Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem’s Old City is seen trough a door with the shape of star of David, Dec. 7, a day after U.S. President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. — Ariel Schalit/The Associated Press
The Dome of the Rock Mosque in the Al Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem’s Old City is seen trough a door with the shape of star of David, Dec. 7, a day after U.S. President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. — Ariel Schalit/The Associated Press

When is Canada going to show some support for the Palestinian people? Despite relentless Israeli aggression and human rights violations against Palestinians, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, like previous prime minister Stephen Harper, appears incapable of criticizing the Israeli state.

For over 50 years, Palestinians have been subjected to daily humiliating treatment by occupying Israeli troops. Illegal Israeli settlements continue to expand. Traditional Palestinian farmers are forced to flee their destroyed homes and villages after the Israeli forces confiscate their land.

It is time Canada found the courage to speak out in support of the Palestinians.

United Nations resolutions have continually condemned Israeli aggression. Last year, 169 nations, including Britain, France and Germany, supported a resolution guaranteeing the protection of Palestinian civilians, as per the Geneva Convention, in the Israeli occupied territories. The Trudeau government unexplainably, was one of only six countries who opposed this resolution.

On Dec. 6, U.S. President Donald Trump announced the U.S.A.’s official recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. As expected, Trump’s announcement was well received by Benjamin Netanyahu’s hard-right Israeli government. However, wise world leaders sharply condemned this action fearing increasing tension in the Middle East and ending the two-state solution.

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres was clear in stating that the status of Jerusalem should be negotiated within the two-state process. Jerusalem is one of the most important religious cities in the world, a holy city to the Muslim, Jewish and Christian faiths. It is common knowledge amongst world leaders that the proposed capital for a future Palestinian state would be East Jerusalem.

Canada’s response to Trump’s announcement has been described by our own media as muted. Why is Canada so embarrassingly silent when it comes to the plight of the Palestinian people? Most scholars acknowledge that the only path to peace in the Middle East is through a viable Palestinian state.

It is time Canada found the courage to speak out in support of the Palestinians. It is not enough to spout support for the “two-state solution” line. Our prime minister must show resolve and condemn aggressive Israeli Army treatment of Palestinians. Canada must take a firm stand and demand an end to Israeli settlement activity. If Canada truly wants to be a leader in the world, then our prime minister must end his submissive, pro-Israel stance.

 

Carmel Conway
St. John’s

 

 

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