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Jan 11, 2007 at 01:02 AM

Gaza pamphlet imageWe condemn Israel’s assault against the population of the Gaza Strip, and call on the Government of Canada to take a strong position in support of human rights and international law and against collective punishment, ethnic cleansing and state terrorism.

The situation in Gaza is critical: inadequate water, electricity, and medicine; widespread hunger, poverty, and unemployment; schools and other services rendered inoperative; constant bombardments and attacks by the Israeli military. If this siege continues, more spreading disease, malnutrition, and violence are inevitable....

The situation in Gaza is critical: inadequate water, electricity, and medicine; widespread hunger, poverty, and unemployment; schools and other services rendered inoperative; constant bombardments and attacks by the Israeli military. If this siege continues, more spreading disease, malnutrition, and violence are inevitable.

Over the past few months the Israeli army’s actions – cynically named in the summer months “Operation Summer Rain” and now bearing the title “Operation Autumn Clouds” – have brought unbearable persecution to the Palestinian population in the Gaza Strip, including the killing of many women, children and other civilians.

During the four months ending November 8th, 335 Palestinians were killed in the Gaza Strip, including 30 women and 85 youth under 17 years old. Israeli media stated that only 130 of those killed were armed. Therefore, in less than half a year more than 250 civilians were killed by the Israeli army in Gaza, not to mention hundreds more wounded and maimed. Between November 8 and 14, 47 more people in Beit Hanoun were killed. Many men between the age of 16 and 45 were arrested and taken away. Two women were killed protesting in front of a mosque that was later destroyed, and 19 women, children and men were killed by Israeli artillery while sleeping in their home.

Meanwhile, to Canada’s shame, our government remains prominent among those who continue to strangle the Palestinian economy by withholding vital aid to the Palestinian Authority, because Palestinians elected a Hamas majority early this year. Palestinian public workers – teachers, hospital workers, engineers – have been without pay for eight months, devastating the economy and leaving the PA unable to maintain the infrastructure vital for the well being of its people. This amounts to collective punishment of Palestinians for the crime of exercising their democratic franchise. Israeli authorities have abducted and imprisoned dozens of Palestinian elected representatives, without a murmur of protest from the government of Canada.

We call on the government of Canada to:

  • Recognize the democratically elected government of the Palestinian people, end sanctions and restore Canada’s foreign aid funding to the Palestinian Authority.
  • Issue a clear call demanding that Israel end the siege on Gaza and its war against the civilian population of Gaza, withdraw its armed forces from the Strip, restore the tax revenues it has illegally withheld from the Palestinian government, end the occupation of the Gaza Strip, the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and the Golan Heights, and enter into negotiations with the legitimately elected representatives of the Palestinian people.
  • Refuse visas to Israeli officials for travel in Canada unless and until Israel releases all Palestinian elected representatives and allows them to conduct their duties unmolested.
  • Send a multi-party delegation of Canadian parliamentarians to visit the Occupied Palestinian Territories, observe the situation for themselves and report back.

This statement endorsed by CanPalNet, Jews for a Just Peace, the Palestine Community Centre of BC, StopWar.ca, the Canada Palestine Association and the Trade Union Committee for Justice in the Middle East.

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Alliance of Concerned Jewish Canadians slams Canadian Jewish Congress exclusion

PRESS  RELEASE          For immediate Release            2007-07-03
 
The Alliance of Concerned Jewish Canadians responded today, to the decision by the Canadian Jewish Congress to deny membership to the progressive Jewish group. The CJC issued a letter which gave no reason for its decision.

“The decision by the Canadian Jewish Congress to exclude the Alliance of Concerned Jewish Canadians illustrates the sectarian orientation of the forces controlling that organization,” declared ACJC Administrative Secretary Abraham Weizfeld. “The rejection of our application to become a member of the Canadian Jewish Congress and the refusal seat our delegates at the CJC Plenary on June 17th amounts to a refusal to acknowledge growing Jewish opposition to the Israeli occupation and siege of the Palestinian territories.”

“CJC’s refusal to include all tendencies in the Jewish community should be seen as a futile attempt to marginalize growing Jewish opposition to Israel’s behaviour and to the exclusive character of the Israel State,” Weizfeld continued.

 He contended that this refusal also motivated the decision by the June 17 plenary of the Canadian Jewish Congress to annul the process of conducting elections to the Board of Directors. As a result of this decision, the Board will now have 25% of its seats reserved for the Canadian Council for Israel and Jewish Advocacy which controls the CJC funding agency, the United Jewish Appeal. Weizfeld explained that these organizations provide unquestioning support to Israel, regardless of what it does.

The resulting vote on a resolution to amend the CJC constitution with regard to election of officers may not have passed if the Alliance of Concerned Jewish Canadians’ delegates had been included.

“We do not share in the uncritical support for Israel,” Weizfeld stated. “It is our position that the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza, which began in 1967, must end immediately. This is the view that the ACJC wanted to bring to the Canadian Jewish Congress and that the CJC leadership was determined to ignore.” The refusal to hear our independent voice is proof that the CJC is not a body representative of diverse currents in Canada's Jewish population.

“It is essential that Israel and the Palestinians – including the duly elected Prime Minister Haniyeh – begin negotiations to conclude a lasting peace without prior conditions from either side. Only this approach can put an end to this ongoing tragedy for both the Palestinian and Israeli communities,” he concluded.

Alliance of Concerned Jewish Canadians
Alliance de Canadien/nes juif/ves concerné/es
68, av. Duluth est
Montréal QC H2W 1G8 Canada
(514) 284-6642

ACJC2006@yahoo.ca
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ACJC2006