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Home arrow Canada and the Middle East arrow Why We Greens Still Push for Anti-Occupation Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions
Why We Greens Still Push for Anti-Occupation Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions PDF Print E-mail
Sep 13, 2016 at 12:00 AM

Members on Israel and Palestine: ‘Green party values oblige us to stand with the oppressed.’

On August 7, 2016, Green Party of Canada members who attended the party’s biannual convention in Ottawa voted overwhelmingly to support a limited use of boycott, divestment and sanctions against those sectors of Israel’s economy and society that profit from Israel’s occupation of Palestinian territory.

That occupation has caused incalculable suffering to the Palestinian people. As stated by the Nobel laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu, the Palestinians’ “humiliation is familiar to all black South Africans who were corralled and harassed and insulted and assaulted by the security forces of the apartheid government.”

For decades, Israel’s occupation has facilitated its construction of settlements in the West Bank. In 2004, the International Court of Justice determined that Israel’s settlements and those parts of its separation wall that jut into occupied territory violate international law.

Canada’s own government states that “Israeli settlements in the occupied territories are a violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention” and “constitute a serious obstacle to achieving a comprehensive, just and lasting peace.”

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In Rachel Corrie verdict, Israel deals new blow to international law
The verdict on the 2003 killing of Rachel Corrie absolved Israel of any wrongdoing, essentially blaming the victim for her death. The trial revealed Israel’s approach to the most fundamental principles of international law, and especially to the duty to protect non-combatants.

By Jeff Halper

For those who hoped for a just verdict on the death of Rachel Corrie, the American student and ISM activist killed by an Israeli bulldozer in Gaza in 2003 as she was defending a Palestinian home about to be demolished, this is a sad day. Not surprising, but still sad and bitter. The judge who decided the case, Oded Gershon, absolved the army of all blame, despite massive and internally contradictory testimony to the contrary. Moreover, he essentially blamed Rachel for her own death, commenting that a “normal person” would have run away from the bulldozer rather than confront it.

Palestinians and Israel human rights activists have learned that justice cannot be obtained through the Israeli judicial system. The Haifa District Court, in which the trial was held, could not have ruled other than how the state wanted. For the past 45 years of Israeli occupation, the Supreme Court has excluded from its rulings all reference to international humanitarian law and to the Fourth Geneva Convention in particular, which protects civilians living in conflict situations and under occupation. Only Israeli law applies in the Occupied Palestinian Territories – military law and orders – and the courts have restricted even that form of law by declaring that in instances of “security,” they defer to the military. As in Rachel’s case, the IDF thus has carte blanche to commit war crimes with impunity, with no fear of accountability or punishment.

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