Mouvement québécois pour la Paix – US Peace Council – Canadian Peace Congress

Joint Statement on the Situation in Palestine

The large scale armed conflict between the Israeli state and Palestinian resistance forces which began on October 7th has rapidly and dangerously escalated. Israel has responded to Palestinian armed attacks inside Israel with indiscriminate strikes throughout the Gaza strip, the West Bank, and even in Lebanon and Syria. Already, thousands have perished on both sides, and hundreds of thousands more have been displaced from their homes, especially in Gaza City. Furthermore, Israeli forces are now preparing to launch a devastating land offensive on Gaza which will likely claim many more thousands of victims, mostly among the civilian population. This situation has the potential to escalate to a regional conflict. We call for a ceasefire and an immediate halt to Israel’s vicious retaliatory assaults.

The historically inevitable bloodshed that has started, and has already taken too many lives, is of the Israeli state’s own making. The Zionist state of Israel has no other party to blame for this human catastrophe. It would be beyond short-sighted to assume that the long-standing Israeli injustices and occupation wouldn’t provoke reactions from the Palestinian people, who hold the right to resist occupation, a principle firmly established in international law.

However, this is not where the blame stops. The government of the United States is equally — if not more — responsible for the current tragedy. Decades of unconditional support for Israel’s violations of international law and human rights, tens of billions of dollars’ worth of military aid to Israel with eyes closed to the atrocities and terrorism committed by Israeli military and settlers in the occupied Palestinian territories, and persistent blocking of every effort by the international community to call Israel into account for its illegal actions, all have contributed to this horrendous situation. We strongly condemn the current escalatory stance of the U.S. government and, in particular, its decision to send at least one aircraft carrier strike group to the Eastern Mediterranean in support of Israel, who, after all, is protecting the interests of NATO countries in the Middle East.

The government of Canada is not without blame either. Shamefully, the Canadian government and all parties in Parliament have restated their full support for the Israel’s far-right government, while falsely accusing people who express solidarity with Palestine of anti-Semitism – just weeks after the Canadian Parliament gave two unanimous standing ovations to a Nazi veteran of World War II.

In Quebec, the government falsely presents itself as operating from a position of neutrality in the conflict. Notwithstanding the multiple economic ties between the Quebec and Canadian economy to the state of Israel, Legault’s government itself has shown its colours quite clearly with its ongoing project of opening a permanent diplomatic mission to Israel, while roundly condemning the right of resistance of the Palestinian people.

By spearheading unconditional support for Israel’s apartheid government, which ultimately defends the interests of NATO countries in the Middle East, the governments of the United States and Canada bear primary responsibility for this conflict.

We call on the U.S., Canadian, and Québécois governments to acknowledge and condemn the indiscriminate and genocidal bombardment of Gaza by the Israeli government, and to demand implementation of the UN resolutions now. This is the only road to lasting peace in the region, and for the survival of the Palestinian people. The international community must take every possible collective action to stop this bloodshed immediately, and to achieve a political solution based upon the principles of the United Nations Charter and globally recognized international law.

We finally reiterate the demand of the World Peace Council for the end of the occupation of all Palestinian lands by Israel, and the establishment of a genuinely independent and sovereign State of Palestine within the borders existing prior to June 1967, and with East Jerusalem as its capital. We demand the release of all Palestinian political prisoners from Israeli jails and the right to return of all the Palestinian refugees according to the UN resolution 194.

Occupation and injustice cannot last forever!

October 12, 2023