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  • Writer's pictureMichael Laxer

"Ceasefire now, end the siege" -- 50 Canadian groups issue joint statement on Gaza


Palestinian solidarity rally in Toronto, October 21 -- Image via The Left Chapter


50 Canadian organizations that include labour, faith, community, peace and social justice groups issued a joint statement on Saturday, October 21 entitled "Ceasefire now, end the siege, for a just and lasting peace". Among the signatories are Black Lives Matter - Canada, CUPE, the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, Independent Jewish Voices Canada, the Iranian Canadian Congress, the Coalition of Canadian Palestinian Organizations, the United Jewish People’s Order and others.



Ceasefire now, end the siege, for a just and lasting peace


People in Canada are watching in horror as the violence in Israel-Palestine has escalated towards an all-out war.


On Tuesday, the bombing of the Anglican Al-Ahli Hospital in Gaza City killed hundreds of people, most of them children. Over 5,000 people had been sheltering inside. This is a war crime.


Since October 7, thousands have been killed following Hamas’ attack and the Israeli government’s response.


We unequivocally condemn the targeting of innocent Palestinian and Israeli civilians.


As representatives of leading pan-Canadian labour, faith, Arab, Jewish, and civil society organizations, we are calling on the Government of Canada to take these steps:

  • Call for an immediate ceasefire of all hostilities in Israel-Palestine

  • Call for an end to the blockade of Gaza and for the restoration of humanitarian aid and access to the basic necessities of life

We endorse the Canadian government’s call for humanitarian aid to Gaza and the safe return of hostages. These demands cannot be meaningfully addressed without an immediate ceasefire and while Israel's blockade of Gaza continues.


Gaza is facing a “complete siege” as food, water, electricity, and fuel have been cut off. Gaza’s last functioning seawater desalination plant shut down on Sunday after running out of fuel. Water and sanitation services have collapsed in the wake of widespread bombing.


UN shelters have also run out of water and hospital workers are warning that thousands more civilians could die if access to water, fuel, and medicine is not restored.


The already dire humanitarian crisis is rapidly deteriorating.


The Israeli government’s order to a million Gazans to evacuate to the south–an impossible feat in 24 hours–suggests that a ground war and intensifying bombing are imminent.

Our most urgent task is preventing the further loss of life and an even greater humanitarian disaster than what we have already witnessed in Gaza. An all-out war would bring catastrophe to the entire region.


As hostilities escalate, they are fuelling a rise of Anti-Arab and anti-Palestinian racism, Islamophobia, and antisemitism in Canada–which we also unequivocally condemn.


Beyond these immediate steps, the world must support efforts for a just and lasting peace in Israel-Palestine and address the root cause of the violence: Israel’s decades-long occupation of Palestinian territory.


Palestinians, Israelis, and all people in the region deserve to live in peace and security and with justice for all.

Signatories:


  1. Alternatives

  2. Arab Canadian Lawyers Association

  3. Asian Canadian Labour Alliance - Ontario

  4. Asian Canadian Women Alliance

  5. Association québécoise des organismes de coopération internationale (AQOCI)

  6. Black Lives Matter - Canada

  7. Canada Stand Up for Palestinian Children’s Rights

  8. Canadian Boat to Gaza

  9. Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives

  10. Canadian Friends of Sabeel

  11. Canadian Palestinian Professional Foundation

  12. Canadian Palestinian Social Association of London

  13. Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Ontario / Syndicat canadien de la fonction publique (SCFP) Ontario

  14. Canadian Voice of Women for Peace

  15. Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East

  16. Centre international de solidarité ouvrière (CISO)

  17. Le CIBLES - Carrefour international bas-laurentien pour l'engagement social

  18. Coalition of Canadian Palestinian Organizations

  19. Conseil central du Montréal métropolitain CSN

  20. Conseil régional Montréal métropolitain FTQ

  21. Fédération autonome de l’enseignement FAE

  22. Femmes en Mouvement du Québec

  23. Front d’action populaire en réaménagement urbain (FRAPRU)

  24. Hearing Palestine

  25. Independent Jewish Voices Canada

  26. International Coalition For Human Rights in the Philippines Canada

  27. Iranian Canadian Congress

  28. Jewish Faculty Network

  29. Montréal pour un monde sans guerre

  30. Le Mouvement d'éducation populaire et d'action communautaire du Québec (MÉPACQ)

  31. National Council of Canadian Muslims

  32. National Union of Public and General Employees

  33. Oblates Franciscaines de Saint-Joseph

  34. Palestine Network, Shining Waters

  35. PalNet Pacific

  36. People for Peace, London

  37. Progress Toronto

  38. Public Service Alliance of Canada / L’Alliance de la Fonction publique du Canada

  39. Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Montreal, Social Action Office

  40. Soeurs Auxiliatrices, Québec

  41. South Asian Legal Clinic of Ontario

  42. SWO KAIROS

  43. Table ronde des organismes volontaires d’éducation Populaire de l’Outaouais

  44. Unifor

  45. The United Church of Canada

  46. United Jewish People’s Order

  47. United Network for Justice and Peace in Palestine and Israel

  48. Urban Alliance on Race Relations

  49. World Beyond War

  50. Wildseed Centre for Art & Activism

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