December 28, 2023
The Right Honourable Justin Trudeau
Prime Minister of Canada
Office of the Prime Minister
80 Wellington Street
Ottawa, ON K1A 0A2
Dear Prime Minister Trudeau,
The undersigned individuals and Canadian civil society, faith based, community and human rights organizations from all over Canada, are writing to express our deep concerns about the escalating situation in Gaza. We stand in solidarity with the Palestinian victims of this conflict and advocate for upholding of international humanitarian law. We believe in the importance of Canada playing a constructive role in the de-escalation of the tensions in the region, rather than appear to be complicit or silent about the atrocities committed against Palestinians.
A recent Washington Post report highlights continued severe violations of international humanitarian law in Gaza. Israel’s actions, according to numerous experts, include: the killing of over 20,000 civilians, with women and children comprising 70% of the casualties; the displacement of 1.9 million people, over 85% of Gaza’s population; the destruction of over 45% of Gaza’s civilian infrastructure; attacks on medical facilities, with 17 of the 28 hospitals in Northern Gaza severely affected and out of commission; and a prolonged siege leading to severe shortages of food, water, fuel, and medical supplies.
Therefore, we the undersigned, unequivocally demand that the government of Canada ceases any cooperation with the Israeli government during this crisis to avoid being complicit in the above-mentioned war crimes. This includes all weapon sales, logistic, military and intelligence cooperation with the Israeli military forces. Complicity in the ongoing war crimes will have legal and moral consequences. It is important to note that article I of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, states that State Parties “confirm that genocide, whether committed in time of peace or in time of war, is a crime under international law which they undertake to prevent and to punish. Article IV adds that persons committing genocide or any of the other acts enumerated in article III [including those complicit] shall be punished, whether they are constitutionally responsible rulers, public officials or private individuals.”
Furthermore, we urge the Canadian government to withdraw its participation in the United States-led maritime operations in the Red Sea and Western Gulf of Aden. This naval action risks escalating the conflict and broadening its scale to potentially a wider regional conflict. It also contradicts Canada’s role in fostering regional stability. Furthermore, the Canadian government must be fully transparent with the public on its military decisions.
Additionally, the undersigned organizations continue to call on the Canadian Government to:
Advocate for Ceasefire and Withdrawal of Israeli Forces: we demand Canada to call for a permanent ceasefire, an end to all Israeli aggressions, and the withdrawal of Israeli forces from Gaza.
Support Independent Investigation: we request from the Canadian government to support an independent UN/ICC investigation into the war crimes committed in Gaza.
Lift the Siege on Gaza and end the starvation of Palestinians: we urge the Canadian government to advocate for the lifting of the siege on Gaza by the Egyptian and Israeli governments, ensuring the constant flow of essential supplies and humanitarian aid.
Participate in Rebuilding Efforts: Finally, we call on the Canadian government to announce its commitment to actively participate in rebuilding Gaza’s medical infrastructure, including sending supplies and rebuilding destroyed hospitals.
Prime Minister, we remind you again, that children, women and men are dying in the hundreds every passing day. We are witnessing ethnic cleansing and a genocide. Our hearts bleed for entire families erased, refugees displaced anew, and the complete abandonment of law and compassion. History will not be kind to those who stand silent today. The time to act is now.
- Canadian Muslim Public Affairs Council (CMPAC)
- Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at, Mississauga
- Al Huda Institute Canada
- Ar-Rahman Projects
- BIC HAMILTON
- Calgary Palestinian Council
- Canadian Muslim Civil Liberties Association
- Council of Agencies Serving South Asians
- Dahya foundation
- DAR Foundation
- Edmonton Islamic Centre
- Egyptian Canadian Coalition for Democracy
- Friends of Palestine Canada
- Hamilton Friends of Refugees
- Harmony Social Services
- Hikma Public Affairs Council
- Human Without Borders Org.
- Ibrahim Jame Mosque
- ICNA Sisters
- Independent Jewish Voices Canada
- Izzah Learning Center
- Jerrahi Sufi Order of Canada
- Justice For All Canada
- Libyan Canadian Committee for Human Rights and Justice
- North-Valley Islamic Center
- Palestinian and Jewish Unity (PAJU)
- Pickering Palestinian Association
- Scarborough Muslim Cultural Centre
- Share2care helping humanity
- Spiritual Society of Canada inc
- Tawheed Community Centre
- The Ottawa Muslim Association
- The United church of Canada
- United Network for Justice and Peace in Palestine Israel (UNJPPI)
- York Region Muslims