March 5th, 2024, Oakville – The Canadian Muslim Public Affairs Council (CMPAC) condemns the organization and promotion of Israel Real Estate Seminars currently taking place in the United States and Canada, wherein illegal settlements in the West Bank are being marketed for sale. The “Great Real Estate Event”, as advertised on, violates international and Canadian law, contributes to the perpetuation of human rights abuses, and exploits religious institutions for commercial gain. The seminars are scheduled to take place in Canada on the following dates: Tuesday, March 5th at The Spanish & Portuguese Synagogue in Montreal, and Thursday, March 7th at The BAYT in Toronto.

The aforementioned illegal Israeli settlements, which are being promoted at these events, are widely acknowledged as a human rights violation against the five million Palestinians living under occupation.1 As highlighted by Amnesty International, Israel’s settlement enterprise has thrived through systematic oppression, resulting in numerous human rights violations, including demolitions of Palestinian homes, displacement of indigenous populations, and unlawful appropriation of Palestinian resources.2 This is evidenced by the forcible displacement of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians to date and the appropriation of Palestinian land for exclusive settlement use.3 

Both international and domestic Canadian law consider Israeli settlements illegal. Specifically, the United Nations Security Council Resolutions 23344 and 4655 affirm the illegality of these settlements under international law. Furthermore, Canadian law6, including the Geneva Conventions Act7 and the Crimes Against Humanity and War Crimes Act8, prohibits any form of support or assistance to these illegal settlements.9

CMPAC echoes the sentiments expressed by concerned citizens, including Mr. Rich Siegel, Jewish resident of Teaneck, NJ, at a Teaneck Township Council meeting, wherein he highlighted the egregious violation of both domestic and international law by hosting such events. The participation of religious institutions, such as synagogues, in facilitating these seminars further exacerbates the gravity of the situation. Places of worship must uphold ethical standards and refrain from involvement in activities that perpetuate injustice and discrimination.

It is imperative that all stakeholders, including government officials and religious leaders, take decisive action to put an end to these unlawful practices. CMPAC reiterates that the sale of properties in illegal settlements is not only unlawful but also morally reprehensible. By engaging in such transactions, individuals and organizations risk being complicit in the ongoing genocide and displacement of indigenous Palestinian populations. As Canadians, we have a responsibility to ensure that our actions do not support or enable such egregious violations of human rights.

Furthermore, in light of Canada’s foreign policy stance on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which acknowledges the applicability of the Fourth Geneva Convention to the Occupied Palestinian Territories and condemns the Israeli settlements as a violation of international law, it is incumbent upon the Canadian government to take action to uphold its legal obligations. Therefore, CMPAC calls for the following immediate actions to address this issue:

  1. Immediate Cessation of Real Estate Seminars: We demand the immediate cessation of all Israel Real Estate Seminars and related activities promoting the sale of properties in illegal settlements. The continued facilitation of these events is unacceptable and must be met with swift and decisive measures. These events not only contravene international law, but also undermine Canada’s commitment to justice, equality, and human rights. 
  1. Government Intervention: We call upon the Canadian government to intervene and enforce measures prohibiting the promotion and sale of properties located in illegal settlements. It is imperative that Canada complies with its binding obligations, both under international law and Canadian law, and takes a principled stand against complicity in human rights abuses.
  1. Charitable Religious Institutions Must Not Participate: Religious institutions, including synagogues, must refrain from hosting events that facilitate the sale of properties in illegal settlements in violation of international law. The exploitation of places of worship for commercial purposes is unacceptable and undermines the integrity of religious freedom and charitable activities. Charitable religious institutions must act within their charitable purposes and should not act against public benefit. We urge synagogues and other places of worship to uphold ethical standards and refuse to participate in activities that perpetuate injustice and contribute to the suffering of marginalized communities.

CMPAC emphasizes the importance of public awareness and advocacy in addressing this issue. Canadians must be informed about the illegality and immorality of investing in properties located in illegal settlements and advocate for ethical investment practices that respect human rights and international law.

Note: To explore the detailed references mentioned above, access the full PDF statement here.