March 19th, 2024, Oakville – The Canadian Muslim Public Affairs Council (CMPAC) is disappointed in the amendments proposed by the Liberal government to the motion on Palestine by the New Democratic Party (NDP). Canada should have displayed a principled position, exhibiting leadership and a commitment to international law and human rights. Instead, the Liberal government chose to amend the motion, maintaining the status quo and the prior position of the Canadian government, reaffirming its unconditional support for Israel. While some significant points were kept, such as calling for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza and halting permits to arms exports to Israel, the amended version lacks depth and value, rendering it superficial. The controversial amendments fail to recognize the statehood of Palestine, and uses problematic language that does not condemn or take Israel to account for their continued aggressions against Palestinians that amount to a Genocide as presented at the ICJ. 

We commend the NDP for their initiative in proposing the motion. However, the removal of the section on recognizing Palestinian statehood, as part of a deal with the Liberals, dilutes the motion’s original intent. The focus has now shifted towards “working towards the establishment of the State of Palestine as part of a negotiated two-state solution,” which perpetuates an ineffective negotiation process that has been unsuccessfully going on for decades. 

The aforementioned limitations of the passed motion shed light on its shortcomings and underscore the urgent need for more concrete action from the Canadian government. The watered down amendments further reveal a lack of political will to address the root causes of the crisis. Therefore, CMPAC highlights the following policy demands that the Canadian government should commit to:

  • Officially recognize an independent Palestinian State;
  • Support the prosecution and sanctioning of Israel and Israeli officials for their violations of international law and ICJ measures;
  • Demand unimpeded humanitarian access to Gaza through multiple crossings; and
  • Secure the safe passage of families of Canadians trapped in Gaza to Canada, and eliminate the arbitrary cap of 1000 temporary resident visa applications.

The ongoing crisis in Palestine where hundreds of innocent Palestinians are killed everyday mandates decisive and immediate action. We urge continued support and advocacy to protect Palestinian human rights and maintain the recognition of International humanitarian law. The people of Palestine cannot wait any longer for justice and peace.