We call on our community, as we did in our Position Paper on Canadian Elections 2004, to vote for candidates who are interested in serving humanity and the people’s interest at home and abroad, and not to give any backing to those who are benefiting materially from the Israeli lobby in Canada. We call on our community and our Canadian supporters to defeat all those who are in the current Canadian Cabinet including the Prime Minister, who are complicit in supporting, maintaining and covering up for Israeli occupation, atrocities and war crimes. We must also work to defeat all those Canadian Parliamentarians who belong to the “Canada-Israel Interparliamentary (Friendship) Group” (for their names and party affiliation see: http://www.canpalnet-ottawa.org/election2006.html).
We also ask our community to reject those mercenaries in our midst who are seeking only their own self-interest and betraying our causes by supporting those who are complicit in war crimes against the Palestinian, Iraqi, Haitian, Afghani and other people all over the world.
We should stand up for the right of self-determination for indigenous people everywhere, especially the Canadian Natives and also the Quebec people.
Self-determination is a sacred right and no power on earth can deny it to any people whatever the strength of the occupier and no matter how long the forceful subjugation of that oppressed nation. (1.)
The Liberal Government
Since the 2004 elections that saw the Liberal Party unable to form a majority government, the Liberals have ruled this country, usually with the parliamentary support of the New Democratic Party (NDP).
Aside from small concessions to the NDP, the Liberals ruled as dictators, threatening the other parties with speedy elections that allegedly would not be popular with the Canadian public.
This atmosphere allowed them to continue with and consolidate their racist policies against minorities (including racial profiling, the use of security certificates and the racist anti-terrorism Act against Arabs and Muslims) with little or no protest from their allies in the NDP.
It also allowed them to carry on implementing the programme of the Liberal Parliamentarians for Israel (LPFI) who took over the most sensitive positions in the Canadian Cabinet and appointed pro-Israeli officials in many Canadian ministries and departments. (2.)
It is worth noting that all these changes carried out by the Liberal government came against the will of the majority of the Canadian public. In fact, according to a poll conducted by the Canada Israel Committee “83 per cent of Canadians believe Ottawa should remain neutral in its approach to the Middle East conflict … 36 per cent said they felt federal policy was tilted towards Israel, and only 4 per cent believed policy favoured Palestinians.” (Globe and Mail Nov. 12, 2004)
Regrettably, two NDP members belong to the Canada-Israel Interparliamentary Group (3.), including Alexa McDonough who, in an exchange with the Montreal Planet, justified her membership in this group by claiming it would allow her “to dialogue with progressive Canadian-Israelis”. Furthermore, when she prepared her report “Global Perspectives” on Human rights, she ignored the human rights of the Palestinian people.
Just this month, NDP leader Jack Layton sent a statement to the Israeli Ambassador Alan Baker, that smacked of opportunism, offering condolences on the health of Israeli war criminal Ariel Sharon http:// www.ndp.ca/page/2754 . For more of Layton’s “slippery” positions, see his recent conference call with the Zionist group CIJA http://www.cija.ca/eng/Laytonfullenglish.pdf
For all the above reasons we can NOT, in good conscience, call on our community to vote as a bloc for the NDP in spite of their declared progressive social agenda. We should here recognise the principled positions of some of the NDP candidates, especially Libby Davies and Svend Robinson, towards the human and national rights of the Palestinian people.
The fanatically pro-Israeli and pro-U.S. positions of the Conservative Party are well known. However, if you want to know more about where the Conservative Party stands on the issues of Israeli war crimes and apartheid, see their party leader’s conference call with CIJA http://www.cija.ca/eng/Harperfullenglish.pdf
Finally we urge all members of our community and the Canadian public at large to defeat all those who are taking Canada on the path of supporting US imperial designs in the Middle East and all over the world. We must not allow them to implicate the Canadian people in the oppression and subjugation of other peoples and nations, something nobody should stand for or allow. We must support those candidates that have a proven record in taking principled positions in favour of working and oppressed people, both here in Canada and abroad. We are not alone, as the majority of humanity stands for peace, justice and freedom.
Canada Palestine Association
In 1947 Canada played a major role at the UN in creating the state of Israel and accordingly in denying the Palestinian people the right to self-determination. “The general Assembly turned down the only reasonable suggestion-a referendum in Palestine and submission of the legal problems to the International Court of Justice” (Alfred Lilienthal, “What Price Israel?” p.72-73)
“Mr. Justice Ivan Rand… played a central role in formulating the recommendations of its majority report (for the U.N. Partition Plan) … with Mr. (Lester) Pearson (then the under-secretary of state for External Affairs) playing an active role in securing its passage. … Zionists were so grateful to Canada and to Mr. Pearson for the part he played in the whole process that they called him ‘the Balfour of Canada’.” (Report of the Canadian Standing Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs published June 1985, page 49.)
This Canadian position of denying peoples in Canada and all over the world the right to self- determination is historically consistent with long standing policies of Canadian colonialism, ethnic cleansing and hegemony.
Liberal Parliamentarians for Israel LPFI came as a result of the forming of the “Israel Emergency Cabinet” (in Canada!) and then the “Canadian Council for Israel and Jewish Advocacy (CIJA) where it “works with other organizations and individual members of the community to ensure our voice is heard where it counts – in government, media and on campus”. A quick look at their Policy Proposals confirm that they have achieved most of their objectives. See Canada & the Middle East: (PDF | HTML)
All Palestinian and Arab resistance groups that were targeted by the LPFI are now officially on the “Canadian Listed entities associated with terrorism”. So according to the Canadian Government and Canadian law, those who are resisting Israeli occupation in accordance with international law are “terrorists”, while Israel that is committing atrocities and war crimes against the Palestinian people, on a daily basis and in defiance of international law, is NOT.
At the UN General Assembly 2004 session, Canada moved further into supporting Israel and changed its position on three resolutions. In the Globe and Mail under the title “In case you missed it, our Mideast policy has shifted” John Ibbitson wrote on Dec. 3, 2004 “Nonetheless this government felt no need to tell anyone in advance of the significant change in foreign policy, knowing that those who support the change would hear of it, and those who oppose it would not.”
At the UN General Assembly 2005 session, Canada flipped on three more. The main resolution was urging Israeli withdrawal from territory occupied since 1967. The General Assembly voted 156 for and 6 against, with nine abstentions: Canada, Cameroon, Costa Rica, Nauru, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Tuvalu, Uganda and Vanuatu. Canada also voted against two more resolutions of routine support for U.N. organs working on behalf of Palestinian rights. On both, only eight states were opposed — Australia, Canada, Israel, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau and the United States.
Prime Minister Paul Martin attended, along with 150-160 parliamentarians, the inaugural dinner for CIJA where he reaffirmed his support for Israel and the “Sharon Plan for Gaza”. “Canada will not, nor will ever waiver in our support for Israel”, he said. (Canadian Jewish News, Nov.11, 2004)
On Nov. 13, 2005, Ariel Sharon addressed delegates from the United Jewish Communities 74th annual general assembly in a pretaped video at the Toronto Convention Centre. Prime Minister Paul Martin addressed the same crowds and “gave a strong and unequivocal endorsement” of Israel. “Israel’s values are Canada’s values,” Martin said. “Shared values of democracy, the rule of law and the protection of human rights.” (Martin scolds UN on Israel, Toronto Star, November 14, 2005)
The Canadian Forces extended an invitation to the Israeli Air Force, for the first time ever in thirty- eight sessions, to the Maple Flag war games. This signalled, according to military planners, a marked shift in Canadian military and political policy in the twenty-first century. Exercise Maple Flag is a six-week international air combat exercise held annually at 4 Wing Cold Lake, Alberta. Out of two hundred warplanes that took part in Exercise Maple Flag 2005 Alberta from May 15-June 24, ten were Israeli F-16s.
It is unfortunate that the other major parties lack the will or guts to reflect the wishes of their electorate on the Palestinian situation. This is nothing new, they don’t reflect the wishes of the people on other Canadian social, cultural and economic issues. The Liberal Parliamentarians for Israel expanded their influence to other parties, including the NDP and the Bloc, and now include 43 MPs who support Israeli Apartheid and WAR CRIMES. They are calling themselves the “Canada-Israel Interparliamentary (Friendship) Group”, and for some of their press releases see:
http://www.liberalsforisrael.com/documents/statements/pdf/press_release_election_new_chair_15feb05 _en.pdf http://www.liberalsforisrael.com/documents/statements/pdf/interparl_r27oct05_en.pdf