FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 16, 2016
Liberals fail as “honest broker” in Middle East, ignore Palestinian Commemoration of Nakba Day
OTTAWA— “Despite its proclaimed intention of playing the role of honest broker in the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the new Liberal government is continuing Canada’s one-sided support for Israel,” according to Tyler Levitan, spokesperson for Independent Jewish Voices Canada (IJV).
“Prime Minister Trudeau’s decision to publicly celebrate Israel’s independence marks the fifth consecutive year in which the leader of the Liberal Party has chosen to congratulate Israel, while completely ignoring Nakba Day, the Palestinian commemoration which occurs at the same time and marks the dispossession of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians from their homeland.
“Both days are hugely important to their respective communities, but it appears the Liberals deem only Israel to be worthy of Canada’s attention and support. This is unbefitting a government proclaiming its desire to play an impartial role in the conflict. Mr. Trudeau was made aware of the issue, so there is no excuse for the Liberals’ continuation of this one-sided behaviour,” continued Levitan.
Since the Liberals came back to power, the Trudeau government has voted against defending Palestinian human rights at the United Nations; voted with the Conservatives in support of a motion condemning Canadian individuals and organizations promoting the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement; and smeared Canadian international law expert Michael Lynk by calling for the UN to “review” his appointment to Special Rapporteur for the Occupied Palestinian Territories.
“The Liberals must overcome their fealty to the ultra-right wing Netanyahu government if they are serious about restoring Canada’s reputation on the international stage. We eagerly await the government’s decision on reinstating funding to support Palestinian refugees through the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), which we hope will mark a shift in their position on this issue,” concluded Levitan.
IJV’s petition to Justin Trudeau, “Tell Trudeau to Commemorate Nakba Day, too!”: http://ijvcanada.org/tell-trudeau-to-commemorate-nakba-day-too/
Independent Jewish Voices Canada (IJV) is a national human rights organization whose mandate is to promote a just resolution to the conflict in Israel and Palestine through the application of international law and respect for the human rights of all parties. There are currently ten chapters of IJV in cities across the country, in addition to a growing number of student groups on major university campuses. IJV supports the right of Canadians to criticize and challenge the current laws and policies of the State of Israel, including through the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement.
For more information contact:
Campaigns Coordinator for Independent Jewish Voices Canada