FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 12, 2016
New Toronto-based Jewish student group: Liberals hypocritically concerned about international pot regulations – not Israel’s and Saudi Arabia’s criminal behaviour
Toronto, ON— It was revealed last week through an access to information request that the Federal Liberals may
backtrack on their promise to legalize marijuana over concerns about potential conflicts with international trade regulations. Meanwhile, they promote trade with Israeli companies illegally operating in occupied Palestinian territories, and are selling arms to the Saudi government whose beheadings of political dissidents have accelerated.
“It is hypocritical to backtrack on pot legalization due to legal concerns, while supporting the importation of illegal Israeli settlement goods into Canada,” says Ben Losman, spokesperson for the newly-formed Independent Jewish Voices – University of Toronto (IJV-U of T). “Our government needs to focus on serious matters such as Canada’s implicit endorsement of Israel‘s continued illegal expropriation of Palestinian land. As we are concerned about human rights, Canada must also stop a multi-billion dollar arms sale to the authoritarian Saudi regime, notorious for its violent repression of civilian dissent.”
Products such as Ahava cosmetics, which are manufactured by Israeli businesses illegally operating on Palestinian territory, are being sold throughout Canada.
Israel’s illegal settlements and Israel’s illegal separation barrier through occupied Palestinian territories are calculated to solidify “facts on the ground” in Israel’s quest to permanently annex Palestinian territory. Canada’s official policy opposes these violations of international law, yet the Federal Liberals maintain positive relations with Israel.
“We believe that it is past time for Canada and other nations to stand up for human rights and international law whenever necessary,” says Mischa Berlin, another spokesperson for IJV-U of T. “Since our governments have enabled Israel’s abuse of Palestinians’ human rights, we call on civil society and politicians of conscience to support the growing call for international boycott and economic sanctions against Israel until Palestinian human rights are respected.”
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 chapters on major university campuses. IJV is the only national Jewish organization in Canada endorsing equal rights for both Jewish-Israelis and Palestinians, in addition to supporting the right of Canadians to criticize and challenge the current laws and policies of the State of Israel.
RELATED LINKS: http://ijvcanada.org/