IJV Canada is outraged by the murder of 17 unarmed Palestinians and the wounding of hundreds of others by the Israeli army in Gaza Friday, which marked the first day of Passover as well as Palestinian Land Day.
Canadian Jews celebrate Passover to commemorate the liberation of Jews from slavery in Egypt, more than 3,000 years ago. The horrific irony that Israel massacred captive Palestinians on Passover cannot be ignored.
The observance of Palestinian Land Day began in 1976, to emphasize Palestinian resistance to Israeli colonisation, and sumud (steadfastness). Palestinians called for a general strike and organized protest marches in Arab towns from the Galilee to the Negev. Israel’s army responded by killing six unarmed Arab citizens and wounded more than a 100. Hundreds of Palestinians were arrested.
As Canadian Jews celebrate the liberation story of Passover we must acknowledge Israel’s illegal and brutal occupation of Palestine. Every Canadian Jew who values freedom must speak out against the relentless oppression of Palestinians that is carried out by Israel in our names, enabled by successive Canadian governments that have been oblivious to the plight of the Palestinians.
We cannot in good conscience remain silent about the oppression and violence that Israel doles out to the Palestinians while celebrating the deliverance of Jews from bondage.