Labour for Palestine-Canada

As Israeli colonial violence escalates in Gaza, Labour for Palestine-Canada demands that the Canadian government call for an immediate ceasefire and an end to the Israeli occupation and apartheid in Palestine.

We offer our condolences to the families of those who have lost their lives in recent days, and throughout the decades of forcible dispossession and occupation, no matter where they live.

It is a heartbreaking truth that the daily violence and terror experienced by the Palestinians, at the hands of the Israeli occupation forces and with the support of the international community, requires relentless and sustained resistance. A population cannot live under siege and apartheid with the daily threat of harassment, humiliation, violence, home demolitions and murder without responding.

The UN claims 2023 has already been the deadliest year for Palestinians since it started counting deaths in 2006. More than 200 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire since the start of this year, according to the health ministry. Western world leaders, including Canada, have shamefully turned a blind eye as far right Israeli ministers publicly provoke violence, as land grabbing became official government policy, and unspeakable war crimes are a regular occurrence.

After more than 16 years of living under economic and military siege by Israel, of being confined to the world's largest open air-prison, Gaza has finally broken free and Palestinians are demonstrating their determination to liberate themselves and their land from 75 years of settler-colonization, apartheid and occupation. The current Palestinian violence must be understood within the context that it is taking place in order for genuine peace and justice to be realized.

Now, after such prolonged and shameful silence, Canada and its political parties have jumped to condemn Palestinians for resisting their own annihilation. Yet they refuse to even mention that Israel, a military superpower, has now declared war on Palestinians for daring to resist.

As members of the labour movement in Canada, we call for an end to the Israeli occupation and apartheid in Palestine. We further call on the Canadian Government to recognize and condemn the incessant violence perpetrated and provoked by Israel.

We commend Palestinians for their heroic resistance and their indomitable will. We recognize the right of all people to resist their own occupation, including through armed struggle. This right, first protected by the Geneva Conventions in 1949, has been reaffirmed numerous times by the United Nations general assembly. We refuse to be divided or to fall into the colonial trap of condemning certain Palestinian groups or certain forms of resistance. Canadians should not attempt to dictate how an oppressed indigenous population fights for their own liberation.

We call on all trade unions and labour leaders to be in solidarity with Palestinian resistance by educating their members, pressuring politicians, and championing boycott, divestment, and sanctions against apartheid Israel. The labour movement must use its power and influence to end Canada's support for Israel's racist colonial regime. We encourage trade unionists to contact Labour for Palestine for resources and support towards that end.

(October 9, 2023)

This article was published in
Volume 53 Number 11 - October 2023

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