Stand with Palestine!
Stand with Palestine!
Montreal, October 13, 2023
Despite appalling attempts by official Canada to intimidate Canadians into remaining silent about the new Nakba (Catastrophe) being organized by Israel against the Palestinian people, thousands upon thousands are joining demonstrations to express their support for the right to be of the Palestinian people and to oppose the atrocities Israel is committing against them with U.S. backing in the name of high ideals. To their shame official Canada, including the federal government, cartel parties which form the opposition and their provincial counterparts, and some members of academia and official media are all complicit in denying the suffering of the people of Palestine, who are being treated worse than animals, and in doing their utmost to silence Canadians. Eternal shame on them.
But the crimes committed against the Palestinian people are too enormous to hide behind the cover of fighting terrorism and the peoples of the world are demanding it stop and that the Palestinian cause be recognized and justice done.
The world is rising to say Enough! to Israel, Enough! to the U.S. and to all those who refuse to oppose Israel's brutal aggression in order to take over all of Palestine, where life is already reduced to that of inmates in a concentration camp. Israel's order was that more than 1 million Palestinians living in the northern Gaza Strip were to leave by midnight on Friday, October 13 -- despite having nowhere to go -- or face the consequences of savage bombing and a merciless ground invasion. The scenes of the brutal destruction of residential buildings, indiscriminate killings of men, women and children, medical personnel, UN humanitarian workers and journalists has become intolerable to all people with a conscience and they are rising to say NO!
The 6,000 strong demonstration held in Montreal on the evening of October 13, as the Israeli deadline to evacuate the north of Gaza by midnight drew to a close, set the tone by refusing to be trapped or diverted by provocations or attempts to intimidate those who support the Palestinian people by calling them hate-mongers, anti-semitic and even terrorists. Together with democratic, peace and justice-loving people the world over, Canadians and Quebeckers demand that Israel immediately end its inhuman order to vacate the north of Gaza, their bombardment and siege of Gaza, and that they not launch a ground invasion.
Palestinians have a right to be in their homeland, to live in peace, as equals among all other human beings, free from the decades-long brutal oppression, humiliation and violence that is Israeli occupation. Resistance to occupation is a human right without which human enslavement not human freedom would be the striving of humankind. Canadians along with people the world over stand with Palestine on this matter!
Ottawa, October 15, 2023
After 9/11, when the world stood with the U.S. against the attacks on the twin towers in New York City, the world experienced the attempts of the U.S. imperialists and NATO allies to hide crimes of terror in the name of war on terror. The peoples of many countries, as well as the soldiers of the invading armies, are still reeling from the lying, disinformation, revenge-seeking and crimes committed in the name of waging a war on terror which continues to this day. Using the power of the state to accuse those fighting for peace, freedom and democracy of being hate mongers, terrorists and foreign agents has become par for the course and will not succeed so long as crimes are committed in the name of high ideals. The peoples will always stand for justice.
To support Palestine is not anti-Semitic. It is not support for terrorism. It is not hate-mongering. Support for Palestinian resistance is not espousal of terrorism! Yet the governments and authorities in Canada, Britain, France, Germany, the U.S. and other self-proclaimed guardians of democracy worldwide are churning out these lies to justify that which cannot be justified. They are trying to justify decades of crimes against humanity, crimes against the peace and war crimes committed against the Palestinian people by the state of Israel and their own role in supporting such flagrant violations of international law, human rights and human dignity. Shame on them and all their craven conciliators!
After bombing Gaza for a week, Israel has deliberately targeted apartment buildings, hospitals, and mosques all the while blaming Hamas for using Palestinians as human shields. It is the culprit using Palestinians as human targets to commit atrocities in the name of its war on terror. For an occupying power to cut off electricity, water and food for an entire population of 2.3 million people concentrated in a very small area with nowhere to go and bomb them and now invade them in a declared campaign of revenge-seeking is the very definition of a war crime for which official Canada and all cartel political parties and politicians, media and others who have condoned this will have to render accounts. While they may believe they can use their positions of power and privilege to erect a wall of silence about the rights of the people of Palestine, only a very few -- who are scared to lose their careers now or in the future -- either remain silent or join them in denouncing those who support the people of Palestine. Shame on official Canada for its craven abdication of its duty to uphold the rights of the Palestinian people who are victims of Israeli occupation, denigration, dispossession and violence.
Meanwhile the U.S. has deployed its largest aircraft carrier to join another aircraft carrier and deployed their battle groups off Israel's shore. Washington is sending ammunition and armaments to support Israel in its attempt to force the Palestinian people into submission. The U.S. and Israel are extending the threats to Lebanon, Syria and Iran, threatening to plunge West Asia into war and devastation. The people of all the countries are rising up against them. The peoples are the decisive force in the world. It is their striving for peace, freedom and democracy which will prevail, not the lies and military might of the deepest reaction the world has yet to see. Those who sow the wind will reap the whirlwind.
With one voice, let us all demand an end to this savagery inflicted for decades upon the Palestinian people! Those who are responsible for trampling their lives and rights underfoot must be held to account! Palestinians have the right to be. We stand with Palestine!
(Photos: TML, Palestine MFA, Canada-Palestine Association)
phosphorous bombs, declared an illegal weapon, are being used by
against civilians in Gaza.
Following the events of October 7 in Palestine and Israel, the international media and many governments immediately denounced the actions by Hamas against Israel. Hamas is declared a terrorist organization. Many invented stories about Hamas decapitating babies and raping women and of bloody massacres by Hamas to feed a narrative of hatred which seeks to justify Israel's actions of targeting civilians in Gaza who Israel says Hamas uses as "human shields."
False images and reports of actions alleged to have been committed by Hamas appeared everywhere. They have been exposed and some have since been withdrawn but the narrative continues nonetheless. It's an assault against the human brain, causing anguish and suffocation, because it dictates that there is only one possible way of thinking, and that way must be on the side that condemns the Palestinians because it condemns Hamas. In the words of the Israeli Defence Minister, Palestinians are "human animals" and they deserve to die. In this narrative, history doesn't exist, real life does not exist. Just the horror used to justify Israel's takeover of all of Palestine.
"I have ordered a complete siege of Gaza. We are fighting human animals and acting accordingly," announced Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant on Monday, October 9. Water, food, gas -- everything has been blocked to lay siege to the Palestinian people.
On October 8, in a statement, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau "unequivocally" condemned "these terrible attacks in the strongest possible terms" and reaffirmed "support for Israel's right to defend itself, in accordance with international law."
"We call for the immediate release of those being held hostage and demand they be treated in accordance with international law. We will continue to monitor the situation closely, and we are in touch with our international partners to restore peace and security in the region. We must all work to protect civilian life."
Never does one hear the government of Canada raising its voice to protect Palestinian civilians subject to settler violence and dispossession but the Prime Minister says:
"To our Israeli friends: Canadians stand with you. The Government of Canada stands ready to support you -- our support for the Israeli people is steadfast."
Not a word to the bereaved Palestinian families.
Canadian flags were flown at half-mast until sunset on October 9 on the Peace Tower and Parliament Hill and at the Prime Minister's office at 80 Wellington Street.
In Quebec, the Quebec flag was lowered to half-mast on the central tower of the Parliament Building October 10 to 11 following what was defined as terrorist attacks and violence in Israel.
Montreal lowered its city hall flags to half-mast on October 9 until dusk to commemorate the victims of "the terrorist attacks and violence in Israel," said Mayor Valérie Plante. She said her thoughts were with the civilians who are "suffering the tragic consequences of this conflict." She expressed solidarity with "the Israeli and Palestinian populations of Montreal."
Then came the labelling of demonstrations in support of the Palestinian cause for justice as spreading hatred. A number of politicians made statements on the subject. Quebec Premier François Legault said the pro-Palestine demonstration was aimed at "celebrating or supposedly justifying the murder of civilians." It was "shameful" and "unacceptable," he said. Ignoring that his statement was best addressed at his own actions, he said, "I'm really very disappointed to see these people who allow themselves to make gestures like this at such tragic, sad times."
The Montreal demonstration was also the subject of inflammatory remarks by federal Immigration Minister Marc Miller who said, "I am ashamed and disgusted to see these scenes glorifying death and terror, in Montreal, the city that I love and the city that I represent. Hamas is a terrorist organization and no one should glorify its bloody violence."
Mayor Plante also fed the narrative that demonstrators were celebrating terrorism and violence. "If there are people demonstrating, justifying or excusing the terrorist attack that Hamas carried out, that's unacceptable. There's no place for that. We should be supportive, understanding and human. There are lots of Israeli families who have lost someone. We have a family from Montreal who lost a family member there," she communicated. Police have the power to intervene when hate messages are spread, she said adding that among the demonstrators, there could be people marching because they're worried about their loved ones in Palestine, not necessarily because they support Hamas. In this way, attempts are made to divide people by suggesting that there are extremist elements in their ranks that must be weeded out and the community is duty-bound to disassociate itself from extremism.
On October 12, in a press release, the Federal, Provincial and Territorial (FPT) Ministers of Justice and Public Safety issued the following statement at their meeting in Bromont, Quebec. In its words, the statement was issued "following calls for global protest and unrest by the terrorist organization Hamas." The statement declares that Canada supports freedom of legitimate expression and conviction which includes condemning "the heinous acts committed by the terrorist organization Hamas. Our democracy is founded on respect and tolerance, and we call on all Canadians to remain united during this difficult time. Our law enforcement and security partners remain vigilant in the face of these potential disruptions and are monitoring the situation closely to ensure the safety of all Canadian citizens."
Ontario's NDP leader has asked Sarah Jama, who was elected
earlier this year in a Hamilton Centre by-election, to withdraw
statement on the conflict between Israel and Hamas, and the
now calling on her to resign. Jama issued a statement denouncing
"generations-long occupation of Palestine" and what she
apartheid and human rights abuses in Gaza. "We must seek a
this cycle of endless death and destruction: end all occupation
Palestinian lands and end apartheid," she wrote.
Since then, Jama has said Premier Ford is putting pressure on her to resign, and the Liberal leader and Simon Wiesenthal Centre are also targeting her for her views.
The facts show Gaza has been turned into a camp which concentrates 2.3 million people into a small area where everything and everyone that goes in and out is controlled and now the population has been cut off of all water, electricity and food and subject to bombing and destruction of not only their residences, hospitals, schools and public spaces, but also of the places where they have been forced to take refuge. All UN Agencies are agreed about what is going on in Gaza but the governments of Canada, the United States, Britain, France, Germany and others push irrationality and portray the supporters of the Palestinian people and their right of return as hate-mongers and terrorists.
Their politicization of human rights means that some citizens are worth more than others. And, of course, if they are animals they are not deserving of rights at all. The definition of human rights is now managed by private interests who dictate the conscience which is legitimate and the conscience which is not and the course of action to be taken in any situation.
All human beings have rights because they are human. To live their humanity, they need a roof over their heads, food to eat, education, work, health care and freedom of speech to express their conscience and give rise to plans which solve the problems human beings face. Palestinians are human beings who demand to live as human beings, to participate in political, social, cultural and economic life as equals. It is their right.
The Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist) categorically opposes accusations that those who support the right of the Palestinian people to be are promoting hatred. All the facts show that false news is inciting visceral hatred of the Palestinian people in preparation of unleashing on them a ground campaign of unfettered brutality and massacres. This is already taking place against the people of Gaza, a population of 2.3 million people who are concentrated in a very small area and deprived of all means of subsistence, and now resistance.
We must beware that talk about civilians is not used to cover up the fundamental questions -- the Palestinian people are citizens of what country, what nation-state, whose first duty is to protect them, provide for them, uphold their dignity? Who is responsible for their safety? Israel is the occupying power. Under international law, including its founding resolution which it has never complied with, Israel as the occupying power is responsible for the protection of the citizens under its occupation and must be made to stop these atrocities while the citizens of all countries in the world must hold their governments to account to uphold the international rule of law and not permit crimes against humanity to be committed against the Palestinian people in the name of high ideals and opposing terrorism and hatred. It begs the question why the Israeli state has never been subject to sanctions or having its UN membership suspended at the very least, while other countries who fall afoul of the U.S. imperialists suffer the worst collective punishment that the UN and its Security Council can be used to mete out.
Together we are one. Together we must stand as one with the people of Palestine who are fighting for their right to be.
troops massed on the borders of the Gaza Strip begin raids into
October 14, 2023.
(Quotations translated from original French by TML.)
Francesca Albanese, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in Palestine, warned on October 14 that "Palestinians are in grave danger of mass ethnic cleansing" and called on the international community to "urgently mediate a ceasefire." "There is a grave danger that what we are witnessing may be a repeat of the 1948 Nakba, and the 1967 Naksa, yet on a larger scale. The international community must do everything to stop this from happening again," Albanese said, noting that Israeli officials have openly advocated for another Nakba. "The situation in the occupied Palestinian territory and Israel has reached fever pitch," Albanese said, adding, "The United Nations and its Member States must intensify efforts to mediate an immediate ceasefire between the parties, before we reach a point of no return." "In the name of self-defence, Israel is seeking to justify what would amount to ethnic cleansing," Albanese stated, calling on the international community to "stop these egregious violations of international law now, before tragic history is repeated."
As of October 14, the UN reports that 2,200 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli airstrikes, citing figures from Palestinian authorities. As of October 13, the UN had reported that at least 423,000 people in Gaza had been displaced, a figure released prior to the demand by the Israeli occupiers that the 1.1 million people in the north of the Gaza Strip evacuate. The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) posted an October 14 press release from Euro-Med Monitor in which the organization said it had "documented the displacement of over 820,000 individuals to UN-affiliated schools, governmental schools, and the homes of relatives and neighbors. More than 450,000 people were displaced after their homes were destroyed or damaged in Israeli air raids."
An Israeli order for Palestinians to evacuate northern Gaza was relayed to UN officials in New York late on October 12, as Israel has said fleeing Palestinians will not be allowed to return "until we say so." UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said of the order, "The United Nations considers it impossible for such a movement to take place without devastating humanitarian consequences."
News reports indicate that those attempting to comply with the order have not been given safe passage and are being bombed by Israeli fighters.
The World Health Organization elaborated on the impossibility of such an evacuation in an October 13 statement, which said in part, "WHO joins the wider United Nations in appealing to Israel to immediately rescind orders for the evacuation of over 1 million people living north of Wadi Gaza. A mass evacuation would be disastrous -- for patients, health workers and other civilians left behind or caught in the mass movement.
"With ongoing airstrikes and closed borders, civilians have no safe place to go. Almost half of the population of Gaza is under 18 years of age. With dwindling supplies of safe food, clean water, health services, and without adequate shelter, children and adults, including the elderly, will all be at heightened risk of disease.
"The Palestinian Ministry of Health has informed WHO that it is impossible to evacuate vulnerable hospital patients without endangering their lives. Vulnerable patients include those who are critically injured or dependent on life support. Moving them amid hostilities puts their lives at immediate risk."
Israel drops leaflets demanding Gazans flee from the north of
Strip to the south, October 12, 2023.
WHO spokesperson Tarik Jasarevic said on October 13 that the health system in Gaza is at a "breaking point." The two major hospitals in the north of the Gaza Strip, the Indonesian Hospital and Shifa Hospital, had already exceeded their combined 760-bed capacity and the hospitals in the south of Gaza were also "overflowing."
Six of the seven main hospitals in Gaza are only partially functioning, he added.
He stressed that moving vulnerable patients such as those critically injured and adults, children and newborns depending on life support in intensive care, would be a "death sentence" and that "Asking health workers to do so is beyond cruel."
Jasarevic conveyed that health workers on the ground report dead bodies "piling up" as there is no more space in the morgues, and ambulances and doctors have to make a "horrific choice" as to who to save and who to leave behind.
He added that as of October 12, 34 attacks on health care centres in the Gaza Strip had been confirmed since the beginning of the current Israeli offensive, resulting in the deaths of 11 health care workers on duty. The Gaza Emergency Operation Centre, supported by WHO, has sustained heavy damage, he said.
In an October 14 press release the WHO calls for "Israel to immediately reverse evacuation orders to hospitals in northern Gaza, and calls for the protection of health facilities, health workers, patients, and civilians. WHO also reiterates its calls for the immediate and safe delivery of medical supplies, fuel, clean water, food, and other humanitarian aid into Gaza through the Rafah crossing, where life-saving assistance – including WHO health supplies that arrived earlier today – is currently awaiting entry."
attacks on medical personal in Gaza include an airstrike on an
ambulance on October 11, 2023, three paramedics are killed.
Al-Awda Hospital from an airstrike, October 11, 2023.
UN relief chief Martin Griffiths tweeted that "the noose around the civilian population in Gaza is tightening," asking how such a huge number of people could possibly move across a "densely populated warzone" in just 24 hours.
On October 14, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) said in a press release in which it reminded Israel that "Wars have rules. Civilians, hospitals, schools, clinics and United Nations premises cannot be a target. UNRWA is sparing no efforts to advocate with parties to the conflicts to meet their obligations under international law to protect civilians, including those seeking refuge in UNRWA shelters.
"UNRWA shelters in Gaza and northern Gaza are no longer safe. This is unprecedented.
"This war should be no exception, protection of civilians and civilian infrastructure, including United Nations buildings, applies to this conflict too.
Philippe Lazzarini, the head UNRWA, warned on October 13 that the relocation order "will only lead to unprecedented levels of misery and further push people in Gaza into an abyss."
UNWRA tweeted later on October 13 that Gaza was "fast becoming a hell hole and is on the brink of collapse. There is no exception, all parties must uphold the laws of war." On October 12, UNWRA tweeted that 12 of its personnel had been killed in the Israeli offensive.
An October 11 press release gives a sense of the scale of destruction and of Israel's indiscriminate bombing campaign and the rapidly increasing number of internally displaced persons: "Nearly 218,600 internally displaced people (IDPs) are sheltering in 92 UNRWA schools in all areas in the Gaza Strip. The number of IDPs in UNRWA emergency shelters continues to increase on a daily basis as airstrikes and shelling by Israeli Forces continue across the Gaza Strip.
"In addition, many other people are displaced in government schools and other buildings. In total, at least 340,000 Palestinians have been displaced across the Gaza Strip." By October 12, this figure had increased by another 90,000 people, for a total of at least 430,000.
To understand the scale of the current displacement of 430,000 people, the 1948 war ended with Israeli forces controlling approximately 78 per cent of historical Palestine. The remaining 22 per cent fell under the administration of Egypt and Jordan. This dispossession of the Palestinian people on which the Israeli state is based is referred to as the Nakba ("The Catastrophe"). In 1967, Israel absorbed the whole of historical Palestine, as well as additional territory from Egypt and Syria. It led to Israel's occupation of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip in 1967, at which time 350,000 Palestinians were displaced. This is referred to as the Naksa.
The massive campaign of
indiscriminate Israeli airstrikes continues on October 14, 2023.
The UNRWA October 11 press release continues: "Over 5,300 UNRWA staff are responding to the emergency under extremely challenging circumstances. Many roads have been destroyed or have become inaccessible due to debris and ongoing airstrikes are limiting movements.
"Shelters are overcrowded and have limited availability of food, non-food items and potable water. A water crisis is looming in UNRWA emergency shelters and across the Gaza Strip due to damaged infrastructure, lack of electricity needed to operate pumps and desalination plants, and limited supply of water in the local market. Water supplies cannot be replenished due to the total blockade on the Gaza Strip by the Israeli authorities. Fuel cannot be brought in and Israeli water suppliers can no longer deliver water in Gaza. An Emergency Water Task Force was established to explore solutions for potable water supplies in shelters and beyond in coordination with UNICEF and OCHA [the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs].
"There is no humanitarian access for food or other essential supplies.
"In coordination with the World Food Program (WFP), bread was distributed to the displaced people in the shelters. UNRWA is distributing other food to displaced families.
"Today, one UNRWA health centre in Gaza area was affected by airstrikes, bringing the total number of installations affected by the conflict to 21 since October 7."
UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) spokesperson James Elder briefed reporters in Geneva on October 13, and said the humanitarian situation has now reached "lethal lows." He highlighted that the Gaza Strip is one of the most densely populated places on the planet and people, including hundreds of thousands of children, are finding themselves "with nowhere safe to go."
OCHA spokesperson Jens Laerke also underscored the impossibility of relocation, asking, "[I]n the middle of a war zone where people are already at the end of the rope, how is that going to happen?"
He also insisted on the urgency of humanitarian access to Gaza as all supplies were rapidly depleting. "We're pretty much locked out," he said.
On October 12, the UN launched a flash appeal for $294 million for 77 humanitarian partners to address the most urgent needs of 1.26 million people in Gaza and the occupied West Bank. "This is a response to an escalation that has put civilians in a situation in which they should never be," Laerke said about the appeal. "The most urgent priority is now to de-escalate," he added.
International Committee of the Red Cross
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) also denounced Israel's evacuation order. In fact, the evacuation order forced the ICRC into making a rare public statement on October 13, calling for a pause in the fighting and questioning the legality of such an announcement. "Instructions issued by the Israeli authorities for the population of Gaza City to immediately leave their homes, coupled with the complete siege explicitly denying them food, water, and electricity, are not compatible with international humanitarian law." Israel's siege has cut off electricity, water, fuel, food and the delivery of any supplies into the Gaza Strip. The intentional starvation of a civilian population as a war tactic is a violation of the Geneva Conventions.
On October 13, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) released a statement condemning Israel's evacuation warning, saying that "this represents an attack on medical care and on humanity." "We are talking about more than a million human beings. 'Unprecedented' doesn't even cover the medical humanitarian impact of this. Gaza is being flattened, thousands of people are dying, this must stop now. "We condemn Israel's demand in the strongest possible terms," Meinie Nicolai, MSF director general, said in the statement.
Matthias Kennes, MSF Head of Mission in Gaza, said on October 12, "The fighter jets are demolishing entire streets block by block." He added, "There is no place to hide, no time to rest. Some places are being bombed on consecutive nights."
"We know what it was like in 2014 and in 2021, thousands died. Each time, our medical colleagues go to work, not knowing if they will see their homes or their families again," continued Kennes. "But they say this is different. This time, after five days, there have already been 1,200 deaths. What can people do? Where are they supposed to go?"
MSF states in a press release, "Millions of men, women and children are facing a collective punishment in the form of total siege, indiscriminate bombing, and the pending threat of a ground battle. Safe spaces must be established, humanitarian supplies must be allowed into Gaza. The wounded and sick must receive medical care. Medical facilities and personnel must be protected and respected; hospitals and ambulances are not targets."
The MSF press release continues:
"The siege imposed by the Israeli government, including the withholding of food, water, fuel, and electricity is unconscionable. Following 16 years of military blockade of the Gaza strip, the medical facilities within are already weakened. This siege leaves no respite for patients caught up in the fighting, nor for medical staff. It represents an intentional block on life-saving items; the entry of these supplies and key medical staff must be facilitated urgently."
Tens of thousands of
Gazans flee the north of the Gaza Strip on foot and by car,
(With files from UN News Agency, MSF, news agencies. Translations from original Spanish by TML.)
"If this turns into a direct conflict rather than based on special operations, Gaza's borders may de facto change," a serving Israeli colonel told Middle East Eye on condition of anonymity. He said that the military had devised plans to encircle areas in the north while air strikes pummeled the rest of the enclave. The Israeli colonel said the army had divided the enclave into several sectors and "determined which points and settlements in the Strip will be surrounded." He added that "special operations will be carried out in at least 25 points in sub-sectors." He said that if Israel were to proceed with a ground invasion, Israeli soldiers could remain in the Strip for a lengthy, but yet undetermined, period of time.
Middle East Eye reports the colonel also saying that if Hamas were to capitulate and not put up fierce resistance with other Palestinian groups, the army would still stay there for an undetermined period of time. Middle East Eye also reports that Israeli diplomat Danny Ayalon told an Al Jazeera reporter that there is "endless space" for Gaza's civilians in Egypt's Sinai Desert and that they should all be moved there.
David Hearst, co-founder and editor-in-chief of Middle East Eye writes, for the Palestinian Information Centre, that Netanyahu "wants to eradicate Hezbollah and Hamas, which he once described to me (when he was in opposition) as aircraft carriers for Iran. ... The head of the Israeli opposition, Benny Gantz, has also hinted at a bigger project: 'We will win, and change the security and strategic reality in the region.'"
"Reoccupying Gaza and finishing off just one Palestinian armed group would not change the strategic reality of the region, and you don't need an army of 360,000 troops to reoccupy Gaza. This is the greatest number of reserves called up in the history of the country. ... But what if a bigger venture is being planned, what would it entail, and what risks would it pose for the region as a whole? ... On Tuesday, Israeli Lieutenant-Colonel Richard Hecht told foreign reporters that he would advise Palestinian refugees to 'get out' through the Rafah crossing on Gaza's southern border with Egypt ... Egypt might be forced to allow an influx of refugees from Gaza – which happened after both the Arab-Israeli war of 1948 and the 1967 war ... Why would it put this statement out if the possibility of another mass exodus were not being discussed behind closed doors? ... Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant described Palestinians as 'human animals' ... Knesset member Revital Gotliv called on Israel to consider using a nuclear bomb on Gaza ... Giora Eiland, a former general, said Israel must 'create an unprecedented humanitarian disaster' in Gaza, and threatened another Nakba: 'Only the mobilization of tens of thousands and the cry of the international community will create the leverage for Gaza to be either without Hamas or without people. We are in an existential war.'"
"On Friday [October 13], little doubt remained of Israel's intentions. The Israeli Army told Palestinians of north Gaza to leave, saying they would not be allowed to return 'until we say so.' ... if Israel is not stopped, the course on which it is embarked is to kill not 2,251 men, women and children in Gaza – as was the case in the ground incursion of 2014 – but tens of thousands, a casualty rate high enough to induce another Nakba. ... Israel is now saying this war is existential. On the streets, Israel feels like a country where there is no authority; where Israelis can take justice into their own hands; where normal citizens, unconnected with settlers or the extreme right, are going around on the streets armed. Such is the general level of hatred and fear, that it could be only a matter of time before Palestinians inside Israel are attacked. ... If a ground offensive gets going, which could be very soon, the choice for Hezbollah may be either to wait for Israel to finish off Hamas and then come for them – knowing they would effectively be on their own -- or join Hamas and the other armed factions in Gaza, while each group retains its effectiveness as a fighting force. Hezbollah might have very good reasons for wanting to keep the status quo on the Lebanese border, but this is no longer a conflict that any group facing Israel, or any part of the Palestinian movement, can afford to sit out without handing Israel a free pass. ... On Thursday, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said that the crimes against the Palestinians would receive a response from 'the rest of the resistance axis.'"
Hearst concludes: "A Gaza campaign that develops into a plan that could change the Middle East could backfire dangerously -- and it should be stopped before it is too late."
The following remarks were delivered at the demonstration held in Windsor, Ontario on October 12 in support of Palestine.
On this Day of Resistance we proudly affirm the right and fundamental principle of international law of a people living under occupation -- not to mention a brutal siege, blockaded on all sides -- to resist and to free themselves! History has shown that the only way a people can liberate themselves is through organized resistance.
Those today who denounce the resistance are arming the occupier militarily and economically and giving it a green light to carry on the occupation. Those who denounce the resistance cannot openly say they support the occupation of a people and their lands because they know this is immoral, unjust and criminal. Instead they try to get everyone to judge the occupied, to debate if their methods are this or that, while their main goal is to maintain the occupation, expand the illegal settlements and subjugate an entire people. It is cowardly and shows that as Canadians we must speak for ourselves. We cannot rely on those without principles to speak for us.
The proud Palestinian people who are refusing to submit to their oppressors are defining for themselves what is resistance and how liberation will be achieved. I want to express my gratitude and respect for the youth here in Canada and in Palestine who are taking up the fight today against colonization and imperialism on their own terms. They are showing that Palestine will be free!
Prime Minister Trudeau is trying to tell us who is NOT a resistance movement. Who does he think he is? Does he think that he decides international law, that he decides who lives and dies and that he decides whose life is valuable and whose is not? No! We are one humanity, indivisible, and our lives and our rights cannot be separated. Trudeau does not speak for the Canadian people or even for basic international law and human rights.
If Hamas and the other forces who have joined as one to resist this occupation are not a resistance force, then who is? Tell us Mr. Trudeau and the other MPs who want to condemn those who resist. Be honest! The parties in Parliament only support a Palestine if it is unable to defend itself and relies on the occupier for its rights, which means humiliation. This is what happened when Hamas and a coalition of resistance movements were elected in Palestine 18 years ago. Canada simply declared the election null and void and that the Palestinian people could only vote the way the Canadian government, headed by Harper at the time, deemed acceptable.
When today Trudeau says who is or is not the resistance he is trying to tell us what we can think and that he and his government will criminalize those who express their support for an oppressed people. This from a government that welcomed and stood to honour a Nazi all because he fought Russia (the Soviet Union) in World War II.
My generation are the sons and daughters of those who fought in World War II in regular armies and in resistance movements. We stood shoulder to shoulder with the anti-colonial struggles of the 1950s, '60s, '70s and '80s in Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Middle East. Today no Prime Minister and MPs who cheer for Nazis who fought the Soviet Union in World War II will tell us who is or isn't a legitimate resistance movement. Today we are showing that we are all the resistance to occupation and that this is what Canadians stand for.
Association of Palestinian
Arab Canadians Responds to Prime Minister's
Pro-Israel Rally in Ottawa
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre, Jewish Federation of Ottawa president Andrea Freedman, and Ottawa Mayor Mark Sutcliffe were among those who participated in a solidarity gathering in support of Israel in Ottawa on October 9. The Association of Palestinian Arab Canadians (APAC) issued a statement following the rally in which it said it is "closely following the events taking place out of the Gaza Strip, Palestine. The APAC is equally carefully reviewing statements made by Canadian leaders in response to these events. As expected, the majority of statements are overwhelmingly pro-Israel and effectively give the Israeli government 'carte blanche' in their military response in Gaza. However, the language and remarks used by our Prime Minister in a speech he delivered at a pro-Israel rally last night is even more concerning." Its response follows:
The APAC strongly opposes some of the sentiments expressed by the Prime Minister yesterday evening and wishes to respond.
It should first be noted that while the Prime Minister was quick to mourn the Israeli lives lost over the weekend, he has failed to do so for the hundreds of Palestinian civilians already killed by the Israeli response. Moreover, according to Israeli human rights organization B'Tselem, Israeli forces killed 4,868 Palestinians in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT), including 1,793 children, outside the context of armed conflict. Since taking office in 2015, the APAC does not recall any statements made by the Prime Minister expressing sympathy for the loss of innocent Palestinians' lives. Not only does this contribute to the dehumanization of Palestinians, but it suggests that the Prime Minister is fundamentally biased when it comes to the question of Palestine.
In his speech, the Prime Minister referred to the pro-Palestinian demonstrations which took place over the weekend as 'celebratory.' The Prime Minister is blatantly incorrect. Canadian Palestinians and Canadian Israelis alike, have a right to advocate on behalf of their human rights. Canadian Palestinians have the right to protest in response to the false narratives spread by western media and, unfortunately, our own government. Canada is a democracy. Statements like these are ignorant and dangerous as they have a chilling effect on freedom of expression within our community. This is contrary to important Canadian values and must stop immediately.
In November 2020, the Canadian government voted in favour of the Palestinian right to self-determination at the United Nations General Assembly. Despite this, Canada continues to block all peaceful, legal and diplomatic efforts made by the Palestinians to advocate for their rights. On December 20, 2019, the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court concluded its preliminary examination of the situation in Palestine and found that there is "reasonable basis to proceed with an investigation into the Situation in Palestine." In rendering her conclusion, Prosecutor Bensouda outlines the following position:
1. war crimes have been or are being committed in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip;
2. potential cases arising from the situation would be admissible; and
3. there are no substantial reasons to believe that an investigation would not serve the interests of justice.
In response to this, Canada submitted a letter to the International Criminal Court reiterating its position on Palestine's status. According to an article published by The Canadian Jewish News, Canada conveyed to the International Criminal Court by way of a letter that it does not recognize a Palestinian state and that the ICC has therefore no jurisdiction to hear this matter. If the Canadian government truly believed in Palestinian human rights and the right to self-determination, it would not attempt to block legal avenues to justice.
Our message to the Prime Minister is clear. When commenting on the events taking place in the Gaza Strip, the proper political context must be considered. This is not an Israeli-Palestinian "conflict." Since 1967, the Israeli government has illegally occupied Palestinian territories. Since 2007, the Israeli government has imposed a catastrophic and illegal blockade of the Gaza Strip, where two million Palestinians, the majority of which are under the age of 18, are blocked from the outside world. A 2012 UN Report warned that by 2020, the Gaza Strip would be unliveable.
Important facts like these must be flagged to the public when discussing this topic. The Prime Minister's irresponsible remarks failed to do so and only further validate our view that his government's policies on this issue are one sided and profoundly unfair.
Israeli Civilians by Palestinians," B'Tselem, The Israeli
Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied
October 11, 2023.
freedom fighters': Trudeau, Poilievre speak at Jewish
centre after Hamas attack," Tyler Griffin, Canadian Press
October 10, 2023.
for Israel in Ottawa – October 9, 2023," video, CPAC.
2020: A liveable place? -- Report by the UN Country Team in
Occupied Palestinian Territory," August 2012.
(October 10, 2023)
It would be useful at this time to remember the actions of the Israeli forces during the Nakba. That is, their systematic plan for the expulsion of the Palestinian population for "lebensraum" for Jewish people to emigrate and colonize not only the parts of Palestine "assigned" in the Partition resolution to a Jewish state in Palestine, but also whatever areas it wished to further annex.
That policy of annexation has continued uninterrupted since 1948. It should be grasped that ALL Israeli policies and actions from 1948 onward can be observed to have been in service of this goal, including all the international "agreements" such as the Oslo and Abraham Accords.
Worth noting is the intent of the present government in openly embracing the slogans of "Judea and Samaria" as the "home of the Jewish people." That the Israeli "government of national unity" has now been formed under the leadership of the most bellicose and annexationist forces in Israel, and has issued a "directive" for the Palestinian population of northern Gaza, a population exceeding 1 million persons, to "move south" should be put under close scrutiny.
This "warning for their own safety" is an echo of the tactics of the Israeli forces during the Nakba, and should be viewed as a foreboding indicator of Israeli intentions at this time. At the very least, the extent of the systematic shelling and bombing of large residential areas, which have already rendered more than 400,000 Palestinians without shelter, indicates their intention, at the very least, to render large parts, if not all of Gaza, unliveable.
The factor on which they have not been able to rely in their "assessments" is the extent of the resistance to their planned invasion of Gaza.
Netanyahu was in opposition at the time of the 2005 plan for "disengagement" from Gaza and was vehemently opposed to it, ultimately prompting his resignation from cabinet. It should serve as a portent of what the Israeli government intends at this time.
Israeli disengagement from Gaza
On August 7,  Netanyahu resigned just prior to the cabinet ratification of the first phase of the disengagement plan by a vote of 17 to 5. Netanyahu blamed the Israeli government for moving "blindly along" with the disengagement by not taking into account the expected upsurge in terrorism.
On August 10, in his first speech before the Knesset following his resignation, Netanyahu spoke of the necessity for Knesset members to oppose the proposed disengagement:
"Only we in the Knesset are able to stop this evil. Everything that the Knesset has decided, it is also capable of changing. I am calling on all those who grasp the danger: Gather strength and do the right thing. I don't know if the entire move can be stopped, but it still might be stopped in its initial stages. [Don't] give [the Palestinians] guns, don't give them rockets, don't give them a sea port, and don't give them a huge base for terror."
This U.S. organization is "the largest progressive Jewish anti-Zionist organization in the world" with 443,421 Members & Supporters." The statement was issued October 7.
Right now, Palestinians, Israelis and all of us with family on the ground are terrified for loved ones. We grieve the lives of those already lost and remain committed to a future where every life is precious, and all people live in freedom and safety.
Following 16 years of Israeli military blockade, Palestinian fighters from Gaza launched an unprecedented assault, in which hundreds of Israelis were killed and wounded, and civilians kidnapped. The Israeli government declared war, launching airstrikes, killing hundreds of Palestinians and wounding thousands, bombing residential buildings and threatening to commit war crimes against besieged Palestinians in Gaza.
The Israeli government may have just declared war, but its war on Palestinians started over 75 years ago. Israeli apartheid and occupation – and United States complicity in that oppression – are the source of all this violence. Reality is shaped by when you start the clock.
For the past year, the most racist, fundamentalist, far-right government in Israeli history has ruthlessly escalated its military occupation over Palestinians in the name of Jewish supremacy with violent expulsions and home demolitions, mass killings, military raids on refugee camps, unrelenting siege and daily humiliation. In recent weeks, Israeli forces repeatedly stormed the holiest Muslim sites in Jerusalem.
For 16 years, the Israeli government has suffocated Palestinians in Gaza under a draconian air, sea and land military blockade, imprisoning and starving two million people and denying them medical aid. The Israeli government routinely massacres Palestinians in Gaza; ten-year-olds who live in Gaza have already been traumatized by seven major bombing campaigns in their short lives.
For 75 years, the Israeli government has maintained a military occupation over Palestinians, operating an apartheid regime. Palestinian children are dragged from their beds in pre-dawn raids by Israeli soldiers and held without charge in Israeli military prisons. Palestinians homes are torched by mobs of Israeli settlers, or destroyed by the Israeli army. Entire Palestinian villages are forced to flee, abandoning the homes and orchards and land that were in their family for generations.
The bloodshed of today and the past 75 years traces back directly to U.S. complicity in the oppression and horror caused by Israel's military occupation. The U.S. government consistently enables Israeli violence and bears blame for this moment. The unchecked military funding, diplomatic cover, and billions of dollars of private money flowing from the U.S. enables and empowers Israel's apartheid regime. Those who continue calling for "ironclad" U.S. support for the Israeli military are only paving the path to more violence.
From the U.S., there are no sidelines. We will uproot complicity where we are: we demand that the U.S. government immediately take steps to withdraw military funding to Israel and to hold the Israeli government accountable for its gross violations of human rights and war crimes against Palestinians. We commit to escalating our campaigns for boycott, divestment and sanctions to end the billions pouring into the Israeli war machine from corporations and private foundations.
Inevitably, oppressed people everywhere will seek -- and gain -- their freedom. We all deserve liberation, safety, and equality. The only way to get there is by uprooting the sources of the violence, beginning with our own government's complicity.
People all over the world are demonstrating to support the people of Palestine and condemn Israel's indiscriminate bombing of Gaza, its impossible demand that 1.1 million residents of northern Gaza evacuate to the south within 24 hours, and their potential ground invasion. The UN reported 423,000 people in Gaza had been displaced. As of October 13, the UN reports that 1,800 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli airstrikes. All of Israel's attacks on civilians in Gaza and elsewhere, including Palestinians attempting to flee within Gaza or to Egypt, on UN personnel, medical personnel, and hospitals are collective punishment and are considered war crimes and crimes against humanity under international law.
Armed resistance is taking place in the West Bank as well. In Nablus, resistance fighters opened fire at Israeli soldiers in the Jabal Subeih area of Beita town. Angry protests were also held in different areas of Jenin, condemning the Israeli bloody crimes against the Gaza Strip and the international community's shameful silence. Violent confrontations, meanwhile, broke out in the vicinity of the Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) Salem military camp, west of Jenin, in protest against the Israeli aggression on Gaza. Similar clashes also erupted in al-Khalil, amid the heavy use of live ammunition. As of October 14 a total of 54 Palestinians had been killed by Israeli army gunfire in the occupied West Bank in the past week, according to its Health Ministry, including children killed and injured.
Israel has launched missile strikes on Syria's two main airports in Damascus and the northern city of Aleppo, knocking both out of service, Syrian state media reported.
Thousands of people demonstrated in Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Iraq, Iran, Tunisia, Libya with the largest demonstrations being held across the Middle East, as protesters took to the streets, pledging their souls and lives for Palestine. From Morocco to Istanbul, Baghdad to Beirut, Tehran to Sanaa passionate protests shook the region, showing total rejection of the notion of normalization of ties with Israel. City centres and squares filled with rousing crowds calling for the immediate end of the siege of Gaza and calling for a global "day of rage."
Iraq's "Prayer for Palestine" gathered about a million people in Tahrir Square in Baghdad.
Mass protests in support of Palestine erupted in Jordan's capital Amman. Hundreds of thousands rallied shouting, "They say Hamas are terrorists -- All Jordan Is Hamas!" Jordanian security forces reportedly prevented hundreds of protesters from reaching the Jordan-Israel border, firing heavy teargas canisters at protesters. Jordan has a 238-kilometre border with Israel and two different crossings. Jordan's Interior Ministry had earlier declared that no demonstrations in the Jordan Valley and border region would be allowed. In various areas, Jordanian security clashed with protesters, firing teargas at the crowds.
In Malaysia and Indonesia, the most populous Muslim nation in the world, massive mobilizations of the people are taking place in support of the Palestinian people. In Indonesia people attended Friday prayers in large numbers where the Imams delivered sermons on the situation in Gaza and made special prayers for the people of Palestine.
In India, slogans of Long Live Palestine! and Gaza Will Never Die! also rang out loud and clear in support of the Palestinian people. In some areas the Indian Government prevented the holding of prayers in Mosques in an effort to keep the Indian people from rallying and expressing their support.
In Pakistan, in response to moves to establish closer relations with Israel, protesters burned the Israeli flag and protested in large numbers.
In cities across Europe thousands-strong solidarity rallies and marches were also held, including in Geneva, Switzerland; Copenhagen, Denmark; Turin, Italy; and Dublin, Republic of Ireland. In Spain protests took place in Madrid and in the cities of Barcelona, Zaragoza, Malaga, and Reus Catalunya. Tens of thousands rallied in London on October 14 under heavy police surveillance, decrying the British government's support for Israel. In Paris, France police used tear gas and water cannon against a rally October 12 following orders by the French Interior Minister to ban all pro-Palestine demonstrations in the name of "public order."
Hebron, October 11, 2023
Burj Al Shamali refugee camp in Tyre, October 13, 2023;
Hebron, October 13, 2023.
Doha, October 13, 2023
Nablus, October 13, 2023
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