It’s Time for our Prime Minister to Commemorate Nakba Day

May 16, 2017
Posted in Blog
May 16, 2017 Editor

May 15, 2017 in the Huffington Post Blog
Tyler Levitan, Campaigns Coordinator for Independent Jewish Voices Canada

WN: Sadly, Justin Trudeau is a repeated disgrace: regarding women; oil/climate change; Palestine/Israel – and the list gets longer…

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Editor: Our readers will be interested in this [already happened] free webinar organized by Independent Jewish Voices Canada on May 17th with Professer Emeritus Richard Falk (UN Special Rapporteur on Palestine from 2008 – 2014).

Note from Steering Committee:
Thank you for your interest in watching the Richard Falk interview on May 17, 2017.   Over 200 people from across Canada registered, reflecting high interest in Richard Falk’s views on Israel and Palestinians.

Some of you who were unable to watch the webinar when we aired it have asked for a link to the recording we made of the webinar.  And many of you who did watch it have also asked for the link to the recording. Independent Jewish Voices is pleased to share this recording with you. (Unfortunately, what got recorded differed from what viewers saw during the webinar, and included my image.  I was busy during the webinar fielding viewers’ comments and sending their questions to Tyler.)  To view the recording, please click on this link. I hope you enjoy it. Feel free to share this widely.

Richard Falk [offered] his insights on pursuing a path towards peace and justice in Israel/Palestine. He is the co-author of the 2017 ground-breaking UN report Israeli Practices towards the Palestinian People and the Question of Apartheid.

Richard Falk, now 86 years old, has devoted his life to promoting justice for all people.

As he has said, “my overriding concern is to foster an abolitionist movement against war and aggression as social institutions, which implies the gradual construction of a new world order that assures basic human needs of all people, that safeguards the environment, that protects the fundamental human rights of all individuals and groups without encroaching upon the precarious resources of cultural diversity, and that works toward the non-violent resolution of intersocietal conflicts.”  He has spoken and written in opposition to the Vietnam war, the Iraq war, racism, and a range of other social justice issues.

Professor Falk is an American professor emeritus of international law at Princeton University. He is the author or co-author of over 80 books.

He has worked especially on behalf of justice for Palestinian people for many years.   In 2001, Falk served on a United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) Inquiry Commission for the Palestinian territories[28]

On March 26, 2008, the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) appointed Falk to a six-year term as a United Nations Special Rapporteur on “the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967”, where he served effectively with courage and dignity, despite Israel’s repeated personal attacks on him and barring him from entering Gaza or the Occupied Territories.

On March 15 this year, the UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) released a ground-breaking report co-authored by Richard Falk which carefully documented the fact that Israel has established an apartheid regime which institutionalizes systematic racial oppression and domination of the Palestinian people as a whole. This was the first time any UN report used the term “apartheid” to refer to Israeli policies toward Palestinians. Unlike any earlier report, this study includes all four domains of Israeli laws toward Palestinians as one overarching system of oppression: (1) unequal civil law toward Palestinian citizens of Israel; (2) permanent residency law governing Palestinians who live in Jerusalem (3) military law governing Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza; and (4) policies which bar Palestinian refugees and exiles from returning. It reminds the UN and its member states of their legal duty under international law to take appropriate action to prevent the crime of apartheid and punish its perpetrators. And it calls for efforts to broaden support for boycott, divestment and sanctions initiatives among civil society actors.  We in IJV consider this report a major game-changer, which lays out a clear and convincing case.

Within 24 hours,  Israel and the US successfully pressured  UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres to remove the report from the UN website.  We especially wanted to bring Professor Falk’s voice to Canadians, to assure that his voice is heard widely.  We’ve attached a copy of the report to this message, and encourage you to read it and share it widely.

Please consider joining and/or donating to Independent Jewish Voices Canada.

 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. IJV has chapters in cities across the country, in addition to a growing number of student chapters 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.

We provide a voice for Canadian Jews of principle who support justice for all in Israel and Palestine.  Please join IJV by going to this link.  (If you are not Jewish, you can become a “supporter.”)    And to help support our work, please donate by going to this link.  

In solidarity and friendship,
Diana Ralph

Independent Jewish Voices Canada Steering Committee

an excerpt:

The release of this statement also happens to be the sixth consecutive year in which a Canadian Prime Minister has issued an official statement in commemoration of Israel’s unilateral declaration of independence. Not once has a Canadian Prime Minister commemorated, let alone acknowledged, Nakba Day.

Efforts were made last year by Independent Jewish Voices Canada (IJV) to have our Prime Minster commemorate Nakba Day alongside Yom Ha’aztmaut. Such efforts did not succeed, despite over six hundred people sending a letter to the Prime Minister echoing this fair-minded appeal. IJV never received a response from Trudeau to our letter.

The Palestinian Canadian Congress (PCC) is now calling on Canadians to take up this issue. The PCC sent a letter to Trudeau referencing Canada’s alleged commitment to playing the role of “honest broker” in the region. In the letter they state: “Celebrating Israel’s narrative while ignoring that of the Palestinians’ is not the impartial position one would expect from an honest broker, and is insulting and insensitive to thousands of Palestinians who now call Canada home.”

As the results of a recent EKOS survey suggest, the majority of Canadians are sympathetic to the plight of the Palestinians. I believe most Canadians would also support such a reasonable request to our Prime Minister.

It’s time for our Prime Minister to take the principled stand of commemorating Nakba Day.

Please click on: Trudeau Shame and Nakba

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Editor

Wayne Northey was Director of Man-to-Man/Woman-to-Woman – Restorative Christian Ministries (M2/W2) in British Columbia, Canada from 1998 to 2014, when he retired. He has been active in the criminal justice arena and a keen promoter of Restorative Justice since 1974. He has published widely on peacemaking and justice themes. You will find more about that on this website: a work in progress.

Always appreciate constructive feedback! Thanks.

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