Gaza 2020 calls Canadian government to respect domestic and international law
Toronto/Ramallah, November 11, 2018
Gaza2020 is an urgent call from the Palestinian human rights organization Al-Haq to the international community. The campaign was kicked off in Canada, in partnership with Just Peace Advocates/Mouvement pour une Just Paix, with over 20 public events, coast to coast.
Last year, the UN stated that Gaza, Palestine is expected to be unlivable in 2020. For the nearly 2 million Palestinians in Gaza, Israel’s persecution and collective punishment has already made life there unbearable. Gaza 20/20 is internationally focused on bringing consciousness to the grave situation in Gaza, and leading to action to call on governments to call the Israeli government to accountability.
In Canada, Just Peace Advocates has partnered with Al Haq to bring this message to civil society and to the Canadian government, pointing out Canadian accountability through both international and domestic law.
Close to 2,000 people attended sessions held in six provinces in September and October, to hear about Gaza 2020. In September Suha Jarrar, a researcher from Al Haq spoke about the Gaza 2020 campaign in Regina and Saskatoon, along with the politics of climate change.
Over several weeks, Jonathan Kuttab, one of the original founders of Al Haq, and internationally respected Palestinian human rights lawyer held 20 public discussions in locations from Newfoundland to British Columbia, sharing the Gaza2020 within the context of his thinking regarding post-Oslo Palestine. These groups included public events in communities such as Antigonish, Halifax, St. John’s, St. Catharines, Stratford, Toronto & area, Vancouver and area, Comox and Victoria. As well Jonathan addressed an evangelical high school class, an evangelical private university,, a tourism college class, several muslim communities, legal students, university student organizers, and joined a panel on children rights in the reality of colonization from Turtle Island to Palestine.
Jonathan Kuttab, who is also a director of Just Peace Advocates, was joined by co-diretor Rev. Karen Rodman, during this tour, and they also were able to hold meetings with several groups such as Project Ploughshares, community leaders, lawyers and civil liberty leaders.
In Canada, Gaza 2020 is a call for sanctions by the Canadian government on the military state of Israel until the blockade on Gaza is lifted. In Canada’s case this is based on domestic as well as international law. Specifically:
International Law: requires under Article 1 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, all high signatories in which Canada is one, are required to take actions to ensure that violations of the Fourth Geneva Convention do not occur under any circumstance.
Domestic Law: Canadian sanctions laws implement United Nations Security Council (UNSC) sanctions regimes under the United Nations Act, as well as Canadian autonomous sanctions regimes under the Special Economic Measures Act. Under the Special Economic Measures Act, sanctions are required when gross and systematic human rights violations have been committed in a foreign state
“A 2017 EKOS poll indicated that two-thirds of Canadians indicated support for sanctions on Israel, so the base is there,” said Rodman. “The urgency in Gaza calls us to take a stance under both our domestic and international law to call our Canadian government to account.”
In Canada, the Gaza2020 campaign continues to be featured, including at the recent Canadian Justice and Peace in the Middle East series with Don McIntyre on “Gaza: Preparing for Dawn,” and at the upcoming James Graff Memorial Lecture with Tarek Loubani, a Canadian doctor who practices in Gaza and was shot by Israeli military on May 14, 2018. A petition is available for people to sign, and a letter from organizations is being sent shortly to Prime Minister Trudeau. Further information on the Gaza 2020 and how you can get involved can be found at www.justpeaceadvocates.ca. If you wish more information, including an event specific to Gaza 2020 in Canada please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
The Gaza 2020 campaign will be in place in other countries including the USA shortly.