For over three months, the world has witnessed one of the most devastating conflicts in modern history unfold in Gaza. The world’s leading humanitarian experts have called it an “unprecedented crisis,” a “catastrophe,” and later, an “apocalypse.” Then they ran out of words, and new ones had to be invented.
The numbers are so staggering they are hard to comprehend: 25,700 people killed, thousands more unidentified, buried by the rubble. 1.9 million people displaced, 60% of buildings destroyed. Entire families, neighborhoods, places of worship and study, wiped out.
Arms Sales to Israel
What you may not know is that Canada has continued to transfer military weapons to Israel throughout this brutal war. This revelation is alarming, especially given the clear risk that these weapons could be used to commit war crimes. Amidst a conflict where the equivalent of two nuclear bombs’ worth of explosives have been dropped on the Gaza Strip, Canada’s ongoing military support to Israel raises serious ethical and legal concerns.
As a signatory to the Arms Trade Treaty, Canada is legally responsible for ensuring that its arms exports do not contribute to serious violations of international law or harm women and children. The current situation in Gaza demands an immediate reassessment of Canada’s arms transfers, as they appear to violate the principles outlined in the treaty.
What is more, the International Court of Justice has found that South Africa has a substantial basis to bring a case against Israel for genocide. This underscores the gravity of the accusations against Israel and emphasizes the need for immediate action to halt any support that may contribute to such crimes.
In the face of our leaders’ failure to act responsibly, the responsibility of holding them to account falls on us—the concerned citizens. We cannot stand idly by while Canada continues to contribute to the devastation in Gaza. We urgently call upon Minister Mélanie Joly to exercise her powers and stop arms sales to Israel immediately.
Remember how you and thousands of others influenced Canada to call for a ceasefire? Let’s do it again.