Feb 142024

The Central Committee of the Communist Party of Canada condemns the Canadian government’s ongoing support for Israel’s genocide and ethnic cleansing of Palestinians in Gaza as well as Canada’s role in provoking a potentially devastating wider regional war.

The Trudeau government continues to refuse to call for an immediate and permanent ceasefire in Gaza. Israel’s military invasion, occupation and massive bombing campaign of Gaza is an act of genocide. More than 28,000 Palestinians have been killed including more than 11,500 children. More than half of Gaza’s buildings have been damaged or destroyed, including more than 70% of homes. There are no longer any fully operational hospitals in Gaza with the World Health Organization saying that the population of Gaza is now “starving to death” due to the restrictions imposed on humanitarian aid by Israel. These are crimes against humanity and war crimes that the Canadian government is complicit in and are also enthusiastically supported by the official opposition in Ottawa: the Conservative Party. The other parties in Parliament, including the NDP, have been inconsistent and delayed calling for a ceasefire which has enabled the government.

The most the Trudeau government has called for, after months of historic and massive demonstrations and thousands of Palestine solidarity actions across the country, was a “sustainable ceasefire” as a way to avoid calling directly for an immediate ceasefire from Israel. The Communist Party of Canada reiterates our support for an immediate, permanent and unilateral ceasefire from Israel and the withdrawal of all Israeli forces from Gaza. This would result in the freeing of Israeli hostages, which Hamas has been offering for months.

The Trudeau government also agreed to participate in US and British led airstrikes on Yemen which began on January 11th. A January 12th press release from Foreign Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly and Defence Minister Bill Blair stated that “We remain committed to working with our partners in the Middle East to help advance sustainable peace and security in the region.”

Ostensibly, the bombing of Yemen is supposed to break efforts by Houthi forces to blockade Red Sea shipments to Israel. However, Joe Biden has admitted that the airstrikes are ineffective and they are actually a show of US imperialism’s force in the region in order to provide cover for Israel’s genocide. The airstrikes will certainly not achieve “sustainable peace and security” in the region. In fact, they risk provoking a direct war with other actors including Iran which would potentially see millions dead, if not spark a world war. Canada’s participation in these provocations must end now.

Meanwhile, the Trudeau government has continued to provide cover for Israel’s genocide by suspending funding to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA).  By suspending aid in the midst of a humanitarian crisis, Canada becomes a collaborator in the starvation and humanitarian crisis in Gaza. UNRWA is the principal agency supporting the lives of 2 million people. Canada announced their suspension of aid within hours of the announcement that the International Court of Justice had ruled that Israel’s actions constitute “plausible genocide” and ordered a series of emergency measures. In a transparent move to distract from the court’s historic ruling, Israel made the accusation that 12 employees of UNRWA (one of Gaza’s largest employers with 13,000 staff) participated in some way in the October 7th attacks on Israel. Canada’s decision to suspend aid constitutes support for and material participation in the genocide that is taking place in Gaza. Even if the unfounded allegations were true, the suspension of aid is an obvious form of collective punishment.

In recent weeks, the United States has also carried out strikes on more than 85 targets in Iraq and Syria. This constitutes another escalation and another dangerous provocation of Iran. The situation is critical and peace must prevail now before it’s too late for the millions of displaced and starving people of Gaza and for the world on the brink. Labour and democratic organizations and movements must unite in the call for a ceasefire and de-escalation. 

The Communist Party calls for Canada to immediately adopt a foreign policy of peace and disarmament and work to achieve a truly sustainable peace in the region, starting what the majority of the world’s nations have been calling for for decades: the end of Israeli occupation and the creation of a Palestinian state based on Israel’s 1967 borders with Jerusalem as the capital and including the right of return. In the same way South African Apartheid was defeated, Zionism will also be defeated. Free Palestine!

Central Committee, Communist Party of Canada

February 11, 2024