For what it’s worth – the gist of my letter to Cabinet members and to the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister concerning Gaza (feel free to borrow, change, or reuse all or any portion to contact your representatives in whatever part of the world you are in).
I write to you as one human being to another, as one person with a hurting conscience, to another whose conscience I hope is also alive. I write to you, because as a Canadian I love, admire, and respect so many aspects of this country. I write to you because I am saddened to see Canada’s role as a vital, independent, and respected moral voice, a voice for peace and justice in the international arena, weakened and eroded, if not completely overturned. I write hoping to find decent people with active moral consciences within your party. I write to you because you, as a Canadian political figure, as a member of a political party and as an MP, you have great influence and you have a responsibility, as such, to speak out and to act to do what you can to halt Canada’s part in supporting and allowing the slaughter in Gaza – in supporting the current Israeli administration. An administration that, by their own admission, opposes a two-state or even a single state solution in which (in a better world) Palestinians and Israelis could have equal rights. An administration that is in current violation of many UN resolutions.
I don’t know if there is any point in mentioning the numbers of civilians killed and injured since these are increasing daily at such a dramatic rate, each increase corresponding to the many real lives snuffed out, the many precious children, women, and men deleted from existence as if they were just so many ciphers. As a parent, I cannot bear the sight of so many children killed and maimed, so many made into orphans, so many going hungry – and I cannot and will not cast a vote for any individual or party that allows this to go on. And your party is, unfortunately, treating it as if this is in some way justified, as if it is OK to enable slaughter for some strange, vague, inhuman, geopolitical objectives. As if it is acceptable to cut off humanitarian funding, OK to allow arms sales, OK to ignore international law, OK to ignore ICJ recommendations, OK to ignore basic humanitarian principles, OK to support ongoing war crimes, and OK to give thumbs-up signals and pats on the back to the perpetrators of these crimes.
With the recent commemoration of the holocaust, there seems to be a complete disconnect between that horrific past event and the horrific present. It would seem that our conscience as a nation is absent when war crimes and genocidal level events happen before our eyes, under our watch, in our time, and on our dime, challenging our responsibility as citizens. And challenging our response as a nation that supports human values. And challenging your essential humanity and your heart to see how you respond and act as a person of influence when such a brutal attack on a civilian population has continued without relief for months.
Do you do your absolute best to influence your party leadership to save the lives of Palestinian civilians? Or, do you look for ways to avoid your human and political responsibility and seek to deflect public opinion to allow massive crimes against humanity to continue for geopolitical purposes?
We commemorate the holocaust with genuine sorrow, we regret that we let South African apartheid continue unabated for so long before ending it. Yet, even as we witness the most horrific excesses and war crimes causing extreme suffering in Gaza, we see vile statements from the mouths of the highest Israeli authorities (as documented by the ICJ and human rights organizations) calling for more suffering, and slandering those that try to stop the slaughter.
This is a pivotal point in world politics. You, as a person of great influence, as a human being with a conscience must stand up and speak out, within your party and publicly.
It is an obligation on you as a person with political influence, as a member of a political party, as one who occupies a high office in Canada. This is not a time for vacillating morally, for being a moral wallflower.
You, and your party, will be judged based on your behaviour – you will be judged by your own citizenry, judged by the voters, judged by the chroniclers of this horrific anti-human story unfolding in the full light of history, and you will be judged by other nations.
This 21st century horror is live-streamed and so clearly documented, such that no one has an excuse for not acting in word and deed to end it.
I count on your humanity to act to protect the lives of civilians in Gaza, to make clear your disdain of an Israeli administration that continues to perpetrate the killing without conscience, and of Canadian support for that administration.
Among the ruins of Gaza with untold members of its civilian inhabitants buried in its rubble, this war has the moral qualities of the worst of crimes. To support it is completely unconscionable.
You must speak out, you must act. Canadians are watching. The world is watching. For the sake of your humanity, your dignity, the dignity of Canadians, the humanity of Canadians, for the suffering people of Gaza, for the reputation of Canada – Act!
Another blog: islam from inside