Home Politics 19/March/2023 01:37 PM

Canadians for Justice and Peace condemns Canadian FM's decision to meet with far-right Israeli counterpart

MONTREAL, Sunday, March 19, 2023 (WAFA) – Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME), a pan-Canadian grassroots advocacy organization, said yesterday it was appalled by Foreign Minister Melanie Joly’s decision to meet with far-right Israeli counterpart Eli Cohen this week.

In a press statement, CJPME said it identifies Cohen as a far-right extremist and annexationist, who has said that Palestinian citizens of Israel can “move to Gaza on a one-way ticket.” According to the readout of the meeting, Minister Joly expressed concerns about violence against Israelis but did not confront Israel on its escalation of violence and oppression against Palestinians.

CJPME reiterated its call for Canada to send a strong message in support of human rights and international law by imposing a diplomatic boycott on Israel’s far-right regime.

“Minister Joly’s friendly meeting with Israel’s foreign minister lends legitimacy to this far-right and dangerous regime, which has already killed more than 80 Palestinians this year,” said Michael Bueckert, Vice President of CJPME.

According to the organization, almost 2,000 Canadians have written to their country’s Foreign Minister requesting that she boycott all meetings with Israel’s far-right government, which poses an immediate threat to the safety of Palestinians on both sides of the Green Line. “Canada’s decision to continue business as usual with Israeli extremism demonstrates a shocking disregard for Palestinian lives,” added Bueckert.

CJPME noted that the readout of the meeting between Minister Joly and Israeli Minister Cohen takes a warm tone, speaking of an “enduring friendship” and “shared values,” and congratulating Israel on upcoming celebrations.

Although the readout mentions “deep concerns” over the “recent escalation of violence in Israel and the West Bank,” these are presented as issues of security and a need to “restore calm,” rather than expressing concern over Israel’s human rights record or the impact of its actions on Palestinians, the organization added.

The statement said, “Israeli foreign minister Eli Cohen is himself a far-right anti-Palestinian extremist, who supports annexing the occupied West Bank. Last year, Cohen sponsored a bill to ban Israeli institutions from displaying the Palestinian flag, saying of Palestinian citizens of Israel: “those who view themselves as Palestinian, by the way, will receive all the assistance they need from us to move to Gaza on a one-way ticket.”

CJPME also raised concerns over Canadian Trade Minister Ng’s meeting with her counterpart, Israeli MK Ofir Akunis, who has similarly promoted the annexation of the occupied West Bank and says that only the Jewish people have any right to the territory under Israeli control.


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