Canadian Civil Society Letter to the Prime Minister

May 20, 2021 

The Right Honorable Justin Trudeau Prime Minister of Canada Office of the Prime Minister
80 Wellington Street Ottawa, ON K1A 0A2 

The Honorable Marc Garneau Minister of Foreign Affairs House of Commons
80 Wellington Street Ottawa, ON K1A 0A2 




As Canada’s leading civil society organizations, we are collectively writing to you regarding the recent reprehensible attacks and escalation of violence perpetrated by Israeli authorities on Palestinian civilians. 

Prime Minister, you have spoken clearly about your concerns about the settlements and the evictions of Palestinians. You noted that we need to see an end to the violence, including to the violence at the Al Aqsa Mosque, which you described accurately as heart wrenching. We encourage you to continue to condemn, and for the Minister of Foreign Affairs, to stand unequivocally for human rights and acknowledge the realities on the ground. Canada must adhere to its longstanding foreign policy principle of an unwavering respect for human dignity, human rights and the rule of law. 

We are writing today to urge you to clearly and unequivocally condemn Israel’s actions in relation to: 

  1. Israeli air raid bombings that have attacked civilian targets in Gaza, including a building that housed Associated Press and Al-Jazeera offices in addition to residential apartments. This attack on journalists and their ability to report on what is happening on the ground in Gaza is extremely concerning as the attacks on Palestinian civilians, including children, continue to escalate. 
  1.  Israeli security forces attacked worshipers at the Al-Aqsa mosque with complete disregard to the sanctity of one of the holiest mosques in Islam and have done so on one of the holiest days of Ramadan. This is problematic to Muslims around the world including over one million Muslims in Canada. 
  1. Israel’s campaign to forcefully evict Palestinian families from the homes that they have lived in for decades to make room for Israeli settlers in Sheikh Jarrah and Silwan in East Jerusalem has been condemned by the United Nations and many world leaders. East Jerusalem remains an occupied territory and the actions of the Israeli government amount to continued violations of international law. 

The acts of the Israeli government are continuations of Israel’s settlement policy which is not only rooted in a flagrant violation of basic human rights, but also a violation of international law and all associated norms and protocols accepted by the world. Israel’s actions continue to demonstrate not only a complete disregard for the lives and well-being of Palestinians, but also an unwillingness to allow for a lasting solution. These actions demonstrate that Israel is committed to destroying the prospects for a Palestinian state permanently. This is contrary to longstanding Canadian and allies’ foreign policy. 

We are asking Canada to now issue a formal statement calling for Israel to immediately and unconditionally stop the violence, to stop the targeting of Palestinian civilians and end the expulsion of Palestinian families from their homes in Sheikh Jarrah and Silwan. 




National Council of Canadian Muslims 

Amnesty International Canada, English Section 

British Columbia Civil Liberties Association 

International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group 

The Ontario Federation of Labour 

Fédération nationale des enseignantes et enseignants du Québec (FNEEQ-CSN) 

Urban Alliance on Race Relations 

Law Union of British Columbia