The Israel Defence Forces (IDF) are actively recruiting in Canada in violation of Canadian law, according to an official complaint sent to Justice Minister David Lametti on October 19th calling on him to investigate and lay charges as warranted. Read more.
After six months of careful research and documentation by a team led by Montreal lawyer John Philpot, an official complaint has been lodged with Canadian Justice Minister and Attorney General David Lametti over what they allege to be a longstanding violation of Canadian law by the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF). The letter cites many instances, over many years, in which the IDF has been openly recruiting Canadians without any interference or opposition from the Canadian government.
“Any person who, within Canada, recruits or otherwise induces any person or body of persons to enlist or to accept any commission or engagement in the armed forces of any foreign state or other armed forces operating in that state is guilty of an offence.” – Foreign Enlistment Act.
The letter, which is signed by over 170 Canadians claims that for years “the Israeli military has also conducted programs in Canadian schools and community organizations which are designed to induce persons in Canada to enlist in the Israel military in direct violation of the Foreign Enlistment Act”.
The full text of the letter including references and photo exhibits can be found on the website of “Just Peace Advocates” one of the organizations involved in preparing the letter to Minister Lametti.
The illegal practice has been going on in Canada for nearly 20 years, according to an article by Yves Engler in Canadian Dimension magazine. When I served as Vice President of the Concordia Student Union in 2002″, claims Engler, “Hillel, a Jewish student group, provocatively handed out flyers advertising volunteer opportunities in the IDF.“
“One of the most surprising things we discovered,” said Mr. Philpot, “is that Deborah Lyons, our Canadian Ambassador to Israel appears to be encouraging and facilitating this activity by welcoming and hosting Canadian “lone” soldiers at the Embassy in Israel”. (NOTE: “Lone soldiers” is the term Israel uses for foreigners, including Canadians, who serve in the IDF.)
“We are calling for a thorough investigation to be undertaken of those who have facilitated this recruiting for the Israel Defense Forces, and if warranted that charges be laid against all those involved in recruiting and encouraging recruiting in Canada for the IDF,” concludes the letter.
When asked about the alleged crime at a press conference, Minister Lametti appeared to downplay the issue. “It’s up to the police to investigate,” he told Le Devoir. Somewhat oddly, in prefacing his remarks, Lametti noted that Canada has “relations with Israel” as well as “personal relations with the citizens of Israel.” It’s not clear if the minister meant that because of our close relation with Israel, it should be allowed to infringe Canadian law with impunity.
Anyone who wants to encourage the minister to look into the matter can contact him by email at: David.Lametti@parl.gc.ca.
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