During a 17 day trip in October/November, a delegation from three different Canadian human rights organizations travelled the length and breadth of Israel/Palestine. Here Philip Sherwood, (UNJPPI), Peter Larson (OFIP) and Michael Bueckert (CJPME) meet over dinner in Nazareth with Haneen Zoabi, a Palestinian citizen of Israel and a former member of the Knesset. Read more and watch the video trip report.
From October 28th to November 14th, a Canadian delegation to Israel/Palestine visited 28 different orgs and individuals across the length and breadth of Israel/Palestine, including many Palestinian towns and villages inside the State of Israel. The visit coincided with an Israeli election characterised by racist rhetoric and the victory of the most right wing government in Israel’s history.
Most of our meetings were with Palestinian activists, but a few with progressive anti-Zionist Jews. We have no way of ensuring that the views we heard are representative of broader Palestinian society.
Our trip had 4 objectives:
- To reestablish links with friends and contacts in Israel/Palestine after 3 years of covid imposed absence
- To understand what had changed in Israel/Palestine in the intervening years
- To explore the situation of Palestinian citizens of Israel since the adoption of the “Nation State law” declaring that Jews have priority over others in Israel.
- To strengthen contact and communication among 3 of Canada’s leading organizations dedicated to supporting human rights for Palestinians.
On December 5th, the three participants shared the main lessons from their trip in a public webinar. Here is a video recording of that session.
It was not possible to resume a 2 1/2 week trip in an hour, but some of the main conclusions were:
- The situation is getting worse both inside and outside the green line. More aggression and more killing.
- The allegation that Israel practices a kind of “apartheid” inside the State of Israel itself appears to be well founded. Palestinian citizens of Israel face isolation, discrimination and systemic racism in the “Jewish State”.
- There appears to be a significant increase in settler/police violence against Palestinians in Jerusalem, in the West Bank and inside the State of Israel itself.
- Young Palestinians appeared to be more willing to use armed resistance as they felt that neither the Palestinian Authority nor the PLO was offering any protection. There seems to be widespread public support for this resistance.
- We found little or no confidence in a 2 state solution. But there was little unanimity on what else could be done, especially since the international community still insists that the 2 SS is the only solution they will support.
- The Canadian government continues to ignore significant reports from credible organizations alleging “apartheid”. It appears unwilling to acknowledge the important changes on the ground and remains locked in an out of date, even duplicitous, 2 state paradigm. It appears to ignore the issues of the human rights of Palestinians inside Israel, in Jerusalem or in the West Bank.
Want to know more? Check out CJPME’s excellent 20 page report complete with pictures and further explanation.
Canada Talks Israel Palestine (CTIP) is the weekly newsletter of Peter Larson, Chair of the Ottawa Forum on Israel/Palestine (OFIP). It aims to promote a serious discussion in Canada about Canada’s response to the complicated and emotional Israel/Palestine issue with a focus on the truth, clear analysis and human rights for all. Readers with different points of view are invited to make comment.
Want to learn more about us? Go to http://www.ottawaforumip.org