Listen to voices that speak out… for example:
Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu (here)
Samah Sabawi (here) who wrote Transcendence – A Poem
Holocaust survivors and their descendants (here)
…and we can choose to act.
I recommend this open letter prepared by Independent Jewish Voices (Canada) (click here) and addressed to the New Democratic Party (NDP) of Canada and its leader, Mr. Thomas Mulcair. The letter is written with detail and provides insight into the current and potential positioning that Canada could take in response to the siege on Gaza and its global impact:
“We expect the NDP, in its role as the main opposition party in Ottawa, to take a strong stand regarding the ongoing assault on Palestinians in Gaza. We are extremely disappointed by the NDP’s official statement [click here] and denounce it as insufficient and riddled with omissions. While paying lip service to criticising the government, there is little that distinguishes Mr. Mulcair and his official party line in any profound way from the position of the Harper government. Through its statement the NDP exposes its deep bias towards the Israeli politics of occupation and aggression, and it will have no effect on the disastrous path the Canadian government has chosen. The list below details the basis of our judgement.” (For the full letter and to sign the letter, click here.)
As the idea of a 72-hour humanitarian break in the siege on Gaza evaporated yesterday, several letters/statements reached my Inbox. I find them heart-moving, thought-provoking, and inspiring – and I feel encouraged… to draft another blog posting. With each day that passes, I wonder how to proceed… should I bother to write… But ‘they’ are writing, and so I forward their inspiring words on…
A member of the Israeli peace movement, Uri Avnery, wrote (click here).
A Dutch-Israeli family, spending their summer vacation in Tel Aviv, wrote (click here).
A German freelance journalist from Berlin currently in Gaza wrote (click here).
Over the last while (here and here), I have encouraged visitors to contact the Moderator of the United Church of Canada, the Right Reverend Gary Paterson, to ask that he write to the Prime Minister of Canada, Stephen Harper, regarding the hostilities and suffering in and around Gaza.
Yesterday, Moderator Paterson sent an official letter to Prime Minister Harper (click here) and wrote: “…your government has built and nurtured a close working relationship with Israel. I ask that your government use this relationship to exert all influence to demand a stop to this invasion and siege. …”
I appreciate this official communication and regard it as an important part of the process in which the United Church of Canada ‘stands up’ and helps Canadian society to stand up for a just peace in Palestine and Israel.
What else can we do? Please visit this webpage with suggestions from the United Church of Canada (click here).