rabble blogs are the personal pages of some of Canada's most insightful progressive activists and commentators. All opinions belong to the writer; however, writers are expected to adhere to our guidelines. We welcome new bloggers -- contact us for details.

Declaration to the Canadian government: Stop granting Israel impunity

Please chip in to support more articles like this. Support rabble.ca today for as little as $1 per month!

Canadian government abandons human rights at sea: Release the Canadian Boat to Gaza

November 4, last year, the Canadian ship Tahrir and its cargo of medical supplies, along with everyone onboard, were forcibly taken by the Israeli navy while peacefully sailing in international waters towards the blockaded* Gaza Strip.

The Canadian government expressed no concern to the government of Israel over this serious international incident involving Canadians. Despite multiple requests, the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs under Minister John Baird is refusing to ask Israel to release the Tahrir and its cargo of desperately-needed medical aid, saying that this is a purely private matter. Canadians expect more from their government.

The Tahrir was bought with Canadian funds collected from people and organizations from coast to coast to coast. Israel has had more than enough time for a thorough inspection and search of the vessel, the ostensible reason used to justify the capture of the Tahrir, and has never found, nor even claimed to find, anything dangerous or prohibited on board. And yet the Harper Tories have once again granted Israel impunity for its reckless actions.

No country, group or government is above questioning, above accountability, or above the law. The government of Canada, whatever its political agenda, has a solemn duty to uphold the law and ensure Canadians' right to peaceful maritime travel and to engage in non-violent action.

We, the undersigned, call on the Canadian government to demonstrate its commitment to international law and the treaties to which it is a signatory, by:

1.    providing all necessary assistance in the prompt recovery of the Tahrir, the medical aid, and all Canadian property on board that was seized violently during a lawful, peaceful voyage to Gaza;

2.    insisting that Israel meet its obligations under international law by facilitating the unimpeded movement of people and goods into and out of Gaza, including by sea, in compliance with the United Nations Security Council resolution 1860.

Sign your name to this declaration here.

(*) In a report dated Sept. 13, 2011 , following the release of the Palmer report, four independent UN Human Rights experts concluded that the blockade of Gaza is illegal:  http://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=11363&LangID=E

Thank you for reading this story…

More people are reading rabble.ca than ever and unlike many news organizations, we have never put up a paywall – at rabble we’ve always believed in making our reporting and analysis free to all, while striving to make it sustainable as well. Media isn’t free to produce. rabble’s total budget is likely less than what big corporate media spend on photocopying (we kid you not!) and we do not have any major foundation, sponsor or angel investor. Our main supporters are people and organizations -- like you. This is why we need your help. You are what keep us sustainable.

rabble.ca has staked its existence on you. We live or die on community support -- your support! We get hundreds of thousands of visitors and we believe in them. We believe in you. We believe people will put in what they can for the greater good. We call that sustainable.

So what is the easy answer for us? Depend on a community of visitors who care passionately about media that amplifies the voices of people struggling for change and justice. It really is that simple. When the people who visit rabble care enough to contribute a bit then it works for everyone.

And so we’re asking you if you could make a donation, right now, to help us carry forward on our mission. Make a donation today.

Comments

We welcome your comments! rabble.ca embraces a pro-human rights, pro-feminist, anti-racist, queer-positive, anti-imperialist and pro-labour stance, and encourages discussions which develop progressive thought. Our full comment policy can be found here. Learn more about Disqus on rabble.ca and your privacy here. Please keep in mind:

Do

  • Tell the truth and avoid rumours.
  • Add context and background.
  • Report typos and logical fallacies.
  • Be respectful.
  • Respect copyright - link to articles.
  • Stay focused. Bring in-depth commentary to our discussion forum, babble.

Don't

  • Use oppressive/offensive language.
  • Libel or defame.
  • Bully or troll.
  • Post spam.
  • Engage trolls. Flag suspect activity instead.