The political winds for the last few years have been unrelentingly cruel to Palestine and Palestinians. At this moment, however, there are some opportunities for progressive Canadians to act and perhaps make a difference.
On October 31, feminist, human rights activist, and Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) member Khalida Jarrar was arrested amid a wave of Israeli arrests of Palestinians suspected of affiliation with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP). Jarrar is a human rights lawyer and the work that she and others have been leading, to fight for real and fair trials, no secret evidence, no arbitrary detentions, would speak to any human rights advocate. Samidoun and other organizations working in solidarity with Palestinian prisoners have declared November 8 to 11 as days of action for Freedom Now.
This link is to a babble thread about a resolution supported by 26 riding associations, Nikki Ashton, Libby Davies and many others which was quashed by the NDP leadership in the 2018 convention. What the leadership did by quashing this resolution was despicable; however, the 2018 resolution on Palestine had more support than ever from NDP rank-and-file members and progressive leaders. The military court trials of Palestinians, the use of secret evidence and arbitrary detention, and the clear trammelling of Geneva conventions would speak to lawyers like Jagmeet Singh and to how he campaigned in the most recent federal election. Use these days of action to put pressure on the NDP caucus to demand action. Addameer, the organization Khalida Jarrar founded to stand for prisoners rights, continues to be a great resource for those of us advocating for judicial reform. Let’s make these days of action matter.
Taking action now is particularly important given recent political changes in the Middle East. The elections in Israel have resulted in a stalemate; however, the Trump plan is waiting in the wings. According to Open Democracy, the deal was roundly scorned when it was workshopped in Bahrain, but that has not stopped the Trump administration to date. Read Open Democracy’s analysis and demand the NDP stand against the proposal to do away with Palestinian sovereignity with one convenient bribe!
Maya Bhullar is the Activist Toolkit coordinator at rabble.ca. She has over 15 years of professional experience in diverse areas such as migration, labour, urban planning and community mobilization.
Image: Montecruz Foto/Flickr