Pro-Israel counter-protest in front of PMO. Photo by Justin Tang

Over 1,500 people protested in solidarity with Gaza at Prime Minister Harper’s office in Ottawa on Tuesday, before marching through the city. While marching past the Prime Minister’s Office, a small group of counter-protesters were waving Israeli flags and shouting at the protesters. The protest remained peaceful, but media is now reporting that the group of counter-protesters were, in fact, made up largely of Conservative Party staffers.

Several questions need to be asked: Were these staffers from the Conservative Party trying to provoke the Gaza solidarity rally, and if so, why? Were they there of their own accord or were they sent there by the Conservative Party? Is our government so desperate in its defence of the Israeli government’s indefensible war crimes that it is now resorting to trolling protests that support peace? It appears that the Prime Minister has a lot of explaining to do. 

Canadian taxpayers should be appalled by the misuse of public funds, which are aimed towards furthering Harper’s ideological agenda. Independent Jewish Voices refuses to be silent while the Harper government supports the murder of innocent children, the ongoing brutal siege on Gaza, and Israel’s apartheid system of control over the Palestinian people. Israel must obey international law by respecting the human rights of Palestinians. Until then, we will promote boycotts of, divestment from, and encourage sanctions against Israel and companies that are complicit in Israel’s brutality towards the Palestinians.