On June 13, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s issued a statement affirming once again, since he took power in 2015, that “Canada and Israel are close friends bound together by shared democratic values.” Apparently, Trudeau has not become aware of the report released in April 2021 by Human Rights Watch (HRW), an international human rights advocacy group based in New York, which indisputably found Israel guilty of “committing the crimes against humanity of apartheid and persecution.”
By Khaled Mouammar
Published on One Democratic State, June 22, 2021
On June 13, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s issued a statement affirming once again, since he took power in 2015, that “Canada and Israel are close friends bound together by shared democratic values.”
Apparently, Trudeau has not become aware of the report released in April 2021 by Human Rights Watch (HRW), an international human rights advocacy group based in New York, which indisputably found Israel guilty of “committing the crimes against humanity of apartheid and persecution.”
It is noteworthy that the international community, including Canada, considers the crime of apartheid as the second gravest crime against humanity after genocide.
Admittedly, from a human rights perspective, apartheid-colonial Israel today resembles the colonial-settler Canada of yesterday.
However, Canada has spent a long time coming to grips with the racism and persecution of its past and finally held a Truth and Reconciliation Commission to begin healing the wounds of native dispossession and discrimination, acts which are now recognized as genocide.
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission, led by Justice Murray Sinclair, tabled its historic report and 94 calls to action in December 2015.
On 28 May 2021, following the discovery of an unmarked mass grave of First Nations children at a former residential school in Kamloops, the Trudeau government cynically expressed sympathy for the First Nations children and their families while continuing to appeal the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal decision of January 2016 ordering Ottawa to compensate approximately 50,000 First Nations children who were unnecessarily placed in child welfare and separated from their families as well.
Trudeau’s disregard for the crimes committed against First Nations children and families, and his disdain for the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal may explain why he shares the following “democratic values” of Israel:
- Israel’s Jewish Nation-State Law relegates an inferior status to its two million indigenous Palestinian citizens. The law stipulates that the State of Israel is the nation state of the Jewish People; that the exercise of the right to national self-determination is unique to the Jewish People; that the State shall only encourage and promote the establishment of Jewish settlements; that the State shall be only open for Jewish immigration.
- The 380 thousand indigenous Palestinians who make up 38 percent of the population of Jerusalem, Israel’s “declared capital,” do not hold Israeli citizenship and face constant dispossession, discrimination, and violence from the police and armed Jewish colonists
- Israel uses militarized force and violence to maintain control of five million indigenous Palestinians in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip and, so far, has expropriated land for establishing 256 Jewish-only colonies.
- Israel takes indigenous Palestinian children from their families through militarized abductions, imprisonment, and torture (which are sort of like Canada’s former residential schools). Since 2000, ten thousand Palestinian children in the West Bank have been arrested and held in the Israeli military detention system that denies them their basic rights.
- Israel keeps two million indigenous Palestinians of the Gaza Strip, most of whom are refugees forcibly displaced when Israel was established in 1948, in a concentration camp. Israel’s periodic assaults on Gaza have resulted in the murder of hundreds of children and the injury of thousands (346 children killed and 1709 injured in January 2009; 551 children killed and 3436 injured in July-August 2014; 67 children killed and 444 injured in May 2021).
“We recognize that the respect for freedoms, human rights, and the rule of law are essential for democracies to thrive. We also take this opportunity to remind ourselves of our shared responsibility to protect and promote democratic values.”
Remarkably, Trudeau expresses strong support for human rights and democracy then he issues a statement this month boasting that Canada shares the same “democratic values” with an apartheid regime that commits crimes against humanity, war crimes, and abducts, imprisons, tortures and kills children.
In the past, Trudeau expressed sympathy for First Nations children and families but has refused for five years to act on the 2015 recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission or abide by the 2016 decision of the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal to compensate those children.
Once again, Trudeau’s actions contradict his words.
Trudeau expresses support for human rights and democracy but proudly shares and supports the values and actions of Israel, a state that HRW found guilty of committing the crime of apartheid, the second gravest crime against humanity after genocide.