When Will We Stop Fueling an Endless Cycle of Hatred and Violence?

Image by Candice Seplow.

When will we recognize the wisdom and leadership of the inspiring, world-wide Jewish community who are showing the only way to peace and justice for all?

It is not possible to say you support human rights and have a double standard, supporting human rights for some and denying human rights to others. Human rights are for all. Otherwise they are not human rights at all.

When words contradict actions, it is the actions that speak the truth.

The US and Canadian governments constantly repeat that they support human rights and an international rules-based order.

They do not. Their actions violate human rights and international law.

How an issue is presented determines how it is dealt with. The US, Canadian and European governments present the issue that has existed in Gaza, the West Bank and Israel for decades, as being a conflict with Jews on one side and Palestinians on the other.

This presentation is false. It promotes hatred and violence.

The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs puts forward the same message — that the interests of Israel and the interests of Jews are one and the same.

This is not true.

It is a human rights issue with Jewish organizations, Jewish Holocaust survivors, Jewish experts on the Holocaust and thousands of individual Jews in Canada, in the US, in Israel and around the world opposing the actions of the Israeli government and supporting human rights for all, including Palestinians.

They are courageous and inspiring. They are showing us the way forward.

Human rights issues bring people together, defuse hatred and violence and instead build compassion and human solidarity.”

Supporting human rights for all is the only way to end violence and hatred.”

It is the only path to peace. It is the only hope for the world.

Human rights are for all

Actions by the Israeli government have been ruled by the International Court of Justice as potential genocide. For years, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and other respected human rights organizations, including Israeli human rights organizations, have repeatedly documented the actions and policies of the Israeli government as constituting apartheid, crimes against humanity and violations of international law.

The Israeli government provides no evidence to dispute this documentation. Instead, it trashes Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, the United Nations, the UN Secretary-General and anyone who criticizes the actions of the Israeli government as being antisemitic.

The USA, Canada and European countries — the most politically, militarily and economically powerful countries in the world — turn a blind eye to these crimes against humanity and grant Israel impunity to continue committing them. The message from these powerful western countries who rule the world is that Palestinians have no human rights.

The Canadian government under former Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper and under current Liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudea, sides with the Israeli government and opposes human rights, as does previous U.S. President Donald Trump and current President Joe Biden.

The western media — the CBC, the BBC, US and European media — like their governments, treat the lives of Palestinians as being of inferior worth. They will not say this. But it is what they do.

The Glasgow Media Group examined four weeks (7 October — 4 November, 2023) of BBC One daytime coverage of Gaza. They found that ‘murder’, ‘murderous’, ‘mass murder’, ‘brutal murder’ and ‘merciless murder’ were used a total of 52 times by BBC journalists to refer to Israelis’ deaths but never in relation to Palestinian deaths. They noted that: ‘The same pattern could be seen in relation to “massacre”, “brutal massacre” and “horrific massacre” (35 times for Israeli deaths, not once for Palestinian deaths); “atrocity”, “horrific atrocity” and “appalling atrocity” (22 times for Israeli deaths, once for Palestinian deaths); and “slaughter” (five times for Israeli deaths, not once for Palestinian deaths).’

The October 7 attack by Hamas on Israelis was horrific and brutal and a war crime

It is right to call it such. But when describing the killing and maiming of thousands of Palestinian children by the Israeli armed forces and by Israeli illegal settlers, the carpet bombing of refugees and hospitals, the use of starvation as a weapon of war, the illegal kidnapping, imprisonment and holding hostage of Palestinian children for years, the genocide in plain sight of Palestinians, then the BBC and the CBC do not call this “brutal” or “horrific”. They practice a racist, political double standard that oils and enables crimes against humanity.

A study carried out by the publication, The Breach, reports how Canada’s op-ed pages offer one-sided support for Israel, Almost 90 per cent of opinion columns recently published by Canada’s major newspapers defended Israel’s war on Gaza .

Canada and the USA say Palestinians have no human rights protections under international law

Canada and the United States have repeatedly taken action nationally and internationally to block peaceful avenues for Palestinians to claim human rights and challenge crimes against humanity committed against them.

By blocking peaceful avenues, Canada and the USA are promoting the only alternative — hatred and violence

Canada and the USA, to our eternal shame and because of our antisemitism, refused to save the lives of Jewish refugees and instead sent them back to be killed in the Holocaust carried out by Germany.

Supporting genocide now, as Canada, the USA, Germany and European countries are doing, is not the answer. It does not provide safety for Israelis. It does not stop antisemitism. It fuels the cycle of violence and hatred. It endangers all humanity.

In December 2019, the Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Fatou Bensouda, stated that, based on a probe she started in 2015: “I am satisfied that there is a reasonable basis to proceed with an investigation into the situation in Palestine.” Bensouda added: “I am satisfied that war crimes have been or are being committed in the West Bank, including east Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip.”

The court had been asked to investigate war crimes committed by Israel and by Hamas.

Prime Minister Trudeau, at the request of Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, lobbied the International Criminal Court to refuse to investigate alleged war crimes committed by Israel against Palestinians.
Canada argued, and continues to argue, that Palestinians do not exist and have no human rights protections under international law. While the vast majority of countries in the world recognize Palestine as a country, Canada, the US, the UK and our European allies refuse to recognize the existence of Palestine.

The CBC and virtually all the Canadian establishment media — despite being alerted and repeatedly requested to give coverage — gave no coverage of the fact that the Canadian government was lobbying the international court to deny Palestinians human rights under international law.

The one exception was the Globe and Mail, which published this article.

Canada denies the fact that an apartheid system has been documented and enforced in plain sight by Israel for decades

The Canadian government turns a blind eye to the clear evidence that Israel is practicing apartheid, such as the 280-page report by Amesty International, Israel’s apartheid against Palestinians: a cruel system of domination and a crime against. When questioned about this report, Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly stated she was very much aware of the Amnesty International report which stated that Israel’s actions constitute apartheid. Our Minister stated: “We reject that view.”

Likewise the Canadian government has rejected Amnesty International’s November 2023 report, Israel/OPT: Horrifying cases of torture and degrading treatment of Palestinian detainees amid spike in arbitrary arrests.

The Canadian government gives no explanation as to why it denies the indisputable evidence that Israel is practicing apartheid.

Instead of holding the government to account, as the media supposedly do, the CBC and the Canadian establishment media do not question the government on why it is supporting apartheid. The CBC and the Canadian establishment media enable apartheid by their failure to challenge it.

Canada continues today to deny human rights protections to Palestinians

The UN General Assembly has asked the International Court of Justice for an advisory opinion on “the Legal Consequences arising from the Policies and Practices of Israel in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.”

Once again, Canada blocks any peaceful avenue for Palestinians to access human rights protections and to have their humanity recognized. Canada has asked the court to refuse to issue the requested advisory opinion.
The reasons Canada gives for seeking to block this advisory opinion are that the Israeli government opposes this issue being examined by the Court and that Canada wants the issue to be handled by the UN Security Council. The Canadian government, which claims to support democracy, argues that the wishes of the UN General Assembly should be disregarded.

Canada knows that the USA vetoes any action by the Security Council that displeases the Israeli government. Canada’s position is thus deceptive and inhumane. Canada’s policy is to do everything we can to deny access to human rights for Palestinians.

Amnesty International condemns the complicity of Canada, the USA and European countries in genocide

The USA government states that South Africa’s lawsuit at the International Court of Justice, alleging genocide is being carried out by Israel, is “meritless, counterproductive and completely without any basis in fact whatsoever”.

Think about this for a minute. The most powerful country in the world is thumbing its nose at overwhelming evidence and choosing to support genocide.

In a February 26, 2024 statement, Israel defying ICJ ruling to prevent genocide, Amnesty international condemns the USA for violating the orders of the International Court of Justice :

“Instead, the USA has, for a third time, vetoed a UN Security Council resolution demanding an immediate ceasefire, effectively greenlighting more killings and mass suffering of Palestinians.”

Amnesty International also condemns the complicity of Israel’s allies, such as Canada, as indefensible: “countries with influence over the Israeli government, including the USA, UK, Germany and other allies must not stand by and watch as Palestinian civilians die preventable deaths due to bombardment, lack of food and water, the spread of diseases and lack of healthcare. In light of the humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza, these states’ support for Israel’s actions, including its flouting of the ICJ’s ruling, is indefensible and could violate their obligation to prevent genocide.”

Canada, the USA and European countries are aiding the killing, maiming and starvation of Palestinians, including many thousands of children, whose only crime is to have been born Palestinian. The UN’s leading expert on the right to food, Dr. Michael Fakhri, states that Israel is deliberately starving Palestinians. “Denial of food is a war crime. In my view as a U.N. human rights expert, this is now a situation of genocide.”

Dozens of UN human rights experts, Gaza: UN experts call on international community to prevent genocide against the Palestinian people , have repeatedly called on Canada, the USA and other countries to take action, as they are required to do under international law, to prevent genocide, “Many of us already raised the alarm about the risk of genocide in Gaza,” the independent experts said. “We are deeply disturbed by the failure of governments to heed our call and to achieve an immediate ceasefire. We are also profoundly concerned about the support of certain governments for Israel’s strategy of warfare against the besieged population of Gaza, and the failure of the international system to mobilise to prevent genocide.”

It is false for the US, Canadian and European governments to say they support human rights and the rule of international law.

The many actions of the Canadian and US governments to kill human rights for Palestinians do not represent the wishes of their people.

As Agnès Callamard, Secretary General of Amnesty International, states with regard to the constant claim of the USA, Canada and other Western countries that we support human rights and international law, the End of the Rules-Based Order, “Today’s diplomatic complicity in the catastrophic human rights and humanitarian crisis in Gaza is the culmination of years of erosion of the international rule of law and global human rights system.”

As Christopher Lockyear, secretary general of Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), said to the United Nations Security Council: “The consequences of casting international humanitarian law to the wind will reverberate well beyond Gaza. It will be an enduring burden on our collective conscience. This is not just political inaction-it has become political complicity.”

When will Israel, the USA, Canada and European countries stop fueling an endless cycle of violence and hatred? When will we recognize the wisdom and leadership of the inspiring , world-wide Jewish community who are showing the way to peace and justice for all?

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Brief bio: Kathleen Ruff is a longtime human rights activist. She was the first Director of the BC Human Rights Commission and Director of the Canadian Court Challenges Program. She received the Canadian Public Health Association’s award of National Public Health Hero and the Appreciation Award from the Asian Citizens Center for Environmental Health. She was awarded the Medal of the Quebec National Assembly.

RightOnCanada.ca is a human rights advocacy website. It was created by Kathleen Ruff from a concern that Canada is going backwards on human rights, both nationally and internationally. It receives no funding from anyone.