This week, the Israeli state has undertaken brutal attacks against the Palestinian people. In East Jerusalem, Palestinians in the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood face mass evictions in favour of Israeli settlers. Israeli settlers chanting “Death to Arabs” have invaded homes with the support of the Israel Defence Forces (IDF).
Palestinian residents have been pummeled with stones during iftar, and the violence escalated into soldiers attacking Palestinians in Al-Aqsa with tear gas and rubber bullets. Israel has bombed buildings in Gaza, killing Palestinian families, including children, and it has gassed civilians in violation of the Chemical Weapons Convention, committing a war crime. These horrific actions by the Zionist settler-state are part of a decades long genocidal campaign to exile and dispossess the Palestinian people.
As anti-imperialists, Canada-Philippines Solidarity Organization joins our voices with those of other progressive and revolutionary organizations in Toronto and around the world in condemning the violent colonialism and imperialism of the Israeli state, and in supporting the Palestinian people’s defence of their homes and lives.
ISRAEL AND THE PHILIPPINES
Israel’s scapegoating and ‘terror-tagging’ of Palestinians are familiar tactics for Filipinos, who experience ‘red-tagging’ as insurgents when they stand up for people’s rights against domestic and foreign exploitation.
The two states’ actions mirror each other: intimidating land defenders, incarcerating political prisoners on trumped-up charges, and using lethal force against peaceful, protesting, and resisting people. The victims of these methods are often workers, activists, students, civil society actors, political leaders, youth and children.
Palestinians and Filipinos both endure heavy militarization of their communities, and the IDF and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) collude to improve their tactics of state repression. In 2019 Duterte’s deadly Anti-Terror campaign received counterterrorism military training from the IDF.
Both the IDF and the AFP train at the feet of the US Military, which extends its hegemonic arm to secure strategic positions in the Middle East and Southeast Asia.
CANADA AND ISRAEL
Canada’s complicity in Israeli settler-colonialism extends to facilitating its founding, during which the Nakba (‘the catastrophe’) saw the expulsion of 700,000 Palestinians from their land. Canada also jointly facilitated the disastrous Oslo Peace Talks and subsequent failed aid model that secured Israel’s position and denied Palestine statehood.
Canadian governments have systematically voted alongside the United States against any UN resolution that aims to hold Israel accountable for its ethnic cleansing and occupation of Palestine, the Syrian Golan Heights, and formerly southern Lebanon, just as it refuses to cease military and economic cooperation with the Duterte government, regardless of its human rights violations.
The Canadian state dispossesses the Indigenous Nations of Turtle Island and commits genocide against First Nations, Metis and Innuit people. Every colonial project responds to the front line resistance of land defenders with violence and criminalization. Why would Canada object to the displacement and dispossession of Indigenous people in the Philippines, or Palestinians, when it is guilty of the same crimes at ‘home’?
With a billion dollar exclusive trade relationship with Israel, and the great benefits of exploiting the Philippines’ natural resources and labour export policy, Canada has no incentive to jeopardize such lucrative relationships for something as ‘insignificant’ as human rights. Trudeau has stated that “Canada remains a steadfast supporter of Israel, and Canada will always defend Israel’s right to live in security” – we ask, what about Palestinians’ right to live in security?
ON THE SIDE OF THE COLONIZED
Western media frames the violence as an issue of ‘both sides.’ Colonialism, however, is not an issue of ‘both sides.’ It is Palestinians being expelled from their homes. It is Israel which receives billions of dollars’ worth of Western military aid and political support. It is Palestinians being attacked in the street by soldiers and armed settlers in an apartheid system. It is Israel that is the colonizer, and Palestinians who are the colonized.
CPSO-Toronto calls upon residents of Canada to understand and denounce the complicity of one settler state in the atrocities of another. Demand the Canadian state end military support to the IDF and disallow the ongoing, illegal IDF recruitment of Jewish Canadians.
Read the joint statement by Palestinian in North America on Nakba Day 2021, and attend local actions in support of Sheikh Jarrah, occupied Palestine, and in commemoration and resistance of the Nakba.
Join and support organizations like Samidoun and the International League of People’s Struggle, and help to develop the anti-imperialist and democratic struggles of the peoples of the world against imperialism and all reaction.
From the river to the sea – Palestine will be free!