Stephen Ellis is a Barrister and Solicitor and a senior activist with the Canadian BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions) movement who participates in anti-Israel demonstrations including Al-Quds Day Rally.
On October 21, 2020 Stephen Ellis posted on Facebook:
Anti-Apartheid Victory! Feds will investigate IDF recruitment on Canadian soil… keep up the fight!
Karen Rodman (Gwendolyn) is a United Church Ordained Minister and a pro Palestinian activist who is affiliated with the annual Al-Quds Day rally and other anti-Israel protests in Canada. She is also the founder and executive director of Just Peace Advocates.
On October 21, 2020 Just Peace Advocates reported:
Justice Minister states that the police and the Public Prosecutor will investigate Israeli military recruitment in Canada
In response to a question about a legal complaint and public letter calling for an investigation into recruitment in Canada for the Israeli military, Justice Minister David Lametti stated that diplomats must respect Canadian law. He said the issue will be referred to the authorities: the police and the Public Prosecutor for investigation.
The Justice Minister was responding to the release of an open letter signed by Noam Chomsky, musician Roger Waters, filmmaker Ken Loach, poet El Jones, author Yann Martel, former MP Jim Manly and nearly 200 Canadians asking for an investigation into recruitment taking place in Canada for the Israel Defense Forces (IDF).
Montreal lawyer John Philpot stated that he is pleased that Minister Lametti has confirmed that diplomats must respect the law in Canada and that the issue will be referred to the police authorities and the Public Prosecutor. Philpot said “the initiators of the formal legal complaint and open letter have reached out to the Justice Minister’s office to offer their collaboration in the upcoming investigation with the RCMP and the Prosecutor’s office to provide additional evidence. It is illegal to recruit for a foreign military in Canada.”
Since Monday more than 1000 individuals have emailed the Justice Minister and every MP requesting an investigation into recruitment for the Israeli military in Canada.
On October 21, 2020 Voice Online reported:
THOSE behind a legal complaint and public letter calling for an investigation into recruitment in Canada for the Israeli military, claimed on Wednesday that Justice Minister David Lametti stated that diplomats must respect Canadian law and that the issue will be referred to the authorities: the police and the public prosecutor for investigation.
However, Rachel Rappaport, Press Secretary for Lametti, emailed The VOICE: “In the Minister’s remarks, he explained that in the Canadian system, it is up to law enforcement to determine whether there is basis to believe that a breach of Canadian law has happened in a given situation, and if so, pursue an investigation accordingly. Law enforcement work directly with the relevant public prosecution service, who operate independently from the government.
Rappaport added: “The Minister did not order that an investigation be opened or confirm whether or not law enforcement have done so. It would not be appropriate for him to do so.”
On October 19, 2020 Just Peace Advocates reported:
Dozens of prominent individuals have joined the call on Justice Minister Lametti to investigate illegal recruitment in Canada for the Israeli military
An open letter signed by Noam Chomsky, Roger Waters, Ken Loach, former MP Jim Manly, as well as poet El Jones and author Yann Martel, and more than 170 Canadians as well as several others, has been delivered to Justice Minister David Lametti asking him to investigate recruitment taking place in Canada for the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). Alongside the open letter, a formal legal complaint was sent to the justice minister.
It is a crime in Canada to recruit anyone for a foreign military. It is also a crime to aid and abet such recruitment by offering incentives and encouraging any person to serve in a foreign military.
The Foreign Enlistment Act states, “Any person who, within Canada, recruits or otherwise induces any person or body of persons to enlist or to accept any commission or engagement in the armed forces of any foreign state or other armed forces operating in that state is guilty of an offence.”
The only exception would be the recruitment of Israeli citizens who are not Canadian.
On several occasions the Israeli consulate in Toronto has advertised that they have an IDF representative available for personal appointments for those wishing to join the Israeli military. Last November, the Israeli consulate in Toronto announced, “an IDF representative will conduct personal interviews at the Consulate on November 11-14. Young people who wish to enlist in the IDF or anyone who has not fulfilled their obligations according to the Israeli Defense Service Law are invited to meet with him.”
Not only has the consulate advertised that it facilitates enlistment in a foreign military but it has gone farther and arranged for Israel Defense Forces soldiers and veterans to be present in schools, summer camps and other venues in Canada with the goal of inducing people to enlist.
According to the CBC, 230 Canadians were in the IDF in 2017. It is unclear how many of these individuals were recruited in ways that violate the Foreign Enlistment Act.
At least two Canadians have been shot by Israeli military snipers in recent years including doctor Tarek Loubani as he attended to individuals injured by Israeli military snipers on May 14, 2018.
“The law banning foreign recruitment must be enforced”, said Montreal lawyer John Philpot, a signatory of the open letter and legal opinion. “Canada must pursue the possibility of laying charges on those encouraging people in Canada to enlist in the Israeli military.”