This morning we covered the steps to the Israeli consulate in Toronto with a river of blood to make sure Israeli military violence—and the Canadian government’s complicity in it—was very visible.
We were joined by allies Independent Jewish Voices Canada, Just Peace Advocates/Mouvement Pour Une Paix Juste and Canadian Foreign Policy Institute. More info and photos here: https://worldbeyondwar.org/israeli-consulate/ #FreePalestine #GazaCeasefire #SaveSheikhJarrah #SolidarityWithPalestine
Here is World BEYOND War’s statement:
Today members of the Jewish community and allies delivered a clear message at the Israeli consulate in Toronto about bloodshed from Israel’s violence in Gaza and across historic Palestine.
Rabbi David Mivasair, a member of Independent Jewish Voices, said, “It can no longer be business as normal at Israel’s consulates in Canada. The death and destruction inflicted by Israel in Gaza, as well as the heightened violence by Israel across Palestine, cannot be washed away. This belligerence is the latest in an ongoing aggressive 73-year settler-colonization project by Israel across historic Palestine. The ceasefire doesn’t end the injustice and oppression.”
Since May 10, at least 232 Palestinians have been killed in the Israeli bombardment of Gaza, according to health authorities, including 65 children. Over 1900 people have been wounded.
Rachel Small, organizer with World BEYOND War, explained, “We are making the violence of Israel’s brutal occupation, military attacks, and ethnic cleansing visible right here on the consulate’s doorstep. We are making it impossible for anyone to enter and exit Israeli government offices here without directly confronting the violence and bloodshed they are complicit in.”
Rabbi Mivasair quoted the Book of Genesis saying, “‘The voice of your brother’s blood cries out to Me from the earth.’ Canadian Jews and others joined today to make sure that cry is heard even if the blood stops being spilled anew. Red paint streaming from the Israeli consulate onto the street in Toronto represents the blood of massacred innocent Palestinian civilians, the blood on Israel’s hands. As Canadians, we demand that our government holds Israel accountable for war crimes and stops the Canada-Israel arms trade.
“Jews in our communities in Canada are overcome with grief and anger. Many of us stand in solidarity with our Palestinian siblings. We say loud and clear, ‘not in our name.’ Israel can no longer continue to commit these atrocities in the name of the Jewish people.”
Since 2015, Canada has exported $57 million worth of weapons to Israel, including $16 million in bomb components. Canada recently signed a contract to purchase drones from Israel’s largest weapons maker, Elbit Systems, which supplies 85% of drones used by the Israeli military to monitor and attack Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza.
Across Canada, tens of thousands of people in dozens of cities have been on the streets denouncing Israel’s violent attacks. The Canadian government received at least 150,000 letters within days following the Israeli attacks on Al-Aqsa and Gaza. They call on Canada to hold Israel accountable for its violations of human rights and international law, and to place immediate sanctions on Israel.
John Philpot of Just Peace Advocates says, “The Israeli consulate in Toronto has advertised on several occasions an Israel Defense Forces (IDF) representative available for personal appointments for those wishing to join the IDF, not just those who are required to do mandatory service. The Canadian Foreign Enlistment Act makes it illegal to induce or recruit for a foreign military and Canada Revenue Agency guidelines state that ‘supporting the armed forces of another country is not a charitable activity.’”
Yves Engler from the Canadian Foreign Policy Institute indicates that “at the same time as Canadians are being recruited to join the IDF in violation of the Foreign Enlistment Act some registered Canadian charities support the Israeli military in probable contravention of Canada Revenue Agency regulations.”
A petition sponsored by NDP MP for Hamilton Centre, Matthew Green, calls upon Minister of Justice David Lametti to undertake a thorough investigation of those who have recruited or facilitated recruiting in Canada for the Israel Defense Forces, and, if warranted, lay charges against those involved. To date over 6,400 Canadians have signed this petition.
Rabbi David Mivasair is a member of Independent Jewish Voices Canada and a long-time active member of the New Democratic Party (NDP). Resident of Hamilton, ON Mivasair worked at Vancouver’s Ahavat Olam progressive synagogue and First United Church homeless shelter.
Here are statements by Rabbi David Mivasair and Rachel Small, an activist with World BEYOND War, outside the Israeli Consulate in Toronto on May 21, 2021:
Rabbi David Mivasair: Hi, I’m Rabbi David Mivasair outside the Israeli Consulate in Toronto with a group Canadian Jews and others. We are here to be sure that the blood on the hands of Israel is visible. So we have put a symbol of blood coming out of the door. From now on one can go into this offices of the Israel government right here in Canada without seeing what Israel is about. We made it visible. We’re here from World BEYOND War, from Just Peace Advocates, Independent Jewish Voices, and the Canadian Foreign Policy Institute. We invite everyone to join us in changing Canada’s complicity with Israel’s crimes.
Rachel Small: Rabbi please tell us about your sign.
Rabbi David Mivasair: So this is a quote from the Book of Genesis when God says to Cain ‘where is your brother?’ he tries to avoid responsibility, he pretends that he doesn’t know. God says ‘the voice of your brother’s blood is calling to you from the earth.’ That is how it is today.
Rachel Small: My name is Rachel [Small]. I’m with World BEYOND War. We’re encouraged that a ceasefire was announced. However, we know just this morning there was Israeli security at Al-Aqsa Mosque. We know that the blood. the death, the destruction of the Israeli government, of the Israeli military, we will not forget that. We will not let that be invisible. we will not be distracted by a ceasefire especially if it does not stop the violence. That’s why we’re here today. No one can go now into the Israeli Consulate in Toronto without directly confronting the bloodshed, the violence of their actions.
Rachel Small: Would you like to say anything else?
Rabbi David Mivasair: We’re grateful there is a ceasefire but that doesn’t end the injustice, the blockade around Gaza where 2 million people are in the largest open air prison on earth without access to food, to water, to electricity. The ceasefire is good but it certainly doesn’t solve the bigger problem.
On May 23, 2021 CityNews reported:
Police have laid charges after the Consulate General of Israel in Toronto was vandalized last week. Investigators say during a protest that took place on Friday morning, red paint was poured across the steps leading to the entrance of the building. Following an investigation, 69-year-old David Mivasair of Hamilton has been charged with mischief under $5,000.
Hamas leader: 80 military operatives of Hamas, Islamic Jihad and PRC were killed
On May 26, 2021 AP reported:
Hamas’ leader in the Gaza Strip on Wednesday said 80 militants were killed during the 11-day war with Israel that ended last week, providing the group’s first official tally for losses sustained in the fighting… Speaking to The Associated Press, Hamas leader Yehiyeh Sinwar said those killed last week included 57 members of his group’s armed wing, 22 members of the smaller Islamic Jihad group and one member of a small group called the Popular Resistance Committees.
Hamas and its military wing Al-Qassam Brigades, and the Islamic Jihad and its military wing Al-Quds Brigades are designated by Canada as terrorist entities. The Popular Resistance Committees and its military wing Al-Nasser Salah al-Deen Brigades is designated by Israel as terrorist entities.
Israel: More than 200 terrorists were “neutralized”
Israel Defense Forces (IDF) reported that more than 200 terrorists were “neutralized” during the recent armed conflict.
Blinken: Israel “took very significant steps” to avoid civilian casualties in Gaza
On May 26, 2021 The Times of Israel reported:
[In an interview with Israeli Channel 12] US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Israel “took very significant steps” to avoid civilian casualties in Gaza during the recent fighting with Hamas, but lamented the loss of lives, “especially children,” while underscoring the Biden administration’s backing for a two-state solution for solving the Israeli-Palestinian process.
Schmale: “They [Israel] did not hit with some exceptions civilian targets”
Matthias Schmale, the head of the United Nations Palestinian refugee agency in Gaza, said in an interview with Israeli Channel 12 aired on May 25, 2021:
“I’m not a military expert but I would not dispute that. I also have the impression that there is a huge sophistication in the way the Israeli military struck over the last 11 days… Yes, they did not hit, with some exceptions, civilian targets.”
IDF: Hamas and Islamic Jihad misfired 680 rockets that exploded inside Gaza
On May 27, 2021 Israel Defense Forces tweeted:
Fact: Of the 4,300+ rockets that Hamas and Islamic Jihad fired at Israel during Operation Guardian of the Walls, 680 misfired and exploded inside Gaza, killing and injuring their own civilians.
Related articles about Independent Jewish Voices Canada (IJV Canada) https://canadadocs.org/?s=%22Independent+Jewish+Voices%22