Vancouver rally: “Al-Quds (Jerusalem) is the sacred land of Palestinian Arabs”

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The Kotel – The Western Wall in Jerusalem. Photo: JCPA.ORG

On December 8, 2017 pro Palestinian activists held a rally in Vancouver, BC titled “Emergency rally for Palestine: Defend Al-Quds/Jerusalem.”

The rally was endorsed by:

  • International League of People’s Struggle Canada (ILPS)
  • Youth for Palestine
  • BC Migrante
  • UBC Social Justice Centre
  • Young Communist League-Vancouver
  • SAFE: Solidarity Against Fascism Everywhere
  • Canada Philippines Solidarity for Human Rights
  • BDS Vancouver – Coast Salish Territories
  • Communist Party of British Columbia
  • Frente H. Chavez/ Amigos del Frente Hugo Chavez-Canada Suroeste
  • BC Migrante
  • ILPS Canada
  • International Peacekeepers Alliance
  • The Talon UBC
  • Siraat
  • Coalition Against Bigotry – Pacific
  • Youth For Palestine Canada – YFP
  • Vancouver Socialist Alternative
  • TSSU Solidarity and Social Justice Committee

The organizers issued and distributed the following statement by StopWarCa – Vancouver, Canada Palestine Association and Independent Jewish Voices Vancouver:

Statement on Trump’s illegal recognition of Israeli sovereignty over the holy city of Jerusalem (Al-Quds)

Vancouver, Unceded Coast Salish Territory

Dec 8th, 2017

In an atrocious move that has been 70 years in the making, Trump has declared moving the US embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. This is an escalation of a conflict that’s costing Palestinian lives on a genocidal level. No colonial capital city is a good one, but declaring al-Quds (Jerusalem), the sacred land of Palestinian Arabs, the indigenous inhabitants of the land, the capital of the colonial state is a symbolic and material slap in the face. It is yet another iteration of the colonial occupation of Palestinian lives, who everyday see their homes destroyed by Israeli bulldozers building illegal settlements on Palestinian land and mourn the murder of their children and families by US and Canadian funded Israeli bombs.

Trump’s signing of the waiver on Dec 5th to implement the Jerusalem Embassy Act is not only in violation of international law, it also runs contrary to the goals of the peace process of which US has been one of the main arbiters. This aggressive attack on the Palestinian holy land makes the violence of the colonial project of Israel transparent and delegitimizes the disastrous role of US and its allies Israel and Saudi Arabia for peace and stability in the Middle East and internationally.

Furthermore, this move only acknowledges what Palestinians have always known: the bankruptcy of the peace process. When Ghassan Kanafani, the Palestinian writer and resistance leader was asked why his organization would not engage in peace talks with Israel, he responded: because that’d be “a conversation between the sword and the neck.” Kanafani was assassinated by a car bomb 45 years ago, but today the US administration proved him right once again.

It’s a moral imperative to stand up in support of Palestinians who have called for 3 days of rage and demonstrations in rejection of this latest US attack on Palestinian rights. We stand in solidarity with everyone suffering the horrors of Trump’s far right administration but especially with Palestinians in Gaza, West Bank and in Jerusalem and those in exile who haven’t seen home in decades.

Canadian policy on Jerusalem does not recognize Israel’s annexation of East Jerusalem, nor its sovereignty over this holy city. While the NDP Foreign Affairs critic, Hélène Laverdière, has issued a critical statement on this move by American administration, Justin Trudeau has only stated that Canada won’t be moving its embassy to Jerusalem. This is not enough. We demand the government of Canada to recognize the injustices done to Palestinians under occupation and condemn Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. We furthermore, demand that Canada withdraw its support for the state of Israel until this state has 1) retracted its illegal occupation of Palestine including the dismantling of the Apartheid Wall, 2) granted Palestinians the right to return and 3) granted Arab-Palestinian citizens full equality.

American aggression has a longer history than Trump and his agenda. We oppose not just this latest of American aggression but all Western colonial wars and occupations, starting from the occupation of Turtle Island. Settler-colonialism everywhere is condemned.

Stand up for Palestinian lives. Jerusalem belongs to Palestine and so does the rest of the territory occupied by US-backed Israel. Until full liberation and the right of return.