"You could have interviewed representatives from organizations such as the Assembly of First Nations, Independent Jewish Voices, Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME) or the National Council of Canadian Muslims. In the past 9 weeks, they have all called for Canada to support an immediate and permanent ceasefire."
December 14, 2023
Tim Cook, Managing Editor, The Canadian Press
Andrea Baillie, Editor in Chief, The Canadian Press
Dylan Robertson, Journalist, The Canadian Press
Dear Mr. Cook, Ms. Baillie and Mr. Robertson,
I’m writing to you on behalf of Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME, https://www.cjpme.org) to express my concerns regarding your December 13, 2023 news article: Liberal caucus meets after Canada votes for Israel-Hamas ceasefire at United Nations
What I found most deficient in your article was that you only interviewed the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA) - an organization that represents one segment of the Jewish and Canadian population. The absence of any other perspectives suggests to your readers that the Liberal Party has made this decision without input or pressure from a broad range of Canadians whom they represent.
You could have interviewed representatives from organizations such as the Assembly of First Nations, Independent Jewish Voices, Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME) or the National Council of Canadian Muslims. In the past 9 weeks, they have all called for Canada to support an immediate and permanent ceasefire. Nor did you mention the growing number of Canadians who have voiced their support for a ceasefire through peaceful protests, the signing of an e-petition or in a recent poll by Angus Reid.
You also neglected to provide any additional context to MP Housefather’s statement that Hamas “alone is responsible for the war” or MP Mendicino’s statement that the ceasefire will “place in further jeopardy the safety and security of Israelis and Palestinians in Gaza”.
Hamas and its deadly attack on October 7 should be condemned but not without an acknowledgement of the historical context and the role and actions of Israel that have contributed to this moment: the displacement of approximately 750,000 Palestinians from their lands in 1948, Israel’s brutal occupation since 1967, the expansion of illegal settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories, the arbitrary detentions, the blockade of Gaza, the apartheid system, etc. During this entire time, the international community has been complicit by their lack of action in holding Israel as an occupying power accountable for its violation of international law.
With respect to MP Mendicino’s statement, it is hard to imagine that Palestinians in Gaza can have their security or safety jeopardized any more than what they have already experienced.. Since October 7, Israeli forces have killed tens of thousands, destroyed or damaged 60 percent of all housing units in the Gaza strip, and displaced 80 percent of Gazans from their homes.
I hope that future reporting by The Canadian Press will provide more fair and balanced coverage and include a wider range of perspectives and context.
Should you have any questions, you are welcome to contact me at 250-469-4468.