This May, we stand in solidarity with the Palestinian people on the 62nd anniversary of the Nakba. “Nakba” means “catastrophe” in Arabic, but Zionist military forces at the time referred to it as “cleansing”. This horrific crime against humanity uprooted 750,000 Palestinians and turned the vast majority of Palestinian residents of what is now Israel into refugees who are still denied their right of return to their land. Netanyahu has continued and expanded the Nakba with his support for the ethnic cleansing of East Jerusalem and the West Bank through the creation of Israeli settlements on Palestinian land.
The vast majority of the world, through the UN, has opposed Israeli expansionism for over 40 years as one of the principle road blocks to peace in the region. This is the view most commonly held by Canadian youth, but it is not being reflected in Harper’s unconditional support for the most extreme pro-Zionist and genocidal measures taken by the Israeli state.
Netanyahu is also currently responsible for continuing war crimes in the Gaza Strip. Israel’s crimes during last year’s 3 week massacre of 1,400 Palestinians (including over 300 children) have been detailed in Judge Richard Goldstone’s report to the United Nations Human Rights Council. Goldstone, a Jewish South African Judge, found that Israel had used disproportionate force, targeted Palestinian civilians, used them as human shields, destroyed civilian infrastructure and had used weapons made illegal under international law.
Netanyahu is now increasing the casualties in Gaza as a result of the ruthless siege. Human Rights groups from around the world have referred to Gaza as the “world’s largest open air prison” and have repeatedly called on Israel to lift the siege in order to allow international aid to reach a society in tremendous need of reconstruction. Israel’s actions today in regards to the siege have been correctly described as “collective punishment”, which is a war crime under the Geneva Convention.
The Young Communist League of Ontario also condemns Netanyahu’s Israel of maintaining and strengthening its Apartheid policies in the occupied territories and inside Israel itself. We stand with South African anti-Apartheid veterans, such as Desmond Tutu, Ronnie Kasrils, COSATU, the ANC, the South African Communist Party and the Young Communist League of South Africa, in refusing to be intimidated and referring to Israel’s racist policies by their name as defined in international law - “Apartheid”.
Tory Minister Jason Kenney and his gang of federal and provincial reactionaries are trying to suppress a growing people’s movement by attacking Canadian democratic rights and labelling any criticism of Israel as “hate-speech”. We stand in solidarity with “Queers Against Israeli Apartheid” who are struggling against the corporate censorship taking place within Toronto Pride and with students who are fighting university administrations and Conservative student groups’ attempts at censorship on campuses. The truth is that growing numbers of Jewish Canadians and young peoples of all backgrounds are speaking out against Israel’s policies and joining the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Netanyahu’s Apartheid Israel.
The Young Communist League of Ontario understands that Israel’s policies cannot be analyzed in isolation. The likes of war criminals such as Netanyahu and Harper can only be understood when looking at their role as agents of American Imperialism, whose military expenditure is as much than all other countries on earth combined. Israel is American Capital’s guard dog in the Middle East, while Canada is its side kick and accomplice in the dirty war in Afghanistan. It is capitalism and corporate interests that create war, racism and economic injustice around the world. Ultimately the way forward to win global, just and lasting peace is through the overthrow of the economic system which leads to global conflict.
War Criminals Not Welcome Here! Youth unite for Peace and Socialism!
Statement of the YCL - Ontario Provincial Executive Committee