Friday, July 21, 2006

Tadamon! Statement of Solidarity on Lebanon and Palestine Montreal, July 18 2006

In the strongest of terms, we condemn the Israeli apartheid state's military assault against the people of Lebanon and Palestine. The assault on Lebanon, unrelenting for seven consecutive days now, and increasingly destructive and deadly, is an act of state terror, an exercise of state power in its most physically violent form in complete disregard of international law and conventions and of the principles of ethical human conduct. The entire population of Lebanon has been subject to the callous, calculated and arrogant use of force by the Israeli state which, on the pretext of avenging military losses (the death and capture of military personnel in a clash with Hizbollah), launched an assault of mass and indiscriminate punishment on Lebanon and the people of Lebanon. The Israeli attack - according to many observers, a means of achieving wider strategic aims in the region - has resulted in the death of hundreds of civilians, many of them children, injury to hundreds of others, the forced displacement of thousands and the destruction of essential civilian infrastructure (roads, ports, airports, power supply facilities).

In the strongest of terms, we also denounce the continued Israeli military siege of Gaza, now in its fourth week. Victims also of the ultra-nationalist logic of Israeli state power, Gazans have endured a decades-long occupation with its attendant forms of repression, rights abuse and humiliation. During the latest siege, they have been subject to the deliberate destruction of their essential infrastructure, to deprivation of the necessities of subsistence, to generalized state terror practices, the bombing of homes and institutions and the killing and injury of civilians.

We deplore the Canadian government's failure to either condemn Israeli aggression or to hold Israel responsible in any way for the current state of crisis in the Middle East. The Prime Minister of Canada, in public statements in London, England and, more recently, in St. Petersburg, Russia , affirmed his support for Israel's "right to self-defence" and characterized the Israeli military's assault on Lebanon as "measured". Meanwhile, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, in his 12 July 2006 statement, condemned Hizbollah for its actions against Israeli military targets but remained absolutely silent about Israel's crimes against civilian populations. This stance of the Canadian government amounts to acquiescence in Israel's strategies of mass punishment of Arab populations and, according to many commentators, of regional domination and forcing regime change in Arab states.

In the strongest of terms, we express our solidarity with the Palestinian people in their struggle for liberation from occupation and colonial domination. We also add our voice to those in Lebanon, Palestine and elsewhere who call for an immediate cessation of Israeli military aggression and practices of state terror in Lebanon and Gaza, and for the immediate release of Lebanese and Palestinian political prisoners held in Israeli prisons. We urge the Canadian government to call on Israel to end its attacks on Lebanon and Gaza and, subsequently, to be engaged in a fair and balanced way in the working out of a just settlement to the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians including an Israeli withdrawal from all occupied Palestinian territories, full respect of the Palestinian rights of return and self- determination and the dismantlement of the Israeli apartheid wall. Finally, we urge the international community to take immediate measures to address the humanitarian crises in Gaza and Lebanon and to provide humanitarian aid and reconstruction assistance to people in Lebanon and Gaza.

Tadamon! Montreal - Web - mail


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