CAN-Rac calls for an immediate ceasefire

Full title: CAN-Rac calls for an immediate ceasefire, safeguarding human rights, and justice in Palestine and Israel

[Sierra Club Canada is a member of the Climate Action Network – Réseau action climat Canada / CAN-Rac]

Unceded Algonquin Anishinaabe Territories [OTTAWA], 31 October 2023:

CANrac logo. Page: CAN-Rac calls for an immediate ceasefire safeguarding human rights and justice in Palestine and IsraelIn response to the tragic and escalating violence in Palestine and Israel, Climate Action Network – Réseau action climat Canada has issued the following statement:

Climate Action Network Canada is in solidarity with Palestinian, Israeli and all families who have lost loved ones in this latest conflict, and joins those who are rallying across the world.

We stand with those who grieve and fear for their loved ones, and join the call for peace and safety, where the rights of all are respected without distinction.

We condemn all killing, indiscriminate attacks, civilian hostage taking and the arbitrary detention of civilians, or denying access to the necessities of survival whether by the occupying state Israel, or Hamas and other armed groups. The targeting of civilians is a war crime, regardless of who engages in it, and all parties to the conflict have the obligation to protect civilians.

We join the calls for an immediate ceasefire, respect for international humanitarian law, the provision of humanitarian aid and supplies to Gaza, the release of hostages, and an end to the occupation of Palestine, which has been deemed illegal by the United Nations.

We are concerned about the rise of Islamophobia, anti-Palestinian racism and anti-semitism, and stand against hatred in all forms. We express our deep concerns about the ongoing suppression of the right to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly experienced by people and groups speaking out against violence towards the Palestinian people.

CAN-Rac is Canada’s farthest-reaching network of organizations working on climate issues, with over 150 members from  coast to coast to coast. Our work is motivated by our deep commitment to achieve climate justice, racial and social justice, and the certainty that this can only be achieved if everyone’s human rights are upheld. There can be no climate justice without human rights. As an organization working in a state built on colonialism, we recognize the importance of decolonization everywhere.

There can be no peace without justice. There can be no peace under occupation. As affirmed by the United Nations, the end of the occupation of Palestine is a precondition to ensure a sustained and long-lasting solution.

We are in a dangerous moment where many world leaders are placing political or ideological divides above humanity. We call on Canada to set an example, emphasizing the fundamental principles of valuing human life and recognizing that vulnerable populations are suffering the most in this escalating crisis. Today, we call on the Canadian government to:

  • Call for immediate and unconditional ceasefire;
  • Call for immediate release of all hostages;
  • Call for allowing safe access of humanitarian aid to Gaza;
  • Call for an immediate end to the siege of Gaza by allowing the free flow of water, food, fuel, electricity, and medical supplies;
  • Condemn all forms of violence, captures, massacres, human rights violations and  international crimes;
  • Uphold the fundamental principles of international humanitarian law, and protect the lives of all civilians;
  • Work towards de-escalation of violence, and put pressure to end Israel’s ground offensive in Gaza to prevent any further loss of civilian lives;
  • Prioritize humanitarian assistance.

A healthy and critical media landscape is essential to the work of civil society, and for a robust democracy. CAN-Rac emphasizes the importance of avoiding narratives that dehumanize any of the affected communities.

With COP28 only a few weeks away, and as increasing climate impacts around the world endanger people’s lives and health and exacerbate existing injustices, CAN-Rac is concerned that Canada and other G7 countries’ response to the conflict reinforces the growing divide and distrust between Global North and Global South. Without a rapid de-escalation, the geopolitical and energy consequences could, in addition to devastating direct human consequences, cause severe setbacks to the crucial international negotiations upcoming in Dubaï – which the people on the front lines of these overlapping crises cannot afford.