Good Sunday Morning – April 7

Good Sunday Morning!

I am finally home—from last night until mid-morning today when John will take me to what I insist on calling the Sidney airport for the flight back to Ottawa—otherwise known as YYJ Victoria International Airport. After the Easter break, the House resumes sitting on Monday.

The Easter break gave Jonathan Pedneault and me time on tour in the Maritimes and Manitoba.

This weekend please focus thoughts and prayers on the latest efforts to get a cease fire in Gaza. Peace talks are hoped for in Cairo this weekend. The Biden administration has been talking tougher to Netanyahu and his thuggish regime. Insufficient to the scale of the crimes, but still Justin Trudeau rejected Netanyahu’s admission of a “mistake” in killing seven aid workers from World Central Kitchen, including a Canadian veteran, 33 year old Jacob Flickinger, killed by an Israeli airstrike.

I always distinguish between the state of Israel and its citizens and the Likud party and Netanyahu. Last week an unprecedented outpouring of anti-Netanyahu protests occurred across Israel. Tens of thousands of Israelis protested. “The protesters in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Haifa, Be’er Sheva, Caesarea and other cities on Saturday—and at a further demonstration outside the Knesset in Jerusalem on Sunday—demanded the release of those still held captive in Gaza after close to six months, and labelled Netanyahu an “obstacle to the deal.”

Condemning the indiscriminate campaign of bombardment against Palestinians is not anti-Semitic any more than condemning the Bush administration’s illegal campaign against Iraq was in any way grounded in hatred of Americans. War crimes are war crimes, whether committed by allies or enemies. Genocide is genocide and as we recall the anniversary of the slaughter in Rwanda, we have to ask if “never again” can have any meaning if we are inured to the horrors of killing children.
Today, April 7th is marked as the 30th anniversary of the start of that genocide—where 500,000 to one million Rwandans, primarily from the Tutsi minority, were killed over 100 days.

We must be watchful in these very tense and dangerous times of allowing our condemnation of specific actions of the Israeli military as in any way a disguised expression of anti-Semitism. With that thought in mind I am trying to obtain consent from the other parties for the motion suggested in a recent Globe and Mail editorial for the House of Commons to renew and make explicit our rejection of anti-Semitism—“and in particular the idea that Jewish Canadians are responsible for the actions of the State of Israel.”

As we reject any form of race-based hatreds against Palestinians, Muslims, Black, Indigenous or Islamic Canadians. Everyone must feel “chez nous” at home in our country—welcomed and loved. It is a dark sign of the times that I worry how my motion will be received and if I will get hate mail that I am a Zionist as I get hate mail that I am anti-Semitic and support Hamas. I will stand for the people of Palestine and their right to live in peace, as I will for Israelis and their right to live in peace.

Wish me luck on Monday, but please know that I am the same person no matter what hateful labels get applied. I am a mother, a climate activist, and a peace activist. Meanwhile my brave Indigenous sister—a champion for old growth, Rainbow Eyes, will be back in court on April 24. She is in the midst of the sentencing for her acts of civil disobedience in Fairy Creek. The prosecutor wants her to serve a 51-day jail term.

Jonathan Pedneault and I are so honoured that she serves with us as Deputy Leader of the Green Party of Canada.

Pray for peace, act for justice and don’t let the “bleepidity bleeps” get you down.

Love and thanks!