The Anglican Church of Canada sent yesterday a letter to the Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister, François-Philippe Champagne, expressing with great concern Canada’s silence regarding the plans of the current coalition government of Israel to annex a significant part of the occupied Palestinian territories.
"These plans constitute a grave breach of Canadian and international law, specifically Article 147 of the IV Geneva Convention, prohibiting the appropriation of property. This silence of the Canadian government is puzzling in light of the recent vote at the UN affirming the Palestinian people’s right to self-determination, Canada’s policy position on Palestine-Israel, and its staunch support for the rule of law," said the Anglican Church in a statement.
The statement continued, "It is alarming that to date, Canada has remained silent on the threats of annexation made by the government of Israel… Several European governments have spoken publicly against the government of Israel’s plan to annex parts of occupied Palestinian territory, including Ireland and Norway who, like Canada, are running for two seats on the United Nations’ Security Council".
"Decades of ongoing occupation have seen numerous violations of Palestinian human rights allowed to continue without consequence. For example, Canada’s non-recognition of Israel’s illegal annexation of the Golan Heights carried no consequences. Instead, impunity appears to be winning the day while violations of international law continue unchecked."
The Church called on the Canadian government to publicly condemn the plans of the Israeli government to annex any parts of occupied Palestinian territory, and to publicly denounce the United States administration’s “Peace and Prosperity Plan”, which explicitly supports this illegal annexation plan.
It also called on the government to work with the European Union and "like-minded allies" to take all diplomatic and political actions available to hold the government of Israel accountable for violations of international law, including annexation of any and all parts of the occupied Palestinian territories.
The statement urged the government to "take all diplomatic and political actions available to enforce the rule of law without exception regarding violations of international law."
"The choice is to acquiesce in the face of significant, sustained human rights violations, or to join with those who condemn and work to end those violations. Our choices define us as people and nations," added the statement.
"It is our prayer that Canada will choose to be a nation that does not remain silent in the face of illegal actions, but will work alongside other nations to uphold human rights and international law."