Retired Canadian diplomats call on Trudeau to speak out against annexation

A group of 58 former Canadian diplomats and politicians, including four Chretien-era cabinet ministers, have sent an open letter to Prime Minister Trudeau urging him and his government to take a strong stance on Israel’s plans to annex parts of the West Bank.

The letter emphasizes that “unilateral annexation of territory is strictly prohibited under international law.” It goes on to say:

“Territorial conquest and annexation are notorious for contributing to fateful results: war, political instability, economic ruin, systematic discrimination and human suffering.”

The diplomats also refer to Israel’s annexations of East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights as unlawful.

Prime Minister Trudeau responds

On June 2, at his daily COVID-19 briefing, when questioned by a reporter on the issue, Prime Minister Trudeau responded as follows:

“We are firm in our commitment to the two-state solution. I have highlighted both publicly and directly to Prime Minister Netanyahu and to alternate Prime Minister Benny Gantz the importance of staying away from measures that are unilateral and our deep concerns and disagreement with the proposed policy of annexation.”

“We think that the path forward is a two-state solution reached to by dialogue between the parties involved and anything that is unilateral action by either side is unhelpful to the cause of peace.”

These are more direct and forceful words than those used in the Prime Minister’s May 18 message of congratulations on the formation of Israel’s new government. That statement ended with:

“In these times of uncertainty, our commitment to international law and the rules-based international order is more important than ever.”

Canada has not yet issued an official statement about the annexation agenda.

See the CBC article on the subject here: https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/ambassadors-ministers-israel-west-bank-netanyahu-trudeau-1.5594205

International coalition of progressive Jews organizations push against annexation

J-Link, a recently formed international network committed to the two-state solution and Israel’s “key
values,” is bringing its anti-annexation message to Israeli embassies and consulates in many countries.

On May 19, the J-Link coalition issued a joint statement expressing “deep concerns, backed by the analysis of diplomatic and security experts, regarding the Government of Israel’s intention to proceed with annexation of parts of the West Bank.” The statement was signed by 50 organizations, in 17 countries. Canadian Friends of Peace Now and Americans for Peace Now were among the signatories.

Delegations of J-Link-associated representatives will attempt to meet with Israeli diplomatic staff in cities around the world to bring this message of concern to the Government of Israel. In Canada, delegations have been organized for Ottawa, Toronto and Montreal and include CFPN board members.

See the J-Link letter here: http://jspacecanada.ca/images/jlinkletter.pdf

Prominent U.K. Jews send impassioned plea

A group of respected British Jewish leaders in various fields and from various sides of the political spectrum has sent a message of alarm regarding annexation to the Israeli ambassador to the U.K. The letter was called “unprecedented” in the Ha’aretz news report.

“We are yet to see an argument that convinces us, committed Zionists and passionately outspoken friends of Israel, that the proposed annexation is a constructive step, the letter states. It ends with a strong warning, saying that the annexation policy not only lacks merit, but would pose an existential threat to the traditions of Zionism in Britain, and to Israel as we know it.

The letter writers say they are speaking in a personal capacity but add that their concerns are shared by 斗arge numbers of the British Jewish community, including many in its current leadership, even if they choose not to express them.”