Ceasefire now!

Canada and its allies are complicit in the deaths of thousands of innocents in Palestine

Since the October 7 attack on Israel, at least 12,000 people have died from Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip. The international community has watched in horror as thousands of tons of bombs—more tonnage than the dropping of both atomic bombs on Japan in 1945—rained down upon indiscriminate targets. Schools, hospitals, residential buildings, refugee camps, and many fleeing Palestinians have not been excluded from the destruction that the Israeli state has brought upon the region. 

Our leaders seem not to care about the millions of Palestinians being bombed daily, and are taking sides with Israel, whose officials often speak genocidal rhetoric, with the Israeli Defense Minister, Yoav Gallant, referring to Palestinians as “human animals.” Western governments have stood by and supported the collective punishment of the Palestinian people and have ignored the generations of displacement, oppression, and killings of Palestinians. The history of oppression of the Palestinian people in the name of Israeli ethnonationalism—Zionism—is long and fraught with the deaths and displacement of hundreds of thousands of innocents. 

Israel is a violent apartheid state actively committing ethnic cleansing in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, and no one is doing anything about it. All principles of human rights, democracy, and freedom have been discarded in our supposed rules-based international order. We have left the Palestinian people to fend for themselves and are actively aiding and abetting their massacre by politically supporting the Israeli state and supplying them with sophisticated weaponry. 

Not only is the Israeli regime committing unspeakable horror on millions of innocents, but their actions are actively destabilizing the region of the Middle East and threatening global security. By continuing intensive military action, indiscriminate bombing, and demanding more military resources from the United States military, they are causing this conflict to spill over across their border. It is already happening with intensifying clashes between IDF and Iran-backed Hezbollah militants in Lebanon, a level of escalation that has not been seen in years. If the heavily armed and well-trained militant group were to declare war and launch a significant attack fully, it could drag more extraordinary powers, such as the US and Iran, into the war, which would be disastrous for peace and cause untold damage. There have been reports of Iranian-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen launching drone attacks and missiles across to Israel, triggering further US involvement. Various American military assets, including bases, have seen a surge of attacks since the conflict started on October 7, forcing the US to respond with drone strikes on Iranian-affiliated assets.

We are witnessing an escalation of conflict in the Middle East that risks the security of hundreds of millions of people. And for what? Settler-colonialism and cynical realpolitik. I am disgusted at the stance of the Canadian state and its allies. Every day, we see on the news fresh reports of deaths and maiming of innocents being bombed while fleeing and hiding. We are seeing babies suffocate to death in incubators because Israel has cut off fuel for electricity. There is no humanity to be found in their actions, and their crimes are inexcusable. We will remember what Israel is doing, and there will be justice. 

As Canadian students residing on unceded Indigenous land, many of us express deep concern regarding Israel’s treatment of the Palestinian people. Throughout our academic careers, we have learned the importance of acknowledging and resisting settler-colonial violence. In Canadian academic circles, there is often a sense of pride in the proclaimed dedication to decolonization. Many Canadian universities, including Mt. A, officially endorse principles rooted in decolonial thinking. However, it is crucial to recognize that decolonization extends beyond mere intellectual contemplation; it involves unsettling established norms and structures.

If you, like me, are tired of seeing the reports of slaughter and pointless war being waged on an oppressed population, then you must take a principled stance. You must support our Palestinian brothers and sisters and call for a ceasefire in Gaza. You must call for the end of apartheid in Israel. Write, call, and email your local representative to order a ceasefire and demand condemnation of the Israeli state. Attend rallies and sign petitions. We can set norms and beliefs that our government should adhere to. We are in the belly of the beast that enables Israel to do what they do because we and our allies have consented to it. 

Do not be afraid of pushback from Zionists and Zionist sympathizers. Their words mean nothing and are empty, like their souls. I have seen too many intelligent people I know succumb to fear of reprisal from genocide apologists. Just remember that you are the one who stands for peace, justice, and human rights. You are the one who is calling for the bombing to stop and the shooting to silence. You are the one who is demanding fair treatment of all people and the end of oppression. 

From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free. 

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