Green Party Statement on Palestine and the Primacy of International Law

OTTAWA - Netanyahu’s siege and military operation on Gaza have wounded over 50,000 and killed more than 20,000 civilians - most of them children and women - and subject millions to life-threatening conditions. 

Israeli forces’ ongoing indiscriminate bombing - which experts described as more intensive than Allied bombing of Germany during World War II - have resulted in the wanton damaging or destruction of nearly 70% of Gaza’s housing stock while its forced displacement campaign and attacks on health facilities and aid workers, coupled with deliberate, arbitrary restrictions on medicines, water and food are causing a severe humanitarian crisis. 

In this context, the Green Party of Canada welcomes South Africa's initiative to bring forth an application instituting proceedings and requesting provisional measures to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) regarding Israel's ongoing siege and military actions in Gaza. Canada should support such efforts to clarify the ongoing situation and the search for justice.

Three months into the ongoing Israeli military operation, our collective failure to stop these abuses is a stain on humanity. Sadly, for too long, the Trudeau government’s uncritical support for Netanyahu’s campaign shamefully provided diplomatic cover for these abuses. The urgency for a full, permanent ceasefire cannot be overstated.

It is now up to the International Court of Justice to settle whether or not the 1948 Genocide Convention applies to the situation in Gaza.

As a political party committed to international rule of law and human rights, we recognize the ICJ's crucial role in assessing the legality of state actions, as it has previously done in cases involving the Rohingya and Ukraine.

It is important to note that the search for justice must also include and take into consideration Hamas’ horrific attacks on Israeli civilians on October 7.

It is now imperative that Canada commits to respecting and adhering to the upcoming ICJ decision and refrains from any attempt to interfere with the course of justice or influence the decision.

In the meantime, the Green Party of Canada continues to emphasize the need for protection of all civilians in conflict zones. We urge Canada to call - in the strongest terms possible - on all involved parties in the conflict to prioritize the safety and well-being of innocent civilians, release all hostages and stop indiscriminate attacks.

While we recognize the complexity of the situation, it is our hope that diplomacy and dialogue will pave the way towards a peaceful and just resolution. Canada, as a nation known for its commitment to peacekeeping and conflict resolution, should support international efforts to bring about lasting peace.

We encourage Canadians to support humanitarian efforts through reputable organizations such as the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) and the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ).

We also remind all Canadians that the ongoing crisis is no excuse to attack, dehumanize or threaten our Jewish and Muslim sisters and brothers. Nothing is. We strongly condemn the rise in antisemitic statements and crimes and call on all, regardless of their stance on this foreign crisis, to voice their condemnation and work towards greater solidarity here at home. Nothing that happens abroad will ever be a justification to make any Canadian feel unsafe. We call on security forces to continue to provide adequate protection when and where needed and to investigate all incidents of hate speech and attacks to quickly bring perpetrators to justice.

The Green Party of Canada will continue to monitor the situation closely and stands ready to support all initiatives that promote peace, justice, and respect for international law.