In the early morning of Thursday, 8 January 2009, in protest against the Israeli military offensive against the people of Gaza, Montreal activists took action at the Israeli Consulate in Montreal.
In solidarity with the 1.5 million people in Gaza, demonstrators in Montreal demanded that the state of Israel end its military offensive and lift the 18-month-long siege on the Gaza Strip and allow delivery of humanitarian aid into the territory.
The demonstrators denounced the Israeli attacks against Palestinians and the position of the Canadian government, which has refused to condemn the massacres that have left more than 700 dead and 3,000 wounded since 27 December 2008.
Over the past 24 hours, Israel bombed three schools run by the United Nations in Gaza, killing dozens of people who had taken refuge there to escape the air raids.
“Canada’s lack of response to recent war crimes in Gaza speaks volumes about their support for Israeli apartheid,” stated Sophie Schoen, a spokesperson for the action.
“The Conservative government must expel all Israeli diplomats from Canada, as other countries have,” said Amanda Dorter. “As long as Ottawa does not end its support for Israel, we will continue to disrupt the structures of Israeli-Canadian collaboration.”
“We demand the Canadian government cut all ties with the apartheid regime of Israel,” said Mostafa Henaway of Tadamon! Montreal.
Serving a detailed eviction notice to the Israeli Consulate, activists successfully shut down the daily operations at the Consulate. The notice demands “the eviction of the Consulate of Israel, the expulsion of the Consular General, and an immediate end to the Israeli assault on Gaza,” on the following grounds:
the tenant of this premise is responsible for war crimes under the fourth Geneva Convention, including;
- The bombing of the Islamic University in Gaza City, and other civilian infrastructure such as ambulances and mosques;
- The shelling of a U.N. school in the Jabalya refugee camp in Gaza, killing over 40 people, including many children;
- The suffocation of the people of Gaza, through an imposed 18 month siege, effectively cutting off access to fuel, cooking gas, flour, and other basic necessities;
- The killing of over 700 people, a significant portion of whom are civilians, during the Israeli offensive entitled “Operation Cast Lead” which began on December 27th, 2008.
The action in Montreal comes on the heels of countless protests worldwide against Israeli war crimes, including an occupation of the Israeli Consulate in Toronto by Jewish women on 7 January 2009.
Tadamon! (Arabic for “solidarity”) is a Montreal-based collective which works in solidarity with struggles for self-determination, equality, and justice in the Middle East and in diaspora communities in Montreal and beyond. The text above is based on two Tadamon! blog entries: “Montréalais et Montréalaises entreprennent un « siège » du Consulat israélien” and “Montreal Activists Serve Eviction Notice to Israeli Consulate.”