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Foreign policy failure: Canada (once again) isolated in refusal to acknowledge, condemn Israeli war crimes

Israel/Gaza: Attack on UN school in Gaza a potential war crime that must be investigated - Amnesty International July 30, 2014
Israel/Gaza: Attacks on medical facilities and civilians add to war crime allegations - Amnesty International July 21, 2014 Israel/Gaza conflict: Questions and Answers - Amnesty International July 25, 2014
Here at the #RallyForIsrael in Ottawa with my Liberal colleague @MarcGarneau - standing in solidarity w/ Israel. - @HonJohnBaird July 16, 2014

UNRWA Strongly condemns Israeli shelling of its school in Gaza as serious violation of international law

United Nations Relief and Works Agency, July 30, 2014

The precise location of the Jabalia Elementary Girls School and the fact that it was housing thousands of internally displaced people was communicated to the Israeli army seventeen times, to ensure its protection; the last being at ten to nine last night, just hours before the fatal shelling.

I condemn in the strongest possible terms this serious violation of international law by Israeli forces.

This is the sixth time that one of our schools has been struck. Our staff, the very people leading the humanitarian response are being killed.

 For other UNRWA announcements, see the UNRWA Official Statements page. Notably, these latest Israeli war crimes come on the heels of the 10th anniversary of the International Court of Justice Advisory Opinion on the Legal Consequences of the Construction of a Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory. The ICJ found Israel’s construction of the Wall contrary to international law, and advised Israel to cease construction and dismantle sections it had already erected.

Israel ignored the ICJ opinion, as it has ignored every UN decision critical of its nearly seven decades of illegal dispossession / subjugation of the Palestinian people and military occupation of their homeland — and there have been many.

Effectively, the current state of Israel persists contrary to international law. That – and not any single recent event – is and continues to be the root cause of the perpetual conflict in the Middle East.

The photo of “Bought and Paid-for” above speaks to the source of Canada’s misguided Middle East policy — and the cynicism of its politicians. Federal MP and supposed Liberal Foreign Affairs critic Marc Garneau makes a point of promoting his involvement with UNICEF Canada and his support of the UN Declaration and Convention on the Rights of the Child. As far as we know, Palestinian children are entitled to the same rights and protections. Hopefully UNICEF takes up the matter with Mr. Garneau and other cynical Canadian politicians who claim to support the organisation and its mission yet have turned a blind eye to the suffering and targeted killing of Palestinian civilians, nearly a quarter of whom were children.

In closing, the linked BBC Channel 4 news clips show reporters asking tough questions of both sides and deflecting spin to get to the facts – a reminder to Canadians of what journalism is supposed to look like (lookin’ at you, The Canadian Press). Also noteworthy are Debunking Israel’s 11 Main Myths About Gaza, Hamas and War Crimes from Huffington Post UK and Terrorism in the Israeli Attack on Gaza by Glenn Greenwald writing for The Intercept.

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