B.C.’s premier has issued a statement in support of Israel as it continues its offensive against Hamas and the Gaza Strip.
In a July 27 statement posted on the website of the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA), Christy Clark states that “Israel has a right to defend itself”.
Here is the statement presented in its entirety:
The current conflict in Israel and Gaza is of great concern to anyone who believes in democracy and human rights.
While the world watches in agony, we recognize the need for a ceasefire that leads to long-term security and peace in the region. Israel has the right to defend itself and its citizens against terrorist attacks.
At this difficult time, let us remember the values we share with Israel: a vibrant, culturally rich democratic nation committed to maintaining the rights of its citizens, regardless of gender or religion. Israel is an example not only to the region, but the world.
Support for Israel abroad makes a difference.
As the world continues to hope for a peace that satisfies both Israelis and Palestinians, I’m proud that British Columbia can be counted as a friend of Israel.
CIJA describes itself as the “advocacy arm” of the Jewish Federations of Canada, a “pro-Israel” nonprofit “tasked with advancing the public policy interests of Canada’s Jewish community”.
According to BBC News, as of July 27, more than 1,030 Palestinians, 43 Israeli soldiers, and three Israeli civilians had been killed since fighting began on July 8.
On July 8, Canadian minister of foreign affairs John Baird issued a statement on behalf of the federal government expressing support for Israel.
"Canada condemns the brazen and indiscriminate attacks that Hamas continues to wage on Israel. Rocket attacks today aimed at Tel Aviv and Jerusalem prove that Hamas continues to target innocent civilians," Baird said. "Canada believes that Israel has every right to defend itself, by itself, from such belligerent acts of terrorism."
In Vancouver, a demonstration that describes itself as being in support of Gaza is scheduled for 2 p.m. on Saturday (August 2) on the south side of the Vancouver Art Gallery.