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Prime Minister Stephen Harper must make amends for calling the Israeli offensive against Lebanon a “measured response” by calling for an immediate ceasefire and denouncing Israel for its ongoing assault on both Lebanese and Palestinian civilians.

He must hear from you today. Contact Stephen Harper to demand a ceasefire and a recall of Parliament to discuss the growing crisis.

Email: pm@pm.gc.ca

Write or fax the Prime Minister’s office at:

Office of the Prime Minister
80 Wellington Street
K1A 0A2

Fax: 613-941-6900

It has become clear that the Israeli government decided to terrorize Lebanese civilians and destroy civilian infrastructure in a bid to isolate Hezbollah, but such a strategy will only backfire since killing civilians and destroying communities will only fuel further hatred and violence. Both sides are in violation of international law but the Israeli displacement of 800,000 Lebanese civilians and killing of over 800 of them so far is a war crime of serious proportions.

CUPE also condemns the ongoing daily killings of Palestinian civilians and the destruction of their infrastructure by the Israeli military. Over 140 Palestinian civilians have died at the hands of the Israeli military in the past month. Much of Gaza’s existing infrastructure, pitiful as it is, has been wiped out by the massive bombing attack that began in early July. Israeli Prime Minister Olmert has openly stated that this bombing was intended to punish civilians, but this is “collective punishment” – contrary to the Geneva Conventions and a war crime.

Canada must speak out. This two-front war is reckless and may well spiral out of control unless the underlying cause of the region’s tension is addressed.

Uri Avnery, a highly respected Israeli peace activist, notes that the underlining cause for all the violence in this part of the Middle East (including Lebanon), is the brutal and illegal Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories, which will be going into its 40th year in 2007. This issue will remain the smoldering coal of the “Middle East” conflict until it is resolved in a viable two-state solution with peace, justice, security and dignity for all.

CUPE re-iterates its demand therefore for an immediate ceasefire and calls upon Prime Minister Stephen Harper to press this demand with both Israel and the United States, at the same time as he rightfully condemns Hezbollah’s indiscriminate terror rocket attacks.

Both Israel and Hezbollah are to be condemned for targeting citizens and civilian infrastructure, but it should be noted that Israel’s totally disproportionate attack on Lebanon has created a humanitarian crisis and put the entire region on the brink. Meanwhile, Israeli atrocities against Palestinians continue, under the radar as the world watches the smoke and fury of Lebanon’s destruction.

Mr. Harper must be pressed to act. He must hear from you. Contact him today to demand a ceasefire and a recall of Parliament.