January 6, 2009
Right Honourable Stephen Harper
House of Commons
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0A6
Dear Prime Minister,
The top UN official in Gaza has reported that "nowhere is safe in Gaza." With a mounting death toll of over 600 Palestinians; over 2,700 wounded; and an unfolding humanitarian crisis of no running water, no electricity, no adequate medical help, and 13,000 refugees who have fled the front lines, the assault on Gaza by Israel will not in any way improve conditions for peace and security. Indeed it will only create greater instability and violence in the area.
An immediate ceasefire is imperative, to prevent an even greater disaster of human suffering and destruction. Such a ceasefire must include an end to the firing of rockets from Hamas into Israel.
The lack of leadership from the Canadian government is shameful in the face of such events.
Canada should be using all its efforts to work at the UN and in the international community, to bring about a ceasefire, to end the blockade, and to focus efforts on humanitarian aid and reconstruction in Gaza, plus a just peace process, as per previous UN resolutions.
I have received many messages from constituents who are outraged that Canada has done nothing.
We expect our government to uphold international law and work to stop this aggression by one state upon another. We must condemn all acts of violence, and use every available means for political, diplomatic, and peaceful resolutions.
I urge the Canadian government to speak out and no longer be apologetic for what is taking place.
Libby Davies, MP (Vancouver East)
Jack Layton, Leader, NDP
Paul Dewar, MP (Ottawa Centre), NDP Spokesperson for Foreign Affairs