On behalf of the 3.3 million members of the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC), I want to condemn in the strongest possible terms the killings of dozens of unarmed Palestinians at mass demonstrations near the Gaza Strip’s eastern border yesterday. More than two thousand were also injured and we can no longer stand idly by.
Today also marks the 70th commemoration of the Nakba, or Catastrophe Day, where more than 700,000 Arabs fled, or were expelled, from their homes during the 1947 49 war. For Palestinians, this is a day of mourning and resistance, calling for the respect of international law and the right of return for refugees to Palestine.
The CLC supports a vision of two nations co-existing in peace and security, within safe borders, free from occupation. We believe that direct negotiations between Israel and Palestine are the only viable avenue to the resolution of the conflict. Once again, the CLC calls on the Canadian government to recognize the State of Palestine.
In light of recent events, including the US withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal and the controversial and provocative relocation of the US Embassy to Jerusalem, constructive dialogue is now all the more difficult to achieve. On this day, we mourn those who have lost their lives and stand in solidarity with Palestinian workers calling for human rights and social justice and the respect for international law.