Leaders of Canada’s pro-Israel, pro-peace, pro-democracy movement renew its commitment to a democratic, pluralist Israel envisioned in Israel’s Declaration of Independence and calls for a renewed commitment to end the occupation.
“JSpaceCanada, the leaders of Canada’s pro-Israel, pro-peace, pro-democracy movement are proud and excited to celebrate Israel’s milestone 75th anniversary.
On this day 75 years ago, Israel signed its Declaration of Independence, proclaiming the founding of a Jewish homeland with a commitment to 'ensure complete equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants irrespective of religion, race or sex' and 'guarantee freedom of religion, conscience, language, education and culture.'
JSpaceCanada is comprised of Israelis, Canadian Jews, and Israeli-Canadians. So many of us have given so much to build the strong and vibrant Israel we see today.” Said Joe Roberts, JSpaceCanada Board Chair. 'Whether we served in the IDF, or gave our bar/bat mitzvah money to planting trees, we have all taken immense pride in helping to build the strong, vibrant, diverse nation Israel has become today.'
At 75 years, this is also a time to reflect on the many intense challenges and threats that Israel faces, and on the work that can and must be done to overcome them.
Israeli President Isaac Herzog recently remarked 'Those who think that a real civil war, with human lives, is a border we won’t cross, have no idea.' In Israel’s 75th year, 'the abyss is within touching distance,' he said.
It is for that reason that we understand the urgency and immediacy of the fight for democracy. Not just within Israel’s pre-1967 borders, but also beyond the green line, as the fundamentally undemocratic occupation of the Palestinians living under Israeli military occupation is further entrenched by the Israeli government. We see how the same undemocratic, inequitable system of rule is now extending into the State of Israel itself, and recognize that to uphold and continue to build a future for Israel rooted in vibrant pluralism and freedom, we must end the undemocratic occupation of the West Bank and Gaza.
JSpaceCanada recommits itself, on this historic day, to fight for the future of Israel, in solidarity with the brave and courageous Jewish and Palestinian citizens of Israel who have taken to the streets for the past 16 weeks to reject the politics of fear, polarization, and divisiveness in favour of a shared struggle for a shared society, solidarity, and peace.
We call on the Canadian government to renew its commitment to peace-building in the region.
So many of us with a shared identity, history, and story of peoplehood mark this historic day with pride and pray for many more years of a sovereign Jewish state living up to its ideals as set out in its Declaration of Independence."