MODERATOR OF THE 2019 GENERAL ASSEMBLY
The Rev. Amanda Currie, B.A.Sc., M.Div.
February 1, 2020
The Right Honourable Justin Trudeau, P.C., M.P.
Prime Minister of Canada
House of Commons, Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0A6
Justin [dot] Trudeau [at] parl [dot] gc [dot] ca
Dear Prime Minister Trudeau,
I am writing on behalf of The Presbyterian Church in Canada to urge Canada to publicly and strongly oppose the “Middle East Peace Plan” that was announced in Washington on January 28, 2020. We have heard from our partners in the Middle East who speak from their own first-hand experience about the weakness of this proposal and the desperation they feel. This plan cannot bring about peace between Israel and Palestine, as it leaves in place and even cements the very thing that furthers conflict: the occupation and the illegal practices that have characterized it. As such, this plan would set a dangerous precedent of enshrining as a “peace” framework what is fundamentally a violation of international law.
Members of The Presbyterian Church in Canada were part of a recent delegation to the area which witnessed the suffering caused by the occupation. There is a humanitarian crisis in the West Bank and Gaza which must be addressed and cannot be addressed through the plan offered. Palestinians must be meaningfully involved in all negotiations for peace and any real peace must be based on the values of human rights, self-determination, dignity, and equality. Securing such a peace will ultimately improve lives on both sides of the conflict.
We cannot stress enough that ending the occupation and securing real, sustainable peace would be better not only for Palestinians but for Israelis as well. It is vital that international law be respected—and it is not respected under the current conditions nor would it be under the proposed plan. Jerusalem must be an open city of two peoples and three faiths. Canada is in a position to articulate this need, as we have already stated that we not recognize permanent Israeli control over territories occupied in 1967 (the Golan Heights, the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip) and that the Fourth Geneva Convention applies in the occupied territories, establishing Israel’s obligations as an occupying power. We ask that you communicate Canada’s rejection of this fundamentally flawed “deal” on the world stage, and that you encourage all involved to return to the negotiation table seeking an end to the occupation. Peace and justice must go hand in hand, or neither can be achieved.
Thank you for your attention and please rest assured that you and your colleagues remain in our prayers. We look forward to your response.
Rev. Amanda Currie
The 2019 General Assembly
The Presbyterian Church in Canada
Conservative Party of Canada
The Hon. Andrew Scheer, Leader of the Opposition Andrew [dot] Scheer [at] parl [dot] gc [dot] ca
New Democratic Party of Canada
Jagmeet Singh, Jagmeet [dot] Singh [at] parl [dot] gc [dot] ca
Green Party of Canada
Elizabeth May, Elizabeth [dot] May [at] parl [dot] gc [dot] ca
Yves-François Blanchet, Yves-Francois [dot] Blanchet [at] part [dot] gc [dot] ca
Her Excellency Deborah Lyons, Ambassador of Canada to Israel, Deborah [dot] Lyons [at] international [dot] gc [dot] ca
Robin Wettlaufer, Representative of Canada to the Palestinian Authority, Robin [dot] Wettlaufer [at] international [dot] gc [dot] ca
Clerks of Assembly: The Rev. Stephen Kendall and The Rev. Donald Muir
50 Wynford Drive, Toronto ON M3C 1J7 • 416-441-1111 or 1-800-619-7301 • presbyterian.ca