Humanists for Social Justice and Environmental Action supports Human Rights, Social and Economic Justice, Environmental Activism and Planetary Ethics in North America & Globally, with particular reference to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other Human Rights UN treaties and conventions listed above.

Friday

J Street Welcomes Resetting American Policy on Settlements: ‘Inconsistent with International Law’ -

J Street Welcomes Resetting American Policy on Settlements: ‘Inconsistent with International Law’ - J Street

J Street welcomes Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s clear statement today that “new settlements are counterproductive to reaching an enduring peace,” are “inconsistent with international law” and expansion “only weakens, doesn’t strengthen” Israel’s security.

This move marks an explicit rejection of the Trump-era ‘Pompeo Doctrine’ – restoring US acknowledgment that settlement construction on occupied territory is a violation of international law.

J Street President Jeremy Ben-Ami said, “J Street called on candidate Joe Biden during the 2020 campaign to reverse the Trump Administration’s permissive view of settlements, which overturned decades of bipartisan American policy. This has been a clear, consistent request by J Street over the last three years, and we welcome the Secretary’s remarks today.”

“Now, the administration must make clear that, particularly in light of the volatility of the current situation between Israelis and Palestinians, there must be no further expansion of the settlement enterprise. The United States government should take further steps to enforce its view – and the view of the international community – that the creeping annexation of the West Bank must stop, including through use of the Executive Order issued by President Biden on February 1.”

The Secretary’s comments follow a provocative announcement yesterday by Israeli Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich of plans to advance over 3,000 settlement units as part of “deepening our eternal grip on the entire Land of Israel.”

Tuesday

Danielle Smith and gender affirming care - petition

Right now in Alberta, Premier Danielle Smith is launching an all-cylinder assault on medically-necessary healthcare for trans people.1

It’s nothing more than a cynical move to pander to her far right base amid the rising popularity of Trump-style culture wars in Canada. But if she gets her way, Smith’s latest fixation will harm queer and trans people across the province – forcing young people back into the closet and drastically increasing the incidences of youth self-harm and suicides.2

It’s a well-documented fact: gender-affirming care saves lives.3,4 And denying medically-necessary care to anyone goes against the very premise of Canada’s health care system.

Alberta receives billions every year in federal healthcare funding via the Canada Health Transfer.5 Will you sign the petition calling on federal Minister of Health Mark Holland to make access to gender-affirming care a condition of the Canada Health Transfer for all provinces?

 PETITION

Thursday

Council of Canadians 2nd letter calling for ceasefirel

 LINK

CALLING FOR A CEASEFIRE IN GAZA: OPEN LETTER TO PM TRUDEAU AND MINISTER JOLY

Dear Prime Minister Trudeau and Minister Joly,

I am writing on behalf of the Council of Canadians, including 150,000 supporters and 45 chapters across the country, to urge your government to publicly support the recent ruling by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) and take immediate measures to comply with its orders that all states must work to prevent genocide in the Gaza strip. Your government must:

  • actively work for an immediate ceasefire, a negotiated release of all hostages, and an end to the longstanding blockade of Gaza by the Israeli government;
  • ensure increased and uninterrupted humanitarian aid to the Gaza strip, including by reversing your pause in funding for UNRWA, and;
  • immediately suspend all arms exports to Israel, which in 2022 were valued at more than $21 million.

While the full ICJ investigation is ongoing, the Court has found that there is a plausible case that Israel’s actions in Gaza constitute genocide, and the provisional measures it recommended on January 26, 2024, were clear: Israel and the international community must take immediate steps to prevent a genocide and any further loss of life. To date, more than 27,000 Palestinians in Gaza have been killed, including nearly 10,000 children.

This ruling has major implications for Canada and must be treated with utmost seriousness. As a signatory to the Genocide Convention, Canada is obliged to act in accordance with the court’s ruling and take steps to end the destruction of civilian life in Gaza.

Canada has the power and leverage – and indeed a moral and legal obligation – to help bring an immediate end to the violence and destruction inflicted on Palestinians. Your government’s inaction places Canada at odds with the majority of Western governments, including the European Union, Norway, New Zealand, Slovenia, Spain, Ireland, and Belgium.

While the recent announcement of $40 million in aid is an important ongoing commitment, pausing funding to UNRWA (United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East) makes it more likely that Gazans will die from famine and increased diseases they are facing because of Israel’s military actions. UNRWA is a critical agency on the ground whose services cannot be replaced by other organizations. It has said it will be forced to stop operations by the end of February if funding is not restored. We are adding our voices to the dozens of leading aid groups around the world in urging you to change course.

There can be no military solution to this crisis. The humanitarian crisis, ICJ ruling, and spreading conflict across the region require immediate action to prevent further violence. Only a durable ceasefire can prevent further loss of life and create the conditions for a lasting and just peace.

Guyana, Leading the UN Security Council, Is Not Giving Up on a Ceasefire in Gaza

PassBlue LInk

The United Nations Security Council’s continuing failure to agree on a ceasefire in Gaza is troubling many members, including Guyana, which assumes the rotating presidency of the Council on Feb. 1. Carolyn Rodrigues-Birkett, Guyana’s permanent representative to the UN, told PassBlue that her country would continue to lead the conversation to get more humanitarian support to the people of Gaza.

“Several members of the Council continue to call for a ceasefire, but we have at least one Council member that is not at that point as yet,” Rodrigues-Birkett said. “I can tell you that Guyana will continue to call for this as it is with the other members. We have to go back to the mandate of the Council in the maintenance of peace and security around the world.”

The United States, a permanent Council member, is the only country in the body still resisting calls for a ceasefire. Jeffrey Laurenti, an international affairs analyst formerly with the Century Foundation think tank and a UN expert, told PassBlue that Guyana’s effort as rotating president would achieve nothing until President Joe Biden is ready to push “a ceasefire down Israel’s throat.”