The C word

On Wednesday, Nov. 15, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was sharply rebuked by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Netanyahu’s rage wasn’t inspired by Trudeau speaking negatively about the Israeli PM. He didn’t even take the basic step of calling for a ceasefire in Gaza.

Trudeau, in response to the horrific images of bloodshed in Gaza, merely said that Israel should “exercise maximum restraint.”

“The world is watching, on TV, on social media. We’re hearing the testimonies of doctors, family members, survivors, kids who have lost their parents,” Trudeau said at a B.C. press conference. “The world is witnessing this killing of women, of children, of babies. This has to stop.”

What I can’t wrap my head around is why Trudeau isn’t willing to call for a ceasefire. He’s spent the past month stopping short of using the word, including the now-infamous Nov. 3 “Freudian slip” when he called for a “cease - er, humanitarian pause.”

Maybe he is afraid of upsetting Netanyahu. But even these tepid statements have still earned rebukes from the Israeli PM. So why continue to backpedal?

Hamas’ horrific Oct. 7 attack on Israeli civilians was a catastrophe, a massacre. But Israel’s response in Gaza has been, as anyone with eyes can see, a monthlong barrage of war crimes. According to the Washington Post, more than 11,000 Gazans have been killed. That’s one in every 200 people.

Canada’s government can’t continue to support the indiscriminate murder of innocent civilians by Netanyahu’s far-right authoritarian government. It’s time for Trudeau to call for a ceasefire and a humanitarian solution to the senseless carnage.

Published in Volume 78, Number 10 of The Uniter (November 16, 2023)

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