In Canada this week, the South Asian Network for Secularism and Democracy (SANSAD) held their annual general meeting in Surrey, British Columbia.
In a resolution titled “End War Crimes in Gaza,” the network demands a halt to the ongoing Israeli attacks on and blockade of the Gaza Strip and endorses the 2005 Palestinian call for boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel.
SANSAD further calls for an end to Canada’s “complicit[y] in Israel’s violations of international law.”
SANSAD is an organization founded in 2000 that seeks “to create a secular democratic force within the South Asian diaspora through education and engagement in the struggle for peace, social justice, human rights, democratic rights, and a sustainable world.”
Last week the African Literature Association also endorsed the boycott of Israel.
Read the text full statement below, sent to me by SANSAD’s vice president, Harsha Walia:
End War Crimes in Gaza
Whereas, Israel is an occupying power in Palestine with responsibility in international law to protect civilians,
Whereas, it has imposed a siege and blockade on Gaza since 2006, subjecting its population, eighty percent of whom are refugees from lands occupied by Israel, to extreme deprivation and hardship,
Whereas, Israel has repeatedly subjected Palestinians to collective punishment in violation of international law, most notably in December 2008 when it killed more than 1300 civilians and destroyed thousands of homes as well as scores of schools, mosques, and hospitals,
Whereas, in its recent assault on Gaza beginning with the bombardment of July 8 and subsequent ground attack, Israel has killed more than 1000 Palestinians, most of whom are women and children, has bombed children playing on the beach and civilians sheltering in a UN-run school despite being given the coordinates of the school,
And whereas, the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva has found Israel potentially guilty of war crimes and launched an international inquiry into it,
Therefore be it resolved that we demand that Israel immediately stop its attack on Gaza, allow relief efforts to reach the residents, and enable the UNHRC to carry on its investigation into war crimes,
We further demand that Israel lift the blockade on Gaza to ensure the free movement of Palestinians in and out of Gaza Strip as well as unlimited import and export of goods to enable its residents to rebuild their lives, and enter into negotiations in good faith to end the occupation of Palestinian lands.
Finally, be it resolved that SANSAD endorses the Palestinian call and global movement for Boycott Divestment and Sanctions against the state of Israel and its institutions until it complies with international law and Palestinian rights.
In addition, as SANSAD is an organization of South Asians living in Canada, be it resolved that we hold the Government of Canada complicit in Israel’s violations of international law and war crimes because of its unqualified support of Israel’s actions and demand that it change its policy and call on Israel to obey international law, respect human rights and the democratic right of Palestinian people to elect the government of their choice and seek the unity of their leadership.