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  • Writer's pictureThe Low Down

Urging MP Chatel to condemn ‘ongoing atrocities’ in Gaza

The Editor,

As a Jewish constituent of Pontiac MP Sophie Chatel, I was pleased she voted in support of a recent motion in Parliament for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza for the hostages to be released, for an end to additional arms exports to Israel, and for other urgent measures to exert pressure toward peace with some semblance of justice in the region. 

However, while I have watched in horror as my wife’s family in Gaza has been subjected to murder, starvation and dehydration for over five months, MP Chatel has refused to condemn these inconceivable injustices.

When I approached her in mid-October following the killing of my wife’s uncle along with his son and his two-year-old grand-daughter from an Israeli air strike on their neighbours’ home, MP Chatel was quick to offer her condolences. But when pressed to speak out publicly in defence of her constituent’s family living under relentless bombardment and against a campaign of targeted attacks on civilians and civilian infrastructure across Gaza, she declined. 

In a statement she released on Oct. 29 [2023], she stated that the Israeli army aims at Hamas infrastructure and members, and civilians are “tragically caught in the crossfire.” She wrote this after thousands of civilians had been killed in three weeks, including her own constituent’s family, whose neighbours’ home that was directly targeted was neither Hamas infrastructure nor Hamas. The statement only called for a “humanitarian pause” rather than a permanent ceasefire. We were devastated by her callous remarks.

I urge MP Chatel to go beyond her recent vote in Parliament to condemn Israel’s killing of over 30,000 civilians in Gaza, including over 13,000 children, and voice her support for a two-way arms embargo between Canada and Israel. With the World Court stating that Israel’s actions in Gaza are a plausible genocide, MP Chatel and the Liberal government have a moral and legal duty to end Canada’s complicity and do everything possible to prevent ongoing atrocities. 

Tyler Levitan

Gatineau, QC


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