Canadian Government Pledges Support to OneVoice Canada as Hundreds Gather on Parliament Hill

Oct 19, 2007 Published under OneVoice Movement

[I received this email from Bill Ayyad, who together with a stalwart and amazingly courageous leader Thaer Mukbel, and their partners at OneVoice Canada, including JJ Schneiderman, mobilized people and political leaders to send a message of support towards the OneVoice Movement in the Middle East - to not be discouraged by the postponement of the OV Summits - quite the opposite - to redouble efforts]

Canadian Government Pledges Support to OneVoice Canada as
Hundreds Gather on Parliament Hill

OTTAWA, OCTOBER 18TH, 2007 – Hundreds of supporters gathered on Parliament Hill today to support OneVoice Canada and witness the Canadian Government’s acknowledgement of the importance of this movement. On behalf of the federal government, the Honorable Jason Kenney – Secretary of State for Multiculturalism and Canadian Identity – pledged his support to OneVoice Canada and its efforts to help bring an end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, saying “I’m proud to be here today and I encourage you to continue the promotion of peace for everyone in Canada but also for the regions of Palestine and Israel.”

The grassroots conflict resolution organization officially launched its independent Canadian branch today with an array of speakers including community and religious leaders, peace workers and Israeli and Palestinian youth. The Head of the Palestinian Delegation to Canada, Amin Abou-Hassira, and a representative from the Israeli Embassy were in attendance. Close to twenty politicians, representing all 5 major parties, attended today’s event in support of the OneVoice Movement, including:
Representing the§ Canadian Government and Prime Minister Harper: Hon. Jason Kenney

Liberal§ MPs Hon. Dr. Bernard Patry, Hon. Mauril Bélanger, Hon. Keith Martin, Hon. Glen Pearson, Hon. Anita Neville, Hon. Carolyn Bennett, Hon. Irwin Cotler, Hon. Ken Boschoff and Eleni Bakopanos  (Assistant   to the Official Opposition Leader).

§ New Democratic Party MPs Hon. Paul Dewar and Hon. Peter Julian
Bloc§ Québécois MPs Hon. Pierre Paquette and Hon. Christiane Gagnon
Green Party§ candidate Dr. Qais Ghanem

Khaldoon Bushnaq, a young Palestinian man studying in Canada, addressed the crowd saying “We have been occupied for 60 years. The mental strain caused by the effects of this occupation is unimaginable. It’s enough. It’s time for the occupation to end and for us, the Palestinians, to start fully living.”

While [Name Withheld], a Canadian-Israeli who served in the Israeli Defense Forces, spoke about his experiences and explained how his perspective on the conflict changed greatly during his service. The imperative to achieve permanent and lasting security for Israel can only be attained through a two-state-solution, he explained.

Today’s program also included compelling remarks by Mark Persaud, CEO of the Canadian International Peace Project; Abdul Rashid, Christian-Muslim Dialogue Group/Capital Region Interfaith Council; Sister Mary Ellen Francoeur, President of Religions for Peace Canada; and Cantor Benlolo, Congregation Beth Shalom.

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