Green party leader Annamie Paul issued a statement early this week on twitter, addressing the current violence that is taking place in Jerusalem.

In response to the situation, Paul called for a “de-escalation” of the violence in the region as well as a “return to dialogue as a means to seeking a peaceful solution”.

Ethnic discrimination  

The violent clash between Palestinian worshipers and the Israeli police erupted early in April at the temple mount. Israeli police officers refused to allow Palestinians within the Old City’s Damascus Gate to observe Ramadan prayers. The incident has since led to the outbreak of fervent protests surrounding Jerusalem’s old city, with the masses speaking out against the threatened eviction of many Palestinian families. In a brutal display of violence, protestors were met with rubber bullets and airstrikes from the Israeli army.

The situation was further exasperated when Israel’s court refused to acknowledge its military’s crimes, legitimizing the evictions and brutalization of the Palestinian population under the guise of it being a matter of private real estate dispute.

The murder of 28 Palestinian, of which 10 were children, resulted in a public outcry from the international community.

Toronto residents protest outside Israeli consulate. Photograph: Shutterstock

Reductionist claims

To the disappointment of many, Annamie Paul’s statements showed a lack of transparency in regards to the real extent of violence carried out against the Palestinian population. Paul has since been strongly condemned by several Green public figures, including two of the three party’s MPs (Members of Parliament). The majority of her critics cite the deliberate omission of the truth surrounding the violent eviction of Palestinians in the Sheikh Jarrah Neighbourhood, whilst simultaneously condemning both sides of the conflict as equal instigators, as the primary source of their frustrations.

One such critic was Alex Tyrrell, leader of the Quebec Green Party and founder of Global Green News. In an official facebook post, Tyrrell explained that condemnations of both sides are not productive when one side is being actively “colonised and displaced”.

Tyrrell points out that while dialogue is important, it has “ failed so far and an international intervention is long overdue”.

The Green Party of Canada’s own MP Jenica Atwin has also spoken out against Paul’s statement in her last tweet, deeming it completely inadequate.

“We must consider Israeli and Palestinian lives as being equally important. We cannot tolerate notions of white or Jewish supremacy.”

Alex Tyrrell, leader of the Quebec Green Party and founder of Global Green News

Paul Manly, another MP representing the Green Party of Canada, spoke out against his party’s chairwoman, emphasizing that the Human Rights Watch had previously declared the Israeli occupation apartheid. In his tweet, Manly described the current situation in East Jerusalem as “ethnic cleansing” and one that is “happening live on social media”.

Salma Bedir

Salma Bedir is a second-year student currently pursuing a double major in French and Life sciences at the University of Ottawa. Thanks to her interest in both language and science, Salma developed a passion for Climate Politics, Global Sustainability, and Environmental activism. In her free time, Salma enjoys sculpting and debating competitively.

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