Canada’s Muslims call on Trudeau to support ICJ genocide case against Israel

Canada’s Muslims call on Trudeau to support ICJ genocide case against Israel
Over 200 Canadian organisations have issued an open letter for the Prime Minister to back South Africa’s claim of genocide in Gaza
3 min read
10 January, 2024
Muslim groups have jointly issued an open letter to Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to support ICJ Gaza genocide case against Israel [Getty]

Canadian Muslims have urged Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to back the upcoming ICJ proceedings against Israel

The National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM) released an open letter on Tuesday calling on Canada to support South Africa’s claims of Israeli war crimes in Gaza, where over 23,000 people - the vast majority children and women - have been killed. 

Countries such as Bolivia, Turkey, Venezuela, Malaysia, Maldives, Jordan and the Organisation of Islamic Countries (OIC) have so far supported South Africa’s application to the ICJ. 

"250 Canadian civil society groups and community organisations are issuing a joint open letter to the Prime Minister, asking Canada to back the proceedings at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) regarding Israel's conduct in Gaza," the NCCM said in a post on X. 

"Canada must support international law. Canada must support an impartial investigation into possible war crimes committed in Gaza. Canada must support accountability. It is time to recognize ICJ jurisdiction on this issue." 

In the letter to Trudeau, it said Israel should be held accountable for its relentless bombardment and invasion of Gaza since 7 October. 

"Canadians and leaders of the international community know that there must be accountability for allegations for atrocities that have been committed against Israeli and Palestinian civilians," the letter read. 

"Justice must be sought against those who have committed war crimes and taken innocent lives. We expect our government to be principled on this question."

South Africa asked the ICJ on 26 December for an urgent order declaring that Israel was in breach of its obligations under the Genocide Convention due to its brutal war on Gaza. 

South Africa's parliament previously voted in favour of closing down the Israeli embassy in Pretoria and to suspend all diplomatic relations with Israel until a ceasefire is agreed. 

However, Canada joined other Western nations in its unwavering support for Israel since Hamas' surprise attacks on 7 October that killed around 1,200 people, according to Israeli officials. 

Despite Trudeau’s criticism of Israel's killing of civilians in Gaza, the Canadian prime minister repeated frequent Israeli and Western claims that Hamas is "using Palestinians as human shields". 

He also said they "need to release all the hostages immediately and unconditionally". 

Aid organisations have continually warned of the dire situation in the besieged Palestinian territory, with reports of disease and starvation.