HSA supports NUPGE calls for ceasefire and supports for humanitarian aid for Gaza in escalating war

Last week, NUPGE – the National Union of Public and General Employees which HSA is a member of, made a $20,000 donation from its John Fryer Fund to Oxfam’s appeal to provide urgent humanitarian relief in Gaza. As soon as it is possible to provide humanitarian aid in Gaza, the donation will assist with the much-needed assistance, including food, water, shelter, and health services.

In making the donation, NUPGE Secretary-Treasurer Jason MacLean said:

“NUPGE joins you in feeling absolute horror at the escalation of violence in Israel and Gaza. We were shocked by the deadly October 7 attacks by Hamas on Israeli civilians and the taking of hostages. As outlined in NUPGE’s public statement on the violence, we unequivocally condemn these heinous acts, which violate international law. We express solidarity with the Jewish people, in Israel and around the world, who are experiencing immense grief and fear.

“Following the October 7 attack, Israel’s bombardment and siege of Gaza has led to enormous loss of life, injury, and suffering among Palestinians. The violence, coupled with cutting off food, water, fuel, and electricity and the forced displacement of 1.2 million civilians, is inhumane, not to mention a violation of international law. It serves to worsen the humanitarian crisis in Gaza, where people have been under occupation and experiencing a blockade for years. Now, human rights and international law experts have warned of an impending genocide in Gaza. We join Oxfam in refusing to be bystanders in this moment. We join with the many voices, including Jewish and Palestinian people around the world, who call for an end to this horror.”

Other national unions across Canada have made important statements calling for an immediate ceasefire, such as CUPE National and UNIFOR. The International Trade Union Confederation, of which the Canadian Labour Congress – the national federation of trade unions in Canada – is a member, has also called for a ceasefire.

On October 12, 2023 NUPGE, the National Union of Public and General Employees released a statement calling on the Government of Canada to:

  • immediately call for a cease fire by both parties – Hamas and Israel,
  • demand the enforcement of international law,
  • work toward a peaceful resolution that respects the rights of Palestinians and Israelis

NUPGE has long called for a resolution to the conflict between Israel and Palestine that respects and follows all UN resolutions and international law. This includes calls for withdrawal of Israel from occupied Palestinian lands. NUPGE is in solidarity with all those who seek a just and lasting peace in the region and is committed to working toward that goal.

HSA is in solidarity with the people in the region – Palestinians and Israelis – affected by a conflict that has persisted for decades and abhors the impact on the people living in occupied lands, particularly in light of the Israeli control of border crossings. The international rise we are seeing in hate crimes – be it the senseless killing of a young boy, the doxing of university students, or reports of assaults in communities around the world – is indeed a loud alarm that we must be in solidarity with the labour movement and civil society around the world calling on governments to take action to stop the escalation of war in the Middle East.

In addition, NUPGE, along with other influential organizations across the country, fully endorses the Ceasefire Now statement calling on the Government of Canada to call for cease fire in the Palestine and Israel war, and acknowledges that as hostilities increase, they are fueling a rise of anti-Arab and anti-Palestinian racism, Islamophobia, and antisemitism in Canada – which HSA also unequivocally condemns.

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