Montreal Marks 1 Year Anniversary of Israeli War on Lebanon.

July 11th, 2007 | Posted in Tadamon!, Solidarity, War and Terror
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    For Immediate Release:

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    Press Conference: Thurday, July 12th, 10:30am
    Location: the School of Community & Public Affairs
    2149 Mackay Street, metro Guy-Concordia

One year ago, Israel launched a military assault on Lebanon, commencing a 34 day war that left more than 1300 Lebanese civilians dead, large parts of the national infrastructure destroyed and southern Lebanon littered with over one million unexploded cluster bomblets.

On this anniversary, a group of Montreal organizations including Al-Hidaya Association, Association des jeunes libanais musulmans (AJLM) and Tadamon! Montreal mark this occasion in three ways:

* By sending messages of solidarity to the people of Lebanon especially those who suffered and continue to suffer loss and hardship as a result of the Israeli attack on Lebanon in 2006,

* By protesting the unabated support of the Canadian government for Israel during the war, and

* By reflecting on the aftermath and ongoing impacts of the war on Lebanon and the Lebanese community in Montreal.

According to major international human rights organizations including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, Israel committed “war crimes” throughout the 2006 war on Lebanon. The aftermath of these war crimes continues to affect the Lebanese people until.

Lebanese civilians in the southern part of the country remain constantly at risk due to the millions of cluster bomblets and anti-personal mines planted in Lebanese soil. Politically, the country is facing its severest test of stability in recent history. This instability, related directly to the 2006 war, is inhibiting critical reconstruction efforts.

Outrage in Canada to Israel’s assault on Lebanon sparked major demonstrations in Montreal and across the country in opposition to the Israeli attack. In contrast to popular opinion in Quebec, Prime Minister Stephen Harper labeled the full-scale military assault on Lebanon a “measured response” to the capture of two Israeli soldiers by Hezbollah, while, recently, P.M. Ehud Olmert of Israel admitted that the assault on Lebanon was planned four months prior to July 2006.

Montreal was deeply impacted by Israel’s attack, as hundreds within the city were in Lebanon at the time of the attack, while many within the Lebanese-Canadian community received the horrific news of family members becoming victims of the Israeli bombardment. Montreal’s Al-Akhras family was particularly devastated by the Israeli attack, as 12 of its members lost their lives in a single Israeli air strike on a civilian residence in the village of Aitaroun in southern Lebanon.

On this anniversary, Montrealers rise to remember the Lebanese victims of the Israeli attack on Lebanon, and pressure the Canadian government to actively support the human and humanitarian rights of all peoples. Through popular actions, demonstrations, lobbying, media work and international solidarity, Montrealers will continue to fight for justice, freedom and dignity across the Middle East.

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Source: Al-Hidaya Association, Association des jeunes libanais musulmans and Tadamon! Montreal.

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