Islanders call for peace in major Middle East conflict

Teresa Wright
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Members of the Island Peace Committee are calling for an end to the bombing in Gaza and a peaceful resolution to the conflict in the Middle East.

About a dozen people attended a rally last week in Charlottetown in front of Province House, calling for an end to the bombing in Gaza.

“It is a humanitarian crisis unfolding and we’re asking all political parties in this country to come to the support of the Gaza people,” said Leo Broderick, a member of both the Island Peace Committee and the Canadian Peace Alliance.

“This has to stop, the bombings have to stop and there must be a peaceful solution to the situation in the Middle East. Violence is not the answer.”

Israel launched a massive air campaign on July 8 to stop relentless Hamas rocket fire into Israel. It expanded on July 17 to a ground war aimed at destroying tunnels the military says Hamas has constructed from Gaza into Israel for attacks against Israelis. The military says Hamas has launched 2,000 rockets since the war began.

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The Gaza Health Ministry says at least 609 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza. The UN office of humanitarian affairs estimates that at least 75 per cent of them were civilians, including dozens of children.

Islanders on the Island Peace Committee raised concern for those civilians living in Gaza, where the death toll has been highest.

They were critical of what they believe has been “blind support” of Israel by the Harper government.

“Mr. Harper didn’t even condemn what’s going on, or even talk about this. If you look at people in the European parliament, everywhere political leaders are condemning it, except our government,” said Suleiman Sefau of the Island Peace Committee.

“Myself, I believe the people of Israel have the right to peace, but at the same time I would like the people who live in Gaza to have the same support, the same right.”

But one young woman at the rally in Charlottetown, whose family is from Israel, approached The Guardian after the event to point out Hamas has been relentless in firing thousands of rockets into Israel. She was concerned the protesters were only presenting the plight of the Palestinians, while the people in Israel have also been facing daily attacks by Hamas.

“I want peace for everyone and I don’t think that any innocent people should be hurt or killed, but there are two sides of this, it’s not solely one side’s fault,” said Sophie Cardin of Colorado. Her family summers every year in P.E.I.

She said she recently posted an Israeli flag on her Facebook page and received a lot of backlash from her non-Jewish friends.

“I just want people to understand both sides of the issue, because I’m passionate about Israel.”

An Israeli soldier was killed Tuesday in fighting in southern Gaza, raising the number of Israeli troops confirmed dead to 27. Two Israeli civilians also have been killed.


Organizations: Island Peace Committee, Hamas, Province House Canadian Peace Alliance Gaza Health Ministry UN

Geographic location: Gaza, Israel, Middle East Charlottetown Middle East.About Colorado Southern Gaza

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Recent comments

  • Joey Thomlinson
    July 25, 2014 - 05:17

    Israel uses it weapons to defend its citizens. Hamas uses its citizens to defend it weapons.

  • Angus
    July 24, 2014 - 21:44

    Leo and his merry band never met a protest they didn't like for publicity purposes. They only have to answer the one question. Why did Hamas not honour the Egyptian negotiated truce and instead kept on firing rockets. That would have stopped the fighting at the time and all the other atrocities since. That is a question Hamas and their dupes cannot or will not answer. Until they do, everything else is bafflegarb.

    July 24, 2014 - 15:49

    So now we are up to twelve who go around spouting garbage when they do not have any idea what they are talking. about. If anything the Government and police should be questioning this bunch about supporting terrorists. Leo appears to be anti Jewish in his sentiments and feels it is okay for HAMAS to fire rockets at Israel but not okay for Israel to defend themselves. Pick a side LEO, the terrorsists or the rest of the world.

    • No cigar
      July 24, 2014 - 22:58

      You sound like George W Bush. Maybe that's a compliment for you, I don't know. You are confusing anti-semitism with anti-Zionism. Leo could be the latter, but is not the former,

  • Lets Get Real
    July 24, 2014 - 13:23

    Come on Leo & your 12 co harts . They were critical of what they believe has been “blind support” of Israel by the Harper government.. In God's name why wouldn't they support Israel . They have done nothing but try and satisfy them crazy Palestinians to no avail . Hamas wouldn't even stop launching rockets to allow humanitarian help into Gaza . They are using humans as shields by putting their rockets & launchers in schools & hospitals and you have the gaul to say Israel is trying to kill civilians . Man ; you are sick & getting worse . The only answer to the problem is for Israel to keep going into Gaza & kill every Hamas member they can find .WIPE THEM OUT Then & only then will the Palestinians in Gaza have peace . I'm sure if you have the gut's to take your peace thoughts to Gaza , a lot of us Islanders would gladly buy you a one way ticket just to get rid of your foolish rant's trying to get into the paper & on TV .

  • McDithers
    July 24, 2014 - 12:19

    Why do so many civilians, including children, die in Gaza? Because hamas militants surround themselves with civilians and children as human shields so they can try to gain public sympathy around the world by saying Israel is killing children and other civilians. What kind of cowards are they, sacrificing their own children and other civilians to try to protect themselves.

  • same story
    July 24, 2014 - 12:18

    Hey no cigar. Hamas hides behind civilians that is why civilians are killed ,the mighty muzlim terrorist don't mind a few kids dieing ,they will all go to heaven anyway.

    • No cigar
      July 24, 2014 - 22:56

      There were no Hamas officials in the UN school in which 15 children died this morning, or in the several hospitals that have been targeted. There were no Hamas officials around when Israel bombed the houses belonging to the officials family.

  • Peace
    July 24, 2014 - 11:37

    Leo how can anyone take you and your protest everything friends should all get together and raise enough funds for the bus load of you all (makesure you take Labchuk) to visit Gaza and promote your peace! I will personally drive you all to the airport!

    • Joey
      July 24, 2014 - 12:09

      I can take him more seriously than you. Learn proper grammar for a start.

  • Talking out your hamass
    July 24, 2014 - 11:37

    On what basis are you saying that militant Islam is the biggest global threat? Source? Terrorist designation or not, it does not excuse Israeli war crimes.

  • Sick of Hamas in Gaza
    July 24, 2014 - 11:16

    The Island Peace Committee is more interested in blaming Israel than they are in seeing peace. All that is necessary for peace between Israel and Gaza is for Hamas to stop shooting rockets, building tunnels into Israel, and trying to kidnap and murder Israeli citizens. The people of Gaza are being held hostage by Hamas and it is Hamas which bears the blame for this violence.

    • Joey
      July 24, 2014 - 12:07

      This problem existed long before Hamas. There is no evidence that Hamas was involved with the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli men. Palestine is being held hostage by Zionism.

      July 24, 2014 - 12:57

      Did you not see where Israelis kidnapped a young man from Gaza and burn him to death in retaliation?

  • Cromwell
    July 24, 2014 - 11:02

    Currently, militant Islam extremists are the biggest single global threat. Surely any one who knowingly and actively supports an identified terrorist group like Hamas is, by definition, a 'terrorist by association', then the actions of these misguided few requires some investigation by the suitable law enforcement agency (CSIS?).

  • enough already
    July 24, 2014 - 10:06

    Do these people not follow and news . Hamas , a terrorist organization is shooting missiles at Israel . Israel responds like any other country would and they are the bad guys? There will never be peace , the ideologue of Islam is to destroy all no believers ,with that in mind how can there be peace?

    • No cigar
      July 24, 2014 - 10:46

      Yes, Hamas' military wing has used regrettable tactics, but these tactics haven't included purposefully targeting UN schools and civilians. 15 palestinian children died this morning.

  • Peacenik
    July 24, 2014 - 09:37

    This Island Peace Committee would be more effective in Gaza , I would encourage them to go there till the conflict is resolved and leave PE Islanders in peace .

    • LA
      July 24, 2014 - 12:46

      You are right, there is no doubt in my mind that there would be a minutely higher chance of them listening to Leo Broderick of PEI if he was actually there instead of here. LOL

  • Greg
    July 24, 2014 - 09:01

    I see these folks are asking for an end to the bombing in Gaza but I see no signs asking for and end to the bombings in Israel. The former will immediately follow the latter but hamas refuses a cease fire. It is also worth mentioning that the first item in hamas' constitution is that Israel cease to exist.

    • Amazing
      July 24, 2014 - 12:11

      Amazing the ignorance that has taken over on PEI. Low information crowd buying into right wing talking points from the israel sycophants. I remember a better time when Canadians were not the useful idiots of israel like the americans are.