Urgent Statement and Action: Against the Destruction of the Health System in Gaza

Unceded territories of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and sel̓íl̓witulh (Tsleil-waututh) Nations — We are healthcare workers in so-called British Columbia, Canada who stand in solidarity and in grief with Palestinians and our medical colleagues in Gaza.

As healthcare workers, we cannot stay silent in the face of genocide and the ongoing war crimes committed by the Israeli state. We join the global medical community in calling for an immediate ceasefire, the release of all hostages, and the opening of lasting humanitarian corridors through which to move essential aid, critical medical care to civilians, and supplies to rebuild destroyed infrastructure. Palestinians have lived under the violent chokehold of Israeli apartheid for 75 years, a regime unflinchingly supported by the Canadian government. We therefore additionally demand an immediate arms embargo and that the Canadian government no longer stand in the way of global efforts to hold the Israeli state accountable for its innumerable crimes under international law.

Only 10 of Gaza’s 36 hospitals remain functional following ruthless bombing by the IDF, under the unsubstantiated pretext that these facilities shelter Hamas militants. Despite making no significant progress in their supposed “anti-terror” campaign, the IDF and Benjamin Netanyahu have successfully terrorised and murdered over 200 medical staff, along with dozens of critically injured civilians and premature infants. As if it were not enough to watch our colleagues be targeted so brutally, we are further insulted by the silence of our domestic health institutions. We have watched Canadian institutions turn their backs on any of us who have spoken out against this genocide, including Dr. Ben Thomson of Mackenzie Richmond Hill Hospital in Ontario, Dr. Tarek Loubani who is an associate professor of medicine at the University of Western Ontario, and University of Ottawa resident Dr. Yipeng Ge.

The mediocre and unsatisfactory statements put out by some of our local institutions only further illustrate their middle-ground engagement with justice work. They publicly voice a deep commitment to decolonization and reconciliation with Indigenous peoples of this land, yet fail to recognize the blatant ongoing colonisation and land theft faced by Palestinians. Diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives are meaningless if our leadership cannot even bring themselves to speak up against genocide.

We will hold Palestinians in our hearts long after the bombs stop falling. We will remember our fallen colleagues who were killed while trying to save the lives of others. We will remember the 27,000 injured civilians who will live with the physical and psychological trauma of the last 45 days for the rest of their lives. We will remember the silence and slow movement of our politicians to act against genocide. We will remember all that they could have done in the last 75 years to prevent this, and didn’t. We will remember that there was once a free Palestine, a safe place for all, and we will remember to keep speaking until all are free once more.

The Mainlander previously published Care Not Cops’ call to action against genocide in Palestine addressed to the Vancouver and BC healthcare sector: link

Date & time: November 21st, 2023 | 4:30pm
Location: Vancouver Convention Centre, 999 Canada place (West Burrard Street entrance)