Evidence delivered to RCMP for their investigation into illegal recruitment for Israeli military

JUST Peace Advocates on Sunday announced that it has provided new evidence to Bob O’Reilly, chief of staff for the office of the RCMP Commissioner, regarding illegal Israeli military recruitment in Canada. Recently the RCMP indicated they were investigating Israeli military recruitment taking place in Canada.

According to its website, Just Peace Advocates says it’s “a Canadian based independent human rights organization promoting Just Peace/Paix Juste through the rule of law and respect for human rights in Canada and around the world for the Palestinian people and those that stand in solidarity for the human rights of the Palestinian people.”

The new evidence delivered to the RCMP is in addition to evidence provided to federal Justice Minister David Lametti on October 19, 2020.

According to Just Peace Advocates, it is a crime in Canada to recruit anyone for a foreign military. It is also a crime to aid and abet such recruitment by offering incentives and encouraging any person to serve in a foreign military.

The Foreign Enlistment Act states, “Any person who, within Canada, recruits or otherwise induces any person or body of persons to enlist or to accept any commission or engagement in the armed forces of any foreign state or other armed forces operating in that state is guilty of an offence.”

The only exception would be the recruitment of Israeli citizens who are not Canadian.

The October 19 complaint was accompanied by an open letter signed by Noam Chomsky, Roger Waters, Ken Loach, former MP Jim Manly, as well as poet El Jones and author Yann Martel, and more than 170 Canadians as well as several others, asking Lametti to investigate recruitment taking place in Canada for the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). Lametti has received nearly 1,500 letters from concerned individuals about illegal Israeli military recruitment in Canada.

In response, on October 21 Lametti stated that foreign diplomats must respect Canadian law. He said the issue would be referred to the authorities: the police and Public Prosecutor for investigation.

On November 3, 2020, evidence was provided directly to the RCMP by attorney John Philpot. On November 19, the RCMP indicated to Philpot that the matter was under active investigation.

Philpot says, “The recent evidence provided to the RCMP is based largely on facts available on the internet and social media. The RCMP has the resources to complete the investigation and lay charges.”

According to 2017 statistics from the IDF, 230 Canadians served in the Israeli military.

On several occasions the Israeli consulate in Toronto has advertised that they have an IDF representative available for personal appointments for those wishing to join the IDF. In November 2019, the Israeli consulate in Toronto announced, “An IDF representative will conduct personal interviews at the Consulate on November 11-14. Young people who wish to enlist in the IDF or anyone who has not fulfilled their obligations according to the Israeli Defense Service Law are invited to meet with him.”

Not only has the consulate advertised that it facilitates enlistment in a foreign military, but it has arranged for IDF soldiers and veterans to present in schools, summer camps and other venues in Canada with the goal of inducing people to enlist, according to the Just Peace Advocates.   

It says that, for example, this evidence shows active recruiting in community organizations in Canada such as the UJA Federation of Greater Toronto  which held a webinar recruiting for the Israel Defence Forces on June 4, 2020.

Ironically, this same organisation, the UJA Federation of Greater Toronto  is co-organizing  its 4th Annual Legal Conference, “The Rule of Law in Times of Crisis.” Lametti will be attending this conference held by an organisation committing the crime of encouraging illegal enlistment, it notes.

At least two Canadians have been shot by IDF snipers in recent years, including doctor Tarek Loubani on May 14, 2018.

“Many Canadians are concerned about illegal Israeli military recruitment in Canada and the RCMP needs to do a thorough investigation on the matter and press charges where warranted”, says Philpot.