Dear Prime Minister Justin Trudeau,
In December 2022 we travelled to Gaza to visit the Al Ahli Arab Hospital, a ministry of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem. There we saw the tremendous work being done to offer healing and hope to traumatized children of past conflicts and the beginnings of an exciting partnership with the Lutheran Augusta Victoria Hospital, East Jerusalem to offer cancer care, including chemotherapy. Now Al Ahli Arab hospital has been bombed, lying in ruins amid reports of hundreds of casualties and deaths.
Archbishop Hosam Naoum, bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem, wrote in a statement on October 17th:
In the strongest terms, the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem condemns this atrocious attack that has transpired in the heart of Gaza. Initial reports suggest the loss of countless lives, a manifestation of what can only be described as a crime against humanity. Hospitals, by the tenets of international humanitarian law, are sanctuaries, yet this assault has transgressed those sacred boundaries. We heed the call of Archbishop Justin Welby (Archbishop of Canterbury), who implored for the safeguarding of medical facilities and the rescission of evacuation orders. Regrettably, Gaza remains bereft of safe havens……… An urgent appeal resonates for the international community to fulfill its duty in protecting civilians and ensuring that such inhumane horrific acts are not replicated.
We urge everyone to speak up for an immediate cessation of hostilities and the opening of a humanitarian corridor to allow potable water, food, medical care and more to reach those in need. Canada must use all means at its disposal to advocate for the respect of international law and the protection of human rights as it has done in the past. The time to speak is now!
This war will only bring increasing devastation and deepen tensions in an already volatile region. There will be no winners, only incalculable losses.
With broken hearts—and fervent prayer for compassionate and courageous leadership,
The Rev. Susan Johnson
Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada
The Most Rev. Linda Nicholls
Archbishop and Primate
Anglican Church of Canada
Pierre Poilievre, Leader of the Official Opposition Pierre.Poilievre@parl.gc.ca
Jagmeet Singh, Leader of New Democratic Party Jagmeet.Singh@parl.gc.ca
Yves-François Blanchet MP, Leader of the Bloc Québécois Yves-Francois.Blanchet@parl.gc.ca
Elizabeth May, Leader of the Green Party Elizabeth.May@parl.gc.ca
Melanie Joly, Minister of Foreign Affairs Melanie.Joly@international.gc.ca, Melanie.Joly@parl.gc.ca
David DaSilva Representative of Canada to the Palestinian Authority David.DaSilva@international.gc.ca
Archbishop Hosam Naoum, Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem firstname.lastname@example.org
Bishop Sani Azar, Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land email@example.com
Archbishop Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, Anglican Communion Raquel.firstname.lastname@example.org
Rev. Dr. Anne Burghardt, General Secretary, The Lutheran World Federation Anne.Burghardt@lutheranworld.org