ARPCF Condemns Suspected Hate-Motivated Arson in London, ON

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2024-06_11-ArsonMontreal, Jun 11, 2024— The Anti-Racism Program of the CJPME Foundation (ARPCF) strongly condemns the suspected racially-motivated arson on Wateroak Drive in London Ontario, which London Police are investigating as a potential hate crime. This incident, where an individual allegedly set fire to a family's front porch and removed pro-Palestinian signage, represents more than mere vandalism; it is a clear example of Anti-Palestinian Racism (APR) and broader hate-driven behavior in our communities. As if their intents weren’t already clear enough, the suspect left a note on the porch, which read, “One more time if I see you put that stupid (expletive) Free Palestine…I’m warning you.”

"This arson incident in London closely mirrors the recent escalation of arson attacks by Israeli settlers against Palestinian homes in the West Bank. The impact of such acts goes beyond the immediate violence; they contribute to a systemic and boarder pattern of silencing and dehumanizing Palestinians, and are unequivocally driven by hate," stated Jamila Ewais, Lead Researcher for the ARPCF.

This targeted attack, aimed at a family for their visible support of Palestinian human rights, underscores the urgent need for a stronger societal and governmental response to hate crimes. This should include incorporating mention of APR in federal and provincial strategies. The current Canadian Anti-Racism Strategy 2024-2028, released on June 8, 2024, addresses Islamophobia but fails to adequately cover the complex underlying causes of hateful acts targeting Arabs, Muslims and Palestinians.  It is crucial to recognize APR, understand its motivations, tactics, actors, and the chilling effects it generates. Anti-Palestinian racism is a politically driven ideology targeted against Palestinians, their allies, and their narratives. It operates on systemic, institutional, individual, and global levels. Failing to acknowledge this issue impedes the prediction and prevention of such crimes.

The ARPCF calls on everyone, from policymakers to citizens, to stand together against acts of hatred and discrimination. A critical first step is to incorporate the definition and manifestations of APR into the Canadian Anti-Racism Strategy 2024–2028. This should include acknowledgment of the Nakba, the challenges faced by Palestinians, the genocide in Gaza, and the political and colonial nature of the Palestinian issue. Additionally, it is essential to create a safe platform where Palestinians and their allies can report crimes, voice their concerns, and share their fears without the risk of being doxed, defamed, investigated, or facing backlash. Lastly, it is vital that crimes committed against Palestinians and their allies by other members of the Canadian society are held accountable. This action is crucial to prevent further dehumanization and the erosion of human rights for Palestinians.

About the ARPCF – The mandate of the Anti-Racism Program of the CJPME Foundation (ARPCF) is to create public awareness about racism in Canada.  This mandate falls in line with the Foundation’s broader purpose of monitoring and combating manifestations of racism, xenophobia, and discrimination by increasing public awareness of such biases.

For more information, please contact Jamila Ewais, 514-389-8668
ARPCF, [email protected]

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  • Jamila Ewais
    published this page in Statements 2024-06-11 12:40:11 -0400