Yukon NDP Leader Kate White speaks at rally for Palestine

Whitehorse, YT – Yukon NDP Leader Kate White made the following statement in front of the Yukon Legislature on Thursday, October 26 , 2023:

Thank you for inviting me.

It’s so powerful and important to see you here today.  

At a time when we’re seeing people face extreme backlash for speaking the truth, it’s more important than ever for people like myself, in positions of power, to speak up.

I’m here today because silence really is violence.

I want to add my voice to the voices of Yukoners here today, and to millions of Canadians demanding that their government – all levels of government – call for a ceasefire in Gaza and for a humanitarian corridor to be established.

I want to encourage all Yukoners to think about the humans who are living in Gaza. The majority of Palestinians are not part of Hamas. The majority of Palestinians are not responsible for the horrific attacks on Israelis by Hamas.  

Palestinians are people like you, like me, like regular Canadians with hopes and dreams for the future, for their children’s future.

I can only hope that their hopes and dreams survive another day.

When we think that half of the people of Gaza are children, it’s the future of Palestine that’s being erased.

I also think about the folks here in the Yukon and in Canada, who are impacted by this violence.

Yukoners with family abroad. Yukoners for whom this war is very close to home.

I think about my neighbors, my friends, who fear the rise of violence and hate towards the Jewish community, and towards the Muslim community.

Hate has no place here.

Islamophobia has no place here.

Antisemitism has no place here.

And I cannot in good conscience stand here, and not talk about racism, and oppression.

This war shows a double standard in Canada, and on the world stage.

We condemned Hamas when they murdered and kidnapped Israeli civilians and children. As we should have. These attacks were horrific, and unacceptable.

And now, as we see violence on a shocking scale against Palestinian civilians and children, so many politicians, and leaders, have gone silent. 

Their silence sends a heartbreaking message to Arab and Muslim communities. It shows that the international community – and Canada as a country – does not value their lives as much as others. This is unacceptable.

What the Israeli government is doing to the Palestinians in Gaza is unacceptable.

Failing to speak up against war crimes , against ethnic cleansing, against extreme human suffering, against the genocide of the people of Gaza, is unacceptable.

It took us so long to recognize Canada’s genocide against Indigenous people.

Let us not make this same mistake again. We cannot remain silent while another genocide is happening.

Peace negotiations are the only way forward in a place  that has seen too many deaths over too many decades.

There can be no military solution. The only solution must be peace.