As a Board and Staff, Access Gallery denounces the violence toward Palestinians by Israel. We send our care and support to Palestinians facing ongoing violence, and to those in our community with loved ones in Palestine, and with histories of displacement and dispossession as a result of this occupation.
Palestinians are asking the global community to pressure Israel to end and redress its systematic violations against them—including but not limited to their forced removal from the East Jerusalem neighbourhood of Sheikh Jarrah. We call on government leaders—local, national, and international—to condemn this ongoing violence, and cease diplomatic, economic, and military support of the Israeli government.
Biased reporting of these events in the mainstream media masks this ongoing colonial violence as a religious conflict. We want to be clear that criticism of state-sanctioned violence by Israel is not anti-Semitism. Access stands in solidarity with people of all faiths who oppose this violence, and call for critical attention, awareness, and action without espousing hateful rhetoric.
The hesitancy of a critical response from governments such as Canada, the US, and the UK, underscores our complicity in the colonial project. As an organization located on ancestral and unceded territories of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and Səl̓ílwətaʔɬ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations, we renew our commitment to learning about and working against systemic oppression, and upholding Indigenous sovereignty, within our organization and as individuals.
We encourage individuals to continue to build pressure by writing to your local MPs, petitioning news outlets—particularly the publicly-funded CBC—joining local protests, sharing statements of solidarity, strategic boycotting of Israeli-supporting companies/organizations, and donating to Palestine aid funds, such as MAP.