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Image: captured from publication, "2023 Advent Cycle of Prayer," For the Churches in the Holy Land and the Middle East

In their Advent letter calling for peace in Gaza, Israel and the West Bank, the four leaders of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada, the Anglican Church of Canada, the Episcopal Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America name our sense of helplessness in the face of catastrophes and horrors. But they encourage us that "when praying for peace, we open our hearts to God's call," because "each new day offers the opportunity to act, to learn, to reflect and to pray."

One thing we can do,  in addtion to our prayers, is to write letters and emails to our government officials.  Here is the text of the email I wrote to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Foreign Affairs Minister Melanie Joly and Minister Ian Wilkinson who is the MP for North Vancouver.  Please feel free to use it as a springboard for your own letters and emails.  A list of email contacts for the Prime Minister, Minister Joly, and the MP's for North and West Vancouver are listed at the bottom of this post. Also, please copy Kairos Palestine on any correspondence (

Dear Prime Minister Trudeau and Minister Joly,

I read with horror the news as reported in this morning's Globe and Mail that "The Israeli military said that its ground offensive had expanded to every part of Gaza and ordered more evacuations in the crowded south."

Giving an order to evacuate only makes sense if there is somewhere to evacuate to. As we all know, Palestinians are running out of place to go in the sealed off territory. According to the Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor, Israel dropped more than 25, 000 tonnes of explosives on the Gaza Strip - equivalent to two nuclear bombs. And this was only as reported until Nov. 9. Since the collapse of the truce, hundreds more missiles have destroyed the few places that still remain for people to shelter.  I am in contact with a mother in Gaza and this is what she wrote on her Messenger account: 

"  . . . there is more more fear and death everywhere. There is no place to escape or a safe place...there is no place for me to rent a tent for my family . . . we suffer from hunger, poverty, and lack of food and drink. . . death is very close." 

There is no doubt in my mind that a genocide is unfolding in Gaza. My conviction is corroborated by Raz Segal, the program director of Genocide Studies at Stockton University, who stated bluntly that Israel's actions in Gaza is a “textbook case of genocide.” 

If Canada does not press for an immediate Ceasefire it is complicit in genocide.  Hamas committed unspeakable atrocities on October 7, and Israeli citizens' fears for their safety are completely justified. However, the collective punishment of the Palestinian population in Gaza will not make Israel more secure. It will result in another traumatized generation vulnerable to being radicalized.  Even if Hamas is defeated by Israel's disproportionate response, new terrorist groups will rise in its place.

I have been a proud Canadian, proud that we stand for the rule of law and human rights. 

Please, Prime Minister Trudeau and Minister July, I want to continue to be proud of my country and not hang my head in shame of my citizenship. Do the right thing, stand on the right side of history and call for an end to the violence and a return to dialogue.


Rev. Vida Jaugelis


Prime Minister's Office:

Justin Trudeau Trudeau:

Minister Mélanie Joly:

Jonathan Wilkinson, M.P. for North Vancouver:

Patrick Weiler, MP for West Vancovuer: