Support the Dominion
Support the Dominion
In the name of our prisoners: Non-Violence, Creativity, International Joint Struggle
April 21-23, 2010
Bil'in, West Bank
During this fifth annual conference, we felt the absence of our friends who are prevented by the occupation's cells and bars from joining us, imprisoned for struggling non-violently for our freedom, activists and leaders of the popular committees Abdullah Abu Rahmah, Ibrahim A'amirah, Adeeb Abu Rahmah, Hassan Moussa, Zaydoun Surour, Ibrahim Burnat, Wael Faqi and all political prisoners.
The conference opened with a message from them written by the imprisoned coordinator of the popular committee of Bili'n, Abdullah Abu Rahme. The message spoke of the need to continue the popular nonviolent struggle and the need for international support.
We felt the absence our beloved Bassem Abu Rahmah, along with the martyrs of Ni'lin and those that have fallen to defend our land and human dignity. We heard from the family of the martyr Bassem Abu Rahma on behalf of the families of the martyrs who stated that the popular struggle must continue until freedom is achieved.
We felt the absence of our brothers and sisters from Gaza who can join us only via video conference due to the occupation's criminal siege of 1.5 million of our people.
All those that were not with us physically were with us every minute in spirit. It is your steadfastness and your sacrifice that fuel and inspire the struggle that will ultimately lead us to our freedom.
This statement was rejected by both the Toronto Star and the Globe and
Mail (as an op-ed). It is reprinted here in full.
Statement: Jewish Canadians Concerned about Suppression of Criticism of
We are Jewish Canadians concerned about all expressions of racism,
anti-Semitism, and social injustice. We believe that the Holocaust legacy
"Never again" means never again for all peoples. It is a tragic turn of
history that the State of Israel, with its ideals of democracy and its
dream of being a safe haven for Jewish people, causes immeasurable
suffering and injustice to the Palestinian people.
We are appalled by recent attempts of prominent Jewish organizations and
leading Canadian politicians to silence protest against the State of
Israel. We are alarmed by the escalation of fear tactics. Charges that
those organizing Israel Apartheid Week or supporting an academic boycott
of Israel are anti-Semites promoting hatred bring the anti-Communist
terror of the 1950s vividly to mind. We believe this serves to deflect
attention from Israel's flagrant violations of international humanitarian
I don't normally post letters to the editor, even those with little chance of being published, but I feel that the more that editorials like this are met with flack, the harder it will eventually become to continue reporting the middle east with the same "Paletinians attack, Israel just tries to protect itself" garbage.
Here's hoping you try it out yourself in '09.
Israeli politicians kill, editorialists provide apologetics. Although your editorial on December 30th ("Responding to Provocation," Dec 30, 2008) may have seemed to your staff to appear "dovish" in its call for pressure from the US, the EU, and the Arab League (although not Canada) for a ceasefire, it is nonetheless a justification of Israel's assault on civilian infrastructure in Gaza. Once again, the assumption has been made that only Israel has the "right" to "make its point" by denying humanitarian aid, turning Gaza into an open-air prison, and then killing 350 people while Hamas, elected by the Palestinian people, has no right to anything other than that of a conquered existence.
In the middle east war, the war of words matters far more than the military battles. Israel is allowed to kill hundreds and injure thousands only because this is considered something that's kind of okay by editorialists around the world. If your editorial staff truly cared about contributing to a peace in the middle east, they would stop providing incomprehensible defenses for Israel's "right to make a point" and start questioning its choice to commit collective punishment, a crime under international law.
With this letter I would like to officially withdraw as a member of the jury for the 2008 Prize of the Alex and Ruth Dworkin Foundation for the Promotion of Tolerance through Cinema (2008 Prix annuel de la Fondation Alex et Ruth Dworkin pour la promotion de la tolérance à travers le cinéma) at the Rendez-Vous du Cinéma Québecois.
For those who may not be aware, this prize, which includes a grant of $5000, “goes to a producer representing the production team which has best demonstrated, in the winning work, a message of comprehension and tolerance”.
I accepted the invitation from the Rendez-Vous du Cinéma Québecois to join this year’s jury in good faith. But after examining in more detail the political and financial basis of the prize I must refuse to have my name associated with it. Behind this noble sounding “award for tolerance” hides a story of intolerance, division and discrimination.
Firstly, I quit the jury because the Prix annuel de la Fondation Alex and Ruth Dworkin is an initiative of the Congrès juif canadien, Région du Québec, an organization which I consider to be a vehicle for the Israeli propaganda machine and fundamentally intolerant of dissent and difference, particularly when it comes to Israeli government policies.
One case in point is the refusal of the national leadership of the Congrès juif canadian (CJC) to accept a recent membership application from the Alliance of Concerned Jewish Canadians (ACJC).
ACJC members “joined together to create a cross-Canada alliance of Jewish anti-occupation forces… whose views are not represented by the government of Israel or by the uncritical positions taken by the leadership of the major Jewish organizations in Canada.”
Part of the 5th international week of action against the apartheid wall, initiated by the Palestinian Grassroots Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign, to oppose Israeli occupation and ethnic cleansing and to support the movement for boycott, divestment and sanctions.
Leading up to ‘Palestinian Perspectives’, an evening of film screenings at the Cinéma du Parc in Montreal on November 29th, to commemorate 60 years of occupation and to celebrate the Palestinian voice. Featuring cutting edge cultural projects from Montreal & internationally, uniting in expression against Israeli Apartheid.
* Lubo Alexandrov: A Bulgarian-born guitarist, composer and singer, Alexandrov has developed a unique musical style, merging Bulgarian, Turkish and Roma musical traditions. Recipient of the 2007 Juno Music Award for the ‘Best World Album’. http://www.luboalexandrov.com
* Valerie Khayat: Poet, singer songwriter, Khayat has been active in folk, poetry and spoken word circles since 2004. She released her first book of poetry, ”The Road to Vesper”, and her first full length album, ”Resonance in Blue”, in 2007. http://www.myspace.com/valeriekhayat
* Kalmunity Vibe Collective members:
Jason Selman: Performance poet & musician
Mohamed Mehdi: Singer songwriter, poet.
Phenix: Hip-hop artist, poet of the Haitian diaspora.
* Ehab Lotayef: Writer, photographer, poet, activist and engineer.
* DJ Kandis: Middle Eastern, international beats, music from DJ Kandis.
Screening two films from the ‘Beyond Blue & Gray’ documentary project of Eyes Infinite Films, with an introduction by series producer Nirah Shirazipour:
from the Montreal Mirror.
by Christopher Hazou
Twenty-five years ago this week, the Israeli army surrounded the Palestinian refugee camps of Sabra and Shatila in Beirut and sent in their Christian Phalangist allies. Over the next two days, between 800 and 2,000 Palestinian civilians were butchered in a scene of carnage that shocked much of the world.
This Saturday, Sept. 22, at 1 p.m., the Coalition for Justice and Peace in Palestine commemorates this sombre anniversary by protesting outside of the Indigo bookstore downtown (corner Ste-Catherine and McGill College), where they will call on Chapters/Indigo majority shareholder Heather Reisman and her husband Gerry Schwartz to end their support of so-called “lone sol-diers”—young Jews who emigrate to Israel alone to join the military.
“This is about direct support to the Israeli army,” says Ehab Lotayef, a member of the Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid, another participating group. “The history of the Israeli army and what it represents is not consistent with the educational message that their bookstores should be advocating.”
It will be the 25th such protest against Chapters/Indigo in Montreal since they began in December, with similar demonstrations taking place in Toronto, Vancouver, Victoria and Winnipeg. For more info, visit www.cjpp.org
An excellent article from THIS magazine concerning the growing national campaign to boycott Chapters/Indigo bookstore due to the support for the Israeli military from the company majority shareholders Heather Reisman & Gerry Schwartz...
Full Article at: This Magazine.
Imagination. Creativity. Inspiration. Three words to stir the soul crown the towering windows of Toronto’s flagship Indigo bookstore. At ground level, shoppers pass in and out of wood-framed glass doors, navigating planters and benches intended to create a friendly, front-porch sort of welcome. They take little notice as, on the sidewalk beyond, two women unfurl an off-white canvas banner. Printed on one side are another three words, less poetic perhaps than the store’s motto, but the intended effect is just as moving: Boycott Chapters/ Indigo.
No, the protest is not a last-ditch attempt by independent booksellers to draw the literate back into their fold. Rather, the activists—11 have turned up on this Friday in April, the first truly warm day of spring—are taking a page from a much larger book. They are members of the Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid (CAIA), a network of Palestinian rights, Jewish peace and socialist groups doing their part to promote an international boycott campaign against Israel. They compare themselves to the early voices against South African apartheid, and history, they believe, can repeat itself: If international pressure could help rescue South Africa from apartheid, the same can be true for Israel.
Picket and Remembrance in Downtown Montreal...
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 22nd, 1pm
Corner of St. Catherine & McGill College
Between September 16th and 18th, 1982, Israeli military forces in Lebanon, under the direct command Ariel Sharon, former ‘Defense Minister’ of Israel, provided military logistics for the massacre of thousands of Palestinian civilians in the refugee camps of Sabra and Chatila by the right-wing Phalangists militia of Lebanon...
Full Information at Tadamon!
Montreal, September 18th 2007: The Montreal network of the Coalition against Israeli Apartheid welcomed former Prime Minister Brian Mulroney during a launch of his autobiography at Indigo bookstore by unfurling a banner denouncing the apartheid situation under which Palestinians are living...
Full release from Tadamon! Montreal.
An excellent analysis article on the siege of Nahr el-Bared by the Lebanese Army throughout the summer of 2007...
Excerpt below, however read the full version on-line at: Tadamon!
Liberal Leader Stephane Dion celebrates the anniversary of the expulsion of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians (the UN says 711,000) from their homes, cities and villages that marked the founding of the state of Israel. And he dances the Hora, which would be more amusing in a different context.
Justin Podur criticized the Toronto Star's Middle East Bureau Chief for using racist language, and Potter responded, and then so did Podur.
Jerusalem Post: "The Canadian government is establishing an 'Israel Allies Caucus' this week meant to mobilize support for the State of Israel and promote Judeo-Christian values amid a groundswell of Christian support for Israel around the world."
Judeo-Christian values? Somehow, I don't think that "love thy neighbour as thyself" is what they have in mind.
The Dominion is a monthly paper published by an incipient network of independent journalists in Canada. It aims to provide accurate, critical coverage that is accountable to its readers and the subjects it tackles. Taking its name from Canada's official status as both a colony and a colonial force, the Dominion examines politics, culture and daily life with a view to understanding the exercise of power.