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The Ontario government recently approved a motion that the term "Israeli Apartheid" should not be used.
The motion passed with unanimous support from the Ontario Tory's, Liberals and NDP.
Speaking to the Toronto Sun Conservative MPP Peter Shurman stated that "I want to be clear about what it is I’m trying to do. I want the name changed. It’s that simple. It’s just wrong."
And why is it wrong for Shurman? What stunning and well thought out rational did Shurman use to back up his condemnation of the words "Israeli Apartheid"?
Does he dispute that there are similarities between the Bantustan system in South Africa and the territory allotments to Palestinians? Did he challenge the claim that there are two different laws that exist in Israel, one for Israelis and another for Palestinians? Why did he and the entire Legislature choose to target the the term "Israeli Apartheid"?
“My problem is the name,” he said. “Israeli Apartheid Week is not dialogue, it’s a monologue. The name is hateful, it is odious and that’s not how things should be in my Ontario. It’s a term that frankly I’m sick of hearing. Get rid of this word apartheid.”
One, Shurman never said that the term was not accurate in describing the system. Which makes sense given many South Africans and Israelis themselves use this terms to describe the treatment of Palestinians.
Two, replace the word "Israeli" with "South African" in Shurman's quote and it makes about as much sense as it would have in the 1980's.
Boycotted by activists, the Israeli company AHAVA is backed by one of Israel's most powerful families
Description: After the Israeli attack on Gaza earlier this year, the international Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions Campaign (BDS Movement) escalated all around the world. Now, activists are targeting AHAVA, an Israeli cosmetics company founded by and based in an Israeli settlement in the Occupied West Bank. The AHAVA company, as many others in Israel that are based in the Palestinian Territories or profit from their occupation are owned by the powerful Israel family - the Livnat family. The Real News investigates how the family's dynasty is invested in the economy of the occupation.
Also reported here in the Guardian on November 5th:
A four-month ceasefire between Israel and Palestinian militants in Gaza was in jeopardy today after Israeli troops killed six Hamas gunmen in a raid into the territory.
Hamas responded by firing a wave of rockets into southern Israel, although no one was injured. The violence represented the most serious break in a ceasefire agreed in mid-June, yet both sides suggested they wanted to return to atmosphere of calm.
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.
As Palestinian villagers decide to take dismantling the Israeli occupation into their own hands, the Real News Network's Lia Tarachansky speaks to Jesse Rosenfeld on segregation and the West Bank. Checkpoints and roadblocks play a key role in separating Palestinians from Israelis and Israeli appropriated areas, from commercial areas, and from each other. Since the beginning of the second Intifadah in September 2000 the number of checkpoints in the West Bank increased to over 500.
Israel/Palestine- Ehud Olmert passes leadership of the Kadima Party to Tzipi Livni and leaves a challenging legacy. In comments he made during an interview with Israeli newspaper Yediot Ahronot, Olmert admits Israel must withdraw from areas of the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and even the Golan Heights, an area at the center of the Israeli-Syrian dispute.
OTTAWA, ON - On August 6th 2008, returning from a trip to the West Bank and Israel, Liberal MP and External Affairs Critic Bob Rae spoke in the Canadian Senate about his views on the crisis in Palestine. Many were disenchanted with the inconsistency of his message.
Rae flip-flopped on numerous points as they suited his message including the importance of the history of the conflict, the success of the Annapolis process, the legality of the occupation, and the basis for Canada's involvement in the conflict.
The event was hosted by the National Council on Canada Arab Relations and the Middle East Discussion Group.
OTTAWA, ON- Aug 6th, 2008- what began as a fairly balanced description of the historical record of the creation of Israel in Palestine, quickly became yet another bipartisan speech of the Liberal party. Strongly criticizing Stephen Harper and the Conservative Party’s actions in regard to Israel/Palestine, Liberal Party External Affairs critic Bob Rae failed to provide any concrete actions his own party intends to take.
“It was the emergence of modern Zionism that would set the stage for modern conflict,” He began. His proposed solution to this roughly century-long conflict is “recognition of two states, new governance for Jerusalem, limited right of return, and generous funding of a Palestinian state.”
Contradicting himself several times throughout his speech, Rae paid lip service to the social justice movement while adding to the pile of anti-Iran rhetoric.
“Iran’s president is a holocaust denier and refers to Israel by what can only be described as the most hateful of terms."
“Our role should not be of simple neutrality,” he said, adding, “Our friendship with Israel by no means can be indifferent to the Palestinian claim [for self-governance].” When challenged on his proposed plan of action, he reverted back to mediating and perpetuating the aging peace-process. Meanwhile, he admitted, “I don’t think the process today is particularly transparent.”
He further added to the confusion by concluding “it’s the parties themselves that are going to have to resolve the conflict.”
Last week, the Canadian Union of Postal Workers became the first national north american labour organization to join the international boycott, divestment, sanctions campaign against the state of Israel. Strangely, this has yet to hit the media in Canada, even though the resolution in support of the campaign was passed democratically at the CUPW convention more than two weeks ago. The 54,000 member union joins such prominent labour organizations as the 770,000 member Irish Congress of Trade Unions, the 1.5 million-member Congress of South African Trade Unions, the 800,000 strong UK Transport and General Workers Union, and a growing list of others including CUPE Ontario. Nevertheless, expect editorial tireless screeds within Canadian newspapers against CUPW's membership in the weeks ahead.
Also of interest: Tadamon! statement of congratulations to CUPW.
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!
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!
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.