The Toronto Symphony Orchestra (TSO) will make its first-ever touring appearances in Israel, with performances in Jerusalem on May 11, 2017 and Tel Aviv on May 13, 2017.
The tour, coming just days before the 69th anniversary of the Palestinian Nakba and less than a month before the 50th anniversary of the Israeli occupation of the West Bank, Gaza, and East Jerusalem, ignores the Palestinian-led call for a cultural boycott of Israel, which has been supported by thousands of artists around the world to refuse to play in Israel.
Here’s how you can take action to tell the TSO not to play for Israeli apartheid:
1. Sign and share the petition calling on TSO musicians to cancel their shows in Israel.
2. Contact the leadership of the TSO and demand they cancel the planned performances in Israel. If you’re not sure what to say, you can use key points from the petition to get started. Here are come key contacts:
Gary Hanson, Interim Chief Executive Officer
Roberta Smith, Vice-President & Chief of Staff
Peter Oundjian, Music Director
You can also contact the TSO by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 416.598.3375 and see a full contact list for other TSO administrative staff to contact.
3. If you are a TSO member, subscriber, donor, or volunteer, withhold your support until the TSO agrees to respect the Palestinian boycott call and cancels its concerts in Israel. Be sure to tell the TSO why you’re withdrawing you support.
4. Engage with the TSO on social media by posting a comment on their facebook page or tweet at them at @TorontoSymphony.
5. Write a letter to the editor of the Toronto Star (email@example.com) and other Toronto media outlining your concerns with the TSO’s decision to perform in Israel.
The Canadian BDS Coalition has the following open letter signed by 20 Canadian organizations to the directors of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra (TSO) asking them to reconsider the TSO’s participation in two upcoming concerts in Israel.
You can take action to call on the TSO to respect the Palestinian call for cultural boycott by cancelling its planned shows in Israel.
April 29, 2017
Dear Toronto Symphony Orchestra (TSO) Directors, Conductors and Musicians,
We write to you today to ask that you reflect on the following appeal from Palestinian artists, and reconsider your participation in the TSO’s planned “Arabian Nights” tour of Israel.
Palestinian writers, artists and cultural centers are calling on international artists not to perform in Israel until it ceases its grave violations of human rights and international law. They seek freedom from occupation, equality for the Palestinian citizens of Israel, and justice for the refugees.
In the occupied territories, 6,300 Palestinians – including 300 minors, 500 administrative detainees (held without charge) and 13 members of parliament – are imprisoned. Last year, Israeli forces killed more than 100 Palestinians, including 33 children. Over half a million Israelis live in illegal settlements. More than 6 million Palestinian refugees are denied their rights. This state of affairs is not only unjust; it is unsustainable.
Israel instrumentalizes culture to cover up its violations. When international artists perform at Israeli cultural venues and institutions, they help to create the false impression that Israel is a “normal” country like any other. This visit by the world-renowned TSO will be paraded as an endorsement of Israel’s actions. Continue reading
As part of its #RedCardIsrael campaign, the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) is calling on FIFA to take action at its May 11 congress on Israeli football teams based in illegal settlements. More information on how you can take action is below.
FIFA will make a decision on Israeli football teams based in illegal settlements at their upcoming Congress on May 11, 2017. This is our chance to ensure that Palestinian human rights are front and centre on their agenda!
More than one hundred sports and human rights associations representing millions of people across the globe have called on FIFA to demand that the Israeli Football Association immediately exclude teams based in illegal settlements, and for FIFA to suspend the association if it refuses to comply.
As the pressure mounts on FIFA to respect its statutes, the Israeli government is using its embassies to push for removing the issue of settlement clubs from the Congress’ agenda altogether. We can’t let that happen: teams based in illegal settlements and human rights violations have no place in the beautiful game.
Take action now to pressure FIFA to respect its own statutes and Palestinian human rights:
Join the Thunderclap to FIFA ahead of its upcoming Congress!
Join the action on social media! Visit bdsmovement.net for sample tweets and memes to share. Use the hashtag #RedCardIsrael
Let’s make sure FIFA and member federations get the message: settlement clubs and Apartheid have no place in the beautiful game. Visit bdsmovement.net to see additional actions you can take.
The Canadian BDS Coalition congratulates the King’s BDS Network at the University of Western Ontario and the Solidarity for Palestinian Human Rights (SPHR) at the University of British Columbia.
At King’s University College at University of Western Ontario, 76% of the students who cast a vote in a recent referendum supported their student council in lobbying the King’s administration to boycott and divest from companies complicit in human rights violations against Palestinians.
Implementation will be based by King’s University College Student Council (KUSC) on a resolution that brought results from this referendum along with another referendum on fossil fuel divestment to their March 19, 2017 Annual General Meeting.
The approved resolution mandates the student council to lobby King’s administration to boycott and divest from any and all companies and products complicit with Israeli occupation based on principles of human rights, labour, environment, and anti-corruption. It also calls on KUCSC to research and write an annual Advocacy Paper on ethical investments and divestments that will include a five-year plan for ethical investing.
On March 30, 2017, the SPHR at University of British Columbia had a ground-breaking victory when a British Columbia Supreme Court judge brought down his ruling and dismissed a case to stop a boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) referendum. Continue reading
The Canadian BDS Coalition joins with organizations from across Canada and worldwide, including the BDS National Committee (BNC), Independent Jewish Voices, Canadian Unitarians for Social Justice, and Palestinian and Jewish Unity in condemning the detention of BDS Movement co-founder Omar Barghouti by Israeli authorities with the following statement:
The Canadian BDS Coalition expresses sorrow, anger, and renewed commitment with regard to the interrogation of Omar Barghouti.
Omar Barghouti is a prominent Palestinian human rights defender and the co-founder of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanction (BDS) movement for the freedom, justice and equity of the Palestinian people.
BDS upholds the simple principle that Palestinians are entitled to the same rights as the rest of humanity.
Barghouti’s wife, Safa, was also interrogated for 16 hours, after the Israeli tax authorities barged into their home and detained them on March 19, 2017.
On March 22, 2017, the BDS National Committee (BNC) issued a statement that indicated “the Israeli government has resorted to fabricating a case related to Omar’s alleged income outside of Israel to tarnish his image and intimidate him.” Beyond this questionable investigation, this detention is happening just weeks before Barghouti is scheduled to receive the Gandhi Peace Award with Ralph Nader in a ceremony at Yale University. Continue reading
The Canadian BDS Coaliton coordinated the following open letter to Minister of Foreign Affairs Chrystia Freeland on the passage of Israel’s so-called Regularization Bill.
March 20, 2017
The Honourable Chrystia Freeland
Minister of Foreign Affairs,
House of Commons,
Ottawa K1A 0A6
Dear Minister Freeland:
We come together to express our grave concern regarding actions taken by the government of Israel since the passage of UN Security Council Resolution 2334, and to call the Canadian government to take a strong stance against the Israeli government’s flagrant disregard of its responsibility as an occupying power under the Fourth Geneva Convention.
The February 6, 2017 passing by the Knesset of the Regularization Bill shows utter disdain of the Security Council and for International Human Rights and Humanitarian Laws. This legislation allows for retroactive expropriation of private Palestinian land, resulting in the legalization of over 4,000 settler homes, along with the ability to seize privately owned Palestinian land for the creation of new, and/or expansion of, existing illegal settlements. Continue reading
As part of the global Boycott HP campaign, the following open letter signed by friends and members of the Canadian BDS Coalition was sent to HP President & CEO Mary Anne Yule and Canadian HPE President and CEO Meg Whitman:
March 19, 2017
Mary Anne Yule,
President and CEO at HP Canada
5150 Spectrum Way #600,
Mississauga, Ontario L4W 5G1
President and CEO, HPE
Canadian HPE HQ
5150 Spectrum Way, Floor 4-5
Mississauga, Ontario L4W 5G1
Delivered by Registered Mail
Dear Ms. Yule and Ms. Whitman,
Canadian citizens concerned about International Humanitarian Law violations and human right abuses are among the more than 1.8 million people who have signed a petition calling on Hewlett Packard (HP) and Hewlett Packard Enterprises (HPE) to end its role in Israeli apartheid and settler colonialism.
We write to you, as the Presidents and CEOs at HP Canada and HPE to let you know that we are concerned, and look to you to take leadership within HP Canada and HEP; leadership to speak out against the violations of International Humanitarian Law and abuses of human rights associated with HP/HPE technology infrastructure that Israel uses to maintain its system of apartheid and settler colonialism over the Palestinian people. Continue reading