Author Archives: cbcjpi

About cbcjpi

Designated, with Scott Harris, to maintain the site for Canada's BDS Coalition.

Bryan unplug from Apartheid Israel

Sign and share the Canadian BDS Coalition petition to tell Bryan Adams to Unplug from Israeli Apartheid!

 

Bryan remember your words. CANCEL your performances in Tel Aviv December 4 and Jerusalem December 6.  

Canada heard you in 2014.  Palestine heard you in 2014. The world heard you in 2014, as you gave hope to the people of Gaza and all people who stand against war crimes and mass genocide.

You stood against the Israeli military bombardment on Gaza saying: “the Israeli blockade of #Gaza just entered its 8th year, leaving its 1.7 million inhabitants destitute” and  “I say the war against Gaza was a crime against humanity.”  

Lest you think things in Gaza no longer a concern, Amnesty International and the United Nations independent human rights experts remind you  this is not the case.  Over two million people are in their eleventh year in an outdoor prison, that has experienced three horrendous military attacks.  Electricity is only available a few hours a day, water is scarce and sewage is polluting the Mediterranean.   This is a completely human-made humanitarian crisis.

Bryan, we remind you that “Most Canadians Say Sanctions and Boycott are Reasonable Measures to Defend Palestinian Rights”   (the 2017 EKOS poll )

In 2016 the world cheered when you cancelled your Mississippi tour date in protest over the state’s anti-LGBT law.

Let the world cheer again, when you CANCEL your Tel Aviv and Jerusalem performances Bryan.

Tweet @bryadams to say #UnplugFromIsraeliApartheidBryan

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Unifor Canadian Council passes BDS motion at Winnipeg convention

Congratulations to the Unifor’s Canadian Council on easily passing a pro-Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) motion at their recent convention in Winnipeg, between August 18-20.

Submitted by Unifor Local 222 (Oshawa), Unifor Resolution No. 5 is titled “Palestinian Self-Determination and the Movement for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions,” and reads in part:

“… BE IT RESOLVED that Unifor supports the use of divestment, boycott and sanctions (“BDS”) that are targeted to those sectors of Israel’s economy and society which profit from the ongoing occupation of the OPT; and […] BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that Unifor will support such a form of BDS until such time as Israel implements a permanent ban on further settlement construction in the OPT, and enters into good faith negotiations with representatives of the Palestinian people for the purpose of establishing a viable, contiguous and truly sovereign Palestinian state ; and THEREFORE BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED that Unifor opposes all efforts to prohibit, punish or otherwise deter expressions of support for BDS.”

During the summer 2014 bombing of civilians in Gaza, the Palestinian trade union movement, with support from the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) and its affiliates, unanimously called on international trade unions to take immediate action to stop the Israeli massacre in Gaza and hold Israel to account for its crimes against the Palestinian people.

They wrote: “… civil society solidarity is the only force that can help stop the ongoing slaughter of our people and send them a message that they are not alone, exactly as effective international solidarity had done in supporting the struggle for freedom in apartheid South Africa […] In the face of this international inaction, we, the Palestinian trade unions, call on trade unions around the world to take urgent measures, and in particular to intensify Boycotts, Divestments and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel, until it complies with international law.”

The entire resolution as passed can be downloaded here:

http://www.unifor.org/sites/default/files/attachments/final_resolutions_eng_2017-07-27.pdf

See the complete list of Unifor resolutions: http://www.unifor.org/en/whats-new/news/canadian-council-resolutions

Our heartiest congratulations to members of Unifor Local 222 who crafted, submitted and argued in favour of the successful motion supporting BDS tactics.

May 25: Join the global one-day hunger strike for Palestinian prisoners

International solidarity activists have issued a call for a global one-day hunger strike on Thursday, May 25 in support of more than 1,500 hunger-striking Palestinian prisoners who have been participating in the Strike for Dignity and Freedom for more than month.

The strikers’ demands are for basic human rights: an end to the denial of family visits, proper health care and medical treatment, the right to access distance higher education, and an end to solitary confinement and administrative detention, imprisonment without charge or trial.

Pledge to take part on May 25

If you are in Canada, please make a pledge to join the Palestinian prisoners in a one-day solidarity hunger strike on May 25

You can connect with other Canadian participating in the day of solidarity and share your story on the Canadians in solidarity with Palestinian prisoners Facebook page.

Other actions you can take

Stay up to date and share widely on social media the daily updates on the hunger strikers from the Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network (read the latest update from May 23, Day 37 of the hunger strike) and the Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association.

If you are in Canada, use this online tool from Students Against Israeli Apartheid at York University to call on the Canadian government to support Palestinian prisoner demands

Sign the Americas-wide petition in support of the hunger strikers.

Participate in and share the #saltwaterchallenge to show your support:

Update your social media profile pics to the image below:

 

Follow and share tweets with the hashtags #FreedomAndDignity, #DignityStrike, and #PalHunger.

Join or host a solidarity event in your city on May 25.

Respond to the calls from Palestinian civil society to grow support for the boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) movement. (Read BNC support statements from April 17, May 9, and May 24).

Tell the Ontario government that boycotting Israel is our right

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Canadian BDS Coalition member group Independent Jewish Voices has launched a petition calling on the Ontario government of Kathleen Wynne to “support the right of Ontarians to engage in peaceful advocacy for human rights in Israel/Palestine, free from defamation or condemnation from our provincial government”:

As you may have heard, Bill 202 – put forward by the pro-Israel lobby group Friends of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, and MPPs Tim Hudak and Michael Colle – failed to pass its second reading in the Ontario legislature. If passed, this bill would have blacklisted and boycotted any individual resident of Ontario or organization active in Ontario that supports the Palestinian civil society-led Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel’s regime of occupation and apartheid.

This enormous victory was due in part to the thousands of Ontarians and Canadians across the country who took action in defence of free speech and the rights of Palestinians.

Independent Jewish Voices (IJV) is now calling on all those who believe that BDS is a just and legitimate tool to peacefully apply pressure on the Israeli regime to respect Palestinians’ rights to sign this petition to all Ontario MPPs and leading bureaucrats. Continue reading

Boycott Israeli Wines, Don’t Drink with Apartheid

On the 60th anniversary of the Palestinian Nakba, eight years ago, Canada Palestine Association-Vancouver and other endorsing groups called for a boycott of Israeli wines in BC liquor stores.

This year, on the 68th anniversary, with BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) making great strides globally, BC liquor stores are regrettably still stuck in the past. In fact, not only are they still carrying wines from the occupied Golan Heights, but they have added several others sourced from the occupied West Bank, specifically the illegal Gush Etzion settlement bloc around Jerusalem. One in particular is called Efrat Judean Hills Kosher and is produced by the Teperberg Winery. This brand declares openly on its website that “Teperberg’s vineyards are spread around several growing regions in the Judean Hills, Upper Galilee, Gush Etzion….” More information on this winery and other Israeli wineries can be found in the exhaustive study done by Who Profits entitled Forbidden Fruit: Israeli Wine Industry and Occupation.

We are relaunching the Boycott Israeli Wines, Don’t Drink with Apartheid campaign; and we encourage everyone to let your local liquor store know that supporting occupation and Israeli war crimes is unethical. You can also sign our petition to the BC Liquor Board CEO.

Watch the video of our August 6 picket in Vancouver:

For more information, visit the campaign Facebook page, where you can also see the September 23 picket at picket at the BC Liquor Board Head Office.

Mennonite Church Canada supports BDS resolution

Mondoweiss reports on the latest BDS victory in Canada:

The BDS Movement celebrated a victory at the Mennonite Church Canada Assembly this weekend in Saskatoon, with an overwhelming majority of delegates supporting a resolution on that encourages BDS. With 350 delegates in attendance only one person opposed the resolution.

This resolution is in part a response to the 2009 Kairos Document that was prepared by Palestinian Christians in Palestine asking their global Christian brothers and sisters to show their solidarity with them through Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions. The Mennonite resolution laments the violence in Israel and Palestine and repents its complicity in anti-Semitism and structures of colonialism that oppress Indigenous people in Canada. The resolution commits the Mennonite Church to further education on what is happening in Israel and Palestine, in addition its concluding demands are:

“We ask the Mennonite Church Canada General Board, along with regional churches, congregations, and members—to avoid investing in or supporting companies that do business with Israeli settlements and the Israel Defense Forces, and companies that are profiting from the occupation of the Palestinian territories; and

We encourage the government of Canada to support measures that put pressure on Israel (including through economic sanctions) to end the occupation and work for a just peace, in accordance with international law.”

Mennonite Church Canada represents over 225 congregations across Canada with a membership of over 31 000. Influential in developing and supporting the resolution is over 60 years of Mennonite service in Palestine and Israel through Mennonite Central Committee, Mennonite Church Canada Witness and Christian Peacemaker Teams. Mennonites are a historic protestant peace church, firmly rooted in principles of nonviolence. They have often spoken out on social justice issues such as war and poverty.

For Mennonites, their call to BDS is a way to non-violently resist Israel’s occupation. As Ray Friesen, pastor of Emmaus Mennonite Church in Saskatchewan, stated in the preliminary discussion leading up to the vote, that Mennonites have three options in response to the oppression of Palestinians: “Violence, the status quo that will oppress and pour down suffering on our Palestinian brothers and sisters, or active nonviolent ways of making a difference.” Friesen spoke to the assembly stating that BDS is a way Mennonites can help bring peace to the region.

This echoed the words of Henry Funk,  “Economic pressure on Israel is a step towards peace. This motion is in the best interest of Christians, Muslims, and Jews in the land of Jesus’s birth, his ministry, and his death and resurrection.”. Funk has spent time living in Nazareth and volunteering at Nazareth Village.

Hearing the news of the victory, Palestinian Pastor and Vice President of Bethlehem Bible College Alex Awad responded, “I am delighted to hear of the vote to support BDS against companies that do harm in the West Bank. MC Canada has demonstrated that when delegates are well-informed about the realities of the Israeli occupation, they will vote to support BDS. I hope this vote will encourage churches that are struggling with this issue to follow the example set by MC Canada. All who yearn for peace and justice in the world will welcome MC Canada’s decision to vote on the side of BDS. This is encouraging news for both Palestinian peacemakers and Jewish activists for peace and justice in Israel and Palestine.”

Mennonite Church Canada joins a growing movement of churches that have taken up the call to BDS including the US Presbyterian Church, the United Methodist Church, the United Church of Canada, and several Quaker congregations.

Editor’s note: It is more accurate to say “several Quaker national bodies, including Canadian Yearly Meeting” than “several Quaker congregations.”

It’s time for a military embargo on Israel

This is a message from the Palestinian BDS National Committee, the broadest coalition of Palestinian civil society organisations that leads the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement for Palestinian rights.

Two years ago today, Israel began a brutal military attack on Palestinians in Gaza in which more than 2,300 Palestinians were killed and 100,000 people were displaced.

Israel deliberately attacked entire civilian areas in Gaza and inflicted as much human suffering as it could. The UN and human rights organisations have documented Israel’s war crimes during the massacre.

Gaza has just entered its tenth year of siege, a policy described by Israeli historian Ilan Pappe as “incremental genocide.” The siege has almost entirely prevented meaningful reconstruction since the 2014 attack.

As Abdulrahman Abunahel, our coordinator in Gaza, puts it “One of my worries is that the longer Israel maintains its siege of the world’s largest open-air prison, the more the official international community adapts and accepts Israel’s gradual and deliberate reduction of Gaza into an uninhabitable prison camp where close to 2 million Palestinians face slow death.”

“But as a refugee living in Gaza, it is not enough to just call for the end to Israel’s siege. We need to keep growing our BDS campaigns until the Palestinian people can exercise our right to self-determination, including the right of refugees to return home.”

Help us get spread the word: click here to share our graphic about Gaza and the campaign for a military embargo on Facebook

Israel is able to carry out its brutal military attacks and repress Palestinian popular resistance with impunity. As our Links that Kill fact sheet sets out, Israel is only able to do this because of the massive weapons trade and military cooperation, including research, it maintains with countries across the world.

Over the period 2009-2018, the US is providing military aid to Israel worth $30bn. EU arms exports to Israel during 2014 alone were worth over $1bn (mostly from Germany) and its arms imports from Israel reached a whopping $1.6 bn in 2015.

While India, Colombia and Brazil remain among the top importers of Israeli weapons, it has been recently revealed that Israel has supplied weapons that were used in committing crimes against humanity in Rwanda and South Sudan, among others.

Israel uses its criminal attacks on Palestinians to test its military technology and then exports its weapons as “field tested”. Up to 85% of Israel’s military industry production is exported and 60% of the world’s drones are manufactured by Israel.

Israel is not just oppressing Palestinians – it is exporting its ruthless model of securitization and militarized repression to the world. From the streets of Ferguson to the favelas of Rio to the borders of Fortress Europe, Israeli weapons and ruthless techniques are used to maintain oppression.

Our campaign for a two-way military embargo on Israel is growing. More than a dozen banks have divested from Elbit Systems over its role in Israel’s military violence, for example.

Please share our military embargo graphic on Facebook and check out our fact sheet for more ideas on how to get involved.

Thank you for your continued support for our nonviolent struggle for freedom, justice and equality.

Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC)