Author Archives: easieryoke

Courage Céline, Fellow Artists ask you to say NO to Apartheid

The following message has been send to Céline Dion today from almost 50 fellow artists to Céline Dion on International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People

Céline , the Canadian BDS Coalition would welcome your response, which we would be pleased to convey to your fellow artists. We would also welcome the opportunity to meet with you to discuss the situation in Palestine and the art washing under Brand Israel. We expect more artists will join in the call. We also understand you have received a letter from Palestinian artists directly

Artists who wish to join in adding their name can do so HERE.

November 29, 2019

Dear Céline,   

As fellow artists we rejoice in your “Courage” world tour you have undertaken.   However, there is a country on the tour whose actions undermine the values we as fellow artists espouse very deeply. We are dismayed that you have chosen to schedule performances in Israel, a state that practices apartheid.

We write to ask you to cancel your August 2020 concert performances in Israel.

In 2018, Israel proclaimed the Nation State Law to officially enshrine ethnic/racial  discrimination in Israel’s Basic Law — the state’s constitutional equivalent. The legislation stipulates that “Israel is the historic homeland of the Jewish people and they have an exclusive right to national self-determination in it.”  It also establishes Hebrew as Israel’s official language, and downgrades Arabic — a language widely spoken by Arab Israelis — to a “special status.” It also enshrines that “Jewish settlement as a national value” and mandates that the state “will labor to encourage and promote its establishment and development.”  In addition, there are over 60 additional laws that discriminate directly or indirectly against Palestinian citizens in Israel and/or Palestinian residents of the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT) on the basis of their national belonging.  

On October 23, 2019, Michael Lynk, the United Nations Special Rapporteur for the OPT told the United Nations General Assembly that decisive international action was needed, and the “international community has a responsibility and legal obligation to compel Israel to end its 52 year-long “occu-annexation” of Palestinian territory and to remove barriers preventing Palestinian self-determination.”  We call on you to join fellow Canadian, Michael Lynk, in leading the way showing this decisive international leadership against Israeli settler-colonialism and war crimes.

When international artists perform in Israel, they help to create the false impression that Israel is a “normal” country like any other. This is the call from Palestinian writers, artists and cultural centers. There is a growing number of anti-colonial Israelis and people worldwide who support the Palestinian civil society BDS call including the cultural boycott of Israel.  We are glad to be part of this support and urge you to join by cancelling your concerts in Israel.

Celine, you have been sensitive to social causes in the past and so we urge you to show real courage and say “no” to performing in Israel, a state that is practicing apartheid, ongoing illegal settler-colonialization and war crimes.

We wish you every success in this world tour and trust that you will not allow it to be used by Israel to “artist-wash” its brutality and crimes against entire populations.

Sincerely,

Roger Waters, musician

Bashar Murad, Palestinian Musican Artist & Video Director

Adnan Joubran, Palestinian Musican

Trio Joubran, Palestinian Musicians

Abby Martin, Creator of The Empire Files

Mohammad Ali, @Socialist Hip Hop, Toronto

Juan D. Toledo, Toronto based Chilean Flamenco Guitarist/Composer

Danielle Ravitzki, singer & composer, New York and France

Joe Mcgill, Visual Artist and Poet, Helsinki Finland

Rehab Nazzal, Palestinian-born multidisciplinary artist 

Andrew Fellus, Artists Against Apartheid, NYC Chapter

Richard Fung,  video artist, Toronto

Huda Salha, visual artist-  interdisciplinary, Toronto (Palestinian-Canadian)

Thurston Moore, founder of Sonic Youth

David Peters, The Overpass

Cathy Gulkin, filmmaker

Rifat Audeh, film maker, Director – The Truth: Lost at Sea film 

Sarah Abu-Sharar, Storyteller & Expressive art therapist, Canada

Alisa Gayle-Deutsch, pianist, Canada

Jessie Stein, musician, member of the group The Luyas

William Shookhoff, vocal coach, pianist, conductor, Canada

John King, composer/guitarist, NYC, US

Kathy Wazana, Documentary Filmmaker

Dr. Joel E. Rubin, musician and ethnomusicologist, US and Switzerland

Raymond Deane, composer and author, Ireland.

Dónal Lunny – Musician, Ireland

Cora Venus Lunny – musician, Ireland

Honor Heffernan – Singer/Songwriter, actor, Ireland

Trevor Knight, Composer, musician, Ireland

Cecily Brennan, visual artist, Ireland

Aviad Albert, musician, Israeli citizen

Meiron Egger, musician, Israel citizen

Guy Elhanan, theatre artist, Israeli citizen

Anat Even, filmmaker, Israeli citizen

Jonathan Ofir, violinist and conductor, Israeli citizen

Michal Sapir, musician and writer, Tel Aviv

Itamar Shapira, Flamenco guitar, Israeli citizen

Yonatan Shapira, musician, Israeli citizen

Nirit Sommerfeld, singer, actress, author, Israeli citizen

Lia Tarachansky, journalist, filmmaker, Naretiv Productions, Israeli citizen    

Eyal Vexler, cultural producer, Israeli citizen

Mary Ellen Davis, cinéaste, enseignante, programmatrice (Montréal)

Rachida Lamrabet, lawyer and author

Reem Kelani,Palestinian singer, musician and broadcaster

Chris Somes-Charlton, artist manager

Wally Brooker – musician, journalist, Toronto

Avi Hershkovitz, filmmaker. Israeli citizen

Eyal Sivan, filmmaker, Israeli citizen

Hamutal Veronica Song, author and cultural researcher, Israeli citizen

Karen Zack, photographer, Isr, muaeli citizen

Zaina Arekat, musician, Bahrain

A Blue Pail, Musician, Ottawa

 

29 novembre 2019

Chère Céline,

En tant que collègues artistes, nous nous réjouissons de votre tournée mondiale « Courage » que vous avez entreprise. Cependant, il y a un pays de votre tournée dont les actions portent atteinte aux valeurs que nous partageons très profondément. Nous sommes consternés que vous ayez choisi d’organiser des représentations en Israël, un État qui pratique l’apartheid.

Nous vous écrivons pour vous demander d’annuler vos concerts en août 2020 en Israël.

En 2018, Israël a proclamé la Nation State Law qui consacre officiellement la discrimination ethnique / raciale dans la loi fondamentale israélienne – l’équivalente d’une loi constitutionnelle. La législation stipule que « Israël est la patrie historique du peuple juif et qu’il jouit du droit exclusif à l’autodétermination nationale ». Cette loi établit également l’hébreu comme langue officielle d’Israël et abaisse l’arabe – une langue largement parlée par les Arabes israéliens à un « statut spécial ». Elle stipule également que « l’établissement des colonies juives est une valeur nationale » et stipule que l’État « travaillera à encourager et à promouvoir l’établissement et le développement des colonies ». En outre, plus de 60 lois supplémentaires discriminent directement ou indirectement  les citoyens palestiniens en Israël et/ou des résidents palestiniens du Territoire palestinien occupé (TPO) en raison de leur appartenance nationale.

Le 23 octobre 2019, Michael Lynk, rapporteur spécial des Nations Unies pour les TPO, a déclaré à l’Assemblée générale des Nations Unies qu’une action internationale décisive était nécessaire et que « la communauté internationale a la responsabilité et l’obligation légale de contraindre Israël à mettre fin à ses 52 ans de « occu-annexion » du territoire palestinien et à éliminer les obstacles empêchant l’autodétermination des Palestiniens. Nous vous invitons à suivre votre compatriote canadien, Michael Lynk, et vous joindre à ce leadership international contre le colonialisme et les crimes de guerre israéliens.

Lorsque des artistes internationaux se produisent en Israël, ils contribuent à créer la fausse impression qu’Israël est un pays « normal » comme les autres. Ceci constitue un appel lancé par des écrivains, des artistes et des centres culturels palestiniens. Un nombre croissant d’Israéliens anticoloniaux et de personnes dans le monde entier soutiennent l’appel de la société civile palestinienne lancé par le BDS, notamment le boycottage culturel d’Israël. Nous sommes heureux de faire partie de ce soutien et vous prions instamment de le faire en annulant vos concerts en Israël.

Céline, vous avez été sensible aux causes sociales dans le passé et nous vous demandons donc de faire preuve d’un véritable courage et de dire « non » aux représentations en Israël, un État pratiquant l’apartheid, la colonisation illégale et les crimes de guerre en cours.

Nous vous souhaitons beaucoup de succès dans cette tournée mondiale et espérons que vous ne permettrez pas qu’Israël se serve de vous comme « artist-wash » ou pour camoufler sa brutalité et ses crimes contre des populations entières.

Cordialement,

Roger Waters ,musicien

Bashar Murad, artiste musicien palestinien et Réalisateur de vidéo

Adnan Joubran, musicien palestinien 

Trio Joubran, musiciens palestiniens 

Abby Martin, Créatrice de The Empire Files 

Mohammad Ali, @socialiste Hip Hop, Toronto 

Juan D. Toledo, guitariste / compositeur de flamenco chilien basé à Toronto 

Danielle Ravitzki, chanteuse et compositrice, New York et la France 

Joe Mcgill, artiste plasticien et poète, Helsinki, Finlande 

Rehab Nazzal, artiste multidisciplinaire née en Palestine 

Andrew Fellus, Artistes contre l’apartheid, Chapitre de New York 

Richard Fung, artiste vidéo, Toronto 

Huda Salha, artiste plasticienne – interdisciplinaire, Toronto (Palestinienne-Canadienne) 

Samah Sabawi, dramaturge, auteur et poète 

Thurston Moore, fondateur de Sonic Youth 

David Peters, Le passage supérieur 

Cathy Gulkin, cinéaste 

Rifat Audeh, cinéaste, réalisateur – The Truth: Lost at Sea film  

Sarah Abu-Sharar, conteuse et thérapeute d’art expressive 

Alisa Gayle-Deutsch, pianiste 

Jessie Stein, musicienne, membre du groupe The Luyas 

William Shookhoff, coach vocal, pianiste, chef d’orchestre

John King, compositeur / guitariste, New York, États-Unis

Kathy Wazana, réalisatrice de documentaires

Dr. Joel E. Rubin, musicien et ethnomusicologue, États-Unis et Suisse

Raymond Deane, compositeur et auteur, Irlande.

Dónal Lunny – musicien, Irlande

Cora Venus Lunny – musicienne, Irlande

Honour Heffernan – auteur-compositeur-interprète, acteur, Irlande

Trevor Knight, compositeur, musicien, Irlande

Cecily Brennan, art visuel, Irlande

Aviad Albert, musicien, citoyen israélien

Meiron Egger, musicien, citoyen israélien

Guy Elhanan, artiste de théâtre, citoyen israélien

Anat Even, cinéaste, citoyen israélien

Jonathan Ofir, violoniste et chef d’orchestre, citoyen israélien

Michal Sapir, musicien et écrivain, Tel Aviv

Itamar Shapira, guitariste (flamenco), citoyen israélien

Yonatan Shapira, musicien, citoyen israélien

Nirit Sommerfeld, chanteuse, actrice, auteure, citoyenne israélienne

Lia Tarachansky, journaliste, cinéaste, Naretiv Productions

Eyal Vexler, producteur culturel, citoyen israélien

Mary Ellen Davis, cinéaste, enseignante, programmatrice (Montréal)

Rachida Lamrabet, avocat et auteur

Reem Kelani, Chanteur palestinien, musicien et animateur

Chris Somes-Charlton, gestionnaire d’artiste

Wally Brooker -musicien, journaliste, Toronto

Avi Hershkovitz,  cinéaste, citoyen israélien

Eyal Sivan, cinéaste, citoyen israélien

Hamutal Veronica Song, auteur et chercheur culturel, citoyen israélien

Karen Zack, photographe, citoyen israélien

Zaina Arekat, musicienne, Bahrain

A Blue Pail, artiste , Ottawa

Third Party Status: BDS Quebec

Congratulations to the Quebec BDS Coalition obtained Third Party Status during the 2019 Federal election.

Check out more on Under the Olive Tree

#IVotePalestine

Check out posters that were put up in Montreal including in Justin Trudeau’s riding.

Photo of the press conference taken by the Journal Métro

Check out more about the Quebec BDS Coalition http://www.bdsquebec.ca/

Green Party of Canada: Seems you forgot to update your Policy in regard to Palestine in your Election Platform.

91% of Green Party of Canada members gave mandate for BDS call

The Green Party of Canada (GPC ) approved policy supports the Palestinian civil society call. In particular, it supports all three objectives of the BDS Movement: the right of Palestinian refugees to return; full equality of rights for Palestinians, and an end to the illegal settlements and the occupation of Palestine. The GPC policy also specifies all three tactics of boycott, divestment and sanction, specifically government sanctions, consumer boycotts, institutional divestment, economic sanctions and arms embargoes. in fact it calls for specific types of sanctions to be imposed upon Israel, namely, an arms embargo and a ban on the importation into Canada of products from Israel’s illegal settlements. See wording below or HERE

Beyond BDS the GPC policy also calls for the Government of Canada to ask the International Criminal Court (ICC) to prioritize its investigation into charges of potential war crimes by members of the Israeli forces.

This policy was adopted at a GPC special meeting held in Calgary in December 2016 with the support of 84% of the members g. A month later, it was ratified by 91% of Green Party members who voted in an online vote.

Green Party Ignores Its Own Policy in Words and Action

However, when asked about the policy regarding Palestine during the last days of the federal election, Section 5.10 of the Green Party Vision was provided. This is not available from the GPC website. This does NOT reflect the approved GPC of policy. In fact it misses the demands of the BDS movement and the tactics of boycott, divestment, and sanctions. (See wording below) SHAME on GPC Leader Elizabeth May. See more in article by DImitri Lascaris HERE

This is not so surprising, as Ms. May has distanced herself from the approved policy, and has not taken steps to live out the policy in parliament even in regard to Resolution 2234 which was passed by the United Nations Security Council on December 23, 2016, just after the GPC policy had been approved.

The election is over–and we expect the GPC elected members to support their own policy

Now past the election, and with three seats in the federal parliament, we call leader Elizabeth May to do the right thing–to post the approved policy and start to live it out in parliament. We know Paul Manly supports the approved GPC policy, and we call on first time elected Jenica Atwin of Fredericton to speak and act based on the policy approved by the GPC membership.

Action:

Send email to Elizabeth May, Paul Manley and Jenica Atwin. Elizabeth.May@parl.gc.ca, Paul.Manly@parl.gc.ca, jenica.atwin@parl.gc.ca asking them 1) to include the approved policy on the GPC website, 2) if they individually support this policy, and 3) to put this policy in place proactively. As a start this would include their support of Gaza2020 a call by Al-Haq and Just Peace Advocates to put sanctions in place until the Israeli government at least lifts the blockade for the Palestinian people in Gaza. It would also include providing clear statements to the current liberal government on expectations to vote in line with Palestinian human rights and international law at the United Nations. (see ABC UNSC--Anybody But Canada for UNSC)

The approved Green Party policy.

BE IT RESOLVED that the Green Party of Canada (GPC) calls on the legitimate representatives of the Palestinian people and the State of Israel to accord mutually recognized statehood.

BE IT RESOLVED that the Green Party of Canada denounces violence in all of its forms, recognizes that it can only lead to failure in conflict resolution, and supports only non-violent responses to violence and oppression, including economic measures such as government sanctions, consumer boycotts, institutional divestment, economic sanctions and arms embargoes; and

BE IT RESOLVED the GPC calls on the Government of Israel to: respect the intent of UN Resolution 194, the implementation of which is to be negotiated in good faith with the legitimate representatives of the Palestinians, accord to the Arab-Palestinian population of Israel equal political and civil rights, and end Israel’s illegal occupation of the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT) and the Golan Heights, and Israel’s siege of Gaza;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Green Party of Canada reconfirms its policy of condemning illegal settlement construction in the OPT, and calls for an immediate end to further settlement construction and expansion, and the dismantling of current settlements in the OPT, and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that The Green Party of Canada calls on the government of Canada take strong diplomatic action, including economic pressure, in order to ensure the attainment of the three objectives identified in the preceding paragraph and to encourage Israel to enter into good faith negotiations with legitimate representatives of the Palestinian people for the purpose of establishing a viable, contiguous and truly sovereign Palestinian state. Such economic pressure should include, but not be limited to:

● A ban on the importation into Canada of products produced wholly or partly within or by illegal Israeli settlements, or by Israeli businesses directly benefiting from the illegal occupation;
● Renegotiation of the Canada-Israel Free Trade Agreement (CIFTA) such that it explicitly excludes products produced wholly or partly within or by illegal Israeli settlements, or by Israeli businesses operating within the OPT;
● The strengthening of CIFTA compliance/audit provisions in such ways and clauses as to ensure that imported products labeled “Made in Israel” are actually produced, entirely and exclusively, within Israel’s internationally recognized borders;
● The termination and indefinite suspension of all military and surveillance trade and cooperation between, on the one hand, the Government of Canada and Canadian corporations or residents of Canada and, on the other hand, the State of Israel, Israeli corporations or residents of Israel’s illegal settlements;
● The repeal the House of Commons resolution condemning the BDS movement (Vote #14, 42nd Parliament, 1st Session; 22 February 2016.)

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Green Party of Canada calls on the Government of Canada to assess the investments it has under its control and to divest from any companies which are directly benefiting from activity within Israel’s illegal settlements or its occupation of the OPT; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the GPC calls on the Government of Canada to warn of the legal consequences of trade and investment in the illegal settlements;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Green Party of Canada, and if elected, a Green government, as part of a policy on ethical purchases, will not purchase or use products produced by companies which are profiting from activity within Israel’s illegal settlements or its occupation of the OPT; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Green Party of Canada calls on the Canadian Government to recognize the State of Palestine, and, should Canada gain a seat on the UN Security Council, the Green Party of Canada calls on the Canadian Government to pursue aggressively all possible diplomatic pressure on Israel, as well as on the United States to use its massive military aid to Israel as a lever to push for peace; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Green Party of Canada calls on the Government of Canada to ask the International Criminal Court to prioritize its investigation into charges of potential war crimes by members of the Israeli forces, and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that; Policy G16-P006-A Palestinian Self-Determination and the Movement for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions as voted on at the August 2016 BGM be repealed and replaced by this policy.

The Policy the GPC indicated in their 2019 Vision

5.10 The Israel – Palestine Conflict

The conflict between the Israelis and Palestinians is often viewed as intractable and irresolvable. More than three regional wars and two Intifadas have left deep scars on the bodies and in the minds of the people of this troubled region. Strongly held views and historical claims are well entrenched on both sides, making this a complex and crucial conflict to understand. It is an unfortunate and continued source of tension for many in the Middle East and around the world.


It should be clear that continued support and use of military or insurgency strategies will not bring about an end to the conflict. The cycle of violence, loss of life, and desecration of human rights must come to an end. The Green Party of Canada believes that any effort aimed only at one side in this conflict will not end the violent responses that exacerbate human suffering. Canada’s role in the Middle East should be to reduce tensions, find working solutions, and uphold international humanitarian law, not to take sides in this chronic conflict. We must work towards a mutually acceptable compromise that will achieve a lasting peace between, and among, the Israelis and Palestinians. The Green Party supports a two-state solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict that addresses the security, economic, and religious concerns of the both sides. Diplomatic efforts to build constructive relationships between the two communities are required. Continued dialogue will build community support for the negotiated peace agreement, and will ease implementation and ensure that it does not break down from pressures within the Palestinian and Israeli communities.

Green Party MPs will:

● Endorse the recognition of a Palestinian right to statehood within the internationally recognized borders as described in United Nations Security Council Resolution 242, and support a two-state solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict that adheres to pre-1967 borders and incorporates an international plan for stimulating economic prosperity in both nations;

● Call on both sides to immediately stop the killing of civilians and adhere to international law;

● Protect as inviolable the right of the State of Israel to exist, in the absence of fear and conflict;

● Encourage the Canadian government to press for a mutually agreed-upon honest broker to engage in bi-literal and multi-lateral peace talks involving Palestinians and Israelis;

● Call on Arab countries to use their influence to broker an agreement between Hamas and the Palestinian National Authority to facilitate the promotion of peace amongst the competing Palestinian interests;

● Call for an end to the collective siege of Gaza so that medical and humanitarian aid can be provided;

● Call on Israel to stop expansion and the building of illegal settlements beyond the 1967 borders;

● Accurately label products so that consumers can differentiate between products of Israel and those of disputed areas;

● Amend the Canada-Israel Free Trade pact to allow for product differentiation;

● Actively support the efforts of civil society groups working for peace, human rights, and justice in the region.

Encouraging Response from NDP to #IVotePalestine

Response received from NDP leader Jagmeet Singh to letter sent by Canada Palestine Association.

In an encouraging move, NDP has responded to #IVotePalestine questions by noting they oppose all human rights abuses committed by Israel, stand for full equality for Arab Israelis, fully support UN resolutions, including 194, right of return, and recognize the rights of Canadians to support BDS.

For more info on the #IVotePalestine check out HERE