The Canadian BDS Coalition joins in the BDS Vancouver campaign Boycott TEVA-Apartheid is Bad Medicine. LIKE the FACEBOOK PAGE to follow the campaign.
Boycott TEVA, the Israeli pharmaceutical company that is one of the largest generic drug manufacturers in the world.
Order a strip of our “No TEVA” stickers for free by clicking on the Send Message button at the top right of this page and letting us know where to send your Boycott TEVA kit. Or just tell your regular pharmacy to put a permanent “No TEVA” note on your file!
Who Profits provides the following information regarding Teva, a global pharmaceutical company and the world’s largest generic drug manufacturer. The company develops, produces and markets generic, innovative and branded drugs. Teva currently operates in approximately 60 countries with an estimated 45,000 employees worldwide.
Teva is the largest commercial (and industrial) company on the Israeli market by equity, net profit, operating income and market value. The company is also the largest provider of healthcare products and services in the Israeli market, by sales volume. Teva distributes healthcare products and services, including consumer healthcare products, hospital supplies, dialysis equipment and disposables, diagnostics and home care services. An Israeli subsidiary – Salomon, Levin and Elstein, provides logistical support for Teva’s sales and distribution activities in Israel, including the distribution of third parties of several multinational pharmaceutical companies. READ MORE on WHO PROFITS about TEVA.
“Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. agreed to pay $85 million to settle an Oklahoma lawsuit…Oklahoma said J&J and Teva helped create a public-health crisis from opioid abuse that killed thousands of its residents.” Read more HERE.
TEVA is also BigPharma and has been recently named in an anti-trust lawsuit in the U.S., as helping to “mastermind a sweeping conspiracy among generic drugmakers to raise the price of medicines” Read more HERE.
Tell TripAdvisor to pull out of illegal Israeli settlements in occupied Palestine
The Canadian BDS Coalition stands in solidarity with Amnesty International TripAdvisor campaign to
Ask Stephen Kaufer, CEO of TripAdvisor Inc. to stop listing or promoting properties, activities and attractions located in illegal Israeli settlements or run by settlers in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.
TripAdvisor lists more than 70 different properties, activities and attractions in illegal Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT). By doing so, TripAdvisor is boosting the settlement economy and contributing to settlement expansion. The company’s promotion of settlements as a tourist destination helps to “normalise” and legitimise them to the public. Settlements are illegal under international law – their creation amounts to a war crime. Settlements are on stolen Palestinian land. They should not be tourist destinations.
The following letter has been sent by email and registered mail to Mary Anne Yule, President & CEO, HP Canada
Mary Anne Yule, President/CEO
5150 Spectrum Way #600
Mississauga, ON L4W 5G1
email & registered mail
15 July 2019
Dear Ms. Yule
We are writing to you to demand that Hewlett Packard
Enterprise and HP Inc. end your involvement in Israel’s grave violations of
Palestinian rights and system of military occupation, racial segregation and
We write as to you Ms. Yule as the CEO and President
of HP Canada asking you to take leadership. We ask HP Canada to
Listen Up. We remind you that:
June 9, 2004: The International
Court of Justice (ICJ) issued an advisory opinion today that Israel’s
building of a barrier in the occupied Palestinian territory is illegal and said
construction must stop immediately and Israel should make reparations for any
Just as many companies profited in the past from the
South African apartheid regime, HP companies are today profiting from Israeli
apartheid. Increasingly around the world, HP stands for harming Palestinians
among churches and unions representing millions from India to the UK and from
the US to Malaysia. In Canada, organizations are declaring themselves HP
Free, and individuals pledging to not buy HP going forward.
Today marks a year since the Israeli parliament
adopted the Jewish Nation-State Law, conveying constitutional status to its
apartheid regime against Palestinian citizens of Israel. We are marking this occasion
by strengthening the struggle against Israel’s apartheid, occupation and colonization
against Palestinians and against complicit corporations, like yours, that
enable this system of oppression to continue.
Both HP Inc. and HPE have ongoing
ties with Israel that entrench its daily human rights violations. HPE provides
the exclusive Itanium servers for the Aviv System of Israel’s Population and
Immigration Authority. This system is the backbone of the apartheid regime that
racially discriminates against Palestinians and other non-Jewish citizens of
Israel, treated as second-class citizens.
This apartheid is at its worst when it comes to
Palestinian ‘residents’ of occupied Palestinian East Jerusalem, whose basic
rights can be revoked arbitrarily.
HP Inc. provides computer hardware to the Israeli
army, that maintains the illegal occupation of Gaza and the West Bank,
including East Jerusalem.
HPE also maintains the Yesha database, which compiles
information on Israeli citizens in illegal settlements in the occupied
Palestinian West Bank, which are condemned under international law as war
Both companies, in their communication, mention human
rights as a core value to their work. And yet, they maintain these criminal
ties and profit from Israel’s racism and violent denial of Palestinian human
Until HP-branded companies convincingly end their ties
in Israel’s crimes and respect their own commitment to the essential values of
human rights and international law, we shall continue to boycott and divest
from them. This is part of our moral obligation to support the Palestinian
struggle for freedom, justice and equality.
In Canada, the legislation, the War Crimes and Crimes
Against Humanity Legislation provides a direct accountability of the Rome Statues
and International Humanitarian Law to the Canadian law including the Criminal
Code. We trust you will consider your
accountability under international law as well as domestic law, regarding the
Fourth Geneva Convention within the context of HP in Canada
We would welcome the opportunity to talk with you and
your Canadian management team, Ms. Yule.
We did write to you in March 2017, but you provided no response. The letter is attached for your
information. We continue to look to you
to take leadership within HP Canada; leadership to speak out against violations
of International Humanitarian Law and abuses of human rights associated with HP
technology infrastructure that Israel uses to maintain its system of apartheid
and settler colonization over the Palestinian people.
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.
From November 25 to December 3, 2016, a Global Week of Action
took place that led to over 150 actions in over 100 cities on six continents.
These actions highlighted HP/HPE’s provision of key services and technology
infrastructure that enables the Israeli military occupation of Palestinian
lands and suppression of Palestinian human rights.
We write to make you aware that Canadians took part in these
actions in several cities across the country, as well as through social media
actions. We are hearing from consumers that they are concerned about the social
actions of HP/HPE.
Canadians like people across the world will continue this
action, with the hope they can show you, that enabling Israeli apartheid is bad
for business. Just as companies like Veolia and G4S have stepped away from
Israeli contracts following worldwide BDS campaigns, so too can the HP
companies — especially if HP/HPE wants to begin to live up to its stated
principles of global citizenship that fulfills its “responsibility to society
by being an economic, intellectual and social asset to each country and
community where they do business.”
The campaign against HP was launched quite recently but has
already achieved some important successes.
South African Nobel laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu wrote,
“I have been to the Occupied Palestinian Territory, and I have witnessed the
racially segregated roads and housing that reminded me so much of the
conditions we experienced in South Africa under the racist system of
In the 1970s, there was a similar campaign targeting Polaroid
for likewise providing imaging services used by the South African apartheid
government’s racist ID system. Procurement decisions led to Polaroid eventually
withdrawing from Apartheid South Africa along with other corporations —
something widely acknowledged today as speeding the fall of that brutal system
of oppression. Leaders of the Polaroid campaign are today calling for a boycott
Recently a professional poll has
indicated that our government’s policy on Israel is out of touch with the
Canadian public’s opinion. Most Canadians say sanctions and boycott are
reasonable measures to defend Palestinian rights.
We expect you to show just leadership and stand on the right
side of history to end your company’s complicity with Israeli oppression.
We would be glad to meet with you in this regard.
Respectively signed by friends and members of the Canadian BDS
Independent Jewish Voices – Winnipeg
Palestinian and Jewish Unity (PAJU) – Montreal
Justice for Palestinians, Calgary
United Network for Justice and Peace in Palestine and Israel (UNJPPI)
Canada Palestine Association, Vancouver
Palestinian Solidarity Working Group, Sudbury
Peace of Peace, London
University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT) & Durham College
Students for Justice for Palestinians
Barnard-Boecker Centre Foundations (BBCF)
Palestine Solidarity Network-Edmonton
Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid (CAIA) – Toronto
Actions for Palestine- Toronto
Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid-Victoria
Canadian Unitarians for Social Justice
Christian Peacemaker Teams – Ontario
Independent Jewish Voices, Canada
Solidarity with Palestine, St. John’s, Newfoundland
June 9, 2004 The International Court of Justice (ICJ) issued an advisory opinion today that Israel’s building of a barrier in the occupied Palestinian territory is illegal and said construction must stop immediately and Israel should make reparations for any damage caused.
Remembering this the Canadian BDS Coalition sends a message to Mary Anne Yule, President and CEO at HP Canada demanding that HP Canada stop profiteering from Israel’s apartheid, occupation and colonization.
Canadian BDS Coalition Joins in 2019 Global Week of Action
HP plays a key role in Israel’s oppression of Palestinians. It provides technology, equipment and services to the Israeli military, including for the checkpoints and ID card system that underpin Israel’s apartheid policies and its movement restrictions for Palestinians.HP relies on its good image and its contracts with public organisations, civil society bodies and private businesses. Effective grassroots campaigning can push HP to end its role in Israeli apartheid and settler colonialism.
From July 10th – 15th, groups from across the world are coming together to send a powerful message to HP companies, HP Inc and HP-E, demanding that they stop profiteering from Israel’s apartheid, occupation and colonisation.
July 15 marks one year from the adoption of the racist Nation-State Law by the Israeli parliament, that has made discrimination of Palestinians and all non-Jews mandatory, officially declaring Israel an apartheid state. Let’s call out Israel on its regime of apartheid and take action to stop international complicity with it!
HP companies have been enabling Israel’s apartheid and brutal oppression of the Palestinian people for years.
HP-E provides Israel’s Population and Immigration Authority with the exclusive Itanium servers for its Aviv System. This system enables the government to control and enforce its system of racial segregation and apartheid against Palestinian citizens of Israel. HP-E is also directly involved in Israel’s settler colonialism through its “Yesha database”, which compiles information on Israeli citizens in illegal settlements in the occupied Palestinian West Bank.
HP Inc., the legal successor of HP, provides computer hardware to the Israeli army which maintains the illegal occupation over millions of Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem.
Grassroots and civil society groups across the world have called upon HP companies to end their ties with Israel’s grave violations of human rights. 30+ churches in the US have declared themselves HP free. Trade unions in the UK and across Europe have committed their support to Palestinian rights by boycotting HP products and divesting from the company. India’s largest students’ federation, with over four million members, has endorsed the call to boycott HP and is taking this campaign to college campuses. Dublin City Council, in its resolution to support the Palestinian call fro Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS), has also endorsed the boycott of HP companies. More boycott pledges from across the world are coming up during the week of action.
This is a moment to further strengthen this campaign globally. During this week of action, you can do any of these actions, or build your own action, to support the campaign.
Follow us on Twitter @Canadian_BDS and retweet messages sent to HP Canada, and major retailers of HP products in Canada.
Like us on Facebook at @BDSCoalition & SHARE our messages regarding HP.
If you organization is planning a specific action anywhere in Canada let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org
A letter will be sent to HP Canada, and to major retailers later this week form the Canadian BDS Coalition. Details on how you too can share a letter will be provided shortly. STAY TUNED. Retailers selling HP Products: In Canada consumer boycott focused on Best Buy and Staples, but not limited to these retailers.
Join the more than 1.8 million people have signed a petition calling on HP to end its role in Israeli apartheid and settler colonialism.
HP Free Zones: Call on student groups, faith communities, not-for-profits, unions, institutions, other organizations, businesses, along with governments declare that they are HP Free. This could include owning no HP products, publicly getting rid of HP products, or declaring will not buy any further HP products and placing “This is my last HP” sticker or other marking. on all current HP products. Any Canadian organizations, churches or work places that have taken this step, should contact email@example.com.
Thanks to everyone who joined the #RaptorsDontGo twitter storm urging the @raptors not to visit Israel! This is definitely not the end. We will continue to build momentum to ensure they don’t take up a trip to an apartheid state!
Peace and solidarity✌️— Canadian BDS Coalition (@Canadian_BDS) June 22, 2019
A rain shower before a storm. Initial twitter storm Saturday June 22.
Join an initial twitter storm. The Momentum is building! @Raptors #SkipTheTrip to Israel on Saturday, June 22, Starting at 13:00 ET, 20:00 Palestine, 10:00 PT. Join us for 1-2 hours
Puma is the only international sponsor of the Israel Football Association (IFA), which includes teams in illegal Israeli settlements on occupied Palestinian land.
Puma’s endorsement gives legitimacy to Israel’s illegal settlements pushing Palestinian families off their land and its attacks on Palestinian sports. Israeli snipers ended the careers of dozens of Palestinian athletes in Gaza in 2018 alone.
Palestinian teams and athletes are calling for a boycott of Puma until it ends its sponsorship of the IFA.
Puma’s own assessment of its human rights track record identified “sponsorship activities” as one of its “weak spots.”
Give Puma the boot! Join social media actions or write to Puma today!
Tweet the image above and post on Facebook and Instagram
Attention : Mark Maguire, Senior Vice President Sales & Country Lead Puma Canada
Attention: Senior Management
355 Admiral Blvd, Unit 4 Mississauga, ON L5T 2N1
copies to: Communication Executives, Kerstin Neuber and Rober Bartunek, Berk Communications, and Customer Service. Please ensure copy goes to Mr. Maguire, & the Canadian team of PUMA.
Dear Mr. Maguire, PUMA Canada
We write to your as Canadians concerned that Puma sponsors the Israel Football Association (IFA), which includes teams in illegal Israeli settlements on occupied Palestinian land in violation of international law.
Puma’s endorsement of the IFA gives legitimacy to Israel’s illegal settlements pushing Palestinian families off their land.
As long as Puma sponsors teams in illegal Israeli settlements, we will respect the call from Palestinian athletes to boycott Puma. We ask you to do the same. We ask Puma Canada to recognize that the majority of Canadians are calling for boycotts, divestment and sanctions related to the illegal acts of Israel. The 2017 EKOS poll showed
Canadians believe overwhelmingly that sanctions are a reasonable way for Canada to censure countries violating international law and human rights,
Given the UN Security Council’s recent condemnation of illegal Israeli settlements on Palestinian territory, a strong majority of Canadians believe that government sanctions on Israel would be reasonable
In the context of Israel’s ongoing violations of international law, a very strong majority of Canadians believe that the Palestinians’ call for a boycott of Israel is reasonable, and
Far more Canadians oppose than support Parliament’s February, 2016 decision to condemn individuals and groups who promote the Palestinian call for a boycott of Israel.
Surely removing PUMA’s support for IFA is not only the ethical, moral and legal step to take, but also good for business.
Collective action works! Earlier this month, thanks to thousands of you, UNICEF announced it does not support the EuroAsia Interconnector electricity cable plugging Europe into Israel’s illegal settlements. Let’s do this again!
Let’s convince Puma to live up to its claim of supporting equality and social justice!
FOLLOW UP WITH PUMA:
We received response from Mr. Maguire and also from PUMA communications in Germany on June 11th saying:
Thank you for reaching out to PUMA.
PUMA supplies the Israeli National Teams via a local distribution partner to compete in international competitions, and the football club Hapoel Beer Sheva through the end of the 2018/19 season. To claim we have any other official connection or association be it to the Israel Premier League, the Japanika League, or any other Israeli club team is incorrect.
Broadly speaking, PUMA continues to support and outfit athletes from all backgrounds, regardless of race, color, creed, religion, sexual orientation and national origin. As a brand concerned only with the power that Sport has to bring people together, PUMA does not support any political direction, political parties or governments. Our devotion to universal equality is aligned with the fundamental principles of our #REFORM platform.
We welcome the opportunity to help everyone compete in sports no matter who they are or where they are from.
We responded with the following and await response:
Thank you Kristina and Mark for your timely response.
Would you please clarify your response. Are you saying that there is no support of any kind that goes to the Israel Football Association (IFA)? You mention that support does go to Israeli National Teams. Which teams are these? You also mention support to football club Hapoel Beer Sheva. As well, you mention NO support goes to the Israeli Premier/Japanika League. . Would you please clarify and make a definitive statement that NO support has gone to the Israel Football Association.
The Israel Football Association has teams in Israeli settlement in occupied Palestine, which is part of the territory of the Palestinian affiliate. This is occupied territory under international humanitarian law (the Fourth Geneva Convention). The international call to PUMA is to withdraw support to the Israeli Football Association until it withdraws teams from these illegally occupied land. If there has been no support to the Israel Football Association in any form from PUMA including through local distribution partners we would welcome that news. It is not clear in your message that this is the case, so we would appreciate further information in this regard. If PUMA is announcing its withdraw of funding from the Israel Football Association through your correspondence would you please make this clear, and also indicate if you will be making a public notification in this regard.
Tweet to Raptors, and NBA as well. Include messages on those tweeting/ posting about Raptors! including @JohnTory #JustinTrudeau @Raptors @NBA #WeTheNorth
Be sure to tag @BDS_Coalition @BDSMovement #BoycottPuma Retweet from @BDS_Coalition
1. What Athletes and Other Sports Figures in Canada, professional, amateur or local can you be in touch with who will publicly support BDS? Who in your own community that is involved in sports (or other leadership, cultural roles)?
2. Canadian figures that have or have had PUMA sponsorship.
Tweet, FB, email them. Make it clear they are supporting a company that aid war crimes. Tweet to them!
Andre De Grass
If you can find others be sure to let us know to include
Step 1, check the label, and if it says product of Israel, do NOT buy.
Fruit and vegetables are one of Israel’s biggest exports and all Israeli agricultural exporters are complicit in Israel’s violations of international law as they operate on stolen Palestinian land.
In case of Medjoul the products are from the Jordan Valley in occupied Palestine, and therefore from an illegal settlement on stolen land. These are not from Israel, these are from illegal settlements.
Step 2, check the label and see if it includes a country of origin. The product must have a country of origin but many do NOT. Do NOT buy if it does not have country of origin listed on the package.
Some products from NBF do say “Product of Israel” but others especially in stores where Arabs and/or Muslims shop have NO country of origin listed. The product simply says “imported by NFB.” This seems to be illegal under Canadian legislation and regulations, and this has been reported to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. In many cases these products also do not include the other mandatory labeling information such as a “nutrition fact table” or health & nutrition information, and also don’t include mandatory information in both bilingual languages.
In several cases product was found to have “Product of Jordan” on the shelf, but the boxes the bulk product was coming from was labeled NBF with no indication of country. When asked verification was not provided, and no indication that there is any organization from Jordan providing this product.
Step 3: Print & provide this letter to the owner and/or manager of the store. Indicate the product and concerns in the template.
Step 4: provide pictures of the product including the labels (all sides of the box, and shelf labels), along with the store name/address and if possible website, to firstname.lastname@example.org. We will use this information for further follow up with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and/or with the store.
Step 5: tell your friends and your family what you have found, and make them aware of what to look for in regard both product of Israel (dates, other fresh fruits & vegetables, other products). For more info check out Economic Boycott Resource.
Final Step: look for appropriate alternative ideally from Palestine. Labels you can trust are Lara (their product of Palestine), Green World (just arrived May 2019, indicates from Palestinian Authority), Alard, Palestine Just Trade, Jericho Delights (via USA). Do you know others? If not from Palestine, then verify that from Jordan or USA if Medjoul, or consider another source from country of origin you are comfortable with.
Product you should avoid as they are packaged by Hadiklaim include:
These are some products that have been seen in the last few weeks:
We have written to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) asking them to look into several concerns.
Concerns Raised with Canadian Food Inspection Agency:
Country of Origin
understanding of the requirement for fresh fruits and vegetables, which would
include dates is that “Product
of [Name the country of origin]” needs to be included.
this information from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) website;
country of origin represents the country in which the fresh fruits or
vegetables were grown. The country of origin must be shown on the principal
display panel (definition) of imported prepackaged fresh fruits or vegetables and
in close proximity to the declaration of net quantity or the grade name. The
country of origin declaration must be shown in boldface type in the same size
characters as those prescribed for the grade name [269(1), 270(1), 271, SFCR].
What we have seen includes: i) indicating from Israel when in fact from settlements in occupied Palestine; ii) no country of origin; iii) indication on shelf that is from Jordan based on verbal but not verified information; iv) possibly other countries being listed on product.
Nutrition Labeling, Nutrition & Health Claims
We understand that specific requirements
in regard to Nutrition labeling including the Nutrition Fact Table are required,
with serving sizes and daily intake.
What we noticed was that in many cases under various brands this information was completely missing. The one exception seemed to be the Organic brand.
Our understanding is that the CFIA requirements
are than mandatory information including country origin, sizes, business name,
nutritional information, nutrition and health claims, and best before dates
need to be included in both English and French.
What we noticed is this information is
missing on essentially all the products observed.
Request to Canadian Food Inspection made indicating we would appreciate your attention to as quickly as possible addressing this, especially since Ramadan 2019 is underway, and people are purchasing dates for breaking fast/Iftar and Eid.
Sign the petition to demand that Hydro-Québec terminate its agreement to cooperate on cyber security with Israel Electric Corporation signed May 22, 2017.
This memorandum of understanding is acontract between two states: Quebec and Israel.
The cooperation agreement was signed as part of the May 2017 economic mission to Israel and Palestine by Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard, in his presence. Hydro-Québec refuses to disclose the content of its partnership agreement with IEC in contravention of the Act respecting access to documents held by public bodies and the protection of personal information to which it is subject.
Why this is important
IEC is working closely with the National Cyber Security Authority on military cyber defenses (IDF), intelligence services (Mossad) and the Water Authority. IEC’s security IS Mossad.
A “partnership” in cyber security with Israel means “apact with the Mossad and a pact with Israel’s apartheid regime”.
Israel Electric Corporation (IEC) – a state-owned corporation – shares responsibility for the State of Israel’s abuses towards the Palestinian population:
IEC regularly cuts electricity in Gaza.
IEC frequently cuts electricity in the West Bank.
IEC electrifies the separation wall between Israel and Palestine.
IEC has supplied electricity to illegal settlements in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967.
IEC supplies the Israeli army with electricity.
Since 1948, Israel has repeatedly violated with impunity resolutions adopted by the United Nations and the United Nations Security Council and continues to ignore the International Court of Justice’s condemnation of its policies.
Gaza has been under an illegal blockade for 10 years. In recent weeks Israel has adopted the official policy of ‘shoot-to-kill’ in Gaza, targeting and shooting Palestinian demonstrators seeking to improve their living conditions and to end the blockade:
Bullets and targeting were aimed to kill and maim as hollow bullets exploded on penetrating bodies: 112 killed, 13, 500 wounded (1029 women), 7,618 by gunshots, with 32 amputations and more coming.
Israeli snipers have targeted and killed journalists wearing identifiable press jackets
Israeli snipers have targeted and killed medical personnel, both doctors and paramedics
No Israeli was killed
In signing its memorandum of understanding with Israel Electric Corporation, Hydro-Quebec – and the Quebec state – makes themselves complicit in these crimes. Pleasesign the petition demanding that Hydro-Quebec cancel its partnership with Israel Electric Corporation!
To learn more about the cooperation of Canada’s energy industry read this IT World Canadaarticle that provides details about Toronto Hydro, IESO (Ontario’s Independent Electricity System Operator), and the Canadian Electric Association, as well as Canadian energy sector.
It only takes a minute or two, and you can customize if you wish.
CLICK HERE to send your letter saying NO to accessibility washing!
Israel is responsible for disabling and murdering countless Palestinians. In the past few months alone, Israeli snipers have targeted journalists, paramedics, people with disabilities, women and children with fatal sniper shots during the Great March of Return. Over 200 Palestinians have been killed, and tens of thousands have been injured, often with non-fatal shots to the chest, back, or legs, ending in disability.
Still that is where Holland-Bloorview (Canada’s leading children hospital for rehabilitation), March of Dimes, Ontario government accessibility leadership went to learn about accessibility. SHAME.
Over 5,000 signatures to date on this call: Don’t Dance on the Ruins of Palestinian Childhood. Add your signature by clicking HERE.
December 18, 2018.
The following letter has been sent to:
Pablo Rodriquez, Federal Minister of Heritage
Ambassador Deborah Lyons, Canadian Ambassador to Israel
Kennedy Stewart, Mayor of Vancouver
Valérie Plante, Mayor of Montreal
Open Letter from Canadian BDS Coalition to Government of Canada, Cities of Vancouver and Montreal
We have become aware that you are listed as one of the official sponsors of the CanaDanse Festival, being held in Israel in January 2019. Promotional material on the venue’s website denotes the Government of Canada as a sponsor of the whole Festival while the cities of Vancouver and Montreal are sponsoring one segment respectively. You should be aware that there is an ongoing campaign regarding Ballet BC’s involvement in the Festival, along with the 2 other dance companies, Shay Kuebler-Radical System Art from Vancouver and Le Carré des Lombes/Danièle Desnoyers from Montreal.
Over 5000 people have already signed a petition to Ballet BC asking them to cancel their first-ever performance in Israel, and to not help Israel whitewash its crimes against the Palestinian people. There has been coverage on the U.S. website Mondoweiss about this issue and also coverage in Canadian local media.
In fact, support is increasing amongst the Canadian public for sanctions against the state of Israel until it complies with international law, despite the efforts of the political establishment to suppress such information. A recent EKOS survey found that seventy-eight percent of Canadians said they believe the Palestinians’ call for a boycott is “reasonable”, and two-thirds (66%) of respondents viewed government sanctions specifically on Israel as “reasonable.”
It is shocking that various levels of government, federal and municipal, including the Cities of Vancouver and Montreal, felt compelled to not only lend their names to this Festival, but we assume funding as well.
Although Ballet BC and the other two dance companies will be welcomed by Israeli authorities to perform there, you should be aware that Palestinian cultural figures, artists and writers are routinely denied entry to their own homeland. One recent case is that of Susan Abulhawa, prominent Palestinian author who was detained and deported by Israel on November 1, 2018 on her way to a literary festival. Cultural exchanges that are predicated on silencing certain voices do not serve the values Ballet BC (and presumably your government) claim to uphold: “Ballet BC serves as a cultural ambassador, inspires diverse communities through dance and promotes inclusion in and through all that we do.” There is no inclusion for most indigenous Palestinians, who cannot even visit their homeland, let alone return to live there.
The Canadian Ambassador to Israel, Deborah Lyons, has already used the CanaDanse Festival to state: “Canada and Israel are truly best of friends”; we are sure more euphemisms will follow during and after the performances to help cover up the horrors of what the Israeli state is doing to the Palestinian people. This is the essence of art-washing and this is why an increasing number of global artists are saying that they will not perform in Israel until it complies with international law and respects the rights of the Palestinian people.
Your shameful position does not represent us or our constituent groups and we are appalled that you speak in our names and use taxpayers’ money to promote the suppression and dispossession of an entire people. We call on you to immediately withdraw your government sponsorship and cancel your participation in this Festival, which will only be used by the Israeli government to obscure the injustices happening right now to the Palestinian people.
Otherwise, history will not look kindly on your actions.