Category Archives: BDS Coalition Actions

Afraid of BDS, Céline Dion? Serendipitous January cancellation of your Beirut concert due to fear of “situation” six months later in Lebanon

We noticed! But saw nothing on Ms. Dion’s official website or social media! What happened to your scheduled concert for Beirut Ms. Dion?

This obsure article provides the answer.

In January, Ms. Dion, you were afraid of the sitution in Lebanon so you cancelled your July concert!

Seems BDS is a scary thing for someone bound and bent on playing to APARTHEID.

Check out the letter sent in November 2019 by over 50 artitsts to Ms. Dion coordianted by the Canadian BDS Coalition. Even though we did hear back Ms. Dion , maybe your handlers did hear your fellow artists, and decided the situation in Beirut would not look good for you as BDS call mounted on July 31, just before your August 4-5 concerts in Tel Aviv?

Individuals wishing to write to Ms. Dion can do so HERE. Thanks CJPME for this campaign. There are close to 5K signatures.

Artists who wish to join in adding their name to the call to Ms. Dion can continue do so HERE.

Beyond the November call from fellow artists, Ms. Dion heard direclty from Palestinian artists and form Israeli citizens.

In February 2020 50 Palestinian artists told Celine Dion to not play in Tel Aiv.

Message from Boycott! Supporting the Palestinian BDS Call from Within (aka Boycott from Within) in March 2020.

The Canadian BDS Coalition call to Canadian artist Céline Dion

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. Read more HERE

The Beruit concert would have seen BDS actions mounting as Ms. Dion prepared to play her APARTHEID concert.

Why did you not choose to share info on your own official site Ms. Dion?

Of course your current North American concerts are cancelled, or as you say “going to be rescheduled.” One would expect you would also be cancelling your European concerts shortly given situation with Covid-19.

We did notice that you quietly backed out of Beirut.

A signal that you were afraid of the mounting BDS call for you to cancel your Tel Aviv aparthied concerts scheduled for several days later! Seems you left it to venue to announce, rather than you making your own statement!

Was also reported by Arab News.

Ramadan 2020: Be sure you know where your Medjool dates are from!

This year we know that there is a good supply of fresh 2019 Medjool harvest from importers/suppliers bringing product from trusted Palestinian sources. Please do your due dilligence to be sure that you do not buy product that comes from the Israeli company Hadiklaim via NBF or other sources, or from any other Israeli provider. All Medjool that are coming from these Israeli companies are from illegal settlements on occupied Palestinian land.

What you need to consider.

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 originThe 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.

There is at least one supplier in Canada, National Best Food/NBF which imports from Hadiklaim, an Israeli companyWho Profits has clearly documented the source of Hadiklaim’s dates as coming from occupied Palestine and Golan. Also, several countries have had victories of cutting ties to Hadiklaim such as South Africa.

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 was reported to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) during Ramadan in 2019. The CFIA has launched investigation in summer 2019, but has not reported back on the complaint.

In many cases these NBF 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. This was included in the complaints made to the CFIA.

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. Again this was reported to the CFIA.

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 bdscoalition@gmail.com. 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 from Al-Rwad, also have actual product from Jordan as well),

Green World (from Al-Rwad),

Alard,

Palestine Just Trade (from Al-Rwad),

Jericho Delights (via USA). 

Do you know others? IIf so let us know and we can update this list.

If a Medjoul product not from a trusted Palestine source, then verify that it is indeed from Jordan or the USA, or another trusted location. If you are not sure, please contact us at bdscoalition@gmail.com

Product you should avoid as they are packaged by Hadiklaim include:

BOMAJA BLUE

GOLDEN VALLEY

JORDAN RIVER

LA PALMA

KING SOLOMON

These are some products that have been seen in 2019

Sold by National Best Food. Seen labelled as “Product of Israel”
Jordan River from National Best Foods. Sold without country of Origin. No it is not from Jordan. It is from the occupied Palestinian Jordan valley, from Israeli settlement via Hadiklaim.
More Jordan River from National Best Foods without country of origin. Don’t be fooled into thinking it is from Jordan. These are from Isreali settlement via Hadiklaim,
Golden Valley from National Best Food/NBF. No country of origin Packaged by Hadiklaim.
Sold in 5 KG and bulk. Store owners/managers report having been told it is from Jordan & thus, label from Jordan on their shelf. No country of origin. From NBF. Don’t be fooled into thinking this is from Jordan–ask for specifics about grower & exporter if you are told from Jordan.
Golden Valley Medjoul Dates (SEMI-DRY)
Golden Valley from Hadiklaim via NBF. No country of origin indicated in a number of cases. Sometimes have label saying “Product of Israel.” These do have bilingual info.
Image result for costco dates medjool israel
Medjoul “Product of Israel” label from Costco
Ameri Premium Dates by National Best Foods, no country of origin
Oriental dates, no country of origin
National Best Food, Golden Valley, no country of origin
Imported by National Best Foods. La Palma is brand of Hadiklaim in Israel. No country of origin.

We have written to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) on May 7, 2019 asking CFIA to look into several concerns.

Concerns Raised with Canadian Food Inspection Agency:

Country of Origin

Our 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. 

We take this information from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) website;

The 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].

http://www.inspection.gc.ca/food/requirements/labelling/industry/fresh-fruits-and-vegetables

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.

Bilingual Requirements

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.

See letter sent to Canadian Food Inspection Agency

The letter was sent by registered mail as well as email to CFIA. A follow up letter was been sent by email on May 27, 2019, asking for information on when we would expect to receive a response. We were told it was referred to VP of Operation at CFIA. A follow up on August 4, resulted in another letter from Mithani Siddika, the President of CFIA, indicating that the Toronto Regional Office has launched an investigation. The Toronto Region confirmed this on the phone, but to date has not provided any feedback. In March 2020, President Siddika has been asked for an update on the complaint.

Letters were sent in 2019 to several stores in GTA that were carrying NFB or other products that are from Israeli settlements,, and in many cases were missing accurate labeling required under Canadian law. This included letter to Arz in Scarborough, Rabba Foods and Al Quds Market in Mississauga. NO responses were received.

If you see Israeli medjool product (including those who are mascarading with no country or being sold as from Jordan for example) in these or other stores this Ramadan please take action–talk to the store manager/owner, don’t buy the product, ask them to stock Palestinian product from a trusted source, lets your friends and family know to avoid these products and insist that the store buy from a trusted supplier of Palestinian product.

From Israeli citizens to Celine Dion – please cancel your performance in Tel Aviv

Message from Boycott! Supporting the Palestinian BDS Call from Within (aka Boycott from Within). Also see below.

Check out the letter sent in November 2019 by over 50 artitsts to Celine Dion coordianted by the Canadian BDS Coalition.

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

Individuals wishing to write to Ms. Dion can do so HERE. Thanks CJPME for this campaign.

In February 2020 50 Palestinian artists told Celine Dion to not play in Tel Aiv.

March 2020 from “Boycott from Within”

Dear Céline Dion


We are Israeli citizens, active against Israel’s policies of racism, occupation, and apartheid. We find it most unfortunate that you are scheduled to perform in Israel, at HaYarkon Park in Tel Aviv. Any performance in Israel and in Tel Aviv at this time amounts to a political statement, and this statement would be in favour of Israel’s racist apartheid policies. We would therefore ask you to reconsider your decision, and postpone your concert here to a time when justice and equality in human rights prevail.

The Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs intends to use your concert to market Israel as a ‘cool hip’ place, in order to whitewash the crimes committed by Israel on a daily basis, just 45 minutes from Tel Aviv, in the West Bank, and in the Gaza strip. In the West Bank, Israel is violently repressing millions of people to perpetuate its illegal sprawling settlement enterprise. The Gaza strip is the world’s largest open-air prison, where more than two million people live under siege and bombardment, with inadequate, toxic water supplies and a lack of electricity.


In fact, even the chosen venue for your concert is tainted with the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people. As noted recently by a group of Palestinian artists:  

“HaYarkon Park itself is built on the ruins of the ethnically-cleansed Palestinian village of Jarisha, whose indigenous inhabitants were forcibly expelled in 1948 and never allowed to exercise their UN-stipulated right of return by Israel’s apartheid laws.”


At this time, the moral choice is clear. On the one hand, one could boost the Israeli government, the Trump Administration, and the global far-right, who support Israel’s Islamophobia, war crimes, and violations of international law. On the other hand, one could stand with the Palestinian people, with human rights groups all over the world, and with several international institutions which are trying to uphold basic human rights in our region.


Just like the times of struggle to end apartheid in South Africa, prominent international artists will go down in history for good or bad, based on the decision whether to play in a hub of racism and apartheid. Our Palestinian colleagues have also cite Nelson Mandela’s statement that “Palestine is the greatest moral issue of our time”. We believe this statement is still valid. 

By cancelling your performance in Tel Aviv, you can help not only the Palestinian people to make progress in their struggle for freedom and equality, but also help oppressed people all over the world, looking for a source of inspiration and encouragement, in a global struggle for justice, dignity and equality!


We would gladly address any questions or comments you may have.

Signed,

Boycott! Supporting the Palestinian BDS Call from Within

(aka Boycott from Within)

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.

Individuals wishing to write to Ms. Dion can do so HERE. Thanks CJPME for this campaign. Almost 5,000 letters sent!

February 17, 2020: 50 Palestinian artists tell Celine Dion to not play in Tel Aiv.

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, Isreaeli citizen

Zaina Arekat, musician, Bahrain

A Blue Pail, Musician, Ottawa

Stephen Kerr Fine Art Painter, Hamilton, Ontario

Susana Khalil Activista, investigadora y articulista. Latino-árabe Venezuela-Palestina

 

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

Stephen Kerr, Peintre des Beaux-Arts, Hamilton, Ontario

Susana Khalil Activista, investigadora y articulista. Latino-árabe Venezuela-Palestina






#RaptorsDontGo Campaign Has Been Successful

Statement of Canadian BDS Coalition

October 22, 2019

The Canadian BDS Coalition is pleased to announce that the #RaptorsDontGo campaign has been successful. Our campaign was launched in June 2019, immediately following the Raptors victory in the NBA championship; and after team co-owner Larry Tanenbaum received extensive coverage in the Israeli media stating he would bring the team to visit Israel if they won the championship. The Israeli Embassy in Ottawa highlighted the issue, and tweeted the Raptors promising “we’ll call you…to help with the arrangements”.

However, the 2019-20 NBA new season has now begun and there has been no reported public team visit; and continued silence from all of the team owners on this issue.

The campaign from the onset seemed to strike a chord with many people, both in Canada and globally. Although the Israeli lobby has engaged in other sportswashing events, this particular attempt struck many as an incredibly blatant and crude exploitation of a popular victory for an overt political agenda.

#RaptorsDontGo took off on social media and the Coalition would like to thank all of the individuals and groups who helped the campaign become so popular so quickly. Our petition gathered over 6500 signatures, a parallel petition in the U.S., started by CodePink, had over 2700 people sign on, and Jewish Voice for Peace also picked up the campaign on social media.

The Chair of BDS Vancouver, Aiyanas Ormond, stated in an open letter: “Around the world poor and oppressed people have embraced basketball as a sport of the people, and basketball players, many of whom come from poor and struggling backgrounds, have an important history of taking progressive positions and giving back to their communities. From Kareem Abdul Jabbar and Bill Russel’s stand with Mohammed Ali against the draft and the Vietnam War to public and collective statements against police brutality against Black people in America, NBA players have stood on the side of social and racial justice.”

Why exactly the Raptors team never went on the “promised trip” may have been the result of several factors, not the least of which was the quick and overwhelmingly negative response by so many basketball fans. This must surely have been noticed by the team’s owners – Bell 37.5%, Rogers 37.5% and Tanenbaum’s company Kilmer Sports 25%. Although Tanenbaum’s entity may not be impacted by public opinion on this issue, Bell and Rogers certainly are and have their broader business agenda to consider. Also, the protests that happened in Israel after the police shooting of an Ethiopian teenager on June 30, 2019, some referencing slogans of the Black Lives Matter movement, would have been a politically damaging backdrop for such a team visit.

The Canadian BDS Coalition is grateful that this visit did not materialize, as it would have given legitimacy to Israel’s war crimes. We feel the #RaptorsDontGo campaign also demonstrated the strength of popular grassroots campaigns that can mobilize to achieve justice for Palestinians. As with the Boycott Puma campaign, that calls out that company’s sponsorship of the Israeli Football Association which includes teams from the illegal settlements, the push-back on sportswashing of Israel’s dispossession of a whole nation and people is a critical part of the struggle for Palestinian rights.

Check out articles

Activists declare victory in #RaptorsDontGo campaign in Mondoweiss by Marion Kawas on October 23, 2019

RaptorsDontGo Campaign Announces Victory! in the Palestine Chronicle by Marion Kawas on October 24, 2019

#BoycottPuma Round Two

Join Second Global Day of Action, October 26

October 25, 2019, the Canadian BDS Coalition attempted to deliver this letter to Mark Mcquire the Head of Puma Canada, but the office had moved. We have emailed the letter, and have found current address, so will arrange for hard copy to be delivered early next week. See letter HERE. Contact Mark Mcquire the Head of Puma Canada at mark.maguire@puma.com

Groups around the world are gearing up for the second day of action protesting Puma’s support for Israel’s illegal settlements on stolen Palestinian land. Join them on October 26! Led by
Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI)

Across the world, fans of fair play and sports for everyone are joining the call from Palestinian teams and athletes to boycott sportswear manufacturer Puma until it ends support for Israel’s illegal military occupation and denial of Palestinian human rights.

Puma is the main sponsor of the Israel Football Association (IFA), which proudly includes and advocates on behalf of teams in Israeli settlements pushing Palestinian families off their land. Israeli settlements are illegal and constitute a war crime under international law.

Last June, the Canada BDS Coalition joined groups in more than 20 countries joined the first Global #BoycottPuma Day of Action, with protests at Puma shops and offices and at Puma-sponsored teams. On social media, #BoycottPuma was THE most tweeted Puma-related hashtag that day.

We’re back for round two.

Do you own Puma Sportware? If so JOIN in the rebrand campaign. #RebrandPuma Check out details here

The Canadian BDS Coalition has been in touch with Puma Canada HQ during Round 1

Round 1:

Registered Mail

June 7, 2019 (along with emails)

PUMA Canada

Mark Mcquire

355 Admiral Blvd, Unit 4
Mississauga, ON L5T 2N1  

copies to: Communication Executives, Kerstin Neuber and Rober Bartunek,Berek Communications, and Customer Service. 

Dear Mr. Maquire, 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.  

We expect that people across Canada, along with those around the world will be making this very clear to Puma as we move towards International #BoycottPuma Day of Action, June 15, 2019.

We would be pleased to meet with you and members of your team here in Canada to discuss.

On behalf of the 

Canadian BDS Coalition

(over 30 member groups across Canada)

www.bdscoalition.ca

Response from Puma Canada and Puma International

on June 11, 2019

Dear Sir or Madame,

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.

Request for clarification from the Canadian BDS Coaliiton

On Tue, 11 Jun 2019 at 10:21, Canadian BDS Coaltion <bdscoalition@gmail.com> wrote:


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.


See:  https://www.hrw.org/news/2017/01/10/fifa-must-take-strong-stance-against-israeli-settlement-clubs

Round Two:

We have not heard from you!

October 15, 2019 by email

Dear Mr. Maguire


We did not hear back from you with clarification to our June 11th email.  


Now that we are approaching the next round of give Puma the Boot later in October, we would welcome your clarification.


Best,

Canadian BDS Coalition

What can you do

  1. Check out the BNC information and action page.
  2. The Canadian BDS Coalition has registered, but individual groups are also encouraged to register their own actions
  3. Share Facebook post from @BDSCoalition.
  4. Share tweets from @Canadian_BDS
  5. Write Mark Mcquire the Head of Puma Canada at mark.maguire@puma.com

Let Puma Feel the Pressure

Puma is feeling the pressure. To sideline criticism, Puma is resorting to ridiculous claims, including a “devotion to universal equality.”

A “devotion to universal equality” must mean not sporting with apartheid! It requires Puma to end its:

  • complicity in whitewashing Israel’s illegal land grabs that rob Palestinians of territory and natural resources.
  • support for Israel’s occupation infrastructure that denies Palestinian athletes their rights to freedom of movement and to practice sports.
  • sponsorship of the Israel Football Association.

This year’s Palestine Football Cup has been postponed indefinitely because Israel has denied permits for virtually all players from the winning team of the Gaza League to travel to the occupied West Bank for the finals. Just last week, Israeli forces raided a family football tournament in occupied East Jerusalem, preventing it from going ahead.

Puma’s iconic leaping cat is profiting from Israel’s ever-expanding illegal settlement enterprise and its denial of basic Palestinian human rights.

Join us as we step up pressure on Puma to live up to its claim of promoting social justice.

#IVotePalestine

I VOTE FOR FREEDOM, JUSTICE AND EQUALITY

Click to:
JOIN THIS FB EVENT PAGE AND PLEDGE #IVotePalestine

In the upcoming Canadian general election scheduled for October 21, 2019, we commit to vote for candidates and parties that:
• Support Palestinian human and national rights including the inalienable right to self-determination.
• Oppose Israeli ethnic cleansing, war crimes and apartheid.
• Recognize the fundamental rights of the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality.
• Respect, protect and promote the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN resolution 194.
• Support ending Israeli occupation and colonization of all Arab lands and dismantling the Wall.
• Oppose Canadian tax-deductible status for the Jewish National Fund JNF, HESEG Foundation and all Zionist organizations that are disguised as charities while supporting the Israeli military and settlements.
• Recognize the rights of Canadians to support the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions BDS movement as a non-violent strategy to force Israel to abide by UN resolutions and all international humanitarian laws, and
• Oppose condemning or criminalizing people or organizations who support the BDS Movement.

JE VOTE POUR LA LIBERTÉ, LA JUSTICE ET L’ÉGALITÉ
REJOIGNEZ CETTE PAGE D’ÉVÉNEMENT FB ET PRENEZ UN ENGAGEMENT #IVotePalestine
Lors des prochaines élections générales au Canada, prévues pour le 21 octobre 2019, nous nous engageons à voter pour les candidats et les partis qui:
• Soutiennent les droits de l’homme et les droits nationaux des Palestiniens, y compris le droit inaliénable à l’autodétermination.
• S’opposent au nettoyage ethnique israélien, aux crimes de guerre et à l’apartheid.
• Reconnaissent les droits fondamentaux des citoyens et citoyennes arabo-palestiniens d’Israël à la pleine égalité.
• Respectent, protègent et promeuvent le droit de retour des réfugiés palestiniens et la repossession de leurs propriétés, conformément à la résolution 194 des Nations Unies.
• Supportent la fin de l’occupation israélienne et de la colonisation de toutes les terres arabes ainsi que le démantèlement du mur.
• S’opposent au statut d’organisme de bienfaisance, déductible d’ impôts au Canada, pour le Fonds national juif ( FNJ), la Fondation HESEG, et toutes les organisations sionistes déguisées en œuvres de charité qui soutiennent l’armée israélienne et les colonies de peuplement.
• Reconnaissent le droit des Canadiens d’appuyer le mouvement BDS (Boycott Désinvestissement et Sanctions) en tant que stratégie non violente pour forcer Israël à se conformer aux résolutions de l’ONU et à l’ensemble du droit international humanitaire, et
• S’opposent à la condamnation ou à la criminalisation des personnes ou des organisations qui soutiennent le mouvement BDS.

Here are the hosts and endorsers of the campaign

Alliance of Concerned Jewish Canadians
APAC – Association of Palestinian Arab Canadians
Canada Palestine Association
Canadian BDS Coalition
Canadian Unitarians for Social Justice
Coalition against Israeli Apartheid, Victoria
Independent Jewish Voices
Independent Jewish Voices – Winnipeg
Just Peace Advocates/Mouvement Pour Une Paix Juste
Justice for Palestinians, Calgary
Mid-Islanders for Justice and Peace in the Middle East
Oakville Palestinian Rights Association OPRA
OPIRG Guelph
Palestine Just Trade
Palestine Solidarity Working Group (Sudbury)
Palestinian and Jewish Unity (Montreal)
Palestinian Canadian Congress
Peace Alliance Winnipeg
Regina Peace Council
Socialist Action
St. John’s Solidarity with Palestine
United for Palestine – Toronto/GTA

This event page will update voters on the positions of individual candidates and parties regarding these issues.

#IVotePalestine: Roger Waters on Canadian Policy and BDS from Canadian BDS Coalition on Vimeo.

PRINT to provide to candidates seeking your vote. Let them know what is important to securing your vote.

Write to your local candidates. CLICK HERE to download letter which you can customize.

To find your candidates check out Election Canada and then in order to find candidate info for your riding go to specific political parties through the links provided.

You can also find candidates for the following parties at the links:

Liberal Party of Canada

New Democratic Party

Conservative Party of Canada

Bloc Québécois

Green Party of Canada

#IVotePalestine

I VOTE FOR FREEDOM, JUSTICE AND EQUALITY

Click to:
JOIN THIS FB EVENT PAGE AND PLEDGE #IVotePalestine

In the upcoming Canadian general election scheduled for October 21, 2019, we commit to vote for candidates and parties that:
• Support Palestinian human and national rights including the inalienable right to self-determination.
• Oppose Israeli ethnic cleansing, war crimes and apartheid.
• Recognize the fundamental rights of the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality.
• Respect, protect and promote the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN resolution 194.
• Support ending Israeli occupation and colonization of all Arab lands and dismantling the Wall.
• Oppose Canadian tax-deductible status for the Jewish National Fund JNF, HESEG Foundation and all Zionist organizations that are disguised as charities while supporting the Israeli military and settlements.
• Recognize the rights of Canadians to support the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions BDS movement as a non-violent strategy to force Israel to abide by UN resolutions and all international humanitarian laws, and
• Oppose condemning or criminalizing people or organizations who support the BDS Movement.

JE VOTE POUR LA LIBERTÉ, LA JUSTICE ET L’ÉGALITÉ
REJOIGNEZ CETTE PAGE D’ÉVÉNEMENT FB ET PRENEZ UN ENGAGEMENT #IVotePalestine
Lors des prochaines élections générales au Canada, prévues pour le 21 octobre 2019, nous nous engageons à voter pour les candidats et les partis qui:
• Soutiennent les droits de l’homme et les droits nationaux des Palestiniens, y compris le droit inaliénable à l’autodétermination.
• S’opposent au nettoyage ethnique israélien, aux crimes de guerre et à l’apartheid.
• Reconnaissent les droits fondamentaux des citoyens et citoyennes arabo-palestiniens d’Israël à la pleine égalité.
• Respectent, protègent et promeuvent le droit de retour des réfugiés palestiniens et la repossession de leurs propriétés, conformément à la résolution 194 des Nations Unies.
• Supportent la fin de l’occupation israélienne et de la colonisation de toutes les terres arabes ainsi que le démantèlement du mur.
• S’opposent au statut d’organisme de bienfaisance, déductible d’ impôts au Canada, pour le Fonds national juif ( FNJ), la Fondation HESEG, et toutes les organisations sionistes déguisées en œuvres de charité qui soutiennent l’armée israélienne et les colonies de peuplement.
• Reconnaissent le droit des Canadiens d’appuyer le mouvement BDS (Boycott Désinvestissement et Sanctions) en tant que stratégie non violente pour forcer Israël à se conformer aux résolutions de l’ONU et à l’ensemble du droit international humanitaire, et
• S’opposent à la condamnation ou à la criminalisation des personnes ou des organisations qui soutiennent le mouvement BDS.

Read more:

In run-up to Canada’s elections, Palestinian activists launch ‘#IVotePalestine’ by Marion Kawas, August 21, 2019, MONDOWEISS

Time to Breach the Wall of Silence on Supporting Israeli War Crimes! by Marion Kawas, August 25, 2019, THE PALESTINE CHRONICLES

Why Palestine looms large in Canada’s election campaign by Jeremy Wildeman, October 3, 2019, MIDDLE EAST EYE

Encouraging response from the NDP see HERE

Here are the hosts and endorsers of the campaign

Alliance of Concerned Jewish Canadians
APAC – Association of Palestinian Arab Canadians
Canada Palestine Association
Canadian BDS Coalition
Canadian Unitarians for Social Justice
Coalition against Israeli Apartheid, Victoria
Independent Jewish Voices
Independent Jewish Voices – Winnipeg
Just Peace Advocates/Mouvement Pour Une Paix Juste
Justice for Palestinians, Calgary
Mid-Islanders for Justice and Peace in the Middle East
Oakville Palestinian Rights Association OPRA
OPIRG Guelph
Palestine Just Trade
Palestine Solidarity Working Group (Sudbury)
Palestinian and Jewish Unity (Montreal)
Palestinian Canadian Congress
Peace Alliance Winnipeg
Regina Peace Council
Socialist Action
St. John’s Solidarity with Palestine
United for Palestine – Toronto/GTA



This event page will update voters on the positions of individual candidates and parties regarding these issues.

#IVotePalestine: Roger Waters on Canadian Policy and BDS from Canadian BDS Coalition on Vimeo.

PRINT to provide to candidates seeking your vote. Let them know what is important to securing your vote.

Write to your local candidates. CLICK HERE to download letter which you can customize.

To find your candidates check out Election Canada and then in order to find candidate info for your riding go to specific political parties through the links provided.

You can also find candidates for the following parties at the links:

Liberal Party of Canada

New Democratic Party

Conservative Party of Canada

Bloc Québécois

Green Party of Canada

Victory: The Current is Cut Between Hydro-Québec and Israel Electric

The Coalition BDS Québec has announced that Hydro-Québec has declined to renew an agreement with its Israeli counterpart, Israel Electric.

“This victory is important for us in Quebec,” John Philpot, an international lawyer and a member of the Coalition BDS Québec, told The Electronic Intifada. Check out full article in Electronic Intifada.

The Coalition BDS Québec reports that “During the summer of 2019, in response to a  request for a meeting  with Hydro-Québec’s new Board Chair, Ms. Côté, when we were warned of an upcoming hearing at the Commission d’accès à la information, the Executive Vice-President – Corporate and Legal Affairs and Head of Corporate Governance wrote to us , “without commenting in any way on the point of view expressed in [our] correspondence,” that the HQ-IEC agreement , due May 22, 2019, has not been renewed !” In addition, the entire content of the agreement is finally communicated to the Coaliton, and the hearing at the CAI is therefore canceled.

On August 27, the Coalition BDS Québec published a press release.  Hydro Quebec immediately sent a letter , signed by its chief – Public Affairs and Media, stating that the decision not to renew the HQ-IEC agreement had no political impact, which we doubt strongly.

The Rest of the Country

The Canadian BDS Coalition has been in touch with the approximately 40 electric companies across Canada, and has heard from some they do NOT have any working agreements with Israel Electric, but are waiting to hear from others. Follow up with take places with those who have not confirmed that they are not in relationship with Israel Electric.

Photo: Israeli warplanes make a ceremonial flyby of the Israel Electric Corporation’s Orot Rabin coal-fired generating station, to mark what Israel calls its Independence Day, May 2017. The power company is deeply complicit in Israel’s violations of Palestinian rights. (via Facebook) Electronic Intifada

Boycott TEVA – Apartheid is BAD Medicine

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.

#BoycottTeva