Category Archives: Campaigns

NAKBA71: St. John’s Newfoundland. Saturday, May 18.

Join Cross Canada Call Against Canadian Complicity with Israeli War Crimes & Apartheid.

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When: Noon on Saturday May 18

Where: at the War Memorial in downtown St. John’s on Duckworth Street

Join as to read the names of the Palestinian villages destroyed in 1947-1949.

Join us and bring friends.

We will have a petition to the Government of Canada with respect to the three demands of BDS:

1. The Government of Israel ends the occupation and colonization of all Arab lands and dismantles the Wall
2. The Government of Israel recognizes the fundamental rights of the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality; and
3. The Government of Israel respects, protects, and promotes the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN resolution 194.


Palestinian Solidarity, St. John’s. See FACEBOOK

Ramadan 2019: Be sure you know where your dates are from!

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.

There is at least one supplier in Canada, National Best Food/NBF which imports from Hadiklaim, an Israeli company. Who 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 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 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), 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:

BOMAJA BLUE

GOLDEN VALLEY

JORDAN RIVER

LA PALMA

KING SOLOMON

These are some products that have been seen in the last few weeks:

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.
More Jordan River from National Best Foods without country of origin. Don’t be fooled into thinking it is from Jordan.
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) asking them 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 has been sent by email on May 27, 2019, asking for information on when we would expect to receive a response.

Letters have been sent to several stores including Arz in Scarborough, Rabba Foods and Al Quds Market in Mississauga. Responses are awaited.

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

The Campaign (Archives)

Sign this petition

to say NO to Hyrdo-Québec

It has been a year since the partnership between Hydro-Québec and Israel Electric was revealed by BDS-Québec. See post from May 2017

Let’s cut the current between Hydro-Québec and Israel Electric!

https://secure.avaaz.org/en/petition/HQ_IEC_partnership_agreement_en/

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 “a pact 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. Please sign the petition demanding that Hydro-Quebec cancel its partnership with Israel Electric Corporation!

Sign:

https://secure.avaaz.org/en/petition/HQ_IEC_partnership_agreement_en/

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.

Israel in Toronto

November 18, 2016 · 

Israel enjoys a close relationship with Canada’s electricity sector. Last year, a delegation of Canadian electricity companies, government officials, and regulators visited Israel.

Yesterday, Israel in Canada‘s Ambassador Rafael Barak, Nissan Amdur (Israel’s Economic Attache to Canada), and Yosi Shneck (Senior Vice President and CIO of the חברת החשמל לישראל Israel Electric Corporation), participated in IESO – The Electricity Outlet‘s Executive Briefing on Cybersecurity in Toronto.

Accessibility Washing of Israeli War Crimes

Accessibility Tour to a State that Inflicts Disability and Violates International Law

Join in sending a letter to Holland-Bloorview, March of Dimes, and AODA saying SHAME on ACCESSIBILITY WASHING.

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.

SHAME

Join in sending letter to:


Dear Holland Bloorview and  March of Dimes, executives & board of directors, and Government of Ontario senior accessibility officials

Continue reading

Open Letter from Canadian BDS Coalition to Government of Canada, Cities of Vancouver and Montreal

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.

The Canadian BDS Coalition

www.bdscoalition.ca

Ballet BC, don’t dance on the ruins of Palestinian childhood

See article in Mondoweiss

 on 

 

Campaign organizers are calling on Ballet BC (and now the 2 other dance companies as well) to take a stand and not perform in Israel, which would be a permanent stain on their records. They are also calling on solidarity activists, both locally and around the world, to support this campaign, and to let these artists know that it is morally wrong for them to trample on the dignity and rights of Palestinians.

BC Attorney General Stonewalls on Israeli Wines in BC Liquor Store

BC Attorney General Stonewalls on Israeli Wines in BC Liquor Stores

17 OCTOBER 2018
Canada Palestine Association

BC Attorney General David Eby finally responded to two of the initiating groups on an Open Letter, regarding BC government liquor stores carrying Israeli wines in violation of international humanitarian laws. Mr. Eby refused to meet with representatives of the 30 groups who sponsored and endorsed the letter, and insisted again to focus solely on the “customers’ right to make choices”. Here is the public answer to Eby from CPA Vancouver and BDS Vancouver-Coast Salish.
___________________________________________________________________________________________

Public Response to David Eby regarding Israeli wines in BC Liquor Stores
Oct. 17, 2018

Dear Mr. Eby:

Thank you for your brief replies to our concerns.

Once again, you have completely ignored the issues raised on this subject, this time brought forward by 30 organizations. We mentioned in our open letter that selling Israeli wines in BC liquor Stores is “in direct contravention of the Fourth Geneva Convention”. The UN Security CouncilUN General Assembly and the Canadian government recognize the applicability of the Fourth Geneva Convention in the occupied Palestinian territories. Israel is in violations of many articles of this convention, including the theft of Palestinian land, building colonies in the occupied territories and transferring several hundreds of thousands of its citizens to live in them, in contravention of articles 49 and 53. Israel also expropriates and exploits the natural resources in the occupied territory to meet the needs of the occupying power, in violation of article 55. The wine that is carried in the BC Liquor Stores is the product of these Israeli settler colonialists who stole Palestinian land and its agricultural and natural resources.

The Federal Government currently imposes sanctions against 20 countries, 11 of them in the Middle East (the list does not include Israel nor Saudi Arabia), so we ask where is your “customers’ right to make choices” there?
And as noted in the open letter, these wines are mislabelled as “made in Israel” in an attempt to hide product origin, something that is currently being challenged in the Canadian courts. So how can a consumer make choices when they are not even aware of what they are buying?

As you can see, this is not a matter of a “customers’ right to make choices”. The only choices being made in these circumstances are the wrong choices. As Attorney General, would you advise any police department to not curtail the selling of stolen products in BC stores, because it infringes on a “customers’ right to make choices”?!

We feel your government is simply hiding behind the liberal façade of “customer choice” in order to avoid any meaningful discussion about your role in enabling the dispossession of the Palestinian people. Violating the many articles of the Fourth Geneva Convention amounts to war crimes. Supporting these violations is complicity in them.
As the anti Apartheid leader Archbishop Desmond Tutu put it: “If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.”

And finally, your unwillingness to meet with us demonstrates an arrogance and disinterest in issues of serious concern to your constituents and British Columbians, a very disappointing approach for someone who claims to be interested in rectifying social and historical injustices.

Hanna Kawas, Chairperson, Canada Palestine Association
Aiyanas Ormond, Coordinator, BDS Vancouver-Coast Salish

c.c. All Signatory Groups on the Open Letter

Open letter to Ballet BC on performances in Israel

You can add your name in support of the open letter below by signing the petition on change.org.

October 2, 2018

John Clark, Executive Director
executivedirector@balletbc.com

Dear Mr. Clark:

As a young child, my mother took me to see The Nutcracker; when I became a mother, I did the same with my daughter and took her to a Ballet BC production of The Nutcracker, a tradition I was hoping to repeat soon with my granddaughter.

However, I have now learned that Ballet BC is touring in Israel in January, 2019. As global artists, I am sure you are aware of the international movement by many cultural figures to refuse to perform in Israel until it complies with international law. Figures such as Roger Waters, Elvis Costello, Lana del Rey, and Brian Eno, who refused to allow the Israeli dance company Batsheva to use one of his musical compositions at a performance in Italy. Continue reading

Canadian BDS Coalition joins Palestinian Call for Boycott of Meteor Music Festival in Israel and Calls the Canadian-Danish Music Group to Withdraw

Palestinians urge participating artists to withdraw from the festival as a meaningful contribution to our struggle for freedom, justice and equality.

 

Meteor - A festival on ethnically cleansed land.

We, Palestinian cultural organizations, municipalities and human rights campaigns, call for the boycott of Meteor Festival in Israel, scheduled for September 6-8, 2018. We urge all participating artists to respect Palestinians’ non-violent resistance and withdraw from this complicit festival as a meaningful contribution to our struggle for freedom, justice and equality.

Naranja, the Israeli organisers of Meteor Festival, bring international artists to Israel to serve later as future ambassadors for the country. In 2009, just months after Israel killed over 1,400 Palestinians in Gaza, Naranja worked to “improve Israel’s image in Scandinavia”. Naranja say they want Meteor Festival to create an “alternative reality”. The reality for Palestinians is 70-year-old regime of occupation, colonization and apartheid.

Just last week, Israel effectively declared itself as an apartheid state by adopting the “Jewish Nation-State Law”, which constitutionally denies Palestinian citizens equal rights and legalizes their exclusion.

The Meteor festival recommends accommodation located in illegal Israeli settlements built in violation of international law in the occupied Syrian Golan Heights. Israel’s expanding illegal settlements steal the land and resources of millions of Palestinians living under military occupation. Israel’s bulldozers demolish Palestinian homes and villages, leaving families and entire communities homeless refugees in our own land.

Since 2004, Palestinian artists and cultural organizations have urged their international colleagues not to perform in Israel as long as it continues to violate Palestinian human rights with impunity. Artists played an important role in isolating Apartheid South Africa by refusing to play in Sun City. Today, thousands of artistsacross the world support the Palestinian boycott call or have respected our nonviolent picket line, including Lorde, Ms Lauryn Hill, Thurston Moore, Shakira, Wolf Alice, Chuck D, Portishead, Brian Eno and Young Fathers.

The Israeli government uses international performances as a stamp of approval for its regime of oppression and ethnic cleansing and its violent attacks on Palestinian life and culture. Performing at an international music festival in Israel sends the message that Israel’s actions aren’t so bad after all. As the Washington Post remarked earlier this year, “From now on, if it weren’t the case already, merely scheduling a concert date in Israel will be considered a political act.”

Israel has confined two million Palestinians in Gaza under a cruel siege for over 10 years now. The UN has declared the Gaza Strip as “unlivable.” When tens of thousands of Palestinians in Gaza peacefully protested for their UN-stipulated rights in March, Israeli snipers implemented a “shoot-to-kill-or-maim” and killed over 140 Palestinians and injured over 16,000, leaving many with life-changing injuries. Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch are among the rights organisations who have condemned Israel’s massacre in Gaza.

In the area surrounding the festival site are the ruins of dozens of Palestinian cities, towns and villages violently destroyed during the establishment of Israel on the rubbles of Palestine. More than 500 Palestinian population centres were systematically destroyed in this way during the Nakba (“catastrophe”). Many Palestinian communities within Israel are denied basic services, including electricity, water, schools and roads and suffer under a system of racial discrimination that is entrenched with more than 60 racist laws.

Against this oppression and dispossession, as all oppressed peoples, we resist. An important part of our resistance is through culture, musicpoetryliteraturecinemadance and theatre. Israel’s response is to detain and arrest Palestinian artists at checkpoints, raid festivals, close Palestinian cinemas and ban Palestinian cultural events.

We appeal to artists who are scheduled to perform at Meteor to simply do no harm; to respect Palestinians’ non-violent picket line and to not lend your name to art-washing Israel’s crimes against Palestinians. Stand for freedom, justice and equality. Cancel your participation at Meteor Festival.

The Canadian BDS Coalition calls Canadian and other musicians, artists and civil society to call on the Danish-Canadian musical group Rhye to cancel their performance at Meteor.  To add you name/organization click here

Israeli Law passed which effectively declares itself an apartheid colonial-settler state

The Canadian government is called to condemn this law and uphold its own Special Economic Sanctions Act.

“The Canadian government is called upon to immediately condemn Israel’s apartheid law by putting sanctions in place as is required under Canada’s own domestic law.  The Canadian BDS Coalition joins with the Palestinian people and the Palestinian BDS National Committee in calling for the UN to activate its anti-apartheid laws and impose serious sanctions, on Israel such as those which were imposed on South Africa.”

On July 19, 2018, Israeli legislators approved the “Basic Law: Israel as the Nation State of the Jewish People” bill that unambiguously defines Israel as a state that belongs exclusively to the “Jewish people.”  This law was approved even though one in five Israeli citizens is an indigenous, non-Jewish Palestinian.  This law makes discrimination constitutional and enshrines apartheid into Law

The Jewish Nation-State legislation was approved by 62 to 55 votes. Palestinian members of the Israeli Knesset condemned the law that stipulates that  “Israel is the historic homeland of the Jewish people and they have an exclusive right to national self-determination in it.”

“It has passed a law of Jewish supremacy and told us that we will always be second-class citizens,” Ayman Odeh, the head of the Arab Joint List – an alliance of four predominantly Arab parties – said in a statement following the law’s passage.

The newly passed law also states that an undivided Jerusalem is the capital of Israel, and names illegal settlements as a “national value.”  This blatant disregard of United Nations resolutions is also contrary to Canadian foreign policy.  The legislation is a blatant disregard for the Fourth Geneva Convention which does not allow for populations of the occupier to be moved into occupied areas.  Under Article 1 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, Canada as a signatory of the Convention is responsible for ensuring that the Convention is upheld in all circumstances.

Adalah, a leading Palestinian human rights organization in Israel,said that the law  “affirms the principle of apartheid in housing, land and citizenship.” Adalah indicates “this law constitutionally sanctions institutionalized discrimination.”

The Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC)  shared Najwan Berekdar, a Palestinian citizen of Israel, reaction:

As a Palestinian citizen of this state, this bill entrenches my third-class citizenship on the land where generations of my family have lived since long before the state of Israel even existed.

The Jewish-Israeli majority is loudly reminding us indigenous Palestinian citizens of Israel that we are not welcome in our own ancestral homeland. My people have always suffered from legalized racism by the state of Israel and its institutions, but this law makes our apartheid reality the law of the land like never before.

As “non-Jews” we are already not allowed to buy or rent land on 93% of the area controlled by the Israeli state, and many of our communities are declared to be “unrecognized” and bulldozed out of existence by Israeli forces. I received a racially segregated and inferior education in a school system that conspicuously privileges Jewish-Israelis.

Israel is now stripping us of any semblance of equal rights based solely on our ethno-religious identity. It’s even demoting our language from one of the state’s two official languages.

Omar Barghouti from the Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC) commented:

Israel has dozens of racist laws, including some which strikingly fit the UN definition of apartheid. But with the constitutional power of this Basic Law, Israel is effectively declaring itself an apartheid state and dropping its worn-out mask of democracy.

From now on, it will not just be legal to racially discriminate against the indigenous Palestinian citizens of the state. It will be constitutionally mandated and required. This should stir people, institutions and governments to take effective action to hold Israel accountable.

The Canadian BDS Coalition which includes over 25 groups from coast to coast, including national, regional and local groups, reminds the Canadian government that its own domestic legislation, the Special Economic Measures Act requires that sanctions are applied where gross and systemic human rights violations have been committed by a foreign state.

“The Canadian government is called upon to immediately condemn Israel’s apartheid law by putting sanctions in place as is required under Canada’s own domestic law.  The Canadian BDS Coalition joins with the Palestinian people and the Palestinian BDS National Committee in calling for the UN to activate its anti-apartheid laws and impose serious sanctions, on Israel such as those which were imposed on South Africa.”

contact: bdscoalition@gmail.com

Release from Palestinian BNC here.

Press release on wire service here.