Category Archives: News

Write letter to Canadian Members of Parliament & Diplomats in support of Palestine Human Rights Defender

Prominent Palestinian human rights defender Mahmoud Nawajaa was taken from his family by Israeli occupation forces during a night raid.

Take a moment to write a letter to Canadian elected officials and diplomats.

Send letter:

https://actionnetwork.org/letters/write-letter-to-canadian-members-of-parliament-diplomats-in-support-of-palestine-human-rights-defender/

The Trudeau government’s complicity gives Israel carte blanche to commit human right abuses and international law violations without impunity.

Under Article 1 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, all High Contracting Parties, which includes Canada, are required to take action to ensure respect for the Convention “in all circumstances.”  

Note: The Canadian BDS Coalition and Just Peace Advocates join together for this letter writing campaign.

In this circumstance, at the very least, the transfer of Mahmoud, as is the case of other prisioners, as a civilian from the occupied area to the occupier’s own territory is a war crime as defined by the Fourth Geneva Convention, Article 49.

Let us remind the Canadian government that the Fourth Geneva Convention provides for the protection of civilians who find themselves under the rule of a foreign power in the event of an international and internal conflict.

The Fourth Geneva Convention is based on the universally accepted principle that parties to a conflict should ensure that people living in an occupied territory should continue to live in as normal a manner as possible and in accordance with their laws, customs and traditions.

Articles 42 and 78 of the Fourth Geneva Convention permit administrative detention only if the security of the Detaining Power makes it absolutely necessary.The practice of administrative detention by Israel in the occupied Palestinian territory contravenes fundamental human rights. Israel uses administrative detention in a highly arbitrary manner without even basic safeguards in place which also leads to other, grave human rights violations.
The Canadian government needs to stop providing impunity to Israel, and to call for administrative detainees that are held on account of their political views or their activities carried out in resistance to the occupation be released promptly and unconditionally.

Background of Mahmoud Nawajaa’s detention

#FreeMahmoud #BDS

Mahmoud Nawajaa, a prominent Palestinian human rights defender, has been dragged away from his family by Israeli occupation forces in a night raid on Thursday July 30 and is currently held in Israel’s Jalameh high-security interrogation center, denied access to lawyers.

Mahmoud’s arrest comes in the context of Israel’s plans for de jure annexation of much of the occupied Palestinian West Bank, on top of its decades-long de facto annexation and apartheid. His arrest is part of Israel’s attempts to clamp down on human rights defenders, such as Mahmoud, and constitutes yet another element of Israel’s apartheid regime.

Mahmoud is one of the more than 4,700 Palestinian prisioners in Israeli jails. In the current circumstances, with the COVID19 virus spreading, mass detention aggravates health and safety risks to all detainees, adding to the common culture of torture and degrading as well as inhumane treatment of Palestinians in Israeli jails.

The Canadian context:

The Trudeau Liberal Government has expressed that it does not support boycotts, divestments or sanctions, despite these actions and opinions being civil liberties and constitutional rights.

Over 60 federal members of parliament have said they are against further annexation of the “West Bank” of Palestine.

Canada touted itself as the world leader who would help countries fight and recover from Covid-19, during its bid for the United Nations Security Seat, but this does not seem to extend to Palestine, nor Palestinian prisoners.

Under Article 1 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, all High Contracting Parties, which includes Canada, are required to take action to ensure respect for the Convention “in all circumstances.”  

See BDS National Committee for more information.

See Al-Haq for more information.

Bryan Adams Waking Up the World With Xenophobia

Bryan Adams is making news again and it’s not flattering.

In 2017, the Canadian BDS Coalition launched the UNPLUG FROM APARTHEID CAMPAIGN. Roger Waters, Checkpoint 303 and about 25 other artists all asked Adams to cancel his tour dates in Israel. Boycott from Within and many other groups and indviduals asked Adams to cancel. Information pickets happening Toronto, and other locations around the world including at several of Adam’s European concert stops.

Adams went ahead and played  in Tel Aviv and Jersualem in December 2017 despite these requests and the  huge cultural boycott campaign asking him not to travel there.

Initial Adams said he would meet with the Coalition, but then went silent. In the end he did not respond to any of the calls, not even the final request to be in touch with Boycott from Within to learn more.

Back in 2014 he did speak out against Israel’s attack on Gaza, but totally ignored the UNPLUG call when this was raised.

However, Adams has shown that he has a political conscience in the past. In 2016 he cancelled a Mississippi tour date because of the state’s anti-LGBT laws.

The cancelling of the Mississippi concert and the tweet re Gaza in 2014–these are  both admirable acts.  However, one has to ask, why did Adams go ahead play in Israel in 2017? We will have to continue to wonder as Adams never responded to those questions when the UNPLUG FROM APARTHEID campaign asked him in 2017.

These are facts that Adams cannot ignore.

Now, in 2020 Adams is in the news again for racist, xenophobic comments about China and COVID 19 that he posted on his web site www.bryanadams.com.

In the same post Adams then encouraged people to become vegans. Perhaps Adams would like to let Vibe Israel know that vegan-washing is not cool!

Adams had recently announced some of his upcoming concert dates had been postponed until October 2020 because of COVID-19. Let’s hope that gives him some time to think about why his 2017 behaviour was that of a PEP–progressive except Palestine. Although his latest move leaves us wondering about the label progressive at all.

There was great criticism of his comments and although he eventually did apologize, his reasoning that he only meant to promote veganism is weak.

One of the Canadian BDS Coalition members said “I am a vegetarian who often eats vegan and I also support justice for Palestine and oppose the 53 year occupation. Adams’ comments about China were still up on his web site the last time I checked. Those who haven’t seen them should visit the site and leave comments.”

Check out the 2017 UNPLUG FROM APARTHEID CAMPAIGN

#Nakba72: Sanctions not statements is what is required

#Nakba72 like every day, our thoughts are on Right of Return, our hearts are with Palestine and our actions are for sanctions on Israel until right of return is realized.

A few things to check out and participate in over #Nakba72

  1. Check out the interview about  Canadian BDS Coalition  with Karen Rodman, Hanna Kawas and Bruce Katz!

Canada Files talked about the state of the Canadian BDS movement, Israeli apartheid during COVID-19, the Canadian federal politics of BDS and the Green Party’s leadership race.

2. Palestine is indivisable: a virtual rally by Al-Quds Committee, a member of the Canadian BDS Coalition

3. #QudsistheReturn Key

4. BNC events

Online Nakba Day Rally – May 15, 9 PM Palestine time: With speakers and performers including DAM, Janna Jihad, Diana Buttu, Roger Waters and Ken Loach. Organized by Palestine Solidarity Campaign (UK), Jewish Voice for Peace (US), South African BDS Coalition, and the BDS Movement.

5. Nakba event with various partners who are members of the Canadian BDS Coalition including Independent Jewish Voices, and Socialist Action, as well as others including Courage and Palestine House.

Canadian BDS Coalition is endorser of this event.

Independent Jewish Voices Canada's photo.

6. Never Forgotten: 72 Years of Restistance.

https://www.ampalestine.org/

7. Petition to the Government of Canada

Almost 1000 signatures. Petition to the Canadian Government calling for end of blockage on Gaza and aligning voting at the United Nations with the rest of the international community. Thanks to Paul Manly for sponsoring.

Whereas:

  • The Palestinian people in Gaza have been under blockade for 13 years;
  • This has resulted in accelerated de-development, and led the United Nations to indicate that Gaza would be unlivable by 2020;
  • COVID-19 has grave potential for human catastrophe in this most densely populated area of the world;
  • Article 56 of the Fourth Geneva Convention specifically provides that an occupier has the duty of ensuring and maintaining the measures necessary to combat the spread of contagious diseases and epidemics; and
  • Under Article 1 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, all high signatories, of which Canada is one, are required to take actions to ensure that violations of the Fourth Geneva Convention do not occur under any circumstance.

We, the undersigned, citizens and residents of Canada, call upon the Government of Canada to request that Israel immediately lift the blockade on Gaza to enable medical and humanitarian aid during the COVID-19 pandemic, and insist that Israel permanently end its blockade of Gaza; and vote at the UN General Assembly in alignment with the majority of the international community taking a stance in line with international law and human rights for Palestinians.

https://petitions.ourcommons.ca/en/Petition/Details?Petition=e-2565

Canadian BDS Coalition submission to the United Church of Canada Taskforce on Palestine

Canadian BDS Coalition

…working together to promote justice for Palestinians.

www.bdscoalition.ca

bdscoalition@gmail.com

March 15, 2020

Dear Rev Dr Martha Ter Kuile and Task Force members:

We in the Canadian BDS Coalition were pleased to learn that the United Church of Canada is reviewing the appropriateness of your existing policy, UCC Policy on Palestine and Israel as of 2019, specifically the three points: support for Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state; use of apartheid to describe Israeli actions and policies in Occupied Palestine; and altering your position on BDS. 

We appreciate the opportunity to address each of these points and we hope that our input will be helpful to your task force as you update your policy to be responsive to the injustice and oppression waged against the Palestinian people..

The Canadian BDS Coalition is an intersectional community of groups in Canada that support the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. We are Christians, Jews, Muslims, Secular Humanists, Universalists, a plurality of people of professed faith and of none, but with a common commitment to justice and peace in Palestine and Israel based in the universal values of treating others the way we wish to be treated, loving our neighbours as ourselves and doing justice where there is injustice, standing in solidarity with the oppressed, giving voice to the voiceless, and taking actions that give practical expression to those values.

The Canadian BDS Coalition is comprised of civil society groups that formed in answer to the 2005 call of Palestinian civil society to the world for BDS. BDS is a time-honoured means of peaceful resistance against odious systems of settler-colonialism, occupation, and apartheid, that history has taught us is effective in bringing down unjust systems. Our cause is the cause of the Palestinian people who have suffered under systemic oppression, ethnic cleansing, dispossession, forced population transfers, and denial of basic human rights for more than 70 years under Israeli aggression.

It is in this capacity that we wish to be included in your consultation.

The 2017 Palestinian Christian Call

The Canadian BDS Coalition understands your review was prompted by the call made from the Palestinian Christian community in June 2017 as part of the “50 Years of Occupation” call to the World Council of Churches and Christians around the world.  In particular, the National Coalition of Christian Organizations in Palestine issued an open letter to the World Council of Churches (WCC) in June 2017. The June 2017 call spoke of the urgent situation of the people in Palestine saying, “this could be our last chance to achieve a just peace.” 

We have read the

open letter from The National Coalition of Christian Organizations in Palestine (NCCOP) to the World Council of Churches and the ecumenical movement.

The 2018 Call to Canadian Christian Community

In November 2018, realizing that there had been silence from the Canadian Christian community the Canadian BDS Coalition supported  a call for the Canadian Christian community to take immediate and decisive action in response the 2017 letter from the Christian Palestinian community.

This call was to the Canadian Council of Churches, Canadian Christian denominations, congregations and organizations asking them to implement the items identified by their Christian partners in Palestine in the June 2017 letter.  Specifically:

  • recognize Israel as an apartheid state;
  • condemn the Balfour declaration as unjust; 
  • take a clear theological stand against any theology or Christian group that justifies the occupation and privileges one nation over the other based on ethnicity or a covenant;
  • revisit and challenge religious dialogue partners; 
  • defend the right of Palestinian Christians to resist the occupation creatively and nonviolently; support BDS.
  • publicly and legally challenge Christian organizations that discredit our work and  legitimacy
  • lobby, advocate and develop active programs towards justice and peace for the people of Palestine

The Canadian BDS Coalition asks you to consider these points in the work of your Task Force.

Acting on the Call of Palestinian Christians

The Canadian BDS Coalition would hope that your Task Force recommendations will align with the requests from your partners in Palestine through their 2017 Call.  This is the bare minimum required to support human rights and international law.

The Canadian BDS Coalition also hopes your Task Force is considering the Kairos document from 2009. in your deliberation.  The Canadian BDS Coalition supports fully the calls from the Palestinian Christian community through the Kairos 2009 document as well as the 2017 call to the World Council of Churches. We would urge your Task Force to also recommend this support to the United Church leadership.

Transparency regarding the United Church of Canada Agreements with B’nai Brith and other zionist groups

As part of your policy reconsideration it would also seem imperative that you recommend the end of the agreement from May 1973 with B’nai Brith and the United Church of Canada, and also the end of any formal or implied subsequent agreements with other groups such as the former Canadian Jewish Congress.  These should be publicly declared as no longer being operative by the United Church leadership.  This is important in order to prevent the fear that is faced by those within and outside church; this includes those who are shut down and silenced as Palestinians and allies. One recent example was the Palestinian Youth Movement event being cancelled by Trinity St. Paul church in the summer of 2019.

Response to the Three Points Raised by Your Task Force

We particularly think it is important for you to reconsider your position on the three issues raised, namely the recognition of Israel as a Jewish state, the use of the term apartheid, and the attitude towards BDS.

1.       Israel as a Jewish State

People not states have the right to exist. According to the Israeli group Adalah there are over 70  pieces of legislation confirming such discrimination against non-Jewish citizens of Israel.  The Nation-State which is Israeli Basic Law (openly proclaims not only that Israel is a Jewish state, and the state of all Jewish people, but that it is specifically NOT the state of all its citizens, and that ONLY the jewish people have the right of self-determination in the state of Israel.  Non Jewish Palestinians today constitute half of the people living under Israel’s rule. Over 20% of its own citizens are Palestinians. For the United Church of Canada to continue to take a stance recognizing the state as Jewish would be shameful, and is discriminatory towards Palestinians.

2.       Use of the term apartheid  

We expect you have heard from others that “Apartheid” is now a well-defined legal concept that refers to a system of practices in a legally and legislatively sanctioned system, under which one group has policies and practices of segregation, separation  and discrimination for the purpose of establishing or maintaining domination of one group against another and such policies include legislative measures designed to divide the population by the creation of separate reserves and ghettos for the members of one racial group or groups . 

This crime as you may know is prohibited under Protocol 1 of the Geneva Convention of 1977, and is designated as a crime under Article 7 of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.  It is also prohibited under the International Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of apartheid adopted by the UN in 1973.

The three elements for such a crime include:  

a.       creating a regime for the domination by one group over another group,   

b.       by the creation of a separate and unequal system of governance to the detriment of the victim group and its members, and  

c.       committing various violations of the rights of the victim group including enslavement, forced transfer of the population, deportation, torture , persecution and other violations against any identifiable group based on political, national , ethnic cultural or gender grounds.

In the West Bank of Palestine today two distinct groups of civilians exist under the rule and control of Israel:  the indigenous Palestinian population and the Jewish settlers. Apart from the blatant illegality of these Jewish settlements under international law, and the fact that these settlements are largely established on lands stolen from the Palestinians, the system of governance in the West Bank of the oPt itself clearly fits the legal definition of apartheid. If anything approaches a system of injustice creating suffering, it is this apartheid system in the West Bank. As indicated in point 1 above, the Nation State Basic law along with the 70+ laws that discriminate against non-Jewish Israeli citizens are clearly apartheid at work. 

To call it by its proper name is the least that the United Church of Canada can do. The insistence of the United Church of Canada over the years to say that using “apartheid” is not helpful speaks of the zionist influences within and on the United Church of Canada, and leaves the  United Church of Canada badly out of step with international law and human rights. We surely hope you are not saying “apartheid” cannot be used as an excuse to avoid speaking truth, just because the powerful would find it objectionable! 

3.         Boycotts, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS).  

We understand the United Church of Canada has indicated it accepts the principles behind BDS as proper nonviolent tactics for addressing and combating the systemic injustices involved in the Israeli occupation and as legitimate tools for influencing Israeli policies.  Thus, the United Church of Canada’s objections against BDS seem very misguided. 

For the United Church of Canada further suggests that the BDS “as a whole involves too broad a spectrum of participants with significantly varied and sometimes unacceptable goals” is to misrepresent the historic nonviolent tactics of boycott, divestment and sanctions.  

The essence of BDS is to provide an alternative nonviolent method pressuring Israel which has so far successfully defied international law. It also provides churches and others a means of promoting their values of freedom, equality and justice. BDS allows citizens and institutions to take action through boycotts and divestment when their own governments fail to pressure Israel into ending its occupation policies, providing equality to all citizens, and to upholding the universal right of return of refugees.  

Boycotts and divestment have been used against other countries, and their rulers have also had to face sanctions over human rights violations.  Israel should not be exempt from such pressures and consequences. 

In Canada at any time there are at least 20 countries being sanctioned under the United Nations Act and the Emergency Economic Measures Act. In this sense, Israel is not unfairly singled out, but rather, Israel is being unfairly exempted from the universal requirements we impose on other countries.   

It would be  a shame if the United Church of Canada does not take a clear call, now over a decade after the 2009 Kairos call from Palestinian partners, to show this clear leadership including support for boycott, divestment and sanctions related to end of occupation, ensure equal rights and release the right of return.  

The Canadian BDS Coalitions calls on your Task Force to seriously consider why NO action has been undertaken to the motion at your General Council 40 in 2012, and subsequently at General Council 41 in 2015, to implement the divestment call approved by the United Church of Canada grassroots, and to make clear recommendations to support the grassroots movement within the church in support of the full BDS call made by Palestinian civil society in 2005.

We would be available to discuss in further detail, and do urge the United Church of Canada to take the courageous leadership it is known for on many issues, and stand with the call made by the Palestinian Christian community for full support of BDS and a clear naming of the Israeli settler-colonization and apartheid regime.

Sincerely,

The Canadian BDS Coalition

Cc:

The Right Reverend Dr. Richard Bott, Moderator, United Church of Canada

Nora Sanders, General Secretary, United Church of Canada;

Reverend Michael Blair, Executive Minister, Church in Mission, United Church of Canada; Member of Task Force

Rev. Brenna Baker, Member of Task Force

Right Rev. Jordan Cantwell, Member of Task Force

Rev. Jim Cairney, Member of Task Force

Wendy Gichuru, Program Coordinator, Africa and Middle East Partnership Program, United Church of Canada

Solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en nation and land defenders

February 28, 2020

The Canadian BDS Coalition expresses our total solidarity with indigenous rights and land defenders. we stand in solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en nation and land defenders at the Unist’ot’en Camp and Gidimt’en and across Turtle Island who continue to resist Canada’s colonial incursions of their unceded territories. 

Wet'suwet'en

We denounce the Canadian governments for their colonial violence and their callous disregard of indigenous rights. We understand the struggles of the indigenous people of this land and the indigenous people of Palestine have always been against the supremacist settler colonialist mentality, that has at its roots lack of respect for indigenous rights and dignity. 

We also honour the brave resistance of our indigenous sisters and brothers all through their history and know that they believe, as we do, in defending their land to their last breath. We are deeply grateful for the Wet’suwet’en people for their indomitable spirit, and their tireless defence of the land and water resources. 

The Canadian BDS Coalition stands firmly with the indigenous people on Turtle Island in your struggle for your land and ancestral rights.  We stand united with you in the struggle against settler colonialism, racism, corporate criminality and your inalienable rights for justice and self-determination.

We  join with the BDS National Committee in their statement of solidarity Palestinians stand in solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en nation

February 29, 2020

The Canadian BDS Coalition  in expressing its solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en people, led by their hereditary chiefs, standing up for sovereignty, includes opposition to pipeline construction across their unceded, ancestral lands.  As proponents of the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination, we stand with Indigenous people who are asserting their rights, and fighting to end occupation and neo-colonial rule, including by blocking railway lines, highways, bridges and major ports.  

For that reason, among others. our Coalition opposes the Canadian government’s bid to obtain a seat for the Canadian state on the United Nations Security Council.  

In addition, we celebrate the withdrawal of Teck Frontier’s proposal for a huge tar sands project in Alberta — at least in part due to the impact of mass protests across the Canadian state in solidarity with Indigenous people and against imminent climate catastrophe. 

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

Hundred Year Old Man , Leeds post-metal, Leeds UK

Johnny Gagnon, A Blue Pail, Canada

Francis Collins, folksinger, San Francisco

 

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

Hundred Year Old Man , Leeds post-metal, Leeds UK

Johnny Gagnon, A Blue Pail, Canada

Francis Collins, folksinger, San Francisco






#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

#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

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

Join us in #RaptorsDontGo

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

BREAKING NEWS

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

WHAT DO I DO?

GET READY IMMEDIATELY:  

Follow  @Canadian_BDS on twitter

PARTICIPATE on Saturday, June 22 1. Retweet: from @Canadian_BDS

2. Click here  for sample tweets & for twitter accounts of Raptor players and others


Other Ways to Engage:

Like & Follow on Facebook @BDSCoalition 

Watch for more actions & information.


Read More About the Campaign: The Middle East Monitor Please #SkipTheTrip to Israel, Toronto Raptors


Sign the Petition
Be in touch: bdscoalition@gmail.com

Tweet to all the Raptor players and the President Masai an Open Letter to the Raptors.

Open Letter to @Raptors #Champions @HumanRights https://t.co/2cNzN4DUOl @OAnunoby @chrisboucher @MarcGasol @DGreen_14 @sergeibaka @kawhileonard @JLin7 @Klow7 @mrjloyd @PMcCaw0 @Jmeeks20 @MalcMili13 @EricMoreland15 @npowell2404 @pskills43@FredVanVleet @UjiriMasai pic.twitter.com/Oy57PnjPNn(@Canadian_BDS) June 16, 2019

Copy the above messages.

Retweet messages from @Canadian_BDS

Raptors

@Raptors ‘

Details for player Facebook Accounts below

Twitter Accounts for Raptors (list)

@OAnunoby

@chrisboucher

@MarcGasol

@DGreen_14

@sergeibaka

@kawhileonard

@JLin7

@Klow7

@mrjloyd

@PMcCaw0

@Jmeeks20

@MalcMili13

@EricMoreland15

@npowell2404

@pskills43

@FredVanVleet

RAPTOR PLAYERS with their twitter account listed:

O.G. Anunoby

@OAnunoby

Chris Boucher

@chrisboucher

Marc Gasol

@MarcGasol

Danny Green

@DGreen_14

RESPECT is everything, I give what I get

Serge Ibaka

@sergeibaka

Kawhi Leonard

@kawhileonard

Jeremy Lin

@JLin7

Kyle Lowry

@Klow7

A man who plays basketball

Jordan Loyd

@mrjloyd

Talent is God given. Be humble. Fame is man-given Be grateful. Conceit is selfgiven. Be careful.

Patrick McCaw

@PMcCaw0

Jodie Meeks

@Jmeeks20

Shooting Guard for the Washington Wizards!

Malcolm Miller

@MalcMili13

Toronto Raptors #13 Everyday is a blessed day! Stay Ready, Stay Positive! #WeTheNorth snap:malcman13 IG:mlmili13

Eric Moreland

@EricMoreland15

Houston . Dream big. Work Hard. Let God do the rest!

yellow brick road

norman powell

@npowell2404

pascal siakam

@pskills43

God first. #RipDad #DoingItForYou#NmState #WeTheNorth #43

Fred VanVleet

@FredVanVleet

President of Raptors

Masai Ujiri

@UjiriMasai

Super Fan

Nav Bhatia Superfan

@superfan_nav


Contact Raptors on Facebook

*send messages, include comments on posts:

https://www.facebook.com/TorontoRaptors/

FACEBOOK for individual Players

OG Anunoby

https://www.facebook.com/oanunoby/

Forward3

OG Anunoby

Chris Boucher

https://www.facebook.com/chris.boucher.9678

Forward25

Chris Boucher

Marc Gasol

Center33

https://www.facebook.com/marcgasol/

Marc Gasol

Danny Green

Guard-Forward14

https://www.facebook.com/DannyGreenNBA/

Danny Green

Serge Ibaka

Center-Forward9

https://www.facebook.com/sergeibaka/

Serge Ibaka

Kawhi Leonard

Forward2

https://www.facebook.com/Kawhi-Leonard-847941498551411/

Kawhi Leonard

Jeremy Lin

Guard17

https://www.facebook.com/jeremylin7/

Jeremy Lin

Kyle Lowry

Guard7

https://www.facebook.com/kylelowry07/

Kyle Lowry

Jordan Loyd

Guard8

https://www.facebook.com/jloyd24uindy

Jordan Loyd

Patrick McCaw

Guard1

https://www.facebook.com/OfficialPatrickMcCaw/

Patrick McCaw

Jodie Meeks

Guard20

https://www.facebook.com/OfficialJodieMeeks/

Jodie Meeks

Malcolm Miller

Forward13

https://www.facebook.com/malcolm.miller.37051

Malcolm Miller

Eric Moreland

Forward-Center15

https://www.facebook.com/eric.e.moreland

Eric Moreland

Norman Powell

Forward-Guard24

https://www.facebook.com/NormanPowell4/

Norman Powell

Pascal Siakam

Forward43

https://www.facebook.com/pskills43/

Pascal Siakam

Fred VanVleet

Guard23

https://www.facebook.com/officialfredvanvleet/

Fred VanVleet

RAPTOR INSTAGRAM

instagram.com/raptors