Category Archives: News

#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

#RaptorsDontGo Say No to Brand Israel Sports-washing

The Canadian BDS Coalition calls on each of the Raptors to say NO to this offer by Tanenbaum. Say no to being used as an ambassador to sports-wash an aggressive ongoing colonization complete with apartheid, genocide and war crimes.

CLICK HERE TO: SIGN AND SHARE PETITION to Toronto Raptor Players and Coach. We have reached over 6K signatures.

Updates:

Message from Israeli Citizens to the Toronto Raptors: Please do not help Israel whitewash its occupation and apartheid crimes

Roger Waters Add His Voice to #RaptorsDontGo


NOTE: June 27, 2019: The Canadian BDS Coalition earlier this week officially requested clarification from all the owners of Maple Leaf Sports Entertainment (MLSE), the parent body of the Toronto Raptors, as to whether a trip to Israel for the team was under consideration or had already been approved. To date, no response has been received, but we will post any answer from them when available. In the absence of a reply confirming that such a trip will NOT be happening, we will continue our campaign to say #RaptorsDontGo to Israel.

Owners of MLSE are Bell 37.5%, Rogers 37.5% and Kilmer Sports (holding company of Larry Tanenbaum) 25%.

Read more: July 1, 2019, Mondoweiss article by Marion Kawas Sports-washing and the Toronto Raptors


Our campaign #SayNo #SkipTheTrip is gaining momentum with CodePink & Jewish Voices for Peace on board. And more media covering it, including Quds News Network and the Palestine Chronicle.

Background

The Raptors billionaire co-owner, Larry Tanenbaum, said he would bring @Raptors to visit if they win the @NBA title, according to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency.

 Tanebaum a founder of the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs is the chairman of Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment Ltd., which is the parent company of the Raptors as well as the National Hockey League’s Toronto Maple Leafs,  Major League Soccer’s Toronto FC, the CFL Toronto Argonauts. He also currently serves as the board chairman of the NBA, and as a member of the board of governors of the NHL and Major League Soccer.

Israel’s Sport 5 reported last week that during a low-key visit to Israel in April, Tanenbaum told several people he met that “If we win the NBA championship, I will come with the Toronto Raptors to visit the Holy Land.”

The Call

The Canadian BDS Coalition calls on each of the Raptors players to say NO to this offer by Tanenbaum. Say no to being used as an ambassador to sports-wash an aggressive ongoing colonization complete with apartheid, genocide and war crimes.

Learn about cultural including sports boycott check the Palestinian Campaign for Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel guidelines.

Follow the Canadian BDS Coalition at:

Twitter: @Canadian_BDS

Facebook: @BDSCoalition

Tweet, Tag

@Raptors @NBA

to be in touch with Raptors and other click HERE


CHECK OUT OPEN LETTER TO THE RAPTORS

Open Letter to Toronto Raptors:
“Please take this opportunity to stand with Palestinians in their struggle for freedom..”

June 15, 2019


Dear Toronto Raptors,

We are writing to you as long-time fans to urge you to uphold Palestinian human rights and not to travel to Israel. Since 2004 Palestinian civil society organizations have called for the academic and cultural boycott of Israel until such a time as Israel recognizes the Right of Return of over 5 million Palestinian refugees and their descendants displaced in the process of Israeli colonization and occupation of Palestine; ends its occupation and colonization of the West Bank and its siege of Gaza; and dismantles the Apartheid system of racial discrimination and segregation for Palestinian citizens of Israel.

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.

Israel’s occupation of the West Bank, its settlements and its Apartheid Wall are a war crime. The siege of Gaza, and the death and misery meted out on an effectively jailed civilian population, is a crime against humanity. And its system of racial discrimination and segregation is a form of Apartheid, as articulated by survivors of South African Apartheid including Desmond Tutu and Mandla Mandela (grandson of the great freedom fighter Nelson Mandela).

As NBA Champions, you have the opportunity to use your stature and influence to make the world a better place for the young people all over the world who admire you. Please take this opportunity to stand with Palestinians in their struggle for freedom and liberation, and do not travel to Israel.

Aiyanas Ormond,
Coordinator, BDS Vancouver-Coast Salish Territories


Check out and share the following articles

Middle Eastern Monitor  Please #SkipTheTrip to Israel, Toronto Raptors

The Palestine Chronicle  Toronto Raptors: Please #SkipTheTrip to Israel



Thanks JEWISH VOICES FOR PEACE For Your One Question Poll

Jewish Voice for Peace
Take the poll HERE

An Open Letter to the NBA Champion Toronto Raptors

You have achieved something truly historic and Raptors fans are forever grateful, now please skip the White House and Doug Ford

Let Toronto NOW Magazine that along with Ford & Trump, they forgot “Bibi” Send comments HERE Tweet @nowToronto

Stay tuned for more News and Actions.

Canadian Human Rights Activists Congratulate the Government of South Africa on Downgrading Relations with Israel

Pro-Palestinian groups and other civil society organisations demonstrate, in Durban on 2 June, 2018 [Twitter]

The following release has been provided to South Africa BDS

Release, May 27, 2019 

The Canadian BDS Coalition, a coalition of over 30 national and regional groups across Canada, congratulates the government of South Africa on their resolve for justice for the Palestinian people in their decision to downgrade diplomatic relations with Israel.

To the government of South Africa and the brave BDS South African people, who stand tall for justice for the Palestinians, in spite of all the difficulties and back lash which it entails, we  say thank you.  We are aware of your tireless stand and work for so many years. We commend you for for taking a stand to support human rights and international law, in saying no to Israel’s apartheid regime.

We have the same aspirations here in Canada, but unfortunately it is very difficult to have the politicians of all levels in North America to overcome their fear, their politics and have the courage to stand for what is right.  This is despite an EKOS poll in 2017, shows that two-third of Canadians support Sanctions on Israel.  A more recent EKOS poll showed 58% of Canadian Jewish people felt Sanctions on Israel would be reasonable. 


Contact: 

Canadian BDS Coalition

bdscoalition@gmail.com

www.bdscoalition.ca

Action: Send a letter to editor personally or from your own organizations to the following Media

to;
bdletters@bdlive.co.za,
letters@dailymaverick.co.za,
letters@mg.co.za,
starletters@inl.co.za,
omphitlhetse.mooki@inl.co.za,
ctletters@inl.co.za,
letters@sundaytimes.co.za,
tellus@thetimes.co.za
cc:administrator@bdssouthafrica.com,
Media@presidency.gov.za

Several articles you may wish to read:

Gideon Levy

Business Live

Daily Maverick

Cross Country Day of Action in Solidarity Against Canadian Complicity with Israeli War Crimes and Apartheid

News Release, May 17, 2019

Tomorrow, Saturday, May 18 people will join together from Victoria, British Columbia to St. John’s, Newfoundland to mark a Cross Country Day of Action to name Canadian complicity in regard to war crimes and apartheid by the state of Israel on the people of Palestine.  

These events commemorate seventy-one years since the original Nakba which saw  the expulsion of over 700,000 Palestinians from their homeland and recognize the ongoing colonization of remaining Palestine in similar pattern of Judaization of the West Bank including East Jerusalem and the total siege and destruction of Gaza.

Events have happened during the week including a vigil last Sunday in Montreal.  Tomorrow, street actions and other events are planned across the country including for Victoria, Vancouver, Winnipeg, Toronto, Saint John and St. John’s.

The Day of Action enjoys the support of dozens of labour unions, anti-war, social justice, faith, community and political organizations.  The day of action supports boycott, divestment and sanctions against the Israeli state and economy, until: the occupation with its associated war crimes is ended;  the apartheid regime is replaced with equal rights for all citizens within Israel and Palestine; and the right of return is realized for Palestinian.

The majority of Canadians agree that Canada needs to take action under its responsibility under Article 1 of the Fourth Geneva Convention. In this regard, a 2017 EKOS poll showed that two-thirds of Canadians support sanctions being placed by Canada on Israel in regard to international law and human rights violations.

The Canadian BDS Coalition includes national, regional and local groups from across the country.

Contact: bdscoalition@gmail.com

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