Category Archives: Resources

Guide for Canada of Economic Boycott

What can I do? Economic Boycott.

BDS  Economic Boycott

Speaking with your economic buying power–an age old tactic

The BDS movement is building an economic boycott of Israel and developing effective campaigns against companies that participate in Israel’s oppression of Palestinians.

International companies aid and abet Israel’s violations of international law, including by operating in illegal Israeli settlements and acting as contractors for the Israeli military and government.

The economic boycott of Israel aims to put pressure on Israel to comply with international law and to persuade private companies to end their participation in Israel’s crimes.

Grassroots BDS campaigning is leading to major companies and investors changing their attitudes towards Israel and its oppression of Palestinians.

The Israeli economy is especially dependent on international trade and investment, making it especially susceptible to international economic boycotts.

BDS campaigning has had a serious impact on Israeli companies. Carmel Agrexco, Israel’s largest agricultural export company, entered liquidation after a huge boycott campaign against the company pushed Israeli farmers to export their products through other companies. SodaStream was forced to close its operations in an illegal Israeli settlement after BDS campaigning led to retailers taking its products off its shelves. SodaStream is still a boycott target over its role in ethnic cleansing of Palestinians in the Naqab (Negev)

Campaigning has led to major companies selling up and leaving Israel altogether and a range of investors divesting from Israeli and international companies.

The UN, the World Bank and other experts say that BDS is having an important economic impact on Israel.

Impact on Israeli companies of Consumer Boycott:

Experts report growing economic impact of BDS:  According to the authors of a UN report, BDS was a key factor behind at 46% drop in foreign direct investment into Israel in 2014 compared to 2013.   The World Bank partially attributed a 24% drop in Palestinian imports from Israel to boycott. Reports by the Israeli government and the Rand Corporation have predicted that BDS could cost the Israeli economy billions of dollars.

Does the BDS movement call for a boycott of all Israeli products or just products and companies from illegal Israeli settlements?

The BDS movement calls for a boycott of all Israeli products. However, some of our biggest campaigns are against companies that operate in illegal Israeli settlements in the Occupied West Bank. This is simply because targeting these companies are, at this stage, more capable of winning widespread support and succeeding. As our movement grows, so do our ambitions and the BDS movement is currently in the process of moving away from campaigns focused mainly on illegal Israeli settlements.

 Identifying Israeli Products

A barcode starting with 729 usually indicates a product of Israel. But this is not always reliable. The best way to tell if a product is made in Israel is to look for a “Product of Israel” label or to ask the retailer if they can guarantee a product isn’t from Israel.

Consumer Boycott Action List

BNC Campaign: Priority Boycott & Related Actions

HP

HP plays a key role in Israel’s oppression of Palestinians. It provides technology, equipment and services to the Israeli military, including for the checkpoints and ID card system that underpin Israel’s apartheid policies and its movement restrictions for Palestinians.HP relies on its good image and its contracts with public organisations, civil society bodies and private businesses. Effective grassroots campaigning can push HP to end its role in Israeli apartheid and settler colonialism.

ACTIONS:

  1. Sign the international pledge to boycott HP.
  2. Join the more than 1.8 million people have signed a petition calling on HP to end its role in Israeli apartheid and settler colonialism.
  3. Retailers selling HP Products: In Canada consumer boycott focused on Best Buy and Staples, but not limited to these retailers. (see links)
  4. HP Free Zones: Call on student groups,  faith communities, not-for-profits, institutions, other organizations,  businesses, along with governments declare that they are HP Free.  This could include owning no HP products, publically getting rid of HP products, or declaring will not buy any further HP products and placing “This is my last HP” sticker on all current HP products.

Farming Injustice

For Palestinians, agriculture is much more than the production of olives, citrus fruit and other fresh produce, or keeping livestock. Farming is tied to the Palestinian people’s identity, history and resistance to Israel’s colonial occupation.

ACTIONS:

  1. Boycott based on information provided, and by looking for Country Code 729, Made in Israel and talking with the store manager/retailer.
  2. Individual actions
  3. Support Amnesty International campaign calling Canadian government to comply with UNSC resolution 2334 through Occupation@50
  4. Promote alternate Palestinian products (if source).

Israeli Fruit and Vegetables, including Dates
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.

Wineries

As an example, approximately 60-70 products labelled “made in Israel” are  available through the LCBO in Ontario.  Many of  these  have connection with illegal occupation of Syrian Golan or Palestinian territory.

Include the word “Israel” in the LCBO search to find stores and products to take action

See Canada Palestine Association re wine boycotts here.

Sabra
Sabra hummus is a joint venture between PepsiCo and the Strauss Group, an Israeli food company that provides financial support to the Israel Defense Forces.

Determine where it is sold in Canada HERE

Plan actions at Consumer Shows across Canada.  Check HERE.

Air Canada sells Sabra on board its planes.

Dead Sea Salt

Check out CJPME resources here.

Ahava
Ahava cosmetics is one of  Israel’s best known export companies.

Find locations selling this project HERE.

Action: contact Ahava stores and head office, and the Bay.

See resources from the United Church of Canada and CJPME

SodaStream
SodaStream home drinks machines are one of Israel’s best known exports.

For stores see here.

Major retailers include Hudson Bay, Canadian Tire, Home Outfitters, Walmart, London Drugs and Bed, Bath and Beyond.

See resources from the United Church of Canada and CJPME.

HSBC: end complicity in Israel’s militarised repression of Palestinians

The international HSBC bank is a major shareholder in companies selling weapons and military technology to Israel and also provides those companies with the loans they need to operate.

ACTIONS:

  1. HSBC Customers: Boycott HSBC, let HSBC know if you are withdrawing your services.
  2. Everyone: Head over to the War on Want website to email the head of HSBC, and tell him to end HSBC complicity in Israel’s crimes against the Palestinian people.
  3. Everyone: learn about HSBC in Canada and find locations near you.  Use your own voice and creativity, along with tools to let  HSBC , their customers and other  know HSBC’s complicity.

Hyundai

Boycott Hyundai to end its complicity in Israel’s ethnic cleansing of Palestinian communities in Jerusalem and the Naqab

#BoycottHyundai

The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Committee of Palestinian Citizens of Israel (BDS48) call upon our Palestinian people in the homeland and the Diaspora, the peoples of the Arab world, and people of conscience worldwide to boycott and divest from Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI), until it ends its involvement in Israel’s violations of our human rights, particularly in Jerusalem and the Naqab (Negev).

Inform yourself HERE.

  1. Future purchasers: Don’t buy Hyundai products, and let Hyundai know locally along with their Canadian head office know you will not be buying Hyundai.
  2. Current Owners: Let local Hyundai know that this is your last Hyundai product if you own Hyundai.
  3. Everyone: check out Hyundai Canada  Use your own voice and creativity, along with tools to let  HSBC , their customers and other  know Hyundai complicity.

Boycott the Following (research by Who Profits)

Coca Cola

Africa Israel: clothing line

Motorola

Naot

Pay Pal (see UCC)

Trip Advisor

Airbnb

Remax (see CJPME)

Ketter  (see UCC)

Aroma Espresso Cafes

Toyota

Land Rover

General Motors

Mitsubishi

Note: several of these organizations have been on leaked UN Blacklists as well.  Canada has two companies expected to be on the UN list when it is available but the names have not yet been released.  We expect to provide more information on Canadian companies doing business in settlements and in support of the occupation, as well as further information on other products that have been verified by Who Profits and other groups.

Retailers

The following have had verification work done previously:

Mountain Equipment Company  by CJPME

Canadian Tire by CJPME ,  Canada  Palestine Association,  UCC

COSTCO by CJPME

H&M  by CJPME

Home Depot by CJPME. Also UCC

IBM by CJPME

IKEA by CJPME

Indigo by CJPME

Pizza Hut by CJPME

Toys’r’us see CJPME

Western Union see CJPME

The Bay see UCC

Walmart see UCC

IMPORTANT NOTE

The global nature of today’s economy means that there are thousands of companies that have links to Israel and are complicit to various degrees in Israel’s violations of international law. However, for our movement to have real impact we need our consumer boycotts to be easy to explain, have wide appeal and the potential for success. That’s why we particularly focus globally on a select few strategic campaigns. We also encourage the principle of context sensitivity, whereby activists in any given context decide what best to target and how, in line with BDS guidelines. There is a lot of information online claiming that some large companies give money to Israel, some of which turns out to be false. BDS has built a reputation for strictly adhering to established facts and producing the most accurate information.

Besides boycotting Israeli goods, what else can I do?

The BDS movement is about much more than consumer boycotts: it is also about campaigning alongside others to pressure institutions, unions, and companies to boycott or divest and to isolate Israel academically, culturally, economically and militarily. Check out the other areas of this Get Involved page for more information and ideas.

Frequent Questions and Answers

Will more items be added?

Yes.  More products and organizations will be added as research is completed, and new campaigns added through the BNC, the Canadian BDS Coalition or local organizations.

What if I find a product, company or retailer that might be added to the list?

Provide details to bdscoalition@gmail.com

Should i make direct contact with companies and/or retailers before taking an action?

It is always advisable to make contact with the companies and retailers.  For BNC campaigns this contact has been made at global level.  For those organizations listed by Who Profits, they have been directly contacted by Who Profits.  Similarly organizations like CJPME and UCC have made this contact before moving forward with campaigns.  As part of publishing this list the Canadian BDS Coalition has made contact with organizations at a national level (still to be done).  Best practices would be for local organizations and also individuals to also make such contact related to any boycott action or locally developed campaign.

CJPME: Canadian for Justice and Peace in the Middle East

UCC: United Church of Canada

Interested in being involved locally contact bdscoalition@gmail.comThis entry was posted in BDS Coalition ActionsCampaignsTake ActionUncategorized and tagged boycotteconomic boycottHP 

At Ramadan and all year support #BDS, don’t buy Israeli medjoul dates

Learn more about what to consider when purchasing Medjoul Dates in Canada to ensure they are not from Israeli companies, and to ensure you are purchasing Palestinian product. Steps you can take, and tools to assist you in letting retailers know that you expect them to not carry Israeli Medjoul dates or any Israeli products.

If you know of other Israeli product coming into Canada, or of Palestinian product that is available in Canada, please contact us at bdscoalition@gmail.com and we will up date our information.

Also, if you are aware of any retailers carrying Israeli product please let them that supporting Israeli apartheid and war crimes is not okay, and if you wish you can let us know and we can also follow up.

2019 Annual Report

Canadian BDS Coalition

Working for Freedom, Equity and Justice

The following is a report on the work of the Canadian BDS Coalition during 2019

The Canadian BDS Coalition was formed in 2016 to bring together organizations in Canada that support the Palestinian Civil Society Call through the BDS National Coalition (BNC).  

To learn more about BDS, https://bdscoalition.ca/about-bds/

The Coalition has member organizations including members from Vancouver Island to Newfoundland.

HIGHLIGHTS FROM 2019

Raptors Don’t Go declared victory.

The Current is Cut Between Hydro-Québec and Israel Electric

Partial Victory: Bombardier pulls out of Israeli settler railway

#IVotePalestine campaign

50+ Artists say Show Courage Céline

Read the whole report here

2018 Annual Report Canadian BDS Coalition

Working for Freedom, Equity and Justice

The following is a report on the work of 
the Canadian BDS Coalition during 2018.  

The Canadian BDS Coalition formed in 2016 bringing together organizations in Canada that support the Palestinian Civil Society Call through the BDS National Coalition (BNC).

By the end of 2018, the Coalition had grown to 30 member organizations.

HIGHLIGHTS FROM 2018

Campaign to hold Canadian Financial Institutions Accountable for their Complicity with Violations of the Fourth Geneva Convention

Over 10,000 signatures on the Don’t Dance on the Ruins of Palestinian Childhood campaign when BC Ballet and two other organizations danced under sponsorship of the Government of Canada, and the cities of Vancouver and Montreal, at the Israeli CanaDanse Festival.  The campaign initiated by Canada Palestine Association in Vancouver.

Canadian Court awarded ruled that Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions activists were denied free speech and campaigning rights when the city of Montreal tore down their posters highlighting an Israeli atrocity during an election campaign in Canada. This action was brought forward by BDS Quebec.

The Canadian Federation of Students passed a resolution in support of BDS.  The The Canadian Federation of Students is the voice of 500,000 members in 64 student unions at universities across Canada. 

A number of statements were made to the Canadian Government and others in regard such issues as Israeli Nation State Bill, the massacre in Gaza.  

A clear call for Sanctions was made by the member group, Just Peace Advocates, with 100 organizations joining the Al-Haq  Gaza 2020 campaign.  The call was for the government Canada to implement Sanctions until the Blockade on Gaza is Lifted.

An Economic Boycott Guide was developed for Canada.

Campaigns continue in regard to:

Israeli wines in British Columbia liquor stores by Canada Palestine Association, with other provinces beginning to join in.

Cut the current between Hydro Quebec and Israel Electricity a campaign of BDS Quebecwith other provinces joining in.

For 2016/7 Report see  HERE

Social Media Presence

Check out the Canadian BDS Coalition at:

Web Site.  https://bdscoalition.ca/

Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/BDSCoalition.

Twitter account https://twitter.com/BDS_Coalition, @BCS_Coalitiont

Initiation of the Canadian BDS Coalition

Work began in January 2016 towards contacting the organizations which had been part of an earlier Canadian Boycott Coalition.  Based on this follow up during February and March 2016, there was strong interest in moving forward with discussions towards a revived Canadian BDS Coalition.

The inaugural conference call of the Canadian BDS Coalition was held in April 2016, with agreement there was interest in moving forward with a Coalition based on  a shared Basis of Unity in support of the Palestinian civil society call for boycott, divestment and sanctions.

The Canadian BDS Coalition: Basis of Unity

A subcommittee was formed in June 2016 to develop mission, purpose & function to present to the Coalition.  From this work, the Coalition finalized its Basis of Unity in September 2016.

The Coalition’s agreed Basis of Unity (BOU)  can be found on the  Canadian BDS Coalition website.  The description of who we are can be found in the About Us section.

The aims of the Coalition are to:

  • promote, support and help coordinate boycott, divestment, and sanctions activities in Canada;
  • provide Canadians with resources to help them understand and take action in support of the Palestinian call for BDS;
  • promote and defend the right of Canadians to freedom of expression in support of BDS. 

Member Organizations

Member organizations share a common commitment to pursuing just peace through the realization of freedom, justice, and equality for Palestinians, without which a lasting peace is impossible to achieve. Any Canadian group or organization that supports the BDS National Committee call and endorses the Coalition’s Basis of Unity is invited to join.

Member organizations that support the BDS call and the Canadian BDS Coalition’s Basis of Unity are  listed on the Coalition’s website.

The Coalition also works with a network of friends—organizations which have chosen not to join the Canadian BDS Coalition for a variety of reasons, but who work with the Coalition towards a just peace in the region. Several are listed on the Coalition’s website, and others are part of the network but not listed.

At the end of 2018  there were 30 member groups, and over 30 other groups that are part of the network associated with the Coalition, including two international groups which have Canadian members.  

During 2017/18  the Coalition had a focus on capacity building, relationship development, outreach, as well as standing in solidarity with voice of unity for BNC call.

Action with Focus on Education and Action

The Coalition recognizes the importance to educate people about BDS.  It is important that we talk about what BDS is and what it is not. The Coalition provides a window of opportunity to share from an educational position what BDS is about.

VICTORIES AND ACTIONS

Canadian Financial Institutions: Complicit with Violations of the Fourth Geneva Convention

Israeli Illegal Settlement . Photo: Montecruz Foto via Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Four Canadian Financial Institutions, BMO, RBC, Scotiabank and Manulife have been listed on Bank Track as owning and managing shares in two Israeli Banks, Bank Leumi and Mizrahi Tefahot Bank. Both these Israeli banks are active in and profiting from Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories.  Follow campaign HERE.

The Canadian BDS Coalition has contacted the CEO/Presidents of each of the four institutions in regard to their complicity. Based on responses received in early 2019, a grassroots campaign will begin. 

Canadian Dance Companies: Don’t Dance on the Ruins of Palestinian Childhood

Campaign organizers, Canada Palestine Association (CPA), called on Ballet BC to take a stand and not perform in Israel.  Such a performance would be a permanent stain on their records.

When two other organizations indicated participation in the Cana Danse Festival in Israel., they were also included. The Canadian BDS Coalition joined in the call for 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.

Over 10,000 signatures were received in support of this campaign.  See here.  Also see this article in Mondoweiss.

When it became known that the Canadian government, and cities of Vancouver and Montreal were sponsoring the Cana Danse Festival in Israel, an open  letter was sent from the Canadian BDS Coalition to the Government of Canada, Cities of Vancouver and Montreal. Note no responses were received from any of the parties.

Canadian Court Hands Important Victory to BDS Movement

On December 12th a Canadian Court ruled that Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions activists were denied free speech and campaigning rights when the city of Montreal tore down their posters highlighting an Israeli atrocity during an election campaign in Canada. 

The Canadian BDS Coalition congratulated  Quebec BDS, a member of the Canadian BDS Coalition, on its important victory.  Hear more about it in this Real News documentary.

This is a victory of legitimacy of BDS in Canada by the Quebec Supreme Count.  It is applicable in other jurisdiction of Canada.

Canadian Federation of Students (CFS) Supports Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions

CFS representing 500K+ members at 64 students’ union at universities across Canada joined in solidarity for justice for the people of Palestine.

The Canadian BDS Coalition congratulated the Canadian Federation of Students (CFS), a member of the Coalition, on its resolution supporting the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement that was unanimously passed at the CFS annual General Assembly on November 20, 2018. 

The resolution follows the BDS endorsement by the CFS-Ontario in 2014, and BDS victories at over 20 individual campuses across Canada over the last decade.

BC Attorney General Stonewalls on Israeli Wines in BC Liquor Store

The Canadian Palestine Association continued its campaign in regard to Israeli wine.  On October 17, 2018, the CPA finally heard back from British Columbia Attorney General David Eby.  Eby 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”.

Meteor Music Festival in Israel: Call for the Canadian-Danish Music Group Rhye to Withdraw

Palestinians urged participating artists to withdraw from the Meteor Festival as a meaningful contribution to our struggle for freedom, justice and equality.  The Canadian BDS Coalition joined in the international action with a call for the Canadian-Danish Music group, Rhye to withdraw from the September 2018 Israeli Meteor Music Festival.

The Canadian government is called to condemn the Israeli Nation State Bill and uphold its own Canadian Special Economic Sanctions Act.

in Trudeau and Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland speak at a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 31, 2018.Patrick Doyle/Canadian Press

When the Israeli Nation State Law passed which effectively declared itself an apartheid colonial-settler state, the Canadian BDS Coalition called upon the Canadian government 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.”

No response was received.

The partnership between Hydro-Québec and Israel Electric is revealed by BDS-Québec

Quebec BDS which is a member of the Canadian BDS Coalition launched a campaign this year to demand that Hydro-Québec terminate its agreement to cooperate on cyber security with Israel Electric Corporation concluded on May 22, 2017. This memorandum of understanding is in fact a contract between two states: Quebec and Israel. 

The cooperation agreement was signed as part of the May 2017 economic mission to Israel and the West Bank 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.  Join the campaign HERE. To learn more about the cooperation of Canada’s energy industry read this IT World Canada article that provides details about Toronto Hydro, IESO (Ontario’s Independent Electricity System Operator), and the Canadian Electric Association, as well as Canadian energy sector.

Message to NDP From the Canadian BDS Coalition

(Council of the Socialist International meeting at the United Nations, June 2018)

The Canadian BSD Coalition sent a letter to the New Democratic Party of Canada following the the Socialist International, the association of 140 global political parties, including 35 parties in government, adoption of BDS and call for a military embargo on Israel until it ends its violations of Palestinian rights. This call by Socialist International was the most significant call for sanctions against Israel to date.  The Canadian BDS Coalition asks “where is the NDP now that they no longer are part of Socialist International.” A  2017 EKOS Poll showed 70% of Canadians support sanctions on Israel the Canadian BDS Coalition indicated it is time for the NDP to align with the Canadian public as we moved toward 2019 election.  See the letter sent to the NDP HERE.  The Socialist Action and the Socialist Caucus of the NDP are members of the Canadian BDS Coalition.

Open letter from Canadian organizations on Gaza massacre

The Canadian BDS Coalition and many of its member groups and friends are among the more than 50 signatories to this open letter sent in May to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Minister of Foreign Affairs Chrystia Freeland.  See the letter HERE.   The letter was delivered directly to Ministers Freeland’s office  as part of an action in Toronto. Shamefully no response was received. 

There were a number of actions including street actions in support of solidarity with the #GreatReturnMarch.

What can I do? Economic Boycott.

BDS  Economic Boycott  Guide for Canadians

Speaking with your economic buying power–an age old tactic

Boycott stamp

The Canadian BDS Coalition developed information specific to Canadian action associated with Economic Boycott.  This includes a comprehensive list of items for economic boycott. See information HERE for products, retailers and overall information.  This information buildings on information from other organizations such as friend of the Canadian BDS Coalition, Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME)., as well as campaigns by the BDS National Committee (BNC) and the research think tank Who Profits.

Canada Supports the Global HP Campaign

The Canadian BDS Coalition continued to support the Global HP Campaign with actions in several places.  HP plays a key role in Israel’s oppression of Palestinians. It provides technology, equipment and services to the Israeli military, including for the checkpoints and ID card system that underpin Israel’s apartheid policies and its movement restrictions for Palestinians.HP relies on its good image and its contracts with public organisations, civil society bodies and private businesses. Effective grassroots campaigning can push HP to end its role in Israeli apartheid and settler colonialism.

For actions that can be taken check out the action plan.

Open Shuhada Street 2018 Campaign

The Canadian BDS Coalition joined  with Youth Against Settlements in Hebron and people around the world. for #OpenShuhadaStreet in 2018.  Learn more HERE.

Humble but Necessary Step BDS Nominated for Nobel Peace Prize

In February 2018, the Canadian BDS Coalition joined in sharing its gratitude to the Norwegian parliamentarian Bjørnar Moxnes with support of progressive Rødt (Red) Party for officially nominating the BDS movement for Palestinian rights for a Nobel Prize.  The Canadian BDS Coalition congratulates the BNC and all those who are mobilizing civil society and decision makers to say no to apartheid, and yes to justice, equity and freedom for all including Palestine. See the message HERE.

What In the World Does Aga Khan Think It is Doing?

In January 2018, Aga Khan hosted an event with the Israeli consulate.  The Toronto BDS Action, a member of the Canadian BDS Coalition intiatited the campaign say NO to Israel’s cultural whitewash with the Aga Khan in January 2018.  The Canadian BDS Coalition took forward this campaign with letters and social media Aga Khan did NOT respond. Learn more by clicking HERE.

Letters and Actions of Solidarity:

The Canadian BDS Coalition signed a number of letters of solidarity during the year including in regards to Land Day/Gaza, Gaza 2020, the withdraw from the Canada-Israel Committee by NDP members, the imprisonment of Khalida Jarrar.  

The Canadian BDS Coalition also was present at the Association of Palestinian Arab Canadians day on the Hill–”Eyes of Jerusalem.”  This included sharing material from the Canadian BDS Coalition with members of parliament, staff, municipal elected officials and others.

The Canadian BDS Coalition also provided a letter of support in regard to the need for the Palestine Justice Hub initiative of Just Peace Advocates as part of the building of a business case for funding with the Ontario Law Foundation.

During 2018, the Canadian BDS Coalition celebrated the history of labour and students in BDS over the last dozen or more years.  Check out the following articles:

Canadian Labour Has Been Supporting Boycott, Divestment for a Dozen Years

20+ Student Led BDS Victories BDS on Canadian University Campuses

Coalition Members

The Canadian BDS Coalition currently has member groups from across the country as well as a number of national organizations. These are groups that support the BDS call and have endorsed the Coalition’s Basis of Unity. You can browse the groups, or select your province below to find a group near you.

THE CANADIAN BDS COALITION IS THE MEMBER REP FOR PALESTINIAN SOLIDARITY GROUPS IN THE CANADA PALESTINE NETWORK

BC

Barnard-Boecker Centre Foundation (BBCF)

The Barnard-Boecker Centre Foundation was incorporated as a registered non-profit society in 1996 in British Columbia. The director is Theresa Wolfwood of Victoria.  The aims of BBCF are:

  1. To create, to develop, and to encourage programs that promote social justice, peace, sustainability, diversity and community, through research, writing, film and art; and
  2. To organize public events that will contribute, globally and locally, to knowledge and awareness.

Website

Canada Palestine Association

Canada Palestine Association, Vancouver has been carrying on solidarity work for the Palestinian people since 1980. CPA supports the Palestinian people’s struggle to realize their human and national rights including the right to self-determination and the right to return. It opposes Zionism because of its exclusionist, aggressive and racist nature and also opposes anti-Jewish and anti-Arab racism (for more details see our Basis of Unity). CPA also endorses the general boycott against Israel and against all those who enable Israeli ethnic cleansing, war crimes and Apartheid.

Website

Canada-Palestine Support Network (canpalnet)

canpalnet was founded in Vancouver in 2000 and gathers Canadians of all backgrounds who support the human, democratic, and national rights of the Palestinian people.

canpalnet aims to change the policies and actions of the Canadian government so that these come to support the rights of the Palestinian people.

canpalnet guides itself by United Nations resolutions affirming Palestinians’ right of return and calling for an end to the Israeli occupation. CANPALNET similarly guides itself by accumulated international law, including the Fourth Geneva Convention, which upholds the equal worth and dignity of persons regardless of their ethnic or religious identity, and which affirms democratic rights and opposes apartheid structures.

canpalnet works for the national co-ordination of solidarity work.

website facebook

Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid (CAIA) Victoria 

CAIA Victoria formed 2006 as a response to the growing threat to peace in the Middle East created by the Israeli government. We are a network of concerned individuals and organizations working to end this apartheid system. We believe that justice will not be achieved without equal rights for everyone in the region, regardless of religion, ethnicity or nationality.

We understand Israeli apartheid as one element of a system of global apartheid. To this end, we stand in solidarity with all oppressed groups around the world, in particular, the indigenous people of North America.

We oppose all forms of racism, Islamophobia and anti-Semitism

website | facebook

Mid-Islanders for Justice and Peace in the Middle East

Mid-Islanders for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (MIJPME) is located in the mid-island region of Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada. People from Courtenay to Duncan join with us and attend our events. MIJPME hosts a monthly discussion group in the Comox Valley to explore, learn and expand our understanding of the complexities regarding the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. MIJPME also organizes, supports, and sponsors events related to Israel/Palestine.

website

Alberta

Justice for Palestinians Calgary

Justice for Palestinians Calgary is a community group formed in the fall of 2009 to support the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions Campaign called for by Palestinian civil society in 2005.

Among other things:

  • we work to end all Canadian complicity in Israeli apartheid;
  • we oppose all forms of racism including Islamophobia and antisemitism,
  • we stand in solidarity with all oppressed groups around the world, in particular the indigenous peoples of North America.
  • we hold educational activities such as films and speakers and have carried out several BDS actions

Facebook

Palestine Solidarity Network – Edmonton

The Palestine Solidarity Network is a non-profit, grassroots collective aimed at advocating and upholding the human rights of Palestinians in the face of ongoing oppression, occupation, racism and discrimination, both in occupied Palestine and in the diaspora.

PSN maintains groups at both the community level, the Palestine Solidarity Network – Edmonton, and on the University of Alberta campus, the Palestine Solidarity Network – UAlberta.

website | facebook | twitter

Saskatchewan

Regina Peace Council

The Regina Peace Council was formed in 1949. It focuses on issues of peace, disarmament, development, and international solidarity. It is a member of the Canadian Peace Congresswhich in turn is affiliated with the World Peace Council. We publish Saskatchewan Peace Newsfour times a year, which is available free in hard or email copy to anyone interested in checking it out by emailing bdscoalition@gmail.com

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The Regina Peace Council believes that justice for the Palestinian people is a key requirement for having peace in the Middle East and in the world.

Manitoba

Peace Alliance Winnipeg 

Peace Alliance Winnipeg is committed to developing a broad movement for peace in our city. It organizes actions and educational events to promote an understanding of the events which are shaping our world. Through our web site we present news, information and discussion about Canada’s role in the world as it relates to issues of war and peace as well as developments that occur in other countries.

website | facebook | twitter

Ontario

Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) Ontario

CPT builds partnerships to transform violence and oppression in situations of lethal conflict around the world. We are committed to work and relationships that:

  1. honor and reflect the presence of faith and spirituality,
  2. strengthen grassroots initiatives,
  3. transform structures of domination and oppression, and
  4. embody creative nonviolence and liberating love.

CPT Palestine is a faith-based organization that supports Palestinian-led, nonviolent, grassroots resistance to the Israeli occupation and the unjust structures that uphold it. By collaborating with local Palestinian and Israeli peacemakers and educating people in our home communities, we help create a space for justice and peace. We maintain a project in the southern West Bank city of Hebron (Al-Khalil in Arabic).

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Toronto BDS Action

Toronto BDS Action supports the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement targeting Israel’s system of settler-colonialism, occupation, and apartheid towards the Palestinian people.

Toronto BDS Action shares a commitment to pursuing peace in Palestine/Israel through the realization of freedom, justice, and equality for Palestinians, without which a lasting peace is impossible to achieve. Individuals and organizations may join Toronto BDS.

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Palestinian Solidarity Working Group – Sudbury

We stand in solidarity with the struggle of the Palestinian people for sovereignty, justice, and freedom from occupation.

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People for Peace, London

A group in London, Ontario working for peace, with justice.

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Niagara BDS Coalition

Supporting the BDS call of Palestinian civil society in the Niagara Region.  For more info contact bdscoalition@gmail.com

Oakville Palestinian Rights Association (OPRA)

The Oakville Palestinian Rights Association [OPRA] started in 2016 As its name

implies OPRA has focused on advocating for the rights of Palestinians whether they are in the Westbank, Gaza, East Jerusalem, 1948 Israel, in refugee camps in neighboring countries or in the diaspora around the world. We believe a lasting , productive peace between Israelis and Palestinians can only be achieved when these internationally recognized rights are accepted and acted upon. OPRA has sponsored a number of public events drawing attention to Israeli and international disregard of these rights and the oppressive consequences for the Palestinian people. OPRA’s primary focus is upon The No Way To Treat a Child campaign . It is attempting to gain the willingness of Canadian parliamentarians and the Canadian public to condemn this Israeli policy and practice of arresting, isolating, hurting, intimidating, manipulating and imprisoning children, some as young as six or seven,for insulting or throwing stones at riot gear dressed soldiers with powerful weapons.

OPRA also strongly supports the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions of all Israeli companies,organizations and institutions that have not condemned the Israeli denial of Palestinian rights. OPRA meets approximately once a month.

For more info contact bdscoalition@gmail.com

Guelph: Ontario Public Interest Research Group

OPIRG is the Ontario Public Interest Research Group! A loose network of PIRGs currently exists across much of Canada and the U.S. The PIRGs were launched by “public interest” activist Ralph Nader in the early seventies as a means to harness the energy and talents of students to help solve pressing social and environmental problems.

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Quebec

BDS Québec

BDS Québec is a Quebec coalition of trade unions, organizations in solidarity with Palestinians, community, human rights defenders, women’s, student, religious groups, NGOs, and political parties who have adopted a BDS resolution for their organization.

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Palestinian and Jewish Unity (PAJU)

PAJU was created in November 2000 in response to the Second Palestinian uprising (Intifada) against the occupation of Palestinian land by Israel. PAJU has worked to build support in Quebec for the struggle of the Palestinian people.Its members work to promote justice and peace in Palestine and to end Israel’s occupation and colonization of Palestinian land.

We actively promote the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign against Israel, distribute information and organize cultural and political activities in support of the Palestinian cause.

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Newfoundland and Labrador

Solidarity With Palestine

We are a loose coalition of individuals who work in St. John’s toward justice in Israel/Palestine.

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National

Canadian Peace Congress

The Canadian Peace Congress advocates and works for world peace and disarmament. We maintain that peace, not militarism and war, is the guarantor of democracy, human rights, social and economic justice. Peace, friendship and cooperation among peoples and nations are possible and necessary to improve living standards, eradicate unemployment and poverty, illiteracy and disease and to restore the health of the planet. The Peace Congress is an affiliate member of the World Peace Council.

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Canadian Unitarians for Social Justice

Canadian Unitarians for Social Justice (CUSJ) is a national, liberal religious organization founded to actively promote Unitarian values through social action.

CUSJ develops and maintains a vibrant network for social action, at the local, national, and international levels, for the relief of:

  • Discrimination based on religious, racial, sexual orientation or other grounds
  • Violations of the human rights of individuals or groups
  • Poverty and economic injustice
  • Environmental degradation
  • Breaches of peace, security and the democratic process

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Independent Jewish Voices – Canada (IJV)

IJV is a national human rights organization, founded in 2008. We promote a just resolution to the dispute in Israel and Palestine through the application of international law and respect for the human rights of all parties.  We focus on Israel because Israel perpetrates unjust policies in the name of all Jews. As an occupying power, we hold Israel responsible to end its violence, occupation and settlement expansion in the West Bank, and to end its siege of Gaza.

We are guided by these principles:

  1. Human rights are universal and indivisible and should be upheld without exception. This is as applicable in Israel and Occupied Palestine as it is elsewhere.
  2. Palestinians and Israelis alike have the right to peaceful and secure lives.
  3. Peace and stability require the willingness of all parties to the conflict to comply with international law.
  4. There is no justification for any form of racism, including anti-Semitism (or anti-Jewish racism), anti-Arab racism or lslamophobia.
  5. The battle against anti-Semitism is vital and is undermined whenever opposition to Israeli government policies is automatically branded as anti-Semitic.

We have 10 chapters across Canada, in Halifax, Montreal, Ottawa, Kingston, Toronto, Hamilton, Winnipeg, Alberta, Vancouver, and Victoria.

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Just Peace Advocates/Mouvement pour une Paix Juste

A Canadian based independent human rights organization promoting Just Peace/Paix Juste through the rule of law and respect for human rights in Canada and around the world for the Palestinian people and those that stand in solidarity for the human rights of the Palestinian people

Our vision is provide a civil society voice focused on government, institutional and society’s accountability to the rule of law, and the standards of international human rights and humanitarian law for the rights of the Palestinian people.

The work of Just Peace Advocates is accomplished through research, monitoring, education, communications, advocacy, programs and services.

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NDP Socialist Caucus

The NDP Socialist Caucus was founded in 1998 at Toronto, Ontario by NDP activists who were concerned about the right-wing drift of the party leadership. It advocates socialist policies based on economic democracy and workers’ empowerment, such as social ownership of the commanding heights of the economy, the eradication of homelessness and poverty, women’s rights and gender equality, environmental sustainability, and global peace and cooperation.

The SC believes that in order to attain power, the NDP must connect with working class people, wage earners and equity-seeking groups like never before.  This means championing socialist policies that can capture the dreams and aspirations of millions of people in Canada and around the world.

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Socialist Action

Socialist Action / Ligue pour l’Action socialiste is an organization of revolutionary socialists across the Canadian state, active in the labour movement, social justice, international solidarity, feminist and environmental campaigns. SA/LAS supporters work to build the NDP Socialist Caucus, Quebec Solidaire, support for indigenous peoples’ struggles, as well as anti-war, anti-poverty and human rights movements. SA/LAS is in solidarity with the Fourth International worldwide.

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The Canadian Federation of Students/ 

Fédération canadienne des étudiantes et étudiants

Formed in 1981, the Canadian Federation of Students is a bilingual national union of over one-half million students from more than 64 university and college students’ unions across Canada. Our Federation provides students with an effective and united voice, provincially and nationally, and creates space and opportunity for students across the country and province to join together in creating change and winning victories on and off campus.

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Other student groups that have indicated they wish to be member of the Coalition directly include:

Canadian Federation of Students-Ontario

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Inter-University BDS Network for university campuses in Montreal (UQAM, McGill, Concordia and Universite de Montreal)  See Action Network: Concordia

Students for Justice in Palestine at University of Ontario Institute of Technology and Durham College (SJP UOIT/DC)

University of Western Students for Palestinian Human Rights

York Students Against Israeli Apartheid (SAIA)

Carleton University Students Against Israeli Apartheid (SAIA)

Queens University Students for Palestinian Human Rights (SPHR)

International

CODEPINK

CODEPINK is a women-led grassroots organization working to end U.S. wars and militarism, support peace and human rights initiatives, and redirect our tax dollars into healthcare, education, green jobs and other life-affirming programs.

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Samidoun: Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network

Samidoun: Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network is a network of organizers and activists working to build solidarity with Palestinian prisoners in their struggle for freedom. We work to raise awareness and provide resources about Palestinian political prisoners, their conditions, their demands, and their work for freedom for themselves, their fellow prisoners, and their homeland. We also work to organize campaigns to make political change and advocate for Palestinian prisoners’ rights and freedoms, including boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaigns against the Israeli state and complicit corporations and institutions.

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SOME HIGHLIGHTS FROM LOCAL ORGANIZATIONS INCLUDE:

Highlights from Canada Palestine Association

BDS Vancouver 2018 Activities

Boycott HP Campaign on Palestinian Prisoners Day

April 17 picket, Best Buy Vancouver

Boycott Israeli Wines

Sept 12 Picket at office of BC Attorney General: TELL DAVID EBY TO END COMPLICITY IN ISRAELI OCCUPATION AND WAR CRIMES!

Followed by Open Letter, signed by over 30 groups published in Palestine Chronicle and other websites

Ballet BC and CanaDanse Festival Campaign

Petition – now over 10,000 signatures, articles in Mondoweiss and local media

Leafleting, Dec. 8 Vancouver QE Theatre

Focus now on government sponsorships

Other Educationals

3 educationals on BDS with local trade unions from Sept. to November, 2018

Educational in Victoria BC on March 15 on the BDS movement and why it is succeeding, cosponsored by CAIA Victoria.

CPA-Vancouver and BDS Vancouver were also involved in many other general Palestinian solidarity actions in 2018, from supporting Palestinian child prisoners and Ahed Tamimi, to rallying for the Great Return March and criticiziing CBC coverage, to a Nakba 70 picket that was covered on the front page of Star Vancouver, to the annual picket protesting the Vancouver JNF gala dinner. For more details, check out the events section at CPA Vancouver website.

Highlights from Toronto BDS Action

Formed in September 2017 the first work of the Toronto BDS Action group was to initiate the international campaign, Unplug from Israeli Apartheid, Bryan Adams undertaken by the Canadian BDS Coalition, 2017, and the across Canada support tour for the Roger Water’s Canadian tour.  

During 2018, Toronto BDS Action worked to create the full list of verified economic boycott products which serve as base for Canadian BDS Coalition,

The BDS Toronto Action group led the 2018 campaign calling Aga Khan to renounce event with Israeli consulate,  

Endorsement of 2017 and 2018 James Graft Memorial. Table at 2017 event for outreach.  Info at 2018 lecture.

Article in Toronto Sun, where Stephen Ellis mentioned Toronto BDS Coalition

Presentation at Toronto City Council in regard to Al-quds Day, with subsequent complaint to integrity commissioner when Mayor Tory supported Councilor Pasternak indicating presenter from Toronto BDS Action “should get lost.”

Outreach & Information materials at a number of events including Beit Zatoun salon, Just Peace Advocates events, and others events including Canadian Peace Congress, Socialist Action, Canadian Friends of Sabeel (CFOS) Palestinian Liberation Theology course et al

Attendance with banners/flags at a variety of the counter to alt-right rallies, and also at Palestine actions including those events lead by United for Palestine as part of the national action across country.

Signed onto numerous campaigns, letters of support.  Maintain active Facebook presence for Palestine and in solidarity with other groups.

Canadian Unitarians for Social Justice Annual Report (2017-18)

1. CUSJ wrote letters to the Prime Minister and Opposition Leaders in 2017 and 2018:

◦ Denouncing the federal government’s motion to condemn those supporting the Palestinian-civil-society-initiated BDS campaign & movement;

◦ Requesting that the government acknowledge the devastating and ongoing effects Britain’s Balfour Declaration has had on the indigenous Palestinian population;

◦ Requesting the federal government put pressure on Israel to cease its expansion of Jewish settlements and to condemn Israel’s Expropriation Bill;

◦ Demanding that the government condemn the illegal blockade of Gaza and the killing and wounding of unarmed Gazan protesters, medics and journalists by the IDF; also requesting an arms embargo on Israel, until such time as the blockade on Gaza and illegal settlement buildings end.

◦ Thanking the government for its long overdue statement of apology to the Jewish people for turning away Jewish refugees in 1939, and requesting similar action on the plight of Palestinians;

◦    Asking the government to denounce the new Nation-State Law, defining Israel as the Nation-State of the Jewish people only, thus discriminating against minorities which runs counter to democratic values.

2.   CUSJ took part in demonstrations during the Roger Waters Canadian concert tour and the Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra’s appearance at Roy Thomson Hall and in pro-Palestine solidarity protests in Toronto (2017).

3.   Two of our members attended Israel Independence flag raising ceremonies at various City Halls in the Greater Toronto Area in 2017

4.   Halifax members participated in a few boycott Settlement Products demonstrations with IJV and United Church (SodaStream and others) at various retailers in Halifax Region in 2017

5.   Toronto members took part in a joint IJV Interfaith demonstration at Global Affairs Minister Freeland’s constituency office in 2018.

6.   A few members attend the weekly Friday vigil at the Israeli Consulate on a semi-regular basis.

7.   Members of CUSJ also wrote letters of support of the Spokane Unitarian Congregation and Pastor Todd Eklof whose viewing of ‘The Occupation of the American Mind’ caused negative reactions from the local Jewish Federation in November 2018.

8.   CUSJ recently signed the petition asking Ballet B.C. not to take part in Israel’s CanaDanse Festival in January 2019. The city of Vancouver and Montreal and the Canadian government are supporting this event. As a member organization CUSJ signed on to the letter to the federal and municipal governments

9.   CUSJ posts BDS Coalition and other organizational-related campaign links, such as #Stop JNF on its website, such as the most recent campaign targeting 4 Canadian banks with ties to Israeli bank funding of Israeli settlements.

10.  The CUSJ bulletin board at the First Unitarian Congregation of Toronto includes postcards and flyers such as  the ‘No Way to Treat a Child’ campaign a joint project of Defense for Children International- Palestine and American Friends (Quaker) Service Committee.

CUSJ’s 2017 revised Resolution on our BDS Motion:

Canadian Unitarians for Social Justice, advocating Unitarian Principles, adopts a formal stance in favor of: 1) a boycott of products from companies, regardless of origin, that participate in Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territories; 2) a cultural boycott in which performing artists refuse to perform in Israel until it ends the occupation; and 3) a ban on federal and provincial state-funded lending to for-profit companies operating in the Occupied Territories, and to any organization materially supporting the destruction of Palestinian homes or expansion of illegal settlements in the Occupied Territories.
https://www.banktrack.org/project/illegal_israeli_settlements#financiers

HIghlights from Just Peace Advocates/Mouvement pour une Paix Juste

Just Peace Advocates formed as a not-for-profit human rights organization in 2018. 

During the year it did close to 40 events, most with international human rights lawyer, and founder of Al-Haq, Jonathan Kuttab under the “Post-Oslo Palestine” series.  The organization met with politicians in Ottawa, and diplomats in Ramallah and Tel Aviv.  

The organization supports fully the BNC call, and information related to boycott, divestment and sanction actions is key in the education program of Just Peace Advocates.  

Just Peace Advocates made application to the Ontario Law Foundation for funding for the Palestine Justice Hub initiative during 2018, and made contact with many lawyers and others in regard to the Palestine Justice Hub.  

Gaza 2020, a campaign of Al-Haq was initiated in Canada by Just Peace Advocates.  It calls Canada to follow its obligation as a high signatory of the Fourth Geneva Convention to ensure under Article 1 that the Convention is upheld under all circumstances, and calls on the Canadian government to follow its own national law which calls for sanctions under the Special Economic Measures Act when a foreign country systemically violates human rights.  100 organizations including the Canadian BDS Coalition and a number of it members signed the call to the Canadian government.

Highlights from Solidarity with Palestine St. John’s

CJPME stickers on various items in various stores

Naim Ateek (Canadian Friends of Sabeel)  and Jonathan Kuttab (Just Peace Advocates) as speakers

Basket for Gaza Hospital educational in grocery stores – raised $1400.00

Letters to Newfoundland MP’s, Chrystia Freeland, and Trudeau

Met with City of St. John’s and Provincial Procurement Office to discuss human rights [BDS] in purchasing decisions

Will meet with Newfoundland Labrador Liquor Corporation on January 3

Highlights from Socialist Action

Social Action Toronto participated in the Al Quds (Jerusalem) march on June 9.  We showed a Palestine-related film in the Spring and Fall series of Rebel Films, and had several speakers including Karen Rodman, , Stephen Ellis, and Dimitri Lascaris. The Socialist Caucus of the NDP and Socialist Action played a leading role in the fight for BDS and a pro-Palestinian policy at the NDP federal convention in Ottawa in February 2018.

Report from 2016-2017

Canadian BDS Coalition Working for Freedom, Equity and Justice

The following is a report on the work of the Canadian BDS Coalition during 2017. 

The Canadian Coalition come together in the spring/summer of 2016.

Report from 2017

The Canadian BDS Coalition formed in 2016 bringing together organizations in Canada that support the Palestinian Civil Society Call through the BDS National Coalition (BNC).  By the end of 2017, the Coalition grew to over 23 member organizations.

Initiation of the Canadian BDS Coalition

Work began in January 2016 towards contacting the organizations which had been part of the now Canadian Boycott Coalition.  Based on follow up during February and March 2016 with the groups that were part of the previous Canadian Boycott Coalition, it was indicated there was strong interest in moving forward with discussions towards a Canadian BDS Coalition.

The inaugural conference call was held in April 2016, with the indication that there was interest in moving towards a shared Basis of Unity based on the Palestinian civil society call for boycott, divestment and sanctions.

Basis of Unity

A subcommittee was formed in June 2016 to develop mission, purpose & function to present to the Coalition.  From this work, the Coalition finalized its Basis of Unity in September 2016.

The Coalition’s agreed Basis of Unity (BOU)  is on the Canadian BDS Coalition website.  The description of who we are can be found in the About Us section.

The aims of the Coalition are to:

  • promote, support and help coordinate boycott, divestment, and sanctions activities in Canada;
  • provide Canadians with resources to help them understand and take action in support of the Palestinian call for BDS;
  • promote and defend the right of Canadians to freedom of expression in support of BDS.

Member Organizations

Member organizations share a common commitment to pursuing peace in Palestine/Israel through the realization of freedom, justice, and equality for Palestinians, without which a lasting peace is impossible to achieve. Any Canadian group or organization that supports the BDS National Committee call and endorses the Coalition’s Basis of Unity is invited to join.

Member organizations that support the BDS call and the Canadian BDS Coalition’s Basis of Unity listed on the Coalition’s website.

The Coalition also works with a network of friends—organizations which have chosen not to join the Canadian BDS Coalition for a variety of reasons, but who work with the Coalition towards a just peace in the region. Several are listed on the Coalition’s website, and others are part of the network but not listed.

At the end of 2017 there were 23 member groups, and about 30 other groups that are part of the network associated with the Coalition including two international groups which have Canadian members.  Now, in the summer of 2018 we are approaching 30 member groups.

During 2017 the Coalition had a focus on capacity building, relationship development, outreach, as well as standing in solidarity with voice of unity for BNC call.

Action with Focus on Education and Action

The Coalition recognizes the importance to educate people on BDS: It is important that we talk about what BDS is and what it isn’t,.  The Coalition provides a window of opportunity to share from an educational position about what BDS is about.

Coalition International Campaign

End AIR CANADA Complicity with Israel

The key 2017 campaign of the Canadian BDS Coalition was “End Air Canada’s Complicity with Israel.”  This campaign launched in June 2017, built on a several year long campaign of the Canada Palestine Association.  The Coalition campaign was international and also include strong labour support in Canada.

On November 5, 2017, the Canadian BDS Coalition announced that Air Canada had informed them that Air Canada had cancelled it contract with Israeli Aerospace Industries midterm.

The Canadian BDS Coalition announced this as a partial victory as Air Canada continued with a small maintenance contract with Israeli Aerospace Industries and still sold Sabra products on board.  See release here.

Canadian BDS Gains During 2017

During 2017, several notable BDS gains were made in Canada.  The Coalition stands with these efforts involving their members and friends across the country.

Political: The Green Party of Canada

In February 2017, the Green Party of Canada ratified at 90 percent a resolution supporting a comprehensive boycott, divestment and sanctions policy.  See here for the actual motion passed.  Subsequently, the Green Party of Canada and its leader Elizabeth May have been reluctant to implement this policy even in light of legislation from the Israeli Knesset such as the Regularization Bill in January 2017 immediately following UNSC Resolution 223.  Letters such as this one sent to Leader May/Green Party of Canada during “Holy Week” were sent prepared by the Coalition speaking to the blatant ignoring of the party’s own policy and calling them to account.

Two Student Groups: Supreme Court of BDS Ground Breaking Ruling and a 76% vote for boycott and divestment

Two student groups led the way with BDS work.

On March 30, 2017, the SPHR at University of British Columbia had a ground-breaking victory when a British Columbia Supreme Court judge brought down this ruling and dismissed a case to stop a boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) referendum.

At the University of Western King’s College 76% of the students casting votes voted “yes: on a referendum calling for  lobbying the King’s administration to boycott and divest from companies complicit in human rights violations against Palestinians.

Labour: Unifor

Unifor, the largest private union in Canada was the first private union to support BDS with a motion passed at their Convention in August 2017.  The Coalition joined in congratulating Unifor.

Political: the New Democratic Party

During the summer/fall many Coalition members were providing support for Niki Ashton’s campaign for the New Democratic Party leader as she spoke in support of BDS in her foreign policy platform.

Following the election of Jagmeet Singh as federal leader, focus shifted to bringing forward grassroots motions across the country through local electoral district associations (EDAs) and affiliates for the Convention scheduled for February 2018.  There were a number of Palestine related motions (full BDS, settlement/occupation BDS, labeling, ending siege of Gaza, military embargo, and support for the No Way to Treat a Child).  The Canadian BDS Coalition while not partisan did provide a way for NDP members within the Coalition to be in contact for mobilization, and also for reach out across the country through the Coalition to NDP members.

Academic Boycott Partial Victory: Faculty of Environmental Studies, York University

In October, the first academic boycott  in Canada was achieved when the Faculty of Environmental Studies at York University voted to not renew a contract with an Israeli institution. It is not clear if York University administration will follow the direction of the vote of the Faculty based on a release made by the President of York University. The Coalition joined in congratulating the Faculty of Environmental Studies at York University on this partial victory.

Campaigns from the Canadian BDS Coalition Through 2017

Other campaigns undertaken by the Canadian BDS Coalition included:

The TSO Don’t Play for Israeli Apartheid campaign in the Spring of 2017 which saw over 1 K signatures being added within a few days to a petition, letters sent to the TSO members, administration and board, as well as Roy Thomson Hall;, and an action in Toronto when the TSO did a pre-Israel tour concert.  Work was undertaken by the Coalition working with Palestinian Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) and a number of US organizations and local groups on a campaign related to the IPO (Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra) North-American campaign, but when a local Toronto group chose to do an independent action when the IPO came to Toronto, the sole Canadian location in the tour, the Coalition stepped aside.  Two members of the Coalition did attend with Adalah-New York action at Carnegie Hall when the iPO played in NYC in October 2017.

In January 2017 the Coalition worked with several Canadian groups and Adalah-NY and other US group on a campaign to say no to the Israeli government cultural ambassador Batsheva playing in North America.  Actions were held in several cities in Canada including Montreal and Toronto.  Also, venues where Batsheeva has played in the past were contacted across Canada urging them to not host state of Israel cultural ambassadors.

A key campaign of the Canadian BDS Coalition was Unplug from Israeli Apartheid Bryan Adams campaign.  The Coalition worked with Artists for Palestine in the UK and was in touch with over 50 BDS groups internationally with getting support from various countries such as Malaysian, Jordan, Austria and Israel. Boycott from Within (Israel) asked Bryan Adams to contact them.  During the campaign Feldman, Adam’s agency had indicated there would be a meeting with a delegation from the Canadian BDS Coalition, however this never materialized despite follow up.   This campaign also involved contacting many Canadian artists showing that there is much work to do to build up understanding within the Canadian artist community in regard to BDS.

In October 2017, Roger Waters played in seven cities across Canada. The Coalition had a presence in all cities at Roger Waters concerts providing information pickets about BDS at the concerts, as well as a number of the B’nai Brith screenings of their “Wish you weren’t here Roger Waters” films across the country.  In Vancouver a finale event to the Canadian tour with a thousand people join to hear Roger Water speak about BDS.  Contact with other groups in Australia and several locations in Europe that are working to have a similar approach during Roger Waters concerts in their area during 2018.

The Coalition followed up on social media when the Toronto Sun pulled down an article written by Stephen Ellis of Toronto BDS the day following its publication.

During the year, the Coalition joined in supporting actions related to: #HandsOffAlQuds across the country following the US Trump Administration decision to name Jerusalem the capital of the jewish state of Israel, the #HandsOffAlAsqa when during the summer the Al Asqa was closed; and the prisoners’ strike in the Spring. At least 75 Canadians from coast to coast joined in days of fast in support as well as actions happening across the country.

When Omar Barghouti was arrested the Coalition released a statement of solidarity.

Several multi-organizational letters and/or letters that the Coalition initiated were sent to the liberal government, including this one. Also to the Green Party of Canada when they did not implement or speak to their own policy approved at their Special General Meeting (December 2016) and ratified by their membership in February 2017 (see above).

During the year, the Coalition also provided support to those who were attacked for their work related to BDS and Palestine reaching out to offer support.  A campaign was put in place to support UOIT/Durham College SJP in Oshawa when they were attacked following zionist project attacks to silence them.

Tools used included four Canadian BDS Coalition Change,org petitions related to Batsheva, Bryan Adams, TSO, and Air Canada.  These petitions saw over 3500 signatures.

Palestine has called for a clear focus on sanctions, and the Coalition sees this as especially important in Canada given the relationship with Canada and Israel.  Even as the Liberal Trudeau government has taken power in the Fall 2016 election the tone may have shift to be a bit more civil, but the policy direction is essentially undifferentiated from the Harper Conservative Administrations.

In Ontario, in May 2016, a bi-party (Conservative & Liberal) private members anti-BDS bill was put forth, although not passed.  At this point Premier Wynne said she would come forward with consensus legislation in the Fall 2016 sitting.  There was strong advocacy to meet with Ontario MPPs during the summer/fall but all three parties pretty much shutout setting up meetings in this regard.  On November 30, 2016, the anti-BDS Motion 36 was presented.  Following this the NDP Deputy Leader Jagmeet Singh did agree to a meeting of a delegation from the Canadian BDS Coalition.  The NDP had voted against the motion on the basis of defending free speech but not in regard to the principles of equity, freedom and justice for all people including those of Palestine.  Work carried on through 2017, with a multi-organization comprehensive brief to the newly establish Ontario anti-racism directorate, along with a separate submission from member of the Coalition, Independent Jewish Voices.  Work was undertaken to monitor and raise concerns related to shifted directions to the anti-racism legislation that was focused on feedback from pro-Israel lobby during committee taking away from the resources for those groups which had been identified during the cross province consultation, particularly, black and indigenous.  There was not mention of islamophobia but anti-semitism and no mention of people of colour other than black and indigenous.  Some changes were made in the final legislation.

Also action and support took place in regard to both proactive municipal work, and towards counter-narratives of the zionist anti-BDS action within municipalities.

BNC Campaigns

The Coalition supported the following BNC campaigns during 2017:

The Boycott HP campaign through the social media campaign, with actions including in Calgary and Vancouver, and in writing letters to HP/HPE head offices and to various levels of governments through freedom of information requests and letters.  A letter was sent to the federal government which insisted this was not a procurement request and deferred it to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, who did not answer. In November during International Week of Global Boycott HP, Canada participated through the social media campaign.

Other campaigns supported include:

The Hyundai End its Complicity with Israel campaign of Israel Boycott within (1948).

Paypal which is also a campaign that was promoted by a friend of the Canadian BDS Coalition, the United Church of Canada.

Air BnB  which was promoted by social media, including in the blitz that happened through twitter.  Canadian media, politicians and organizations were tweeted from the @BDS_Coalition twitter account.

Red Card FIFA  was promoted on social media.

Goldman Sachs/Open Shuhada Street was promoted on social media, and several info pickets in Canada.  Plans for an action related to the Canadian Head Office were deferred until 2018 due to short planning time.

Even as the Coalition is focused on being a unifying voice for BDS in Canada, local groups also have specific emphases in their campaigns. Organizations have specific mandates and the Coalition is not intended to in taking away from these; in fact, the opposite, the Coalition is meant to provide a stronger voice for all Canadian organizations that support the BNC call.

Several new groups were formed/revived during 2017, and became members of the Canadian BDS Coalition.  The Niagara BDS  Coalition formed after three pro-Israel national lobby groups attended the June 8, 2017 Region of Niagara Council meeting, resulting in the passing of the first anti-BDS municipal resolution in Canada.  Work continues to build education and action towards reversing this draconian resolution that condemns the actions of those who support equity, freedom and justice for all people including Palestine in Niagara Region.

The Toronto BDS Action group was formed in September 2017 and is an active member of the Canadian BDS Coalition deciding to support the work of a comprehensive consumer economic boycott list for Canada that can be locally updated by local groups.

Local campaigns in regard to Remax, Quebec Hydro and Israeli wine continue..

There were a number of Freedom of Information and Access to Privacy Request put in through the year including to City of Toronto and Mississauga, anhttps://jonathankuttab.org/d a comprehensive set of requests to about ½ the Ontario Ministries.

Also several depuations were made during the year include one by Toronto BDS to the City of Toronto executive committee which had a motion targeted at cancelling as Al Quds as a white  supremacist action! Follow up is currently under way with the city of Toronto including a complaint to the City of Toronto Integrity Commissioner based on the Councillor who was making this motion telling the deputant to get lost.

After the Quebec terrorist mass shooting in the mosque, the Canadian BDS Coalition and members signed a number of endorsements related to specific actions denouncing white supremacy and islamophobia, and endorsed the forming of the Organization Committee Against White Supremacy and Islamophobia which became the SAFE: Solidarity Against Fascism Everywhere, and now has several chapters forming across the county.

The Coalition had one rep who attended the Anti-War Conference in Toronto (International League of People’s Struggles) in August 2017.

Two members of the Coalition attended Michael Lynk’s report as special rapporteur to the UN for occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) in October 2017.  They also met with various NGO from Palestine, the US and other places both individually and through planned meetings.  As well, the set up a meeting with the Canadian UN Ambassador, Blanchard’s office, meeting with a senior staff member who did understand the situation, and did encourage people to come to meet with the office when they are in NYC.

Social Media Presence

A key focus has been to get social media presence with the Coalition through:

Web Site.  https://bdscoalition.ca/ Scott Harris has taken the lead to update the site, along with John Turnbull and Tyler Levitan.

Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/BDSCoalition.

Twitter account https://twitter.com/BDS_Coalition, @BCS_Coalition.

As we move forward for 2018 and byeond, we focus on the words of Omar Barghouti’s call for the South African Moment to get the Israeli boots off Palestine’s Neck.This entry was posted in BDS Coalition ActionsNewsReportsUncategorized and tagged #AirCanadaComplicityAcademic BoycottactionAir CanadaBasis of UnityBDSboycottBryan AdamsCanadian BDS Coalitioncultural boycottdivestmenteducationGPCGreen PartyHPlabourmember organizationsNDPOmar BarghoutisanctionsstudentsUniforunions on July 13, 2018