Category Archives: Take Action

Technology of Israel Aerospace Industries: Tested on Palestinians, Exported to the World

Air Canada’s complicity with Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) has been matched by its silence. 

http://www.palestinechronicle.com/technology-of-israel-aerospace-industries-tested-on-palestinians-exported-to-the-world/

 

By Marion Kawas

Friday, October 06, 2017

Two weeks ago, it was revealed that a subsidiary of Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), Elta North America, would be involved in building the U.S.-Mexico border wall. The immediate connection between the “builders” of oppressive and apartheid walls was not lost on those concerned about social justice, but a look at the history of IAI is even more enlightening. It is just one of many Israeli military defense companies that have intensified their global marketing in the last two decades, but it is also wholly owned by the Israeli government and is part of the historical foundation and fabric of the whole Zionist enterprise.

History of IAI – Pillar of the Israeli State

IAI was founded just a few years after the establishment of the Israeli state, under the tutelage of the late Shimon Peres who was then director general of the Israeli Ministry of Defense. It was setup to accommodate the new Israeli Air Force and assist in the military development of the country. “IAI’s development has paralleled that of the State of Israel and the company has been privileged to play a substantial role in the industrial, technological and economic progress of the country and its national security”, the company history page proudly states.

This was part of Shimon Peres’ contribution and legacy, along with developing Israel’s nuclear capacity; these were the kind of “socialist kibbutzim” Peres and Labour Zionism were busy developing in order to ensure military “superiority” over the indigenous Palestinians and the whole region.

IAI has long been recognized internationally as a leader in drone (zanana) development and technology. Zanana is the term coined by Palestinians in Gaza for the constant buzzing or whizzing sound generated by the omnipresent drones overhead. “A group of young boys and girls gathered in Al-Kattiba Square, west of Gaza City, using large pieces of wood and formed the word ‘LEAVE’, in hopes that the drone hovering over the skies of Gaza will read it. One of the participants said that they wish that they can live without the zanana, so at least they can sleep.

Palestinians in Gaza call the Israeli drones in the sky ‘zanana’, meaning a noise maker or buzz. Sometimes they call it the airplane of death”, according to Dr. Atef Abu Saif, in his 2014 study “Sleepless in Gaza”.

Along with helping to build segregation walls between peoples, IAI has also been in the news this year for its billion-dollar contracts with the Indian government, most of which involve supplying the Indian army and navy with missile defense systems.

Canadian activists have been following IAI’s international exploits with dismay, not only because of its intimate connection with the Israeli military’s crimes against Palestinians, but also because Air Canada, the national carrier, is outsourcing maintenance for its B767 and B787 jets to the very same Israel Aerospace Industries.

As a prior government-owned entity, Air Canada is still regarded as a sort of “national icon” and global ambassador; as such, its direct complicity with Israeli war crimes is a shameful rebuke of any pretense at a Canadian “balanced and objective” foreign policy. Campaigns to have Air Canada stop their outsourcing to Israel Aerospace Industries have been underway for over 2 years now and have received support, both within Canada and globally.

However, Air Canada’s complicity has been matched by its silence; an official letter sent by the Canadian BDS Coalition to Air Canada’s CEO Calin Rovinescu on July 3, 2017 has not received any reply nor even been acknowledged. In a move that further emboldens contempt and disrespect for human rights, Rovinescu was also appointed Chancellor of the University of Ottawa, since November 2015. Nonetheless, activists are planning to step up their actions and refuse to allow Air Canada’s stonewalling to dictate the agenda.

There have been encouraging developments in Canadian civil society recently, with Amnesty Canada embracing a call for a ban on all settlement goods and Canada’s largest private-sector union, Unifor, adopting a pro-BDS resolution. Although both these initiatives focused mainly on the occupied West Bank and Gaza, it is the entire Israeli military complex and state entities like Israel Aerospace Industries that make life for Palestinians in those areas both unbearable and untenable. We must make the connections between Israel’s continued impunity to commit war crimes and what we can do internationally in other countries to take a stand and say: We will not enable Israeli war crimes!

(If your group is interested in signing on to the #AirCanadaComplicity campaign, please contact bdscoalition@gmail.com for more info.)

– Marion Kawas is a pro-Palestinian writer and activist, and a member of BDS Vancouver-Coast Salish. This article was contributed to PalestineChronicle.com.

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100 Years of Balfour Declaration is Not Something to Celebrate

balfour agreement

On November 2, 2017, it will be a century since the road for colonization of Palestine was set.

Recognizing a century since the Balfour Declaration, 70 years since the Partition Plan and approaching 70 years since the Nakba, 50 years of occupation of the territory taken in the 1967 set-back, and 10 years seize on Gaza, we are pleased that Alexandre Boulerice, MP to Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, NDP, Quebec has sponsored the following petition to the government of Canada.

It will be posted until January 27, 2018.   Please sign and share through your networks.  A majority of Canadians have said they support sanctions against Israeli war crimes (EKOS 2017).  This is our chance to have Canadians express we expect our government to uphold its own international obligations under United Nation Resolutions, and fulfill its responsibility under Article 1 of the Fourth Geneva Convention which requires the convention to be respected in all circumstances.

Sign by clicking here.

 

The PETITION TO THE GOVERNMENT OF CANADA reads:

Whereas:
  • The Balfour Declaration, November 1917 proclaimed “that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine”;
  • Today over 7 million Palestinians continue to be denied the right to return under United Nations General Assembly Resolution 194 (1948) which has been reiterated annually (most recently by UN General Assembly Resolution 71/91, 2016) — a right provided to all other refugees irrespective of country since 1950;
  • The colonization of the Palestinian territory occupied in 1967, continues in contravention of UN Security Council Resolution 446 (1979) and 465 (1980), although these resolutions remain aligned with Canada’s official foreign policy, the Canadian government has not spoken out to condemn the recent aggressive legislation and actions by the Israeli government which further contravene these resolutions as well as the recent UN Security Council Resolution 2334 (2016);
  • This colonization continues 50 years later, in contravention to numerous clauses of the Fourth Geneva Convention; and
  • Canada is a high contracting party to the Fourth Geneva Convention which obliges all parties to ensure respect for the Convention by other parties “in all circumstances.”
We, the undersigned, citizens of Canada, call upon the Government of Canada to live up to its role as a peacemaker and honest broker by upholding its own international obligations related to United Nations GA 194 (1948), and UNSC 242 (1967), 338 (1973), 446 (1979), 465 (1980) and 2334 (2016); and fulfilling its responsibilities as a UN member state and signatory of the Fourth Geneva Convention.

 

Sign by clicking here.  Share  WIDELY.  

*this is not a specific initiative of the Canadian BDS Coalition, although was the work of individuals who are part of the Coalition.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Air Canada CEO Rovinescu, Your Silence Suggests Support of Complicity with Israeli War Crime

air canadaApproaching 90 days and there has been no response to the following letter send to Air Canada CEO, Calin Rovinescu.  Seems the silence of Rovinescu and his senior team support are not prepared to talk about the export of Canadian jobs to the Israeli government owned military company Israeli Aerospace Industries (IAI).

The BNC (BDS National Committee) is putting more focus on Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI )with their statement on IAI’s involvement in militarizing the US-Mexico border.

We are still waiting Mr. Rovinescu to hear from you, and you can expect you will be hearing more the majority of Canadians who support sanctions against Israel war crimes (EKOS 2017).

July 3, 2017

Mr. Calin Rovinescu

President and CEO

Air Canada

P.O. Box 14000, Station Airport

Dorval, QC H4Y 1H4

 Dear Mr. Rovinescu

We wish to bring to your attention our concerns about Air Canada’s partnership with Israel Aerospace Industries for maintenance on the Air Canada fleet of Boeing 787 and 767 jets.

Israel Aerospace Industries [IAI] is the subject of boycotts across Europe for its deadly drone technology and production.  Corporate Watch from the UK says “IAI was one of the earliest developers of drone technology and launched its first surveillance drone in 1979.  IAI’s website boasts that its drones have an “unsurpassed track record of over 1,200,000 operational flight hours for over 50 users on five continents.” 

A 2014 study entitled ‘Sleepless in Gaza’ by Dr. Atef Abu Saif details the terrifying impact of drone attacks on the Gaza Strip, especially on children, “Since their first use in 2000, drones have led to the death of hundreds of Palestinians and have injured thousands more. In addition, they have directly impacted Palestinian psychological and social life, as well as causing a grossly negative impact on education.”

By partnering with IAI, Air Canada becomes complicit in the war crimes of IAI. This is fundamentally wrong.

In having the maintenance of the Boeing 787 and 767 jets performed in Israel, you send valuable Canadian jobs out of the provinces of Quebec, Ontario, and Manitoba. Again, this is fundamentally wrong.

In addition to partnering with Israel Aerospace Industries, Air Canada also sells Sabra Hummus as part of the onboard canteen service. Sabra is a partner with the Strauss Group. Strauss is the second largest Israeli food and beverage company and is known for supporting two Israeli military units implicated in human rights abuses, the Golani and Givati brigades.

This is the petition organized by the Canada Palestine Association Vancouver which provides additional background to the reaction of the Canadian public to the complicity of Air Canada in the war crimes of Israel Aerospace Industries and Sabra Hummus.

With the establishment of the Canadian BDS Coalition, Air Canada will become a significant target for action based upon the foregoing. Perhaps you would be willing to meet with a small representative group from the Coalition to further discuss this matter and devise a way forward for Air Canada to extricate itself from complicity with the war crimes in the occupied Palestinian territories?

The previous attempt by the Canada Palestine Association Vancouver to engage you in discussion was met by silence which was taken as a message Air Canada did not wish to change behaviour. We shall take a similar message if we receive no response from this letter.

Sincerely,

on behalf of the Canadian BDS Coalition

Bruce Katz, Hanna Kawas, Tom Beckett, Karen Rodman

cc     Richard Steer, Vice-President, Air Canada Maintenance and Engineering

         David J. Shapiro, Senior Vice-President, Chief Legal Officer

         Yves Dufresne Vice-President, Alliances and Regulatory Affairs

         Renee Smith-Valade, Vice-President, In-Flight Service

Join in the global campaign to tell Air Canada to end its complicity with Israeli war crimes by signing this petition. 

Learn more about the Air Canada End Your Complicity With Israeli War Crimes here.

#AirCanadaComplicity

This is a global call to join Canadians in this petition. Air Canada flies to 1300 airports in 200+ cities on six continents.

Bryan unplug from Apartheid Israel

Sign and share the Canadian BDS Coalition petition to tell Bryan Adams to Unplug from Israeli Apartheid!

 

Bryan remember your words. CANCEL your performances in Tel Aviv December 4 and Jerusalem December 6.  

Canada heard you in 2014.  Palestine heard you in 2014. The world heard you in 2014, as you gave hope to the people of Gaza and all people who stand against war crimes and mass genocide.

You stood against the Israeli military bombardment on Gaza saying: “the Israeli blockade of #Gaza just entered its 8th year, leaving its 1.7 million inhabitants destitute” and  “I say the war against Gaza was a crime against humanity.”  

Lest you think things in Gaza no longer a concern, Amnesty International and the United Nations independent human rights experts remind you  this is not the case.  Over two million people are in their eleventh year in an outdoor prison, that has experienced three horrendous military attacks.  Electricity is only available a few hours a day, water is scarce and sewage is polluting the Mediterranean.   This is a completely human-made humanitarian crisis.

Bryan, we remind you that “Most Canadians Say Sanctions and Boycott are Reasonable Measures to Defend Palestinian Rights”   (the 2017 EKOS poll )

In 2016 the world cheered when you cancelled your Mississippi tour date in protest over the state’s anti-LGBT law.

Let the world cheer again, when you CANCEL your Tel Aviv and Jerusalem performances Bryan.

 

Letter Sent to Bryan Adams from the Canadian BDS Coalition.  Bryan you only have one Canadian concert before you play Apartheid Israel.  We are looking for you to show your leadership on human rights by announcing you are cancelling your shows in Israel.

Tweet @bryadams to say #UnplugFromIsraeliApartheidBryan

May 25: Join the global one-day hunger strike for Palestinian prisoners

International solidarity activists have issued a call for a global one-day hunger strike on Thursday, May 25 in support of more than 1,500 hunger-striking Palestinian prisoners who have been participating in the Strike for Dignity and Freedom for more than month.

The strikers’ demands are for basic human rights: an end to the denial of family visits, proper health care and medical treatment, the right to access distance higher education, and an end to solitary confinement and administrative detention, imprisonment without charge or trial.

Pledge to take part on May 25

If you are in Canada, please make a pledge to join the Palestinian prisoners in a one-day solidarity hunger strike on May 25

You can connect with other Canadian participating in the day of solidarity and share your story on the Canadians in solidarity with Palestinian prisoners Facebook page.

Other actions you can take

Stay up to date and share widely on social media the daily updates on the hunger strikers from the Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network (read the latest update from May 23, Day 37 of the hunger strike) and the Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association.

If you are in Canada, use this online tool from Students Against Israeli Apartheid at York University to call on the Canadian government to support Palestinian prisoner demands

Sign the Americas-wide petition in support of the hunger strikers.

Participate in and share the #saltwaterchallenge to show your support:

Update your social media profile pics to the image below:

 

Follow and share tweets with the hashtags #FreedomAndDignity, #DignityStrike, and #PalHunger.

Join or host a solidarity event in your city on May 25.

Respond to the calls from Palestinian civil society to grow support for the boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) movement. (Read BNC support statements from April 17, May 9, and May 24).

Tell the TSO: Don’t play for Israeli apartheid

The Toronto Symphony Orchestra (TSO) will make its first-ever touring appearances in Israel, with performances in Jerusalem on May 11, 2017 and Tel Aviv on May 13, 2017.

The tour, coming just days before the 69th anniversary of the Palestinian Nakba and less than a month before the 50th anniversary of the Israeli occupation of the West Bank, Gaza, and East Jerusalem, ignores the Palestinian-led call for a cultural boycott of Israel, which has been supported by thousands of artists around the world to refuse to play in Israel.

Take Action

Here’s how you can take action to tell the TSO not to play for Israeli apartheid:

1. Sign and share the petition calling on TSO musicians to cancel their shows in Israel.

2. Contact the leadership of the TSO and demand they cancel the planned performances in Israel. If you’re not sure what to say, you can use key points from the petition to get started. Here are come key contacts:

Gary Hanson, Interim Chief Executive Officer
ghanson@tso.ca

Roberta Smith, Vice-President & Chief of Staff
rsmith@tso.ca

Peter Oundjian, Music Director
poudjian@tso.ca

You can also contact the TSO by email at contactus@tso.ca or by phone at 416.598.3375 and see a full contact list for other TSO administrative staff to contact.

3. If you are a TSO member, subscriber, donor, or volunteer, withhold your support until the TSO agrees to respect the Palestinian boycott call and cancels its concerts in Israel. Be sure to tell the TSO why you’re withdrawing you support.

4. Engage with the TSO on social media by posting a comment on their facebook page or tweet at them at @TorontoSymphony.

5. Write a letter to the editor of the Toronto Star (lettertoed@thestar.ca) and other Toronto media outlining your concerns with the TSO’s decision to perform in Israel.

 

Kick settlements out of football at FIFA’s upcoming congress

As part of its #RedCardIsrael campaign, the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) is calling on FIFA to take action at its May 11 congress on Israeli football teams based in illegal settlements. More information on how you can take action is below.

FIFA will make a decision on Israeli football teams based in illegal settlements at their upcoming Congress on May 11, 2017. This is our chance to ensure that Palestinian human rights are front and centre on their agenda!

More than one hundred sports and human rights associations representing millions of people across the globe have called on FIFA to demand that the Israeli Football Association immediately exclude teams based in illegal settlements, and for FIFA to suspend the association if it refuses to comply.

As the pressure mounts on FIFA to respect its statutes, the Israeli government is using its embassies to push for removing the issue of settlement clubs from the Congress’ agenda altogether. We can’t let that happen: teams based in illegal settlements and human rights violations have no place in the beautiful game.

Take action now to pressure FIFA to respect its own statutes and Palestinian human rights:

Join the Thunderclap to FIFA ahead of its upcoming Congress!

Join the action on social media! Visit bdsmovement.net for sample tweets and memes to share. Use the hashtag #RedCardIsrael

Let’s make sure FIFA and member federations get the message: settlement clubs and Apartheid have no place in the beautiful game. Visit bdsmovement.net to see additional actions you can take.