Category Archives: Uncategorized

Be in touch with the Raptor Players & Others

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

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

Copy the above message.

Retweet messages from @BDS_Coalition

Raptors

@Raptors ‘

Details for player Facebook Accounts below

Twitter Accounts for Raptors (list)

@OAnunoby

@chrisboucher

@MarcGasol

@DGreen_14

@sergeibaka

@kawhileonard

@JLin7

@Klow7

@mrjloyd

@PMcCaw0

@Jmeeks20

@MalcMili13

@EricMoreland15

@npowell2404

@pskills43

@FredVanVleet

RAPTOR PLAYERS with their twitter account listed:

O.G. Anunoby

@OAnunoby

Chris Boucher

@chrisboucher

Marc Gasol

@MarcGasol

Danny Green

@DGreen_14

RESPECT is everything, I give what I get

Serge Ibaka

@sergeibaka

Kawhi Leonard

@kawhileonard

Jeremy Lin

@JLin7

Kyle Lowry

@Klow7

A man who plays basketball

Jordan Loyd

@mrjloyd

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

Patrick McCaw

@PMcCaw0

Jodie Meeks

@Jmeeks20

Shooting Guard for the Washington Wizards!

Malcolm Miller

@MalcMili13

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

Eric Moreland

@EricMoreland15

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

yellow brick road

norman powell

@npowell2404

pascal siakam

@pskills43

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

Fred VanVleet

@FredVanVleet

President of Raptors

Masai Ujiri

@UjiriMasai

Super Fan

Nav Bhatia Superfan

@superfan_nav


Contact Raptors on Facebook

*send messages, include comments on posts:

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

FACEBOOK for individual Players

OG Anunoby

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

Forward3

OG Anunoby

Chris Boucher

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

Forward25

Chris Boucher

Marc Gasol

Center33

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

Marc Gasol

Danny Green

Guard-Forward14

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

Danny Green

Serge Ibaka

Center-Forward9

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

Serge Ibaka

Kawhi Leonard

Forward2

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

Kawhi Leonard

Jeremy Lin

Guard17

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

Jeremy Lin

Kyle Lowry

Guard7

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

Kyle Lowry

Jordan Loyd

Guard8

https://www.facebook.com/jloyd24uindy

Jordan Loyd

Patrick McCaw

Guard1

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

Patrick McCaw

Jodie Meeks

Guard20

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

Jodie Meeks

Malcolm Miller

Forward13

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

Malcolm Miller

Eric Moreland

Forward-Center15

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

Eric Moreland

Norman Powell

Forward-Guard24

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

Norman Powell

Pascal Siakam

Forward43

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

Pascal Siakam

Fred VanVleet

Guard23

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

Fred VanVleet

RAPTOR INSTAGRAM

instagram.com/raptors

Cross-Country Day of Action Naming Canadian Complicity in Supporting Israeli War Crimes and Apartheid.

#Nakba71 #BDS #Rightof Return

Saturday, May 18 people joined together from Victoria, British Columbia to St. John’s, Newfoundland to mark a Cross Country Day of Action to name Canadian complicity in regard to war crimes and apartheid by the state of Israel on the people of Palestine. #Nakba71 #BDS

A few pictures and sharing of events:

Victoria saw a successful rally of about 100 people with massive banners, music, speeches and chants at the BC Legislature. Several cruise ships were in port and visitors had a chance to learn about Palestine and BDS.

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Vancouver Nakba 71 seminar and BDS wine picket with Gaza born journalist and author Ramzy Baroud and Palestinian filmmaker Sobhi Al-Zobaidi. See HERE for more details.

Image may contain: 3 people, people sitting, screen and indoor
Image may contain: outdoor
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St. John’s Newfoundland. Remembering # Nakba71. Standing in solidarity with the people of Palestine. Calling for #BDS. Calling for end of Canadian complicity with war crimes and apartheid of the state of Israeli. A reading of the destroyed towns & cities of historic Palestine during Nakba 1948.

Image may contain: 11 people, people smiling, people standing and outdoor

Winnipeg: Film Screening of 1948 Creation & Catastrophe, followed by peaceful action. Winnipeg sumud as they zionists came into the theatre and had counter action.

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Montreal. May 12, in solidarity with the mothers of Palestine. About 300 people joined.

Saint Johns New Brunswick saw a gathering which provided leaflets/information, and speeches at the Old City Market.

Toronto about 400 people joined to commemorate Nakba Day and denounce ongoing Zionist crimes against the Palestinian people. Starting at Dundas/Yonge and moving up Yonge to Israeli consulate where action closed off Yonge/Bloor in front of Israeli consulate for about 30 minutes.

Winnipeg Commemorates Nakba71 as part of cross-Canada call

Note: the change of date and time

The film 1948: Creation and Catastrophe will screen SATURDAY, MAY 18 at Cinematheque, 100 Arthur St, Winnipeg at 11:30 am.

See the Trailer HERE

Image result for creation and catastrophe

Endorsed by: Independent Jewish Voices-Winnipeg, Peace Alliance Winnipeg, Canadian Palestine Support Network Manitoba, Winnipeg  Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid, Mennonite Central Committee-Manitoba, Mennonite Church Manitoba Working Group on Palestine/Israel, United Church Manitoba-Region 5

Cross-Canada Day of Action–Toronto, May 18

Join us in Toronto to show solidarity for the Palestinian people. In remembrance of the Nakba, let us gather in a show of strength and solidarity.

End the occupation, end apartheid and realize right of return.

See FACEBOOK EVENT

The Nakba was a day of catastrophe which marked the beginning of the violent ethnic cleansing and colonization of Palestine in 1948, which rested on the racist belief that Jews alone belong in Palestine.

The Israeli army and government has continued – even until now, 71 years since the Nakba – to steal land, murder and displace Palestinians, occupy Palestinian territory, and implement an apartheid regime.

Come out on the 18th of May to honour the ENERGY and STRENGTH of the Palestinian people who have never stopped resisting the oppressive Israeli state and its colonial violence.

Join us in our support for the RIGHT of RETURN for Palestinian refugees and for BOYCOTT, DIVESTMENTS, and SANCTIONS of the state of Israel

Vancouver: Nakba 71-The Palestinian Narrative

Nakba71-The Palestinian Narrative

1. Speakers, Films, Dabke Presentation, Personal Testimonies
#ExistResistReturn
Saturday, May 18, 2019, 2pm
SFU Harbour Centre, 515 W. Hastings, Vancouver Rm. 7000
Facebook Event


Gaza-born Ramzy Baroud is a journalist, author and editor of Palestine Chronicle. His latest book is The Last Earth: A Palestinian Story (Pluto Press, London). Baroud has a Ph.D. in Palestine Studies from the University of Exeter and is a former Non-Resident Scholar at Orfalea Center for Global and International Studies, University of California Santa Barbara. His website is www.ramzybaroud.net.

Sobhi Al-Zobaidi is a Palestinian filmmaker, artist and scholar who was born in Jerusalem in 1961 and who grew up in the Jalazone refugee camp near Ramallah. He studied economics at Birzeit University and Cinema at NYU. He is currently completing his Ph.D. at SFU. 
He will be presenting his film, My Very Private Map

Local Palestinians will also present their personal stories of being Nakba survivors or descendants.
(This event is part of a Cross Canada Day of Action marking Nakba71.)

Hosted by Canada Palestine Association and Centre for Comparative Muslim Studies – SFU

2. Boycott Israeli Wines Picket, Mark Nakba71

May 18 – 4:15 pm, BC Liquor Store, SFU Harbour Centre, Gather W. Cordova entrance near Seymour across from Sea Bus

Facebook Event

Image may contain: 3 people, outdoor

Se

SPONSORS

Nakba 71: Cross-Canada Day of Action

Across Canada there is a new majority…
…against Israeli war crimes
…against the Occupation
…for the Right of Return for Palestinian Refugees
…for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions
…to End Canadian Complicity with Israeli Apartheid
…for Self-determination for the Palestinian people

Events Planned

Victoria

Vancouver

Winnipeg

Toronto

Montreal

Saint John

St. John’s

Endorsements:

Canadian Unitarians for Social Justice

Canada Palestine Association

Barnard-Boecker Centre Foundation

Canadians Against Israeli Apartheid Victoria

Justice for Palestinians Calgary

Palestinian Solidarity Network Edmonton

Peace Alliance Winnipeg

Canada Peace Congress

Regina Peace Council

Oakville Palestinian Rights Association

Toronto BDS Action

Al Quds Committee Toronto

People for Peace, London

Canadian for Justice and Peace in the Middle East

Independent Jewish Voices

Socialist Action / Ligue pour l’Action socialiste

Just Peace Advocates/Mouvement pour une Paix Juste

United for Palestine-Toronto/GTA

MidIslanders for Justice and Peace in the Middle East

NDP Socialist Caucus

Labor for Palestine

Jews for Palestinian Right of Return

Palestine Solidarity Working GroupSudbury

Canadian Defenders for Human Rights

Saanich Gulf Island Federal NDP-Electoral District Assocation

Alliance  of  Concerned  Jewish  Canadians

Christian Peacemaker Team-Ontario

Solidarity with Palestine-Sudbury

Niagara BDS Coalition

Palestinian and Jewish Unity

BDS Quebec

Guelph: Ontario Public Interest Research Group

Canadian Federation of Students-national

Canadian Federation of Students-Ontario

Palestinian Solidarity Working Group – Sudbury

Canadians for Palestine

Islamic Society of York Region

Ontario Coalition Against Poverty (OCAP)

Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW)

International Socialists

Hugo Chavez People’s Defence Front

Independent Jewish Voices-Winnipeg

Canadian Palestine Support Network Manitoba,

Winnipeg  Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid,

Mennonite Central Committee-Manitoba,

Mennonite Church Manitoba Working Group on Palestine/Israel,

United Church Manitoba-Region 5

THE CALL

The Canadian BDS Coalition aims to celebrate this new majority by making it visible on the streets of Canada. We appeal to everyone seeing this message, to every working class and progressive organization, to demonstrate on Saturday, May 18 in solidarity with the above demands.

Please plan street actions to occur in your city, in your community on Saturday May 18th. You may wish to initiate actions during the week of May 13th that marks 71 years since the Nakba took place in Palestine–that’s great! And please also undertake to organize powerful, visible manifestations of our national solidarity with the Palestinian people on the common target date, May 18th!

Let us know that you endorse this Call to Action. Tell us what your group, coalition or campaign plans to do. We will post your local actions to our website, and share across social media. Please add your endorsement HERE.

To enter your event please click HERE.

Events will also appear on this page and on our FB page.

Please contact us at: bdscoalition@gmail.com 647-986-1917


By endorsing we ask you to promote the cross-country action as well as individual actions/events across the county as well as local in your community.

You can use the following posters, customizing for your event/s.

Events will be happening across Canada around Nakba71 (May 15), with day of action on May 18, 2019.

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.

Israeli banks are facilitating the expansion of the Israeli illegal settlements  in several ways, including lending to construction projects in the settlements, providing banking services for settlements’ local authorities, operating branches in the settlements and providing mortgages for settlement homes and businesses.

Many international banks also support Israeli banks, including their activities in the illegal settlements, for example through direct shareholdings, linking them to these impacts.

 

About Israeli illegal settlements

Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and in the occupied Syrian Golan Heights, are illegal under international law. This is widely recognised and has been confirmed by the International Court of Justice and the UN Security Council (e.g. see UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, 2012).

Through these settlements, Israel, the occupying state, violates numerous provisions of the Fourth Geneva Convention and other international humanitarian law (IHL): these are built and maintained primarily through unlawful appropriation of occupied land and natural resources and transfer of property rights, prohibited transfer of Israeli civilians into occupied territory, and arbitrary restriction of the freedom of movement and forcible transfer of the Palestinian and Syrian population.

Moreover, the settlements also amount to de facto annexation of occupied territory by Israel, which is a flagrant breach of general public international law and the UN Charter, violating the prohibition on the acquisition of territory by force and the internationally recognized right of Palestinians to self-determination

 

What Bank Track indicates should happen:Banks not operating in Israel but with shareholdings in or other exposure to Israeli banks lack the leverage to prevent or mitigate the adverse human rights impacts of business with the illegal Israeli settlements. They should therefore abstain from or end their relationships with Israeli banks, as well as other institutions and business linked to the illegal settlements. States should inform their businesses, including banks, about the risks involved in such business activities under international law, and about the consequences under domestic laws. 

See details of Canadian and other financial institutions involvement 

See Human Rights Watch report, June 2018

Learn more here.

 

Please be in touch with your own local branch of these financial institutions, and let us know by providing info HERE.

 

The following letters have been sent by email and registered mail to Scotiabank, RBC, BMO and Manulife.

Canadian BDS Coalition

…working together to promote justice for Palestinians.

Scotiabank

Brian J Porter, CEO and President

VIA EMAIL

brian.porter@scotiabank.com

Dear Mr. Porter:

We are writing to you about an important matter that has just come to our attention.

A few days ago, we  learned that Scotiabank owns and manages 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.

See: https://www.banktrack.org/project/illegal_israeli_settlements#_

As the Canadian government has long acknowledged, Israel’s settlements in occupied Palestinian territories are a grave violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention, one of the pillars of international humanitarian law, and a serious obstacle to peace.

See: http://www.international.gc.ca/world-monde/international_relations-relations_internationales/mena-moan/israeli-palistinian_policy-politique_israelo-palestinien.aspx?lang=eng.

Israel’s West Bank settlements also constitute a war crime under the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court:

See: https://www.diakonia.se/en/IHL/where-we-work/Occupied-Palestinian-Territory/Administration-of-Occupation/Israeli-Settlements-policy/

We are deeply concerned by the oppression of the Palestinian people and with their struggle for self-determination. I am very troubled to learn that Scotiabank is profiting, albeit indirectly, from Israel’s war crimes against Palestinians.

We ask you to  provide further details to us about the nature and extent of Scotiabank’s investments in these Israeli banks and, in particular, to explain how these investments are consistent with international humanitarian law, and we would ask you announce publicly the withdrawal of Scotiabank’s funds related to illegal settlements.

According to 2017 EKOS poll, 78 % of Canadians support boycotts when organizations are violating human rights and international law. We expect as a matter of conscience that if  clear information is not provided along with a public statement made by Scotiabank related to its ending financial relations with illegal settlements, that many customers will re-evaluate their relationship with Scotiabank and may ultimately decide to take their business elsewhere.

We are available to speak with you as well, and expect others will be following up with your organization over the coming weeks.

Sincerely

 

The Canadian BDS Coalition

info@bdscoalition.ca

 

BMO

Darryl White, CEO and President, BMO

VIA EMAIL

darryl.white@bmo.com

Dear Mr. White:

re writing to you about an important matter that has just come to our attention.

A few days ago, we  learned that BMO owns and manages 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.

See: https://www.banktrack.org/project/illegal_israeli_settlements#_

As the Canadian government has long acknowledged, Israel’s settlements in occupied Palestinian territories are a grave violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention, one of the pillars of international humanitarian law, and a serious obstacle to peace.

See: http://www.international.gc.ca/world-monde/international_relations-relations_internationales/mena-moan/israeli-palistinian_policy-politique_israelo-palestinien.aspx?lang=eng.

Israel’s West Bank settlements also constitute a war crime under the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.

See: https://www.diakonia.se/en/IHL/where-we-work/Occupied-Palestinian-Territory/Administration-of-Occupation/Israeli-Settlements-policy/

We are deeply concerned by the oppression of the Palestinian people and with their struggle for self-determination. I am very troubled to learn that BMO is profiting, albeit indirectly, from Israel’s war crimes against Palestinians.

We ask you to  provide further details to us about the nature and extent of BMO investments in these Israeli banks and, in particular, to explain how these investments are consistent with international humanitarian law, and we would ask you announce publicly the withdrawal CIBC’s of funds related to illegal settlements.

According to 2017 EKOS poll, 78 % of Canadians support boycotts when organizations are violating human rights and international law. We expect as a matter of conscience that if  clear information is not provided along with a public statement made by BMO related to its ending financial relations with illegal settlements, that may Customers will re-evaluate their relationship with BMO and may ultimately decide to take their business elsewhere.

We are available to speak with you as well, and expect others will be following up with your organization over the coming weeks.

Sincerely

 

The Canadian BDS Coalition

info@bdscoalition.ca

 

Royal Bank

David I McKay, CEO and President

Royal Bank of Canada (RBC)

 

VIA EMAIL

Via Paul French, communications with Board and Chair,  paul.french@rbc.com

Dear Mr. McKay

We are writing to you about an important matter that has just come to our attention.

A few days ago, we  learned that RBC owns and manages 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.

See: https://www.banktrack.org/project/illegal_israeli_settlements#_

As the Canadian government has long acknowledged, Israel’s settlements in occupied Palestinian territories are a grave violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention, one of the pillars of international humanitarian law, and a serious obstacle to peace.

See: http://www.international.gc.ca/world-monde/international_relations-relations_internationales/mena-moan/israeli-palistinian_policy-politique_israelo-palestinien.aspx?lang=eng.

Israel’s West Bank settlements also constitute a war crime under the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.

See: https://www.diakonia.se/en/IHL/where-we-work/Occupied-Palestinian-Territory/Administration-of-Occupation/Israeli-Settlements-policy/

We are deeply concerned by the oppression of the Palestinian people and with their struggle for self-determination. I am very troubled to learn that RBC  is profiting, albeit indirectly, from Israel’s war crimes against Palestinians.

We ask you to  provide further details to us about the nature and extent of RBC’s investments in these Israeli banks and, in particular, to explain how these investments are consistent with international humanitarian law, and we would ask you announce publicly the withdrawal RBC’s  of funds related to illegal settlements.

According to 2017 EKOS poll, 78 % of Canadians support boycotts when organizations are violating human rights and international law. We expect as a matter of conscience that if  clear information is not provided along with a public statement made by RBC related to its ending financial relations with illegal settlements, that may customers will re-evaluate their relationship with RBC and may ultimately decide to take their business elsewhere.

We are available to speak with you as well, and expect others will be following up with your organization over the coming weeks.

Sincerely

 

The Canadian BDS Coalition

info@bdscoalition.ca

 

Manulife

 

Roy Gori, President & CEO, Manulife

VIA EMAIL

roy.gori@ manulife.com

 

Also:

info@manulife.com

Dear Mr. Gori

We are writing to you about an important matter that has just come to our attention.

A few days ago, we  learned that Manulife owns and manages 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.

See: https://www.banktrack.org/project/illegal_israeli_settlements#_

As the Canadian government has long acknowledged, Israel’s settlements in occupied Palestinian territories are a grave violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention, one of the pillars of international humanitarian law, and a serious obstacle to peace.

See: http://www.international.gc.ca/world-monde/international_relations-relations_internationales/mena-moan/israeli-palistinian_policy-politique_israelo-palestinien.aspx?lang=eng.

Israel’s West Bank settlements also constitute a war crime under the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.

See: https://www.diakonia.se/en/IHL/where-we-work/Occupied-Palestinian-Territory/Administration-of-Occupation/Israeli-Settlements-policy/

We are deeply concerned by the oppression of the Palestinian people and with their struggle for self-determination. I am very troubled to learn that RBC  is profiting, albeit indirectly, from Israel’s war crimes against Palestinians.

We ask you to  provide further details to us about the nature and extent of Manulife investments in these Israeli banks and, in particular, to explain how these investments are consistent with international humanitarian law, and we would ask you announce publicly the withdrawal Manulife’s  funds related to illegal settlements.

According to 2017 EKOS poll, 78 % of Canadians support boycotts when organizations are violating human rights and international law. We expect as a matter of conscience that if  clear information is not provided along with a public statement made by Manulife related to its ending financial relations with illegal settlements, that many customers and companies/organizations will re-evaluate their relationship with Manulife nd may ultimately decide to take their business elsewhere.

We are available to speak with you as well, and expect others will be following up with your organization over the coming weeks.

Sincerely

The Canadian BDS Coalition

info@bdscoalition.ca

 

Continue reading

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

Over 5,000 signatures to date on this call: Don’t Dance on the Ruins of Palestinian Childhood.  Add your signature by clicking HERE.

December 18, 2018.

The following letter has been sent to:

Pablo Rodriquez, Federal Minister of Heritage

Ambassador Deborah Lyons, Canadian Ambassador to Israel

Kennedy Stewart, Mayor of Vancouver

Valérie Plante, Mayor of Montreal

—————————

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

We have become aware that you are listed as one of the official sponsors of the CanaDanse Festival, being held in Israel in January 2019. Promotional material on the venue’s website denotes the Government of Canada as a sponsor of the whole Festival while the cities of Vancouver and Montreal are sponsoring one segment respectively. You should be aware that there is an ongoing campaign regarding Ballet BC’s involvement in the Festival, along with the 2 other dance companies, Shay Kuebler-Radical System Art from Vancouver and Le Carré des Lombes/Danièle Desnoyers from Montreal.

Over 5000 people have already signed a petition to Ballet BC asking them to cancel their first-ever performance in Israel, and to not help Israel whitewash its crimes against the Palestinian people. There has been coverage on the U.S. website Mondoweiss about this issue and also coverage in Canadian local media.

In fact, support is increasing amongst the Canadian public for sanctions against the state of Israel until it complies with international law, despite the efforts of the political establishment to suppress such information. A recent EKOS survey found that seventy-eight percent of Canadians said they believe the Palestinians’ call for a boycott is “reasonable”, and two-thirds (66%) of respondents viewed government sanctions specifically on Israel as “reasonable.”

It is shocking that various levels of government, federal and municipal, including the Cities of Vancouver and Montreal, felt compelled to not only lend their names to this Festival, but we assume funding as well.

Although Ballet BC and the other two dance companies will be welcomed by Israeli authorities to perform there, you should be aware that Palestinian cultural figures, artists and writers are routinely denied entry to their own homeland. One recent case is that of Susan Abulhawa, prominent Palestinian author who was detained and deported by Israel on November 1, 2018 on her way to a literary festival. Cultural exchanges that are predicated on silencing certain voices do not serve the values Ballet BC (and presumably your government) claim to uphold: “Ballet BC serves as a cultural ambassador, inspires diverse communities through dance and promotes inclusion in and through all that we do.” There is no inclusion for most indigenous Palestinians, who cannot even visit their homeland, let alone return to live there.

The Canadian Ambassador to Israel, Deborah Lyons, has already used the CanaDanse Festival to state: “Canada and Israel are truly best of friends”; we are sure more euphemisms will follow during and after the performances to help cover up the horrors of what the Israeli state is doing to the Palestinian people. This is the essence of art-washing and this is why an increasing number of global artists are saying that they will not perform in Israel until it complies with international law and respects the rights of the Palestinian people.

Your shameful position does not represent us or our constituent groups and we are appalled that you speak in our names and use taxpayers’ money to promote the suppression and dispossession of an entire people. We call on you to immediately withdraw your government sponsorship and cancel your participation in this Festival, which will only be used by the Israeli government to obscure the injustices happening right now to the Palestinian people.

Otherwise, history will not look kindly on your actions.

The Canadian BDS Coalition

www.bdscoalition.ca