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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 Adams: Artists Around the World Hope You Will Stand on the Right Side of History

The following letter has been sent out to artists around the world. The list will be updated as we hear back from them.

Bryan Adams screen shot

Artists please click here to sign onto the letter to Bryan Adams.

Dear Bryan Adams,

We’re writing to you as fellow artists who salute you for having stood with the Palestinians in 2014, when Israel’s war on Gaza left thousands of dead and injured and whole neighbourhoods pulverized.   You tweeted, ‘I say the war against Gaza was a crime against humanity.’

Brave words, Bryan.   They’re one of the reasons we can’t quite understand why you’ve agreed to give concerts in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem this December.   Those crimes against humanity – can you have forgotten them, and which government committed them?

You also tweeted the world in 2014 that Israel’s blockade on Gaza, then in its eighth year, was ‘leaving its 1.7 million inhabitants destitute.’

We’re puzzled.   That blockade is now entered its eleventh year.   Do you think things in Gaza have got any better for its inhabitants?

Here’s what the United Nations said in July this year: ‘The two million inhabitants of Gaza are suffering through a humanitarian crisis that is entirely human-made’.     The UN went on to describe ‘hospitals in precarious conditions, water shortages growing, and untreated sewage being dumped into the Mediterranean’.

Amnesty International describes Israel’s blockade of Gaza as ‘collective punishment of Gaza’s entire population’ (for what, we’re tempted to ask).   Amnesty says, ‘some 51,000 people’ are still displaced from the 2014 war, and unexploded ordnance is still causing deaths and injuries.

We’d like to ask you to think again about playing Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.     Please don’t let people think you stand with Israeli apartheid and war crimes.   Please take a principled stand for Palestinian human rights, and international law.

We know you haven’t been afraid to act on principle before.   In 2016 you cancelled your Mississipi tour date because of that state’s anti-LGBT law.   Let the world salute you again: stand with the Palestinians, and cancel Israel.

Signed so far by

Roger Waters

Thurston Moore

Leon Rosselson

Reem Kelani

Maryem Tollar

Mohammad Ali

Juan D. Toledo

Maírtín Antoíne MacAonghusa

S.L. Bondarchuk

Rivashi

Sitta

Johnny K Gagnon

 

 

 

Bryan Adams Unplug from Israeli Apartheid before your ONLY Canadian concert on September 30.

 Letter sent to Bryan Adams by the Canadian BDS Coalition.

September 23, 2017

Dear Bryan Adams,

“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.” 

Your own brave words in 2014 and things in Gaza have not gotten any better – far worse in fact.  That’s why we can’t quite understand why you would want to play and share your music in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem in December.

We respectfully ask you to cancel your concerts in Israel.  By playing them, you will be playing in a state where, United Nations rapporteurs say, “a system of apartheid has been imposed on the Palestinian people.”

No doubt you are being approached by Palestinian campaigners to respect their national call for a cultural boycott of Israel.  They made a direct appeal for you because the know how significant it is to have you join with others in taking small steps to help pressure Israel to end its violation of basic human rights and international law.

We in Canada have encourage you to do the same.  In fact, this year a syndicated poll by EKOS showed that most Canadians say sanctions and boycott are reasonable measures to defend Palestinian rights:

o Canadians believe overwhelmingly that sanctions are a reasonable way for Canada to censure countries violating international law and human rights,

o Given the UN Security Council’s condemnation of illegal Israeli settlements, a strong majority of Canadians believe that government sanctions on Israel would be reasonable.

o In the context of Israel’s ongoing violations of international law, a very strong majority of Canadians believe that the Palestinians’ call for a boycott of Israel is reasonable.

Bryan, since you spoke out so clearly for the Palestinian people in 2014 during the war on Gaza, we’re hoping you will also stand with them again in 2017.   Please let the world cheer you again when you CANCEL your Tel Aviv and Jerusalem performances as it did in 2016 when you cancelled your Mississippi tour date in protest over the state’s anti-LGBT law.

Bryan please tell the world that you do not support apartheid or war crimes.  For the sake of justice and peace in the world, please take a principled stand for human rights and international law, and refuse to play in Israel until Apartheid is ended.

You only have one concert in Canada before you are in Israel—we ask you to express prior to your Toronto concert on Friday, September 30, 2017, that you will be cancelling your concerts in Israel.   We ask you to invite fellow artists –Bachman and Turner, Coeur De Pirate and Kelly Clarkson, who will be sharing the stage that night to join you in a statement that to stand up for human rights and dignity for all people includes Palestinians, and until the occupation and colonization is ended you will not be playing in Israel.

Bryan, we ask you to unplug from Israeli apartheid, and stand up for the human rights and dignity for all people, including Palestinians.

 

Sincerely,

The Canadian BDS Coalition

https://bdscoalition.ca/2017/08/25/bryan-unplug-from-apartheid-israel/

cc Bachman and Turner, Coeur De Pirate and Kelly Clarkson

 

 

 

 

 

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

Unifor Canadian Council passes BDS motion at Winnipeg convention

Congratulations to the Unifor’s Canadian Council on easily passing a pro-Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) motion at their recent convention in Winnipeg, between August 18-20.

Submitted by Unifor Local 222 (Oshawa), Unifor Resolution No. 5 is titled “Palestinian Self-Determination and the Movement for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions,” and reads in part:

“… BE IT RESOLVED that Unifor supports the use of divestment, boycott and sanctions (“BDS”) that are targeted to those sectors of Israel’s economy and society which profit from the ongoing occupation of the OPT; and […] BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that Unifor will support such a form of BDS until such time as Israel implements a permanent ban on further settlement construction in the OPT, and enters into good faith negotiations with representatives of the Palestinian people for the purpose of establishing a viable, contiguous and truly sovereign Palestinian state ; and THEREFORE BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED that Unifor opposes all efforts to prohibit, punish or otherwise deter expressions of support for BDS.”

During the summer 2014 bombing of civilians in Gaza, the Palestinian trade union movement, with support from the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) and its affiliates, unanimously called on international trade unions to take immediate action to stop the Israeli massacre in Gaza and hold Israel to account for its crimes against the Palestinian people.

They wrote: “… civil society solidarity is the only force that can help stop the ongoing slaughter of our people and send them a message that they are not alone, exactly as effective international solidarity had done in supporting the struggle for freedom in apartheid South Africa […] In the face of this international inaction, we, the Palestinian trade unions, call on trade unions around the world to take urgent measures, and in particular to intensify Boycotts, Divestments and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel, until it complies with international law.”

The entire resolution as passed can be downloaded here:

http://www.unifor.org/sites/default/files/attachments/final_resolutions_eng_2017-07-27.pdf

See the complete list of Unifor resolutions: http://www.unifor.org/en/whats-new/news/canadian-council-resolutions

Our heartiest congratulations to members of Unifor Local 222 who crafted, submitted and argued in favour of the successful motion supporting BDS tactics.