Congratulations to students at King’s University College and UBC

The Canadian BDS Coalition congratulates the King’s BDS Network at the University of Western Ontario and the Solidarity for Palestinian Human Rights (SPHR) at the University of British Columbia.

At King’s University College at University of Western Ontario, 76% of the students who cast a vote in a recent referendum supported their student council in lobbying the King’s administration to boycott and divest from companies complicit in human rights violations against Palestinians.

Implementation will be based by King’s University College Student Council (KUSC) on a resolution that brought results from this referendum along with another referendum on fossil fuel divestment to their March 19, 2017 Annual General Meeting.

The approved resolution mandates the student council to lobby King’s administration to boycott and divest from any and all companies and products complicit with Israeli occupation based on principles of human rights, labour, environment, and anti-corruption. It also calls on KUCSC to research and write an annual Advocacy Paper on ethical investments and divestments that will include a five-year plan for ethical investing.

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 his ruling and dismissed a case to stop a boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) referendum. Continue reading

Statement of support for human rights defender Omar Barghouti

The Canadian BDS Coalition joins with organizations from across Canada and worldwide, including the BDS National Committee (BNC), Independent Jewish Voices, Canadian Unitarians for Social Justice, and Palestinian and Jewish Unity in condemning the detention of BDS Movement co-founder Omar Barghouti by Israeli authorities with the following statement:

The Canadian BDS Coalition expresses sorrow, anger, and renewed commitment with regard to the interrogation of Omar Barghouti.

Omar Barghouti is a prominent Palestinian human rights defender and the co-founder of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanction (BDS) movement for the freedom, justice and equity of the Palestinian people.

BDS upholds the simple principle that Palestinians are entitled to the same rights as the rest of humanity.

Barghouti’s wife, Safa, was also interrogated for 16 hours, after the Israeli tax authorities barged into their home and detained them on March 19, 2017.

On March 22, 2017, the BDS National Committee (BNC) issued a statement that indicated “the Israeli government has resorted to fabricating a case related to Omar’s alleged income outside of Israel to tarnish his image and intimidate him.” Beyond this questionable investigation, this detention is happening just weeks before Barghouti is scheduled to receive the Gandhi Peace Award with Ralph Nader in a ceremony at Yale University. Continue reading

Open letter to Chrystia Freeland on Israel “regularization bill”

The Canadian BDS Coaliton coordinated the following open letter to Minister of Foreign Affairs Chrystia Freeland on the passage of Israel’s so-called Regularization Bill.

March 20, 2017

The Honourable Chrystia Freeland
Minister of Foreign Affairs,
House of Commons,
Ottawa K1A 0A6

Dear Minister Freeland:

We come together to express our grave concern regarding actions taken by the government of Israel since the passage of UN Security Council Resolution 2334, and to call the Canadian government to take a strong stance against the Israeli government’s flagrant disregard of its responsibility as an occupying power under the Fourth Geneva Convention.

The February 6, 2017 passing by the Knesset of the Regularization Bill shows utter disdain of the Security Council and for International Human Rights and Humanitarian Laws. This legislation allows for retroactive expropriation of private Palestinian land, resulting in the legalization of over 4,000 settler homes, along with the ability to seize privately owned Palestinian land for the creation of new, and/or expansion of, existing illegal settlements. Continue reading

HP Canada: Apartheid is bad for business

As part of the global Boycott HP campaign, the following open letter signed by friends and members of the Canadian BDS Coalition was sent to HP President & CEO Mary Anne Yule and Canadian HPE President and CEO Meg Whitman:

March 19, 2017

Mary Anne Yule,
President and CEO at HP Canada
5150 Spectrum Way #600,
Mississauga, Ontario L4W 5G1

Meg Whitman,
President and CEO, HPE
Canadian HPE HQ
5150 Spectrum Way, Floor 4-5
Mississauga, Ontario L4W 5G1

Delivered by Registered Mail

Dear Ms. Yule and Ms. Whitman,

Canadian citizens concerned about International Humanitarian Law violations and human right abuses are among the more than 1.8 million people who have signed a petition calling on Hewlett Packard (HP) and Hewlett Packard Enterprises (HPE) to end its role in Israeli apartheid and settler colonialism.

We write to you, as the Presidents and CEOs at HP Canada and HPE to let you know that we are concerned, and look to you to take leadership within HP Canada and HEP; leadership to speak out against the violations of International Humanitarian Law and abuses of human rights associated with HP/HPE technology infrastructure that Israel uses to maintain its system of apartheid and settler colonialism over the Palestinian people. Continue reading

Open letter to the Batsheva Dance Company

Twenty organizations from across Canada have sent an open letter to the Batsheva Dance Company demanding that it ends complicity with the Israeli government by disavowing its role as an Ambassador to the State of Israel.

The open letter follows a similar initiative earlier this year coordinated by Adalah-NY in the United States, and is the latest in a long campaign to encourage the company to end its complicity with the Israeli government. In 2016, Brian Eno denied permission for Batsheva to use his music during its performances, saying “To my understanding, the Israeli embassy (and therefore the Israeli government) will be sponsoring the upcoming performances, and, given that I’ve been supporting the BDS campaign for several years now, this is an unacceptable prospect for me.”

Below is the full text of the Canadian open letter. Continue reading

Join the Open Shuhada Street Campaign

The Hebron-based Youth Against Settlements has launched its 8th Annual Open Shuhada Street Campaign, which runs February 19-27, 2017.

Shuhada Street, once the main thoroughfare in Hebron has been almost entirely closed to Palestinians since 1994 when American-born Israeli settler Baruch Goldstein opened fire in the Ibrahimi mosque killing 29 in worship and wounding over 100 more.

While Israeli settlers roam freely on the streets and carry arms, Palestinians homes and shops are sealed shut and families must pass through checkpoints to reach their homes. Roads in Hebron are divided in half, one side for Jews, and one side for Muslims, and Palestinians face physical daily attacks by ideologically extreme and violent settlers and soldiers.

The Open Shuhada Street Campaign takes place in Hebron and around the world annually the week of February 25th in commemoration of the anniversary of the Ibrahimi massacre. In Hebron the campaign consists of a week of events culminating in a march that attempts to go down Shuhada Street. Internationally, the 2017 campaign will focus on stopping global financier Goldman Sachs from funneling money to the Hebron Fund. Continue reading

Palestinians call for boycott of Hyundai

Palestinians are calling for a boycott of Hyundai over the company’s failure to stop its construction equipment being used by Israel to destroy their homes and communities.

An action alert released on February 7 by the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Committee of Palestinian Citizens of Israel (BDS48) calls on people around the world “to boycott Hyundai products” and urges institutions, including investment funds and churches, to divest from Hyundai shares.

Below is the full text of the call, which can also be read on the BDS Movement website. Continue reading