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U.S. acknowledges Israel's unlawful killings, excessive force, torture, discrimination against Pales
Apr 18, 2016 at 12:00 AM

Salon.com 

Apr 18, 2016

Summary of lengthy U.S. State Department report detailing human rights violations in Israel & occupied territories

Ben Norton

A new report by the U.S. State Department thoroughly details how the Israeli government discriminates against Palestinians in almost every aspect of society.

In its 2015 Country Report on Human Rights Practices for Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories, the U.S. Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor acknowledges the 'institutional and societal discrimination against Arab citizens of Israel.'

The U.S. also confirms that Israeli government forces are responsible for unlawful killings and the use of excessive force and torture against Palestinians.

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Israel: The Stark Truth
Mar 15, 2016 at 12:00 AM

The New York Review of Books 

March 15, 2016

Imagine a white American president calling on whites to vote because 'blacks are voting in large numbers'.

David Shulman

Benjamin Netanyahu has won again. He will have no difficulty putting together a solid right-wing coalition. But the naked numbers may be deceptive. What really counts is the fact that the Israeli electorate is still dominated by hypernationalist, in some cases proto-fascist, figures. It is in no way inclined to make peace. It has given a clear mandate for policies that preclude any possibility of moving toward a settlement with the Palestinians and that will further deepen Israel's colonial venture in the Palestinian territories, probably irreversibly.

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Opinion | The BDS motion and Canada's relationship with Israel
Mar 13, 2016 at 12:00 AM

"...Issues of free expression and speech aside (both are clearly violated by the government's stance), Canada's choice to be seen as a defender of all Israeli policies — good and bad — undermines a possible resolution to the conflict, while playing into the false extremist narratives that use Palestine as a primary recruiting tool.

It's time to question exactly what a decade of radical support for Israel has actually done for Canada, other than landing it near the top of ISIS's "hit list" and acquiring the supposed friendship of a country that has been the source of much regional instability...."

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Anti-Zionist group protests lectures by far-right UK politician
Mar 11, 2016 at 12:00 AM

Members of the anti-Fascist group Pegida Watch Canada held protests at events in Montreal and Toronto – the latter sponsored by the Jewish Defence League – that featured a far-right British politician who Pegida Watch says promotes the anti-Islam, anti-immigrant movement that’s taking hold in the Western world.

On March 9, Act for Canada, a group that speaks out about the “clear and present dangers emerging from those who do not embrace Canada’s values along with the threat of homegrown terrorism,” organized a lecture at Ruby Foos restaurant in Montreal by Paul Weston, the leader of Pegida UK, an acronym in German for Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamization of the West.

On March 10, the Jewish Defence League (JDL) sponsored a lecture at the Toronto Zionist Centre by Weston and Lars Hedegaard, president of the Danish Free Press Society. It was titled “The threat of radical Islamic immigration and the erosion of our freedoms.”

Scott Weinstein, a member of the anti-Zionist group Independent Jewish Voices (IJV)-Montreal’s steering committee, said news about the Montreal protest, which attracted about 60 to 70 people, resulted in the event’s cancellation.

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IJVY Condemns Lobby Group’s Bullying Tactics, Supports York University Faculty Association
Feb 23, 2016 at 12:00 AM

Independent Jewish Voices York (IJVY) strongly condemns the interference and bullying tactics that the pro-Israel organization Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center (FSWC) has employed at York University. FSWC CEO Avi Benlolo has been aggressively pressuring the York University Faculty Association (YUFA) to oppose a student- and alumni-led initiative calling on the Board of Governors to remove its investments from weapons manufacturers.

In this case, FSWC has become so desperate that Benlolo has also accused YUFA of anti-Semitism simply for raising the question of whether York would be honouring its own commitment to social justice by continuing to invest in weapons.

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McGill undergraduates vote to support BDS movement
Feb 23, 2016 at 12:00 AM

On February 22, almost 900 students gathered in the Shatner building to participate in the Students’ Society of McGill University (SSMU) Winter 2016 General Assembly (GA).

A motion in support of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement passed with 58 per cent of the vote. A motion for an increase in Indigenous content at McGill and a motion regarding the procurement of products containing conflict minerals by SSMU also passed.

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1800 University of Waterloo students call to sever ties with Israeli universities
Feb 02, 2016 at 12:00 AM

Thousands of University of Waterloo students participated last week in the first-ever referendum on UW’s links to Israeli universities. The “sever ties” referendum campaign failed to gain a majority, but it provoked a lot of discussion including among students who had never heard about the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. Learn more…

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Liberals dodge NDP question on UNRWA
Feb 01, 2016 at 12:00 AM

On February 1st in Parliament, the NDP asked the right question about funding for Palestinian refugees. The new Liberal government dodged the question.

Ms. Hélène Laverdière (Laurier—Sainte-Marie, NDP):

Mr. Speaker, in 2013, the Conservative government completely cut off Canadian aid to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East.

This agency provides humanitarian aid to some of the most vulnerable people in the world. For example, it helps keep thousands of young Palestinians in school.

Will the minister restore Canadian aid to this relief agency or not?

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Standing with Israel through fire and water and sunny ways
Jan 31, 2016 at 12:00 AM

This is what we look like at the United Nations General Assembly right now - one of a half dozen outliers of little red squares on the big screen voting NO on every single vote to do with Palestine.  It's the same look we've had for over a decade - standing with Israel through fire and water and now sunny ways - in the yearly UN ritual of non-binding resolutions on a humanitarian disaster that inconveniently implicates Israel.

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Facts and Figures about the Current Darkness in the Gaza Strip

January 23rd 2008

Report from the Palestinian Hydrology Group
  1. Gaza Strip today is facing a very harsh siege which is expected to have severely negative humanitarian impact.
  2. The distribution of drinking water and the collection and treatment of wastewater completely rely on electricity and fuel in Gaza Strip.
  3. For several months now Israel has imposed a cruel siege on the Strip preventing people and goods from free movement. This has immobilized the importing of spare parts, pumps, pipes and other necessary accessories for the water and sanitation providing facilities.
  4. According to different sources the water and sanitation services are expected to be completely paralyzed within a matter of hours due to the lack of fuel reserves.
  5. About 133 water wells are being used for domestic purposes in addition to 33 sewage pump stations and three treatment plants; 10 of these groundwater wells function using fuel while the rest rely on electricity. Diesel powered generators are normally used as backup for the whole system but only for a limited time.
    The Coastal Municipalities Water Utility needs at least 100,000 liters of diesel per month to operate the water system. An additional 100,000 liters of diesel per month are needed for the sewage system to prevent wastewater from flooding the streets and residential areas.
  6. Reducing electricity and fuel supplies are potential causes to trigger an environmental crisis especially in the wastewater pump stations and treatment plants. If wastewater is not treated it will have to be pumped directly to the sea. This will for sure have a direct and negative impact on the groundwater aquifer and marine life.
    During winter time sewage pumps need to operate about 24 hours per day due to rainfall. Therefore, interruptions in fuel and electricity supply would be particularly significant.
  7. The sewage treatment plant in Beit Lahiya is also vulnerable to interruptions in electricity supplies. The treatment lagoons must be pumped regularly, or else the 10,000 people living in the area are in danger.  Six months ago, one of the lagoons over flooded and caused the death of five persons. Proper maintenance could have prevented the disaster.
  8. The water supply in Gaza City, with a total of 600,000 residents, in addition to a major part of the central portion of the Strip is expected to be completely cut-off as a result of ceasing the pumping from the municipal groundwater wells. The City also faces the threat of overflowing wastewater since the pumps (especially Al Samer and Aqoola stations) are expected to stop operating within the next 24 hours.
  9. If the current situation should persist the solid wastes generated in the Strip will accumulate in piles on the streets endangering the health of the locals.

The WaSH Monitoring Program calls on the International Community to push Israel to immediately cease all military operations, reopen the borders to allow the movement of people and goods and provide fuel supply and humanitarian aid to the residents of Gaza.

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