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First Palestinian Conference for the Boycott of Israel (BDS) PDF Print E-mail
Nov 22, 2007 at 12:00 AM

22 November 2007
Al-Bireh, Ramallah
Summary Report

"The Campaign for the Boycott of Israel will re-vitalize popular resistance and restore dignity to the Palestinian people"

An important mile-stone in building the global BDS campaign was achieved in Ramallah on 22 November 2007. Some 300 activists, members of unions, associations and NGOs in towns, villages and refugee camps of the occupied West Bank, with monitors from the global solidarity movement in Britain, Canada, Norway, Spain and South Africa, convened for a day of discussion and debate about ways to promote all forms of boycott against Israel among Palestinian community organizations, unions, as well as political, academic and cultural institutions. Organizers and participants left the conference with a sense of accomplishment: practical recommendations are in place for building the popular Palestinian BDS campaign as a strategic form of civil resistance in the long struggle ahead against Israel's regime of apartheid over the Palestinian people.

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Toward the Establishment of a Palestinian Civil Society Defragmentation Strategy PDF Print E-mail
Nov 02, 2007 at 12:45 AM

Final Statement of the Palestinian Civil Society Conference,
Cyprus, 16–18 October 2007

As part of the effort by the Palestinian civil society organizations to overcome the state of forced Palestinian fragmentation and consolidate the national role of the Palestinian NGOs in all their places of residence, a conference titled "Toward the Establishment of a Palestinian Civil Society Defragmentation Strategy" was held in Agros, Cyprus, between 16 and 18 October 2007 at the initiative of Ittijah-The Union of Arab Community Based Associations. Forty-four participants representing a broad sector of Palestinian civil society networks, coalitions, and associations in Palestine, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, and Kuwait, in addition to a number of international partner organizations supporting Palestinian rights, attended the conference. The Israeli occupation authorities banned the travel of a delegation representing civil society organizations in Gaza.

The conference discussed a number of issues, notably: The Palestinian situation and Palestinian, regional, and international developments, including the Annapolis conference; the collective Palestinian strategy against the forced fragmentation; the endeavors to rebuild terms of reference and assert the constant Palestinian principles; the strategy of collective Palestinian advocacy; Palestinian media strategies; and local and international coordination on the Palestinian question.

The participants in the conference set bases that would help strengthen the overall Palestinian struggle for liberation in all its contexts: the occupation, the displacement and uprooting, and the assault on Palestinian existence in the 1948 areas.

A draft of a collective organizational structure and an action plan were also devised, and a follow-up committee to implement this plan and lead the agreed process was set up.

 

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Canadian students join BDS against Israeli apartheid! PDF Print E-mail
Oct 28, 2007 at 12:00 AM

October 28th, 2007

Worldwide Activism, Palestinian grassroots Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign

In early October the Association pour une Solidarité Syndicale Étudiante (ASSÉ) passed an important motion joining in the global movement for BDS. In their motion they commit to an education campaign on Israeli apartheid and support for BDS, joining efforts with other Canadian organizations to stop their country’s cooperation and support to Israel.

The ASSE represents around 60,000 CEGEP students in Quebec. CEGEP is a network of colleges in Quebec and ASSE is the union of their student councils.

This motion follows other boycott resolution in Canada, notably the resolution of CUPE (Canadian Union of Public Employees), Ontario that has helped to spearhead wider trade union boycott motions.

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Tear Down That Wall! PDF Print E-mail
Sep 14, 2007 at 12:00 AM

Activists demanding a better fate for Palestinians have chosen a potent accusation—the new apartheid—to rally support for the growing anti-Israel boycott. Their belief: what forced change in South Africa can provoke change in the Middle East. But it may not be that easy-or that simple
BY Sue Ferguson
Photography by Reuters: Reinhard Krause

Imagination. Creativity. Inspiration. Three words to stir the soul crown the towering windows of Toronto’s flagship Indigo bookstore. At ground level, shoppers pass in and out of wood-framed glass doors, navigating planters and benches intended to create a friendly, front-porch sort of welcome. They take little notice as, on the sidewalk beyond, two women unfurl an off-white canvas banner. Printed on one side are another three words, less poetic perhaps than the store’s motto, but the intended effect is just as moving: Boycott Chapters/Indigo.

No, the protest is not a last-ditch attempt by independent booksellers to draw the literate back into their fold. Rather, the activists—11 have turned up on this Friday in April, the fi rst truly warm day of spring—are taking a page from a much larger book. They are members of the Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid (CAIA), a network of Palestinian rights, Jewish peace and socialist groups doing their part to promote an international boycott campaign against Israel. They compare themselves to the early voices against South African apartheid, and history, they believe, can repeat itself: If international pressure could help rescue South Africa from apartheid, the same can be true for Israel.

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If Politicians Won't Lead, Citizens Must PDF Print E-mail
Aug 15, 2007 at 12:00 AM
Boycott Movement Targets Israel
By GEORGE BISHARAT, CounterPunch, August 15th 2007

When does a citizen-led boycott of a state become morally justified?

That question is raised by an expanding academic, cultural and economic boycott of Israel. The movement joins churches, unions, professional societies and other groups based in the United States, Canada, Europe and South Africa. It has elicited dramatic reactions from Israel's supporters. U.S. labor leaders have condemned British unions, representing millions of workers, for supporting the Israel boycott. American academics have been frantically gathering signatures against the boycott, and have mounted a prominent advertising campaign in American newspapers - unwittingly elevating the controversy further in the public eye.

Israel's defenders have protested that Israel is not the worst human-rights offender in the world, and singling it out is hypocrisy, or even anti-Semitism. Rhetorically, this shifts focus from Israel's human rights record to the imagined motives of its critics.

But "the worst first" has never been the rule for whom to boycott. Had it been, the Pol Pot regime, not apartheid South Africa, would have been targeted in the past. It was not - Cambodia's ties to the West were insufficient to make any embargo effective. Boycotting North Korea today would be similarly futile. Should every other quest for justice be put on hold as a result?

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Arrests underway in Toronto Israeli Consulate Sit-in

Toronto: Wednesday January 7, 2009   Time: 11:20 am

Police have moved in to arrest a group of Jewish Canadian women who are currently occupying the Israeli consulate at 180 Bloor Street West in Toronto.

The women took their action in protest against the on-going Israeli assault on the people of Gaza.

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