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Ontario NDP leader threatens MPP Joel Harden for supporting Palestinian rights PDF Print E-mail
Jun 16, 2020 at 04:46 PM

Ontario New Democratic Party Leader Andrea Howrath recently attacked Joel Harden, a member of Ontario’s Provincial Parliament (MPP), for supporting Khalida Jarrar. A courageous Palestinian mother and lawmaker, Ms. Jarrar has exposed Israel’s criminal record before the International Criminal Court (ICC). Israel has arrested Ms. Jarrar in an attempt to silence her. 

According to Code Pink, “Jarrar was released from prison after being held from July 2017 to February 2019 under administrative detention which allows Israel to detain Palestinians indefinitely without charge or trial and based on secret evidence — Jarrar is one of 5,500 Palestinian political prisoners being held under Israel’s abusive administrative detention”. Ms. Jarrar’s imprisonment is unlawful under international law.

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EKOS Poll: Canadians Want Their Government to Oppose Israeli Annexation PDF Print E-mail
Jun 16, 2020 at 01:13 PM

As Canada’s candidacy for a seat on the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) comes to a vote tomorrow, a new survey conducted by EKOS Research Associates reveals that Canadians want more from their government on foreign policy. The survey found that three out of four Canadians want their government to oppose Israel’s annexation of large parts of the West Bank, while almost half support the use of sanctions. It further shows that Canadians support increasing international contributions in several specific areas where Canada lags behind its competitors, including peacekeeping, combatting climate change, and support for Palestinian human rights.

The survey was co-sponsored by Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME), Independent Jewish Voices Canada (IJV), and the United Network for Justice and Peace in Palestine-Israel (UNJPPI). All survey results, charts, and the report entitled “Out of Touch: Canada’s Foreign Policy Disconnected From Canadians’ Views” can be accessed at www.cjpme.org/survey2020 or www.ijvcanada.org/survey2020.

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Why we oppose Canada’s bid for the UN Security Council PDF Print E-mail
Jun 15, 2020 at 12:00 AM

Recently, a strong movement has coalesced opposing the Canadian government’s attempt to gain a seat on the UN Security Council (UNSC). Although progressive groups and individuals have been laying the foundation for this issue since late 2019, it has been thrust into the national spotlight in the last month with various petitions, statements and media coverage in the #NoUNSC4Canada campaign. The voting for the non-permanent seats is set to happen June 17, 2020.

For Palestinian activists, this call to refuse to reward the Trudeau government is welcome. Since 1947, Canada has played a negative role at the U.N. regarding the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people. From Lester B. Pearson, dubbed the “Balfour of Canada” for his part in preparing and passing the infamous Partition Plan, to the more recent 15 years of anti-Palestinian voting at the General Assembly, and all the “refugee resettlement” plans in between, it is fitting that the Canadian government is held accountable at this forum.

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Two-faced baloney: Israel-Palestine and the rule of law in Ottawa PDF Print E-mail
Mar 19, 2020 at 12:00 AM

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Most recently, Champagne called upon the International Criminal Court to suspend its investigation of Palestine's complaint against Israel. It clearly believes Israel has the right to do as it pleases with impunity.

Here in Canada, the Trudeau government defends Israel's right to traffic its settlement products on store shelves, tariff-free and beneath "product of Israel" labels, effectively endorsing their de facto annexation and concealing their criminal origin from law-abiding Canadian consumers. Even though its official position is that settlements impede the creation of a truly sovereign Palestinian state -- an outcome it claims to support.

So, what are the "global rules, principles and protections" Champagne's government is willing to violate in exchange for cozy relations with Israel? They are the most foundational norms of modern international humanitarian and human rights law -- some of them incorporated into Canadian domestic legislation.

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Canada celebrates agents of Palestinian misery PDF Print E-mail
Feb 10, 2020 at 12:00 AM

Canada is celebrating the agents of Palestinian misery.

Last month the Canadian Embassy in Tel Aviv held an event to celebrate Canadians fighting in the Israeli military. They invited all 78 Canadians in the IDF to the ambassador’s residence to demonstrate their appreciation. Referring to non-Israelis who join the IDF, ambassador Deborah Lyons told the Jerusalem Post, “Canadian lone soldiers are a particularly special group … This is something we want to do on a yearly basis to show our support.” At the event Canada’s ambassador said, “we both share a love of Canada and a love of Israel. We at the embassy are very proud of what you’re doing.”

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Canada lukewarm to Trump’s Middle East ‘peace plan’ PDF Print E-mail
Jan 29, 2020 at 12:00 AM

Canada will “carefully examine the details of the U.S. initiative for the Middle East peace process,” Foreign Affairs Minister François-Philippe Champagne said Tuesday, calling for a negotiated solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The carefully worded statement avoided any assessment of President Donald Trump’s initiative, seen as another significant departure from decades of U.S. policy in the Middle East. It also refrained from calling Trump’s latest diplomatic initiative a “peace plan.”

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Independent Jewish Voices Canada slams continued Government inaction on racist charity PDF Print E-mail
Jul 19, 2019 at 12:00 AM
VANCOUVER – Independent Jewish Voices Canada (IJV) is outraged by the federal government’s refusal to respond substantively to irrefutable evidence of violations of the Income Tax Act by a registered Canadian charity.

Yesterday, the government issued its official response to IJV’s formal, legal Parliamentary e-petition, signed by over 3,500 Canadians, calling on the Jewish National Fund of Canada’s (JNF Canada) charitable status to be revoked due to their numerous, grave, persistent violations of the Income Tax Act. The government’s response was simply a reiteration of the same response IJV and other concerned parties have been receiving from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) for decades — that the auditing process is confidential, and that the CRA ensures that registered charities are held accountable for violations of the Income Tax Act accordingly.

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Dimitri Lascaris is not an Antisemite PDF Print E-mail
Sep 14, 2018 at 12:00 AM

Pro-Israel lobby groups B’nai Brith Canada and the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA) have once again levied the charge of antisemitism at a Palestinian rights activist in what appears to be an attempt to tarnish his reputation. Their latest target is lawyer and former Green Party Justice Critic Dimitri Lascaris.

Members of Independent Jewish Voices Canada (IJV) and other Jewish social justice activists have worked with Mr. Lascaris for years. We state categorically that the accusation of antisemitism against him is false and irresponsible.

Mr. Lascaris has issued his own response to these charges. We appreciate the clarifications and applaud his rejoinder.

The modus operandi of these groups is to seize upon a word or a phrase by an individual, label it a manifestation of Jew-hatred, demand that people and organizations dissociate from the accused, and then repeat the allegations in the hope that the accusations, and not the facts, prevail. 

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Vancouver Activists Demand an End to Complicity in Israeli War Crimes PDF Print E-mail
Sep 13, 2018 at 12:00 AM

On September 12, 2018, protestors gathered in Vancouver, Canada outside the constituency office of BC’s Attorney General, David Eby, to call for an end to complicity in Israeli occupation and war crimes and a boycott of Israeli wines in BC government-owned liquor stores. A letter signed by 25 groups was hand-delivered to the office staff, and the protestors made it clear this was an ongoing campaign that would continue until their concerns were addressed. They highlighted the parallels with the campaign in BC 30 years ago against South African apartheid wines and concluded by refusing to be made complicit in Palestinian dispossession and violations of international law.

Following is the text of the letter that was delivered, along with the signatories to date.

David Eby, BC Attorney General

Dear Mr. Eby:

We wish to bring to your attention our concerns about Israeli wines, many of them produced in the Occupied Territories, which are being sold in our publicly owned BC Liquor Stores. We note that as BC’s Attorney General, you are responsible for the provincial Liquor Distribution Branch.

We had hoped that the current NDP government would be more concerned with these blatant violations of international human rights, but we are aware that your response to inquiries so far has been to completely ignore the issues raised and instead focus solely on “personal choice”.

The wines in question are either from the Galil Winery, which is a joint venture with the Golan Heights Winery (the name of which speaks for itself) or from the occupied West Bank, including the illegal Gush Etzion settlement bloc around Jerusalem. Two wines of particular note are the Efrat Judean Hills Kosher and Vision Malbec, both produced by the Israeli Teperberg Winery. This winery openly states that some of its vineyards are in occupied Palestinian territories and even provides a map on its website showing vineyards in the occupied West Bank.

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Israel planned for Lebanon war months in advance, PM says
  • Olmert's leaked testimony contradicts earlier remarks 
  • Criticism from inquiry may force resignation

Conal Urquhart in Tel Aviv
Friday March 9, 2007
The Guardian

Preparations for Israel's war in Lebanon last summer were drawn up at least four months before two Israeli soldiers were kidnapped by Hizbullah in July, Ehud Olmert, the prime minister, has admitted.

His submission to a commission of inquiry, leaked yesterday, contradicted the impression at the time that Israel was provoked into a battle for which it was ill-prepared. Mr Olmert told the Winograd commission, a panel of judges charged with investigating Israel's perceived defeat in the 34-day war, that he first discussed the possibility of war in January and asked to see military plans in March.

According to the Ha'aretz daily, which obtained details of Mr Olmert's testimony, the prime minister chose a plan featuring air attacks on Lebanon and a limited ground operation that would be implemented following a Hizbullah abduction. Hizbullah had made several attempts to capture Israeli soldiers on the border since Israel withdrew from southern Lebanon in 2000.

Israeli commentators believed that Mr Olmert and Amir Peretz, the defence minister, took the opportunity of the kidnapping to show they could manage a war in spite of their limited military experience. But the outcome of the war seemed to highlight their lack of experience and also deficiencies in Israel's military planning.

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