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It's Time For Our Prime Minister To Commemorate Nakba Day PDF Print E-mail
May 15, 2017 at 12:00 AM

http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/tyler-levitan/nakba-day-canada_b_16582412.html

Tyler Levitan
Campaigns Coordinator for Independent Jewish Voices - Canada

Canada prides itself on being a country that espouses the values of fairness and equality. We must recognize, however, that Canada's history is one of settler colonialism, a violent process by which settlers from foreign lands dispossessed the indigenous inhabitants of this land, and established a society against the interests and consent of the people who were already living here.

While Canada is beginning to come to terms with this reprehensible past through acknowledging these truths, and is beginning the long and difficult journey of reconciliation, the same cannot be said for Canada's close friend and ally, Israel, with whom Canada asserts it has "shared values."

Israel, too, prides itself on being a country that it claims is a beacon of fairness and equality. However, Israel was established as a state - similarly to Canada - through the violent dispossession of the people who were already there, and who already had a society rooted deeply in that land for generations. This violent process of dispossession is referred to by the people who were already living there - the Palestinians - as "the catastrophe," or in Arabic, the Nakba.

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Quick Summary Of Canadian Views On Israel/Palestine PDF Print E-mail
Feb 28, 2017 at 05:10 PM

We wanted to make sure you saw the results of a survey on Canadian attitudes on Israel-Palestine that CJPME co-sponsored with Independent Jewish Voices Canada, Dimitri Lascaris, and Murray Dobbin.  Basically, the survey results show the following (click for chart view):

The strange tale of Canada’s Israeli lobby PDF Print E-mail
Feb 28, 2017 at 05:08 PM

How the campaign against BDS turned into an attack on open democratic debate

In August 2016 the Green Party of Canada concluded its annual convention. Elizabeth May, the party’s leader and sole elected MP, met the media, but not with the usual bland partisan clichés. Instead she complained, “I have to say I’m pretty devastated.” Soon she was even talking about quitting the leadership altogether, walking away from the small but influential young party she had personally infused with an enviably disproportionate national profile....

Bizarrely, May was putting her political future on the line because of the passage of a single resolution on foreign policy, a qualified endorsement of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign that seeks international action to condemn Israel for its treatment of Palestinians in Israel and the Occupied Territories. May did not happen to agree with that resolution, but was this disagreement so extreme as to contemplate resignation? In the end she decided to stay, but only after insisting on a rerun vote on BDS.

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Why I was fired by Elizabeth May PDF Print E-mail
Sep 17, 2016 at 06:57 PM
In this exclusive interview with Ricochet, former Green justice critic Dimitri Lascaris explains why Elizabeth May fired him and why he plans to fight on to protect the Greens’ controversial BDS resolution.

Elizabeth May, leader of the Green Party of Canada, abruptly fired three members of her shadow cabinet on Tuesday. According to an official statement posted to the party’s website, Dimitri Lascaris, Lisa Barrett and Colin Griffiths were expelled from the leadership team for “inappropriate use of a Party position.”

"The ultimatum I was given was that I  must issue a clear apology to Andrew Weaver or I would be expelled from shadow cabinet."

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Elizabeth May fired critics after pressure from B.C. Greens PDF Print E-mail
Sep 17, 2016 at 06:53 PM

Is the leader of the B.C. Green Party calling the shots for the federal Greens under Elizabeth May’s leadership? Ricochet has learned that May cited the forthcoming B.C. provincial election in an email where she threatened to fire three of her shadow cabinet members if they did not apologize to B.C. Green leader Andrew Weaver.

On Tuesday, Lisa Barrett, Colin Griffiths and Dimitri Lascaris were abruptly fired from their roles in the Green Party of Canada’s shadow cabinet after an op-ed published in the Tyee prompted Weaver to complain to May and eventually publicly distance himself from the federal party. 

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BDS Demands Are As Canadian As Maple Syrup PDF Print E-mail
Sep 17, 2016 at 06:45 PM

Did you know that the campaign for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions of Israel (BDS) conforms 100% with official Canadian policy?

Don’t believe us? Compare the three BDS demands to Canada’s official policy on Israel, Palestine and human rights. (US policy is similar too).

The three BDS demands:

  1. Ending Israel’s occupation and colonization of all Arab lands and dismantling the Wall
  2. Recognizing the fundamental rights of the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality; and
  3. Respecting, protecting and promoting the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN resolution 194.

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3 Canadians to Join "Women's Boat To Gaza" PDF Print E-mail
Sep 15, 2016 at 07:52 PM

Retired University professor Marilyn Porter of Saint John’s Newfoundland is one of three Canadian women who will form part of a “Women’s Boat to Gaza”. CTIP asks professor Porter why she is doing it.

Three Canadian women have announced that they will participate in the “Women’s Boat to Gaza”, another effort to make a humanitarian link with Palestinians trapped in Gaza by Israel’s blockade. Several previous efforts have been blocked by the Israeli navy. In 2010, Israeli military stormed one of the boats and killed several participants. Israel was subsequently obliged to apologise and pay compensation to the families of the victims.

This new effort will have an all female list of participants, which organizers hope will emphasize the peaceful nature of the flotilla and make it more difficult for Israel to use force against them.

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Canada's Silence On Illegal Israeli Settlements Is Acquiescence PDF Print E-mail
Sep 15, 2016 at 06:30 PM

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Last week, the world was informed of yet another expansion of Israeli "settlements" by the Netanyahu government. Israel announced plans for 285 new units in the West Bank, and the retroactive approval of 178 units that were built in the 1980s. Part of an ongoing series of announcements, Israel has now advanced plans for 1,700 new units since July 1.

The UN Mideast Envoy, Nicolay Mladenov, was incensed. "Israeli settlements in occupied territory have no legal validity and are an obstruction to achieving a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East."

And the response from Canada and its federal political parties: silence.

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Why We Greens Still Push for Anti-Occupation Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions PDF Print E-mail
Sep 13, 2016 at 12:00 AM

Members on Israel and Palestine: ‘Green party values oblige us to stand with the oppressed.’

On August 7, 2016, Green Party of Canada members who attended the party’s biannual convention in Ottawa voted overwhelmingly to support a limited use of boycott, divestment and sanctions against those sectors of Israel’s economy and society that profit from Israel’s occupation of Palestinian territory.

That occupation has caused incalculable suffering to the Palestinian people. As stated by the Nobel laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu, the Palestinians’ “humiliation is familiar to all black South Africans who were corralled and harassed and insulted and assaulted by the security forces of the apartheid government.”

For decades, Israel’s occupation has facilitated its construction of settlements in the West Bank. In 2004, the International Court of Justice determined that Israel’s settlements and those parts of its separation wall that jut into occupied territory violate international law.

Canada’s own government states that “Israeli settlements in the occupied territories are a violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention” and “constitute a serious obstacle to achieving a comprehensive, just and lasting peace.”

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In Rachel Corrie verdict, Israel deals new blow to international law
The verdict on the 2003 killing of Rachel Corrie absolved Israel of any wrongdoing, essentially blaming the victim for her death. The trial revealed Israel’s approach to the most fundamental principles of international law, and especially to the duty to protect non-combatants.

By Jeff Halper

For those who hoped for a just verdict on the death of Rachel Corrie, the American student and ISM activist killed by an Israeli bulldozer in Gaza in 2003 as she was defending a Palestinian home about to be demolished, this is a sad day. Not surprising, but still sad and bitter. The judge who decided the case, Oded Gershon, absolved the army of all blame, despite massive and internally contradictory testimony to the contrary. Moreover, he essentially blamed Rachel for her own death, commenting that a “normal person” would have run away from the bulldozer rather than confront it.

Palestinians and Israel human rights activists have learned that justice cannot be obtained through the Israeli judicial system. The Haifa District Court, in which the trial was held, could not have ruled other than how the state wanted. For the past 45 years of Israeli occupation, the Supreme Court has excluded from its rulings all reference to international humanitarian law and to the Fourth Geneva Convention in particular, which protects civilians living in conflict situations and under occupation. Only Israeli law applies in the Occupied Palestinian Territories – military law and orders – and the courts have restricted even that form of law by declaring that in instances of “security,” they defer to the military. As in Rachel’s case, the IDF thus has carte blanche to commit war crimes with impunity, with no fear of accountability or punishment.

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