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Durban Review Hijacked PDF Print E-mail
Sep 20, 2009 at 12:00 AM

By Diana Ralph

Quiz:  Was the Durban Review (a) an inspiring conference to follow-through on the 2001 commitment by over 150 nations (except Israel and the U.S.) to end racism in all its forms or (b) an “anti-Semitic hate fest”?   The correct answer is (a).   But after the sophisticated campaign of disinformation launched by the pro-Israel Lobby it would be understandable if you answered (b).

As Nelson Mandela declared on the opening day of the Review, “the Sept. 2001 conference against racism held in Durban and the resultant Durban Declaration and Programme of Action [DDPA] has been hailed as the most comprehensive framework of its kind to combat racism, xenophobia and all other forms of discrimination.”  The DDPA roundly condemned a wide variety of racist practices in many countries, including discrimination against African-descendents, indigenous people, the Dalit, migrants, refugees, victims of human trafficking, the Roma, people of Asian descent, national, ethnic, linguistic, and religious minorities, victims of sexual violence, and homosexuals. Its recommendations included reparations for the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade and for actions to end world poverty, war, and inequality.  It recognizing the rights of both Palestinians and Israelis to security and international law.

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Fighting the Lies- Toronto International Film Festival PDF Print E-mail
Sep 13, 2009 at 12:45 PM

http://www.jewishvoiceforpeace.org/publish/article_1212.shtml

A Blizzard of Lies

This fact sheet is a response to the campaign of disinformation being waged against the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) protest letter, "The Toronto Declaration: No Celebration of Occupation,”[1] signed by 1,000 people including Jane Fonda, Danny Glover, Naomi Klein, Eve Ensler, along with many Israelis and Palestinians. This year, TIFF decided to put a celebratory spotlight on Tel Aviv at the festival, in line with the goals of the Israeli Consulate’s “Brand Israel” program. In its own words, the “Brand Israel” program aims to publicize Israeli culture in order to distract public attention from its human rights record. The letter of protest objects to this politicization of the film festival, saying it is inappropriate given Israel’s nearly 42-year occupation of the Palestinian Territories, the recent assault and continuing siege on Gaza, and the history of and ongoing dispossession of Palestinians in Tel Aviv-Jaffa itself.

Since the release of the protest letter, public figures and media outlets have spread false charges and misinformation about the letter, some even going so far as to raise slanderous accusations against some letter signers.
This fact sheet refutes three key false charges:
1) That the protest letter unfairly singles out Israel.
2) That the letter calls for a boycott of the Film Festival and Israeli films.
3) That the letter in any way delegitimizes Tel Aviv.

 These charges are all false, as we explain below.
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The Toronto Declaration: No Celebration of Occupation PDF Print E-mail
Sep 13, 2009 at 12:40 PM

An Open Letter to the Toronto International Film Festival:

September 2, 2009

As members of the Canadian and international film, culture and media arts communities, we are deeply disturbed by the Toronto International Film Festival’s decision to host a celebratory spotlight on Tel Aviv. We protest that TIFF, whether intentionally or not, has become complicit in the Israeli propaganda machine.

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We don't feel like celebrating with Israel this year PDF Print E-mail
Sep 08, 2009 at 12:00 AM

This is not a call to boycott TIFF, it's a simple message of solidarity

 

Naomi Klein

 

When I heard the Toronto International Film Festival was holding a celebratory “spotlight” on Tel Aviv I felt ashamed of my city. I thought immediately of Mona Al Shawa, a Palestinian women's-rights activist I met on a recent trip to Gaza. “We had more hope during the attacks,” she told me, “at least then we believed things would change.”

 

Ms. Al Shawa explained that while Israeli bombs rained down last December and January, Gazans were glued to their TVs. What they saw, in addition to the carnage, was a world rising up in outrage: global protests, as many as a hundred thousand on the streets of London, a group of Jewish women in Toronto occupying the Israeli Consulate. “People called it war crimes,” Ms. Al Shawa recalled. “We felt we were not alone in the world.” If Gazans could just survive them, it seemed these horrors would be the catalyst for change.

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Canadian support for Israel: Signs of a more aggressive international posture PDF Print E-mail
Jan 15, 2009 at 11:53 PM
By Todd Gordon
January 15, 2009

http://www.rabble.ca/news/canadian-support-israel-signs-more-aggressive-international-posture

When other diplomatic allies can't be found, Israel knows it can count on Canada.

That's certainly the message it received Monday, when Canada earned the ignominious distinction of being the only country at a United Nations human rights council in Geneva to vote against a motion condemning Israel's attack on Gaza - an attack that, as of January 15, has killed nearly 1,000 people (292 of them children), injured more than 4,250 and caused 90,000 Gazans to flee their homes. Thirteen countries, mostly from Europe, abstained, while the U.S. doesn't sit on the body. The non-binding motion calls for an investigation into human rights violations by the Israeli army.
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Bil'in announced that it has commenced legal proceedings in Canada PDF Print E-mail
Jul 20, 2008 at 03:41 PM

July 9, 2008

 

PRESS RELEASE (TO ALL MEDIA)

 

The Village of Bil'in, in the West Bank, Occupied Palestinian Territories, announced today that it has commenced legal proceedings in Canada against two Canadian Companies for committing war crimes. The case has been filed in the Quebec Superior Court sitting at Montreal, Canada. A full copy of the claim is attached.

 

Bil'in alleges that Green Park International Inc. and Green Mount International Inc., both registered corporations in the Province of Quebec, acting as agents for Israel, are illegally constructing residential and other buildings on lands under the municipal jurisdiction of the Village and are marketing and selling condominium units to the civilian population of the State of Israel. Bil'in further alleges in its claim that its land and the defendants are subject to the rules and obligations of international law because the West Bank is occupied territory arising from an act of war that took place in 1967.

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Concerned Jewish Canadians Demand that the Siege on Gaza be Broken PDF Print E-mail
Feb 01, 2008 at 12:00 AM

February 1, 2008

The Alliance of Concerned Jewish Canadians (ACJC)  is a pan-Canadian umbrella of Jewish anti-Occupation groups. We wish to join Palestinian Canadian and Québécois groups, and other concerned Canadians and Québécois/es, in expressing our outrage at the siege of the Gaza Strip. Gaza City was plunged into darkness this past month after Israel blocked the shipment of fuel that powers its only electrical plant. 1.5 million Palestinians civilians who live in Gaza are besieged and are suffering from severe food, medicine and life essentials, shortages imposed on them by the inhumane Israel aggression. Israel, which occupies the Palestinian territories, is starving and killing Palestinians in hopes of forcing them into submission and into accepting its illegal occupation and to forgo the right of return. 

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Letter on JNF and Canada Park PDF Print E-mail
Nov 15, 2007 at 12:00 AM
The following letter is going out to all MPs, Senators, Ontario MPPs and Toronto city councillors.

15 November 2007.

Re: JNF “Negev Dinner” - Event promoting racism and ethnic cleansing

The “Jewish National Fund” (JNF) Negev Dinner is scheduled to be held at the Sheraton Centre on Sunday, December 2, 2007 at 5:30 pm to raise funds for “Canada Park”. You may not be aware of the significance of this event, the nature of the JNF, or the history of Canada Park. We would like to provide you with some information related to the JNF and the history of Canada Park and ask that you give some thought as to why Canadian taxpayers are subsidizing the JNF.

If you have been invited to attend this dinner/fundraiser, we ask that you consider not attending.

“Canada Park” Canada Park is not within the territory of the State of Israel. It is across the “Green Line” (Israel’s borders) in the occupied West Bank. Until June 1967, there were 3 villages in that area: Yalu, Beit Nuba, and Imwas. Israeli forces occupied the villages in June 1967 during the “1967 Day War.” Israeli soldiers forced the villagers to flee to the Ramallah area, also in the occupied West Bank. Israeli bulldozers then destroyed the homes of the villagers. They also demolished mosques and desecrated cemeteries. Many villagers died. Many others continued across the Jordan River, and now live as refugees in the Kingdom of Jordan, or abroad. According to international law, and according to the most basic notions of justice to which Canada is committed, the displaced refugees of the villages of Yalu, Beit Nuba, and Imwas have the right to return and rebuild their communities and their lives.

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Next Steps for the Palestinian Solidarity Movement PDF Print E-mail
Oct 04, 2007 at 12:00 AM
Excerpted from an updated version of a talk given by Adam Hanieh in Toronto on October 4, 2007

From The Bullet, A Socialist Project e-bulletin .... No. 73 .... November 14, 2007

...

In Canada, we have an important role to play in this global campaign to isolate the Israeli state. The Canadian government is one of the strongest international supporters of Israeli apartheid in the world. Canada was the first country in the world to cut aid to the Palestinian Authority following the elections of January 2006. Canada did this even before the Israeli government.

The Canadian government at all levels has provided full diplomatic support for Israel's war crimes. Many of us remember that during Israel's bombardment of Lebanon in 2006, Harper described Israel's actions as "measured and justified" and opposed calls for a ceasefire. But Harper's comments are not those of an individual. Across the political spectrum, Canada's mainstream political parties have given unequivocal support to Israeli policies. In 2005, it was then Liberal Party leader Paul Martin who declared that "Israel's values are Canada's values."

At the economic level, Canada has signed numerous agreements with Israel that serve to strengthen and sustain the Israeli economy. In 1997, the Canadian government signed the Canada Israel Free Trade Agreement (CIFTA). This is the only FTA Canada has signed outside of the western hemisphere. It has been an enormous boon to Israel. From 2000 to 2005, the value of Israeli exports to Canada exceeded Canadian exports to Israel, reversing the trend from the 1990s. Over the same period, average annual Israeli foreign direct investment in Canada exceeded that of Canada in Israel. This is an agreement that has benefited Israel, and helped support the Israeli economy.

...

Our next step should be to raise our voices demanding that Canadian governments at both the federal and provincial levels cut their ties with Israeli apartheid. We can call for agreements such as CIFTA, or, here in Ontario, the provincial level agreements with Israel, to be abrogated. We must call for an end to the diplomatic cover provided to Israeli war crimes. The Venezuelan government of Hugo Chavez has shown the way in this regard when they became the first country in the world to withdraw their ambassador from Israel in the summer of 2006.

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Toward the Establishment of a Palestinian Civil Society Defragmentation Strategy

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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