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Reisman confronted by CAIA activists PDF Print E-mail
May 11, 2007 at 02:06 PM

On Thursday May 10, activists from the Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid confronted Heather Reisman, majority owner of Chapters and Indigo bookstores at a book signing for Ralph Nader's new book, The Seventeen Traditions. In the question and answer period, CAIA activists questioned Reisman about her support for the Heseg Foundation for Lone Soldiers, a program of financial support for former "lone soldiers" in the Israeli military. Reisman refused to answer the questions posed to her and instead, shut down the event and walked out.

CAIA reiterates its demand that Chapters Indigo should be boycotted until the majority owners, Heather Reisman and Gerry Schwartz publicly announce that they will cut all financial ties to Heseg. Reisman's refusal to answer the questions posed to her is absolutely unacceptable and indicates her culpability in Israeli apartheid. Her vocal support for Israeli war crimes will continue to be challenged whenever she appears publicly in Canada.

On June 9th 2007, Chapters Indigo stores will be picketed across Canada as part of the national campaign against their ties with Israeli apartheid. These pickets are part of the international week of action commemorating 40 years of Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

At its peak, Heseg will distribute up to $3M per year to provide scholarships and other support to former "Lone Soldiers" in the Israeli military. 'Lone Soldiers' are individuals who have no family in Israel but decide to join the Israeli military. As Israeli soldiers, they participate in a military that operates checkpoints that restrict Palestinian freedom of movement, enforces the occupation of Palestinian land, and has a documented history of human rights violations. At any time there might be 5,000 'Lone Soldiers' in the Israeli military in all capacities including in combat units.

According to the Heseg website: "Canadian couple Gerry Schwartz and Heather Reisman established HESEG to express gratitude and provide support to the thousands of Former Lone Soldiers who serve annually in the Israel Defense Forces."

Photographs and video from today's event will be released shortly. To get involved in the campaign, please visit the Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid (http://www.caiaweb.org) or email endapartheid@riseup.net

Further information available at the CAIA website includes:

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Vancouver panel says: "Enough!"
Wednesday, June 6th, 2007

It is the conviction of Canpalnet that there are many and varied pathways that can and do bring Canadians to a simple conclusion; namely, that Israel's occupation must be ended, for elementary justice, and to salvage the humanity of all.

To illustrate this, a diverse and distinguished panel of speakers assembled in Vancouver at a press conference on June 6th to express their opposition to Israel’s 40 year occupation of Palestinian lands, and to call for the government of Canada to take action against that occupation and in support of human rights and international law. The conference took place in the Bank of Nova Scotia Room at Simon Fraser University’s Harbour Centre campus in downtown Vancouver.

Dr. Naseer Aruri, noted Palestinian intellectual and prolific author, was a special guest. Born in Jerusalem, now Emeritus Chancellor Professor at the University of Massachussetts, he has been a member of the international board of Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch (USA), and Palestinian human rights groups. His most recent work is Dishonest Broker: The U.S. Role in Israel and Palestine.

A statement of support was sent by the all-party parliamentary group in Ottawa, the Canada Palestine Parliamentary Association.

That message and the statements of the panelists (listed below) are posted on this site.  

  • Svend Robinson, long time member of Parliament.
  • Sister Elizabeth Kelliher, of the Franciscan Sisters of the Atonement.
  • Murray Dobbin, journalist, broadcaster, and author of books on Canadian politics.
  • David Diamond, founder and artistic director of Headlines Theatre and recipient of the City of Vancouver’s Cultural Harmony Award.
  • Lee Lakeman, organizer of Vancouver Rape Relief and Women’s Shelter and a representative for the Canadian Association of Sexual Assault Centers.
  • Carl Rosenberg, editor of Canadian Jewish Outlook Magazine.
  • Terry Greenberg, recently retired member of Canada’s Department of Foreign Affairs.
  • Reverend Brenda Faust, Minister of Port Coquitlam Trinity United Church.
  • Henry Krause, pastor of Langley Mennonite Fellowship.
  • Cynthia Flood, prize-winning Canadian short-story writer.
  • Dr. Ivar Ekeland, Canada Research Chair in Mathematical Economics at UBC and former President of the University of Paris-9.
  • Ken Davidson, head of the International Solidarity Committee of CUPE (Canadian Union of Public Employees).
  • Thekla Lit, founder and president of BC ALPHA (Association for Learning and Preserving the History of World War 2 in Asia).

To see podcast of press conference:

40 Years of Occupation(Part 1) Press Conf. WM video - 9 mins - June 6, 2007

40 Years of Occupation(Part 2) Press Conf. video - 9 mins - June 6, 2007

 

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