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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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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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