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Sep 14, 2007 at 12:00 AM

Activists demanding a better fate for Palestinians have chosen a potent accusation—the new apartheid—to rally support for the growing anti-Israel boycott. Their belief: what forced change in South Africa can provoke change in the Middle East. But it may not be that easy-or that simple
BY Sue Ferguson
Photography by Reuters: Reinhard Krause

Imagination. Creativity. Inspiration. Three words to stir the soul crown the towering windows of Toronto’s flagship Indigo bookstore. At ground level, shoppers pass in and out of wood-framed glass doors, navigating planters and benches intended to create a friendly, front-porch sort of welcome. They take little notice as, on the sidewalk beyond, two women unfurl an off-white canvas banner. Printed on one side are another three words, less poetic perhaps than the store’s motto, but the intended effect is just as moving: Boycott Chapters/Indigo.

No, the protest is not a last-ditch attempt by independent booksellers to draw the literate back into their fold. Rather, the activists—11 have turned up on this Friday in April, the fi rst truly warm day of spring—are taking a page from a much larger book. They are members of the Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid (CAIA), a network of Palestinian rights, Jewish peace and socialist groups doing their part to promote an international boycott campaign against Israel. They compare themselves to the early voices against South African apartheid, and history, they believe, can repeat itself: If international pressure could help rescue South Africa from apartheid, the same can be true for Israel.

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News from Zatoun

Palestinians and their supporters have faced a very long struggle involving some victories as well as many setbacks.  And always truthless speech and duplicitous actions from western governments.

On that long road there is nothing that sustains quite like having friends and knowing that the quest is a just one.  The adage "you shall know them by the friends" applies in spades to the Palestinian struggle. If we knew nothing else, just knowing the quality and nature of the people who are Zatoun buyers or Palestine supporters tells us that the cause of Palestine is just and a proper pursuit.



This is the theme of a short speech at the AlQuds Day rally in Toronto. The speech is broad-based and seeks to create greater meaning and a common, inclusive identity for all assembled to protest apartheid Israel's illegal and deadly actions.

A heart-warming example of friendship and solidarity was shared by a supporter in BC.  Unist'ot'en Village in the province's interior is in a standoff with police in a struggle to assert sovereignty from an gas pipeline crossing the traditional lands of the Wet'suwet'en people. Gifted Zatoun is used as food and also to make a healing salve from cottonwood tree buds (Turtle Island's recipe for the Balm of Gilead).

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