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80 Canadian writers and artists protest Israel's eviction of Palestinian Bedouins PDF Print E-mail
Jul 19, 2013 at 04:56 AM

For the first time, a large number of Canada’s leading artists have spoken out against Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians.

Margaret Atwood is one of many Canadian writers who have signed an open letter calling on the Israeli government to stop its plan to forcibly evict thousands of Palestinian Bedouins from their traditional homes. So have Michael Ondaatje, Yann Martel, Laurence Hill, Guy Vanderhaeghe, John Ralston Saul and more than 80 others.

They are echoing a call from 21 prominent Israeli writers including Amos Oz, AB Yehoshua and David Grossman -- who have also been campaigning against the eviction plans.

The Canadian letter is the initiative of Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME). According to a recent article in the Canadian Jewish News, the initiative has attracted the worried attention of the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs, Canada’s big pro-Israel lobby group which is stoutly defending Israel’s projected program.  See: http://cjnews.com/canada/writers-urge-israel-abandon-relocation-plans

The artists letter would appear to indicate that the Cultural and Academic boycott of Israel is starting to have traction in Canada. It will certainly heat up an already simmering debate in Canadian universities about how they should relate to Israeli institutions. Ironically, at the same time, the AUCC, which speaks for Canadian University Presidents, has proudly announced that it is increasing ties with Israeli universities.(see AUCC announcement:  http://www.aucc.ca/media-room/news-and-commentary/aucc-strengthens-relationship-with-israeli-universities/)

But what is the underlying issue? Why is Israel is trying so hard to evict Palestinian Bedouins from lands they have lived on for many centuries before the creation of the State of Israel? To understand more of this conflict, please see the attached document.

More information, including comments from some of the Canadian writers who signed the letter, is available at: http://rabble.ca/news/2013/07/canadian-writers-take-stand-against-israels-evictions-palestinians-and-bedouin.

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