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Home arrow Censorship arrow "Three Wishes" Denied
"Three Wishes" Denied PDF Print E-mail
Mar 31, 2006 at 12:33 AM

Palestinian boy with word ‘censored’ taped across his mouth.Initiatives to censor expressions of “unacceptable” thoughts are an important feature of the work of Canadian advocates of Israeli state policies. This includes efforts to silence even children. 

In 2006 the Canadian Jewish Congress is waging a campaign to prevent Ontario school school children from reading the words of Palestinian and Jewish Israeli children presented in the book Three Wishes: Palestinian and Israeli children speak, by award-winning Ontario author Deborah Ellis. The Toronto Star reported on this censorship campaign on March 2. Another article March 15 documents the spreading campaign, and a March 16 Toronto Star editorial compares this with other current censorship issues. The book had been recommended by the Ontario Library Association as one of those eligible for their prestigious Silver Birch Award, winners chosen by the votes of school children who read the eligible books.

Nine year old Evie Freedman, a grade four student in Ontario told the Toronto Star she was upset by the effort to ban this book. She has already read Three Wishes and told the Toronto Star reporter: “I don’t usually enjoy non-fiction books, but I enjoyed it. It had the voices of real children. It was actually real-life things that kids in other countries are going through and I’m really interested in that.”

Groundwood Books, PEN Canada, The Writers’ Union of Canada, and The Association of Canadian Publishers have responded and continue responding to censorship of Three Wishes.

The B.C. Civil Liberties Association also has urged the Canadian Jewish Congress to reconsider its efforts to stop Ontario school kids reading the words of Palestinian and Jewish Israeli school kids.

Letters should be sent to the Ontario Library Association and its executive director Larry Moore, stating your opposition to censorship of their recommendations for the Silver Birch Award, and congratulating them on their integrity and courage in opposing the pressures of the Canadian Jewish Congress. The address is: info@accessola.com

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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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