Picket the Jewish National Fund, Vancouver, Canada

Gather across the street from Schara Tzedeck Synagogue, 3476 Oak St., Vancouver, May 31, 2012 at 6:30 pm
Watch You Tube video for the event

On May 31, 2012, the Jewish National Fund JNF Pacific Region will be holding an evening to support their 2012 project – the “Arava Peace Route”. Similar to the mockery that is Canada Park, the JNF is publicly claiming to be enhancing the environment and supporting a “peace route”, while ethnically cleansing the Palestinian Bedouins from the same Negev region where their “peace route” will “enhance access to and from farmers fields .. (and) will improve security”. The Bedouin village of Al Araqib in the Negev has been destroyed 37 times by Israeli and JNF paramilitary forces, but the Palestinians of the village refuse to surrender, many of them returning time and time again to rebuild (more info at Stop the JNF Campaign).
The JNF uses language like “pioneering” and “security” and “100% Israel” in its publicity for the event. And equally fitting is the guest speaker that JNF Pacific Region is highlighting for the evening:- Dennis Prager from the U.S., who is a close associate of Christian Zionist leader John Hagee and his organization, Christians United for Israel.
Canada Palestine Association is calling on all our supporters to join us and add their voices in telling the JNF that green-washing apartheid is no longer acceptable.
Gather across the street from Schara Tzedeck Synagogue, 3476 Oak St., Vancouver at 6:30 pm on May 31, 2012.

Please join the Facebook page event
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In a recent interview, Dennis Prager (from the U.S.) seems to feel we need his input on our democratic rights here in B.C. to picket this JNF event. He also describes Israel as “one of the most humane, open and civilized countries on earth”, the same Israel that commits war crimes and ethnic cleansing.
See the article “Dedicated lobbyist for Israel” in the local Zionist paper the “Jewish Independent”:
Prager has a simple message for those JNF critics who may picket his Vancouver talk, as they have previous JNF and other Israel-related events: ‘You live in a free country, so If you are peaceful, welcome,’ he offered. ‘Having said that, I regard those who protest against Israel or the JNF and other supporters of Israel – one of the most humane, open and civilized countries on earth – as having broken moral compasses. The world is filled [with] barbarism, and they protest against Israel!’.
Watch You Tube video for the event

Peretz Centre, Vancouver Supports the Continuing Palestinian Nakba

…now is the time for Jewish people (to quote Ilan Pappe) to focus on what is just, not simply what seems possible or convenient at this current juncture in time.

This year, the Zionist organizations in Vancouver celebrated “Israel’s 64th Independence Day, Yom Ha’atzmaut” on April 25, 2012 at “The Centre in Vancouver for Performing Arts”. The event was presented by the “Jewish Federation” of Greater Vancouver, sponsored by the “Jewish National Fund”, Canadian Friends of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, ”Jewish Independent” and the Executive Hotel Vintage Park, along with 55 “Community Partners” including the “Peretz Centre for Secular Jewish Culture”.
We know that many social justice and pro-Palestinian organizations have held some of their public meetings at the Peretz Centre, believing that the Centre is “secular” and progressive. We believe at this crucial junction in Palestinian history that all those who support the Palestinian struggle should be aware of whom they are dealing with; and further, if they support the Palestinian civil society call for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions BDS against Israeli Apartheid, they must also boycott all those who support the settler colonialist project in Palestine.
When we learnt of their most recent “Partnering”, we wrote the following letter to the Peretz Centre.
“It has come to our attention that your name was one of many organizations that are “Community Partners” in the “Celebrate Israel’s 64th Independence Day, Yom Ha’atzmaut” (see Jewish Independent March 23, 2012, page 16, the back page). This is not the first time that your “secular” organization celebrates Israel’s “independence day”. We have been boycotting your centre and all events that were held in it since your first such endorsement of our Nakba (forced dispossession), although we have refrained from taking a public position.
Recently, leading Palestinian activists in the diaspora (of which I was one) issued a statement criticizing Gilad Atzmon for both his actions and statements on “Jewish identity”. The debate that has opened up around this issue requires us to also be critical of people of Jewish background who refuse to openly condemn Israel’s Apartheid policies towards the Palestinians and/or those supporting these Zionist policies. The time is now for all people of good conscience, especially those who identify as being of Jewish faith, to publicly distance themselves from these racist and discriminatory practices. In so doing, they will also further the struggle against anti-Jewish sentiment and prove, especially to the Palestinians, that many Jewish people are not willing to blindly follow “tribal loyalties”. Silence at this crucial point in history is complicity and can only be viewed as such.
We intend now to go public. Please respond to this email with any information that might clarify your position.
Thanks for your attention.”
We then received two emails from Richard Rosenberg, the president of the “Peretz Centre”. He told us in the first email dated April 6, 2012 that: “if we were to withdraw from the ‘Community Partners’ we would once again be marginalized in the Jewish community” and “On Thursday, April 19th, we will be having an executive meeting of the Peretz Centre, and your concerns will be discussed”. In his second email on May 1, 2012, he reiterated what he said previously and added that “Recognizing the Independence Day of Israel does not at all commit us to endorse current Israeli policies”…and that “the Peretz Centre is essentially not a political nor a lobby group.”
We believe that Mr. Rosenberg and his executive preferred to ignore our points and bury their heads in the sand. We regret to tell them that “recognizing the Independence Day of Israel” is a political stand that denies the Palestinian people their rights and their existence. Furthermore, by recognizing the pro-Israeli Zionist organizations as “the Jewish community”, the Peretz Centre is also contributing to promoting anti-Semitism and hurting the wellbeing and interests of all Jews by attributing to them the war crimes that Israel commits. We wish that all of the Peretz executive and membership attended the meeting that was held in Vancouver for the Israel historian Ilan Pappe on May 5, 2012, or that they have read Benjamin Beit-Hallahmi’s book the Original Sins.
As we said in our original letter to them, it is incumbent on Jewish people all over the world, including in Israel, to disassociate themselves from the Zionist settler colonialist project, a project that is directly responsible not only for denying the Palestinian their rights and humanity, but also for promoting anti-Semitism against Jews. We believe that Jews who claim to support the Palestinian people and still claim loyalty to the Israeli state (the Zionist settler colonialist project) are not helping the struggle to combat anti-Semitism. One recent example of this “tribal” loyalty is the recent position of Norman Finkelstein on the objectives of the BDS movement.
Progressive Palestinians can NOT carry this anti-racist struggle on their own and they should not be asked to nor expected to; now is the time for Jewish people (to quote Ilan Pappe) to focus on what is just, not simply what seems possible or convenient at this current juncture in time. They have to reclaim their humanity and stop patronizing those who are partnering with Israeli Apartheid, war crimes and the continued ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians.
Hanna Kawas, Chairperson
Canada Palestine Association

Events to Commemorate Al-Nakba in Vancouver, Canada

Watch the rebroadcast: End the Nakba — sharing stories, creating resistance on Rabble.ca

See photos of Vancouver March to Commemorate al-Nakba on Facebook
And watch the rally at the end of the MARCH OF RETURN: MARCH FOR PALESTINE on YouTube

On the 64th anniversary of the occupation of Palestine, and as the Palestinian people enter the 64th year of dispossession and exile, the Vancouver Coalition to Commemorate Al-Nakba is organizing 2 events to commemorate the Nakba, stand against the continuing Nakba, and call for the right of return for Palestinian refugees and freedom for Palestine. 64 years after the Nakba – the war of 1948 in which over 800,000 Palestinians were driven from their homes and land and the state of Israel created on that land – Palestinians continue to struggle for their right to return, for freedom from occupation, for justice, and against the Nakba that continues today.

Community Supper: Sharing Stories, Creating Resistance
Tuesday, May 15, 2012, 6 PM – 10 PM
Unitarian Church, 949 W. 49th St (49th and Oak), Vancouver
This community supper will bring together the community to share stories, creative work, and discussions about indigenous resistance, continuing Nakba, and struggles for freedom.
Facebook page

MARCH OF RETURN: MARCH FOR PALESTINE
Saturday, May 19, 2 PM
Gather at Clark Park (14th and Commercial) at 2 PM, March to Grandview Park
Rally at Grandview Park
March and rally commemorating the Nakba, standing against the continuing Nakba, calling for justice, freedom and return for Palestine! We will also stand against Canada’s complicity and its own genocide of indigenous people. Creative actions welcome! This is a family friendly march.
Facebook page

The Vancouver Coalition to Commemorate Al-Nakba includes the Alliance for People’s Health, Arab Students Association – UBC, Boycott Israeli Apartheid Campaign, Canada Palestine Association, CPSHR – Canada-Philippines Solidarity for Human Rights, Canadian Boat to Gaza, CanPalNet, Canadian Union of Postal Workers, Independent Jewish Voices, No One Is Illegal – Vancouver Unceded Coast Salish Territories, Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network, Seriously Free Speech Committee, Simon Fraser Public Interest Research Group (SFPIRG), Solidarity For Palestinian Human Rights-UBC (SPHR-UBC), SANSAD – South Asian Network for Secularism and Democracy, Stopwar.ca.
To join the coalition or for more information please contact nakbavancouver@gmail.com.

Watch the rebroadcast: End the Nakba — sharing stories, creating resistance on Rabble.ca

See Picture of Vancouver March to Commemorate al-Nakba on Facebook
And watch the rally at the end of the MARCH OF RETURN: MARCH FOR PALESTINE on YouTube

Ilan Pappé; The False Paradigm of Peace: Revisiting the Palestine Question

Hear the full speech of Dr. Ilan Pappé on Voice of Palestine website
Watch the event at rabble.ca

Ilan Pappé
The False Paradigm of Peace: Revisiting the Palestine Question

Vancouver, British Columbia, Saturday, May 05, 2012, 07:00 PM
ADDRESS
Alice Mackay Room
Library Square Conference Centre
350 West Georgia Street
Vancouver, BC V6B 6B1
TICKET INFO
$15 non-students
$10 students (with ID)

Tickets can be purchased at the door while supplies last (cash only.) You may also reserve a front-section seat by buying a ticket on-line in advance. To purchase tickets on-line, click here.

Local partners include Building Bridges Vancouver.

About Dr. Ilan Pappé and this lecture

In his lecture – The False Paradigm of Peace: Revisiting the Palestine Question – Dr. Pappé will talk about the reasons behind the decades of failed negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians, and discuss what the future has in hold for the Palestinians as a people.

Dr. Pappé is a professor at the College of Social Sciences and International Studies at the University of Exeter in the UK, as well as director of the university’s European Center for Palestine Studies and co-director of the Exeter Center for Ethno-Political Studies. He obtained his PhD in history from the University of Oxford.

Most notably, he is the author of The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine , as well as over a dozen other books on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

While living in Israel, Dr. Pappé was a senior lecturer at the University of Haifa, and ran as a candidate for the Hadash party in the 1996-1999 Knesset elections.

Hear the full speech of Dr. Ilan Pappé on Voice of Palestine website
Watch the event at rabble.ca