Protest #Israel70 Celebration at JNF Gala

Sunday, June 3 at 5 PM
Check out new video of picket!

Sunday, June 3 at 5 PM
Four Seasons Hotel, 791 W. Georgia (at Howe), Vancouver

Join us to picket the Jewish National Fund Dinner which is celebrating the “70th anniversary of the state of Israel”. The racist and discriminatory policies of the JNF have been well documented and are of particular concern here in Canada due to the creation of “Canada Park” on the ruins of 3 Palestinian villages in the occupied West Bank.
As in previous years, the JNF is attempting to hide its policies and history behind a charitable project, this time to “Help Improve the Lives of Children with Disabilities”. The grotesque irony of this particular project at this time, as Israeli snipers maim and disable hundreds of Palestinians in Gaza, including children, doesn’t seem to bother the $300/ticket gala-goers. UNICEF stated on May 16, 2018, that “since 30 March 2018, over 1,000 children have been injured in violence in the Gaza Strip. Many of these injuries are severe and potentially life-altering, including some resulting in amputations.”
Call on the Canadian Government to revoke the tax deductible status for the JNF, and stop being complicit in these WAR CRIMES.
Stop maiming Palestinian children.
No to 70 years of celebrating Palestinian dispossession!
No to “greenwashing” ethnic cleansing.
Facebook Event Page

Organized by BDS Vancouver-Coast Salish, Canada Palestine Association, Int’l League of Peoples Struggle Canada, Vancouver Peace Council.
Endorsed by:
Canada Philippines Solidarity for Human Rights
East Indian Defense Committee
Victoria Coalition against Israeli Apartheid
Independent Jewish Voices, Vancouver

Canada’s Shameful Hypocrisy on Display!

Is the Trudeau government just playing politics with Palestinian lives?

Canada’s Shameful Hypocrisy on Display!
(For those who are not too blind to see)

Six weeks after Israeli snipers started killing and maiming Palestinians, including children, journalists and medical workers, Canada’s PM Justin Trudeau finally released a carefully worded statement regarding the situation. The statement came only after the wounding of a Canadian doctor on the ground in Gaza, Tarek Loubani.
Activists familiar with the long history of complicity and duplicity of successive Canadian governments cautioned that the statement missed the mark on two main points. Firstly, it studiously avoided any mention of the culpability of the Israeli government by name, anywhere in the statement. Secondly, although there was a call for an independent investigation, it was worded this way: “Canada calls for an immediate independent investigation to thoroughly examine the facts on the ground – including any incitement, violence, and the excessive use of force…We will work closely with our international partners and through international institutions to address this serious situation.” Calling for investigations is usually diplomatic code for stalling and not taking action. But note also the wording and the ordering of possible facts on the ground, “including any incitement, violence and the excessive use of force”.

However, no-one had to wait long to have the hypocrisy of the Canadian government revealed. Two days after the statement, on May 18, Canada stated it would not support the resolution that was then passed by an overwhelming majority at the UN Human Rights Council. This is what Canada had to say:

“Canada was gravely concerned about the numerous deaths and countless injuries in the Gaza Strip over the past several weeks. However, it could not support the draft resolution because it prejudged the outcome of an international investigation. The resolution was one-sided and did not advance the prospects for a peaceful, negotiated settlement to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The resolution singled out Israel, without making reference to other actors.”
So, there we have it. Either the UNHRC is not an “international institution” that the Trudeau government wants to work closely with or the resolution made the serious error of actually naming who was firing the shots and dropping the tear gas on unarmed protestors.

Or the Trudeau government was just playing politics from the beginning, and after realizing that the issue of Israel slaughtering Palestinians was becoming very unpopular and the Liberal Party was losing support for its deafening silence, decided to issue a statement that said little and achieved less. This way, they (and their supporters) could claim they have indeed responded and stood up to the pro-Israel lobby. Actually, it is a sad tradition in Canada that most of the major political parties play “political football” with the lives and struggles of Palestinians. One eye always on the win/loss column to decide when and how to speak out. We say enough, over 100 Palestinians have not died in the last 6 weeks just so the Canadian government can shed crocodile tears while still defending Israel. We need to focus less of our resources and time on what politicians have to say and more on developing concrete and grassroots work, like BDS campaigns, that have a long-term benefit to the Palestinian people.

Canada Guilty in Continuing Palestinian Nakba

Vancouver Nakba Day 2018
Personal Testimony, Canadian Complicity

Vancouver Nakba Day 2018
Personal Testimony, Canadian Complicity

Full coverage of all testimony and speeches given at the May 15 picket outside the office of Canada’s “Justice Minister”. The jury assembled for the Peoples’ Trial unanimously delivered a guilty verdict which was then delivered by a delegation to the minister’s office. Thanks to our videographer, Devin Gillan.

Stop Celebrating Palestinian Dispossession!!

#Nakba 70: Now is the time to stand up!! Stop celebrating Palestinian dispossession.

Now is the time to stand up!! Stop celebrating Palestinian dispossession!

Published in Palestine Chronicle

As we approach the 70th anniversary of the total dismemberment of the Palestinian people and nation, and as Israeli military snipers continue to pick off unarmed protestors in Gaza with the utmost arrogance and impunity, we call on our Jewish friends to say that now is the time to clearly disassociate from the Zionist narrative. Now is the time to publicly say that Zionism as a political and racist ideology is the source of immense Palestinian suffering, almost beyond comprehension. Now is the time to show the next generation of Palestinian youth that there is hope for a future peace with justice, based on equality and the right of return. Now is the time to fully recognize that Zionism has developed one of the most repressive state mechanisms that exist today, and also recognize that the seeds for that were planted over 70 years ago. When top Israeli government officials and military generals can openly and brazenly state that “There are no innocents in Gaza” and justify the targeting of children, there is nothing left for anyone who embraces social justice and humanity to ponder.
In this context, Palestinian solidarity groups in Vancouver and their supporters recently sent a letter to the Peretz Centre regarding their past and current involvement in local celebrations of “Israel Independence Day”. The letter detailed how such actions not only amount to a betrayal of Palestinian hopes and aspirations but also give cover to the Zionist lie of representing all Jews. The Centre promotes itself as supporting “values of universal social justice” and regrettably this type of façade still holds sway in many progressive circles, an issue not unique to just Vancouver. As the signatories of the letter noted, universal social justice must apply to Palestinians as well. Otherwise, the concept is hollow. To date, over six weeks later, there has been no official reply from the Board of Directors; any future response from them will be posted here. But Palestinians call out one last time: Stand up now and stop denying the Nakba!
March 20, 2018
Peretz Centre Board of Directors,

We have been invited to several events at the Peretz Centre in recent months, which we would have liked to attend, but could not due to the Centre’s continuing denial of the Palestinian Nakba.
In 2012, we questioned your involvement in local “Israel Independence Day” celebrations as a community partner. We know you are aware that for Palestinians this is akin to celebrating our genocide. We expressed our concerns to you at that time and were informed that “the Peretz Centre is essentially not a political nor a lobby group.” As we noted then, being a community partner in such celebrations is a political stand that denies the Palestinian people their rights and their existence, whether that is acknowledged or not, and we sincerely hope you will not insult us again with a similar answer.
We note that last year, 2017, you were also a community partner for the 69th celebration of “Israel’s founding” and are on the list for the upcoming 70th anniversary. We are not sure if you understand how distressing all of this activity is for Palestinians. You said previously in 2012 you did not want to be “marginalized in the Jewish community”. Please read the full response on our website from 2012 to which we want to add that you should recognize that Palestinian and Arab progressive activists also face such dilemmas on a daily basis. Do you think we have never been approached by groups and others with significant support and resources that hide their anti-Jewish agenda under the guise of being anti-Israel or anti-Zionist? Yes, of course we have, and we make every effort to refute such advances, often publicly. This is the least we can do in moving forward the anti-racist struggle. However, your insistence on allying with powerful Zionist forces, under the pretext of not alienating yourselves from “the Jewish Community”, only serves to reinforce the dangerous conflation of all Jews with Israel’s crimes against the Palestinians, thereby contributing to anti-Semitism.

Do you realize that the Jewish Federation of Vancouver (which organizes the “Israel founding” celebrations that you support) also promotes 3-week trips to an IDF base for volunteers? An “experience like no other” we are told on the Israel and Overseas Experience page for the Jewish Federation (this is even worse than the Fantasy Camps a la Jerry Seinfeld!).
Your website states that the Centre has “endeavoured to maintain its core identity and values of universal social justice, Jewish secularism and…”. Surely universal social justice applies to Palestinians as well. And surely your mandate of Jewish secularism is in conflict with celebrating the founding of a theocracy, an “exclusive Jewish State” that by definition makes Palestinians second and third-class citizens. We recognize that these are difficult issues, but if not dealt with in a bold manner, will eventually make a mockery of not only your Centre’s ideals but also the future of genuine peace and justice for Palestine.

Here are a few simple points that we ask you to answer to give us clarification and a better understanding of your position.
1. Do you recognize the illegality of Israel’s occupation of the West Bank, Gaza, East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights, as mandated by numerous UN resolutions?
2. Do you recognize the Palestinian right of return, according to UN resolution 194?
3. Do you recognize the right of Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality?

We await your reply and will post both our letter and your response on our website.
Canada Palestine Association, Vancouver
BDS Vancouver-Coast Salish

And Endorsed by:
Solidarity for Palestinian Human Rights UBC
UBC Social Justice Centre
The UBC Talon Alternative Student Press
SAFE Vancouver – Solidarity Against Fascism Everywhere
International League of Peoples’ Struggle Canada

Mark Nakba70: End Canadian Complicity

Tuesday, May 15 at 12:30 PM
Office of Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould, 104-1245 W. Broadway, Vancouver

Tuesday, May 15 at 12:30 PM – 1:30 PM
Office of Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould, 104-1245 W. Broadway, Vancouver

Join us for a picket and PEOPLES’ TRIAL on May 15, 2018 as we mark the 70th anniversary of the dispossession and dismemberment of the Palestinian people and nation. Known as the “Nakba”, over 400 Palestinian towns and villages were destroyed and/or depopulated in 1948. More than 750,000 Palestinians were driven from their homes and lands, resulting in a Palestinian refugee population now numbering almost 8 million. Canadian officials were complicit in this project in 1947-48 and they are complicit now in the continuing suffering of the Palestinian people. The Canadian government has yet to condemn the Israeli murder of over 40 unarmed Palestinians(and counting) in Gaza since March 30, a number which includes children and journalists. Gaza’s population is predominantly refugees expelled in 1948.
We charge successive Canadian governments with aiding and abetting continued Israeli war crimes against the Palestinian people.
We call for sanctions on Israel now and ask the Canadian people to intensify BDS campaigns.
Remember, Resist! Palestine will be Free!
FB event

And also coming up later on June 3, Stop the JNF picket, Vancouver
This year’s JNF “Gala” will celebrate the 70 years of Palestinian dispossession as well as fundraising for the Jewish National Fund, which has built the infamous Canada Park in the occupied West Bank.
More details to be announced soon.