Canada-Israel Committee Harasses CPA Pickets/2008

Dear Friends:

After Canada Palestine Association in Vancouver announced its next “Boycott Israeli Wines” picket for Oct. 18th, 2008, we were informed about the following “Urgent Action Alert” issued by the Canada Israel Committee CIC. Since we began this campaign in BC against the sale of these wines under the “Israel” label in BC Liquor Stores (see our callout below), the local Zionists have reacted in an aggressive and “over-the-top” manner. Despite assertions in the CIC alert that they took “the high road” against our picket last June, their recruits that showed up to harass the picketers were both rude and abusive. For example, one man after buying his bottle of “Israeli” wine insisted to go to several of the picketers, including a Jewish-American visitor, to say, “I’m going to drink this wine and watch Palestinian mothers on TV crying over their dead children and men”. We are taken aback to learn that it was the CIC engaging in these tactics.

We call on all our supporters to join us on Oct. 18th from 2-4 pm outside the BC Liquor Store at Thurlow and Alberni. Supporters can also email the general manager at the BC Liquor Distribution Branch, Jay Chambers, at [email protected]. We need to send the message, loud and clear, that there will be no business as usual with occupation and apartheid, not during the times of South African apartheid, and not now.

In Solidarity
Canada Palestine Association
From: Canada-Israel Committee [mailto:[email protected]]
Sent: Wednesday, October 08, 2008 12:59 PM
Subject: Urgent Action Alert!

Next weekend, the Canadian Palestinian Association-Vancouver, representing a number of anti-Israel organizations, will be protesting in front of the BC Liquor Store on 1120 Alberni Street.
Using fictitious charges like “apartheid” and “ethnic cleansing” to justify their actions, they are demanding that BC Liquor Stores boycott Israeli wines.
These same organizations tried this last June, and our community responded overwhelmingly by selling out the targeted store of Israeli wine.
This time are cynically using the Jewish Holidays to time their protest in an attempt to prevent the community from responding in the same way.
Like last summer, let’s take the high-road and make our statement in a way that has a positive impact on Israel and our community.
A sharp increase in sales is the best answer to the boycotters. If you can buy at the Alberni Street store, that would be even better.
Let’s do something positive this week and next: Buy Israeli Wines!

Thank you.

Come join us at the next picket to Boycott Israeli Wines
OCTOBER 18, 2008 2-4 PM In front of BC Liquor Store, 1120 Alberni St., Vancouver (Thurlow and Alberni)

DON’T DRINK WITH APARTHEID With the 60th anniversary of the Palestinian Nakba, the Israeli government announced plans to “rebrand” its 60 years of dispossession and ethnic cleansing. Here in B.C., the focus of this “rebranding” is the promotion of wines under an Israeli label in B.C. liquor stores, which are now carrying products from the Galil Mountain Winery, the Golan Heights Winery and the Dalton Winery. The Golan Heights Winery (of which the Galil Winery is a joint venture) produces wines from grapes grown on occupied Arab land, and many of their wineries are located on occupied Syrian land in the Golan Heights. All of this is in direct contravention of the Fourth Geneva Convention and stated Canadian policy. Nonetheless, successive Canadian governments have given Israel preferential trading status under the Canada Israel Free Trade Agreement, an agreement that financially enables the Israeli government’s oppressive policies and does not even attempt to distinguish products that are from illegal Israeli settlements. And BC liquor stores, when questioned as to their shameful actions, replied they “..offer products from around the world on a commercial demand basis.” We say 60 years of “rebranding” is enough; 60 years of dispossession, exile and the destruction of a whole nation are enough. Send this message to the Israeli government, and to our local and national politicians. As the South African campaigners said many years ago outside BC liquor stores, then as now,DON’T DRINK WITH APARTHEID!

Organized by Canada Palestine Association – Vancouver

Endorsed by:

Al Dameer Association for Human Rights – Gaza, Palestine; Arab Cultural Forum – Gaza, Palestine; Boycott Israeli Apartheid Campaign (BIAC), Vancouver; Burnaby Teachers Association Social Justice Committee, Burnaby; Canada Palestine Association, Halifax; Canada Palestine Support Network (CanPalNet); Canada Palestine Support Network-Ottawa; Canadian Arab Federation, Toronto; Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid, Toronto; Free Gaza Movement,; International Solidarity Movement ISM, Vancouver; Jews for a Just Peace; No One Is Illegal, Vancouver; NorCal ISM, California; Not In Our Name, Toronto; One Democratic State Group – Gaza, Palestine; Palestinian and Jewish Unity (PAJU), Montreal; Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI), Ramallah, Palestine; United Black Students at Ryerson, Ryerson University, Toronto; University Teachers’ Association – Gaza, Palestine; Women in Black, Los Angeles

Oct. 18, 2008 Picket
Launch of Boycott Israeli Wines Campaign, May 4, 2008