Category Archives: Campaign Updates

TAKE ACTION TODAY | City of Toronto: Don’t whitewash racist Israeli policy in the name of equity!

The City of Toronto has just confirmed its plans to participate – and to provide the keynote speaker through the Office of Equity, Diversity and Human Rights – in the upcoming conference, “Jerusalem as a Culturally Competent City,” in Jerusalem on May 17, 2016.

Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat is the first speaker of the conference. In 2010, he told the Israeli Knesset (parliament) that the number of Palestinian residents in Jerusalem poses a “strategic threat”, citing a racist policy target of a 70-30 Jewish majority as “the government’s goal.” Just recently in October 2015, Mayor Barkat was roaming an East Jerusalem neighbourhood with a gun. A statement by the City of Jerusalem affirmed his actions saying that “the mayor encourages licensed gun owners to carry their weapons to increase security. He himself serves as a personal example of this.” These statements not only reflect the mayor himself, but the official policy of the City of Jerusalem towards the indigenous Palestinian population.

The Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid (CAIA) believes that the City’s participation in a conference with speakers from Israeli settlements encourages settlement activity and undermines Canada’s responsibility to respect and ensure respect for international humanitarian law. It also undermines the Palestinian civil society call for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS). In its letter dated May 8, 2016 to the City of Toronto, the General Union of Palestinian Women (one of over 170 signatory organizations on the 2005 BDS call) is clear in identifying the problem:  “Your participation in this conference plays in the hands of Israel’s propaganda. Falsely presenting Jerusalem as a ‘culturally competent city’ masks the city’s reality: arbitrary killings of indigenous Palestinians and systematic discrimination with the explicit aim of ridding the city of its Palestinian residents. Equity cannot exist in Jerusalem until Israel’s systematic discriminatory laws are changed. We urge you to refrain from aiding our oppression: cancel your participation in this conference.”

CAIA formally reached out to the city of Toronto on April 30, 2016 to express its concern over the city’s participation in the conference and to request a formal meeting to discuss the issue. The city responded on May 6, 2016 to confirm that it will continue its participation, and has declined to meet with us.

TAKE ACTION NOW

tory landscape

Please join the CAIA in telling Toronto’s Mayor John Tory that there is no ‘equity’ in apartheid!  Urge him to cancel the City of Toronto’s participation in the May 17th Jerusalem conference now by withdrawing the participation of the City’s Director of Equity, Diversity and Human Rights.

a) Sign the CAIA petition, “City of Toronto: Don’t whitewash racist Israeli policy in the name of equity!” and share it widely with your friends and networks.

b) Check out more information on this campaign here. Educate your friends, family and colleagues by sharing the information on this page including organizational list-serves, social media. Use the following: #EquityNotApartheid @John Tory

c) Send an email from yourself or your organization to Mayor John Tory – mayor_tory@toronto.ca – urging him to cancel the City of Toronto’s participation in the  Jerusalem conference. Use the material from our campaign page in your email.

d) Join us at the rally at Nathan Phillips Square on Friday May 13, 2:30pm. Help us deliver the message to Mayor Tory in person, loud and clear! Invite your friends over Facebook here.

Palestinian Popular Resistance: Building (BDS)/ Student Movement

January 12, 2016
George Ignatieff Theatre – 15 Devonshire Place*
7 – 9pm
Admission is Free.
*This is an accessible venue.

Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/1499911840311028/  

A new generation of Palestinians is marching on the footsteps of previous generations, rising up against Israel’s brutal, decades-old system of occupation, settler colonialism and apartheid. Tens of thousands of Palestinians have joined demonstrations taking place in dozens of cities across historic Palestine and in refugee camps in neighbouring Arab countries. Palestinians continue to struggle for their fundamental rights of freedom, self-determination, equality, and a right to return. As the resistance on the ground intensifies, university campuses remain central to building on the Palestinian solidarity movement. The call for Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) has recently made tremendous gains, in particular on university campuses and academic institutions. Both the American Anthropological Association (AAA) and the National Women’s Studies Association (NWSA) recently passed BDS resolutions, with an overwhelming majority.

On the evening of January 12th at 7pm, join the University of Toronto Graduate Students Union BDS Ad Hoc Committee, SAIA UofT, along with Noura Erakat and Nada Elia for a panel discussion on what is currently taking place on the ground in Palestine, and what we can do on campuses to support the resistance, and build on the Palestinian resistance movement.

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Bed Bath & Beyond Canada: Drop SodaStream!

On August 10, 2014 Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid activists protested at the Bed Bath and Beyond store in downtown Toronto because they carry SodaStream products manufactured in the illegal Israel settlement of Ma’al Adumim. This action was part of the larger march and rally to protest Israel’s latest assault on Gaza.

To find out more about the SodaStream campaign, please visit:

Bed Bath & Beyond Drop SodaStream! from Cathy Gulkin on Vimeo.

CAIA joins the Global Boycott Divestment Sanctions (BDS) Day of Action

March 26, 2011
As part of the 2011 Global BDS Day of Action, the Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid, held a march and rally in Toronto. CAIA was joined by allied groups including anti-poverty activists, environmental justice groups and migrant justice organizers. The march targeted the centre of the Canadian economy and the heart of Canadian complicity in Israeli apartheid – Toronto’s financial district. Over 100 people marched under the banner Divest Now! The march highlighted local divestment campaigns being organized by Teachers for Palestine and Students Against Israeli Apartheid at the University of Toronto and York University.

The day was filled with energetic chants, passionate speeches and a memorial for the martyrs killed on Land Day and all our fallen comrades. The march was centred around creative BDS actions including dancing, posting a huge “Divest from Israeli Apartheid” banner on the Toronto Stock Exchange and the presentation of a plaque in honour of the 35th anniversary of Palestinian Land Day. The event ended at Mountain Equipment Coop (MEC) where activists filled the ‘comments and suggestions’ box with dozens of cards telling MEC to drop Israeli products now!

For more information on the Day of Action please see our leaflet