Students for Justice in Palestine @ UOIT/DC:
We would like to express our deepest concern regarding the events that unfolded on Thursday, March 9 at the Mother Language Festival at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT), which have resulted in a variety of racially-motivated attacks on Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), our affiliates, and on individual students.
We emphasize that the act of covering the Israeli flag as a show of political protest at the colonial nature of the Israeli state and its ongoing takeover of Palestinian land and the denial of the right of return for Palestinian refugees is a legitimate exercise of expressive freedom.
We condemn the defamatory and libellous accusations by Israeli-extremist student groups and right-wing media outlets. Once again B’nai Brith Canada, CIJ news, and the Toronto Sun are screaming false accusations of anti-Semitism and spreading defamatory statements about SJP, thereby promoting an environment of fear and hostility on our UOIT campus.
But by far the most disturbing aspect of this particular outbreak of right-wing extremist absurdity has been the conduct of the UOIT administration. Rather than protecting and defending its students’ rights, the UOIT administration is carrying out an ongoing witch-hunt in which members of the Arab Students’ Association (ASA) and SJP have been individually summoned in order to identify students who have allegedly breached UOIT’s Student Conduct Policy by participating in the flag action.
This distressful pursuit has left ASA and SJP members subjects of racism and intimidation by the UOIT administration’s scare tactics, racial profiling, and abuse of power. Such measures taken by the institution are simply another example of the ignorance and intolerance that are often experienced by marginalized student groups in our community, and make the administration complicit in fostering discrimination and hostility on campus.
As a response to the false allegations made against us we would like to clarify that SJP was not a participating club at the International Mother Language Festival at UOIT and that we had no part in the events that unfolded. Any discriminatory comments that were posted on Facebook were not made by members of SJP and are not a representation of our views. SJP is equally opposed to all forms of discrimination, including anti-Semitism.
We reiterate our position that Israel is a settler-colonial state that is responsible for the illegal occupation of Palestinian territories and the displacement of more than eight million Palestinians who continue to live in exile, four million of them registered as refugees with the UN.
Israeli state policy is rooted in an ongoing effort to confiscate Palestinian land and to erase the history, culture, and existence of the Palestinian people.
Until Israel is held accountable for its human rights violations, and until freedom, justice, and equality are achieved in Israel/Palestine, the Israeli flag will continue to represent the loss of the Palestinian homeland and the ethnic cleansing of Palestine, and the ongoing denial of Palestinian rights. This is a colonial issue, and therefore criticism of a colonial flag by victims of its state’s ongoing colonization is simply a practice of the right to freedom of speech and expression.
We call on the UOIT administration and President Tim McTiernan to respect and protect our freedom of speech and expression on campus. We demand that UOIT condemn the vicious media attacks we have been subjected to. We demand in the strongest terms that UOIT ceases its ongoing witch hunt against students; we will not tolerate racial profiling and discriminatory investigative processes. And we are disturbed and embarrassed by the administration’s capitulation to far-right extremist groups.
We also urge the UOIT administration to challenge the ongoing exclusion and discrimination that have been directed towards Palestine-solidarity activists on campus.
100 YEARS OF SETTLER COLONIALISM, 100 YEARS OF POPULAR STRUGGLE FOR JUSTICE
First launched in Toronto in 2005, Israeli Apartheid Week (IAW) has grown to become one of the most important global events in the Palestine solidarity calendar. This year, IAW will take place in more than 150 cities across the globe. The week aims to raise awareness about Israel’s ongoing practices of apartheid, occupation, and dispossession against the Palestinian people. Lectures, films, and creative performances will build support for the Palestinian Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement.
This year’s IAW will reflect on 100 years of resistance to settler colonialism across historic Palestine since the issuance of the Balfour Declaration in 1917. The Week will also link the history of Palestinian resistance to the struggles of the Indigenous peoples on whose territories we live, work, and study, and who are resisting settler colonial violence and dispossession. Our speakers this year will include Vijay Prashad, Lee Maracle, and Hind Awwad, among others.
To endorse Israeli Apartheid Week in Toronto, or to make a donation, contact: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid (CAIA), together with Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP Ryerson), Students Against Israeli Apartheid – UofT St. George, and UofT Divest, invite you to a screening of Gaza Calling, a documentary by Nahed Awwad. Inspired by the director’s own experiences, the film captures the personal costs faced by Palestinian families torn apart by arbitrary Israeli barriers within their own country.
In addition to the film, there will be a brief report back from the June 2016 fact-finding trip to Palestine by a group of Modern Languages Association (MLA) members who travelled to the Occcupied Territories to investigate the conditions for students and faculty under occupation. University of Toronto Professor Rebecca Comay was one of the MLA members on this trip and a co-author of the report. Their eyewitness report documents the difficult and deteriorating conditions that Palestinian academics and students face.
The final segment of the event will be a moderated discussion featuring Issam Alyamani and Jehad Elewiwi, two prominent Palestine solidarity activists based in Toronto.
Gaza Calling: Film Screening and Discussion
Time: Thursday, March 16, 2017 | 7 – 9 p.m.
Location: University College (University of Toronto) | 15 King’s College Circle, Room 140
Facebook event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/442805949395489/
An Anti-BDS motion will be presented in the Ontario Legislature this Thursday December 1, 2016.
The motion, presented by MPP Gila Martow, asks the Legislative Assembly of Ontario to stand firmly against the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement, and falsely equates it to anti-Semitism and racism.
Please ask your MPP to vote “NO” on the Private Members’ Notice of Motion Number 36. We have provided a sample model letter below for you to cut-and-paste and/or to modify as you wish. It is important that MPPs hear opposition before the vote on Thursday, December 1. If you are able, please send your email tonight (November 29) or tomorrow morning (November 30).
Please also share this Call to Action to your networks as soon as possible.
See below for instructions on contacting your MPP in 5 easy steps:
Write to your MPP and ask them to vote NO to Private Member’ Notice of Motion Number 36– a short note will do. Or, you can copy/modify the model letter provided below. Make any modifications you want or use as-is. Please make sure you add your MPP’s name on the first line.
Write in subject line: Please Vote “NO” to Private Member’ Notice of Motion Number 36.
Find your MPP’s email address using this link
Click on the MPP’s name as highlighted on the list (sort by MPP or by riding):
Once located, click Contact Details below their picture to find/copy their email address.
Also copy Premier Kathleen Wynne’s email at email@example.com
Copy firstname.lastname@example.org (so we can keep track of how many MPPs are receiving letters)
Add your name, city, title and affiliation at the end of the letter – and press send!
TRIO OF WAR CRIMINALS COMING TO TORONTO:
HENRY KISSINGER, SHIMON PERES, AND MICHAEL OREN
MAY 26, 2016
METRO TORONTO CONVENTION CENTRE
EVENT PAGE: www.facebook.com/events/219223015127686
If your group would like to endorse this action, please email email@example.com
On May 26, War Criminals Henry Kissinger, Shimon Peres & Michael Oren will be in Toronto to participate in what is called the “Spirit of Hope,” an event hosted by the “Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Centre” insidiously focusing on human rights, justice, freedom & democracy, all of which were denied to their victims.
HENRY KISSINGER: The mastermind of imperialist policies directly causing millions of deaths. He is responsible for massive blood-drenched crimes against humanity that swept across the Global South, from the operations of the Shah of Iran’s secret police, the brutal Pinochet years in Chile, the secret U.S. indiscriminate bombing of Cambodia & Laos, still murdering civilians *to this day,* the U.S.’s villainous Anti-Communist war against Vietnam and the entrenchment of apartheid in South Africa, amongst many other heinous crimes committed in East Timor and Bangladesh.
SHIMON PERES: Former Prime Minister & President of Apartheid Israel, whose extensive list of atrocities include serving in the Haganah, a Zionist Militia that massacred Palestinians during 1948-1952, the planning and execution of the Qana Massacre in Lebanon; the killing of Palestinians during the Aqsa uprising; involvement in the massacre of Jenin and gave the green light for Israel’s violent incursion against besieged Gaza in February of 2008.
MICHAEL OREN: Former Israeli ambassador to the US and former Israeli Occupation soldier who served during the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1982, served again as the Israeli Occupation Spokesperson during Israel’s barbaric assault on Lebanon in 2006, as well as a stint posturing as “media relations officer” during the massacre of over 1,200 Palestinians in Gaza in 2008-2009, where he disseminated war propaganda and whitewashed Israel’s crimes to major media outlets, globally.
We call on all people of conscience to join together to let them know they are not welcome and demand justice for decades of unimaginable crimes against humanity perpetrated during their reigns of violence, terror and intimidation.
Let’s give them the “welcome” they deserve!
Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid (CAIA),
Students Against Israeli Apartheid (SAIA) York, and
International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network (IJAN)-Canada,
Stop the Jewish National Fund (JNF)-Canada
Solidarity for Palestinian Human Rights (SPHR) McMaster,
Independent Jewish Voices (IJV) Toronto
If your group would like to endorse this action, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
What: Protest War Criminals
Where: Toronto Convention Centre
What Day: Thursday, May 26, 2016
What Time: We gather @ 4:30 PM