CAIA Statement on Israel’s Latest Assualt on Gaza

The Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid (CAIA) condemns Israel’s latest assault on Gaza.

On Friday night, hundreds of people from around the GTA gathered at the Israeli consulate in Toronto to protest Israel’s latest deadly assault on Gaza and to condemn Canadian support for Israel’s actions. In unity with calls from similar demonstrations being held in dozens of cities around the world, the Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid (CAIA) unequivocally condemns Israel’s assault on Gaza dubbed Operation Pillar of Defence which was launched on 14 November 2012 with the assassination of Ahmed al-Jabari, chief of staff of Hamas’ military wing. Since then the Israeli military has continuously attacked Gaza with drones, Apache helicopters, F-16 fighter jets, naval vessels and artillery.

Contrary to Israel’s propaganda that its attacks are “surgical” strikes on military targets and that they are trying “to minimise civilian casualities in Gaza”, the real facts are piling up. Overwhelmingly, Palestinian civilians are the victims of this past week’s relentless attacks by the Israeli military, which has left 38 Palestinians dead and 400 injured. We stand in solidarity with the people of Gaza as the death toll rises and life threatening injuries to Palestinians escalate with each new strike by the Israeli war machine.

Despite the rising death toll of Palestinian civilians, Prime Minister Harper and his Conservative government have failed to condemn Israel’s aggression. The Canadian government has, in fact, condoned Israel’s military operations by casting Israel as the innocent victim, ignoring its role in the current escalation and its continued siege of Gaza. On November 14, the day Israel launched its assault, Minister of Foreign Affairs John Baird stated “We fundamentally believe that Israel has the right to defend itself and its citizens from terrorist threats.” And that “Canada condemns the terrorist group Hamas and stands with Israel as it deals with regional threats to peace and security.” On November 16 Prime Minister Harper stated “We condemn this terrorist group’s attacks on Israel,” These statements are the latest example of the government’s decision to ignore international law with respect to Israel’s crimes against the Palestinian people.

This attack marks the latest stage of a policy of collective punishment and killing practised by Israel against the people of Gaza. Israel has imposed an illegal siege on Gaza and created a devastating humanitarian crisis for the 1.5 million people trapped there. In 2009, 1,400 Palestinians were killed and 5000 more injured during the Israeli assault on Gaza. A senior Israeli official described Israel’s policy in Gaza saying “the idea” is to “put the Palestinians on a diet, but not to make them die of hunger.”

Israel’s latest attack on civilians in Gaza is a war crime, made possible only through the continued financial, military and diplomatic support Israel receives from Western states including Canada which earlier this year announced that “Israel has no greater friend in the world today than Canada.” The Canadian government has also rewarded Israeli aggression with free trade and industrial R&D agreements and has signed a memorandum of understanding with Israel covering defence and industrial initiatives, as well as information-sharing. Just last month Canada donated $5 million to support a new Canada-Israel Energy Science and Technology Fund.

CAIA denounces the Harper government’s support and encouragement of Israel’s deadly aggression, and we stand in steadfast solidarity with the people of Gaza as Israeli war crimes continue with impunity. We urge people of conscience everywhere to join us in calling for an end to Israel’s policies of collective punishment, an end to its ongoing violation of international laws, and end to the siege on Gaza, and to continue building the Palestinian led global campaign for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS). Indeed, as the death tolls and injuries from Israel’s attacks on Gaza continue to rise, so too does support for the BDS movement. On November 15, as 800 people in Toronto rallied in solidarity with Gaza, the York University Graduate Student’s Association voted overwhelmingly in favour of a BDS Resolution. This addition to the growing campus divestment campaign marks the most recent victory in an expanding BDS movement across Canada to bring an end to Israeli apartheid.

Solidarity with Gaza – Emergency Demonstration in Toronto

Nearly four years after Operation Cast Lead, which killed 1400 Palestinians and left the infrastructure of Gaza in ruins, Israel is once again attacking Gaza. The latest operation, Operation Pillar of Defense, has seen the Israeli Defense Forces conduct upwards of 50 airstrikes causing numerous casualties, including children.

The Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid, Canadian Arab Federation, Palestine House and Canadian Peace Alliance strongly condemn these attacks and urge you to stand in solidarity with Gaza. Together, we have organized a solidarity demonstration for this Thursday, Nov 15th, in front of the Israeli Consulate. Please look for Palestinian flags and be sure to bring friends, family, allies and your banners and voices!

Thursday, November 15th
6 pm @ the Israeli Consulate
180 Bloor Street (east of St. George TTC)
Facebook event page

This demonstration has been endorsed so far by:
Faculty for Palestine, International Solidarity Committee – Greater Toronto Workers Assembly, Latin American and Caribbean Solidarity Network, Toronto Students for Justice in Palestine, Canadian Muslim Union, International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network – Canada, Women in Solidarity with Palestine, Students Against Israeli Apartheid UTM, No One Is Illegal – Toronto, Queers Against Israeli Apartheid, Gaza’s Ark, Students Against Israeli Apartheid – UofT, Ontario Public Interest Research Group – York U, Labour for Palestine, Students Against Israeli Apartheid – York U, Not In Our Name: Jewish Voices Opposing Zionism, MESA – UTM, MESA – York U, SPHR – McMaster, McMaster Muslims for Peace & Justice, Independent Jewish Voices, Toronto, Socialist Action, Afghans for Peace, Toronto Haiti Action Committee, The Network for Pan-Afrikan Solidarity, Hamilton Coalition To Stop The War, CASMO, Arab Students Association – UofT, BAYAN-Canada, Anakbayan-Toronto, Students for Palestinian Rights University of Waterloo, Christian Peacemaker Teams, Palestine Action Group-The University of Guelph, Fredericton Palestine Solidarity, Fredericton Peace Coalition, Arab Palestine Association, Students for Justice in Palestine – Ryerson.

* To add your organization to the list of endorsers, please send an email to endapartheid@riseup.net.

Solidarity with Gaza – Emergency Demonstration

Nearly four years after Operation Cast Lead, which killed 1400 Palestinians and left the infrastructure of Gaza in ruins, Israel is once again attacking Gaza. The latest operation, Operation Pillar of Defense, has seen the Israeli Defense Forces conduct upwards of 50 airstrikes causing numerous casualties, including children.

The Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid, Canadian Arab Federation, Palestine House and Canadian Peace Alliance strongly condemn these attacks and urge you to stand in solidarity with Gaza. Together, we have organized a solidarity demonstration for this Thursday, Nov 15th, in front of the Israeli Consulate. Please look for Palestinian flags and be sure to bring friends, family, allies and your banners and voices!

Thursday, November 15th
6 pm @ the Israeli Consulate
180 Bloor Street (east of St. George TTC)
Facebook event page

This demonstration has been endorsed so far by:
Faculty for Palestine, International Solidarity Committee – Greater Toronto Workers Assembly, Latin American and Caribbean Solidarity Network, Toronto Students for Justice in Palestine, Canadian Muslim Union, International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network – Canada, Women in Solidarity with Palestine, Students Against Israeli Apartheid UTM, No One Is Illegal – Toronto, Queers Against Israeli Apartheid, Gaza’s Ark, Students Against Israeli Apartheid – UofT, Ontario Public Interest Research Group – York U, Labour for Palestine, Students Against Israeli Apartheid – York U, Not In Our Name: Jewish Voices Opposing Zionism, MESA – UTM, MESA – York U, SPHR – McMaster, McMaster Muslims for Peace & Justice, Independent Jewish Voices, Toronto, Socialist Action, Afghans for Peace, Toronto Haiti Action Committee, The Network for Pan-Afrikan Solidarity, Hamilton Coalition To Stop The War, CASMO, Arab Students Association – UofT, BAYAN-Canada, Anakbayan-Toronto, Students for Palestinian Rights University of Waterloo, Christian Peacemaker Teams, Palestine Action Group-The University of Guelph, Fredericton Palestine Solidarity, Fredericton Peace Coalition, Arab Palestine Association, Students for Justice in Palestine – Ryerson.

* To add your organization to the list of endorsers, please send an email to endapartheid@riseup.net.

Film Screening: Lacan Palestine

Fresh from screenings in Vienna, Jihlava, Montreal and Paris, Pleasure Dome presents the Toronto premiere of Mike Hoolboom’s new feature length essay Lacan Palestine.

Mining a wealth of material from TV news, documentary, fiction,and fantasy film, Lacan Palestine is a visual rollercoaster, with Hoolboom using cinema to suggest Palestine as a place of recurring colonial/psychological projection a space whose conquest is here spectacularly relived in celluloid waves of armed crusaders, legionnaires, Mongol horsemen, biplanes, and machine guns.

But as the film’s title suggests, this is far more than mere collage. Layered, often deeply personal, and frequently challenging, the film intersperses its newsreels, desert fantasias, and historic encounters with oneiric ruminations on subjects from patricide to John Coltrane, and from the elusive nature of joy to what Hoolboom calls the “loveless love story” starring Moses, Abraham, and Jacques Lacan. Dizzying in its technical and conceptual density, Lacan Palestine is incomparable cinema.

Director Mike Hoolboom will be in attendance at the screening.

Saturday, November 24, 2012
7:00pm – 9:30pm (doors open at 6:45pm)
Beit Zatoun, 612 Markham Street
Admission: $8 / $5 Members or Students
The venue is accessible on demand via portable ramp; washrooms not accessible unfortunately.
Tasty refreshments (non-alcoholic) and Zatoun oliveoil+za’atar dipping.

This event is sponsored by Queers Against Israeli Apartheid (QuAIA) and Beit Zatoun.

Honouring our communities: March Against Racism

HONOURING OUR COMMUNITIES: MARCH AGAINST RACISM

NO HONOUR IN DEPORTATIONS | NO HONOUR IN APARTHEID | NO HONOUR IN CORPORATE PROFIT
Sunday November 4th @ 4pm
David Pecaut Square (King & John) March to Fairmont Royal York Hotel (100 Front)

Jason Kenney is being awarded an ‘honorary’ degree by Israel’s Haifa University at a fundraiser supported by Stephen Harper, Ezra Levant, Peter Munk, Stockwell Day and others. This event is a celebration of war, racism, corporate profit, displacement, apartheid and anti-migrant xenophobia – all intensified by the Conservative Party of Canada’s agenda. There is nothing honorable about this gathering.We call on our communities to gather in/to honour of our strength and resilience, in opposition to this award and gathering, and against the dishonorable acts of Kenney, Harper and their alliesBACKGROUNDWhy is a major Israeli academic institution honouring Canada’s most infamous and despised Minister, Jason Kenney? And why are people like Stephen Harper, Peter Munk and Ezra Levant supporting this?It is well-known across Canada that Jason Kenney – Minister of Censorship and Deportation – is a key player in advancing the Harper government’s austerity and policing agenda. Their agenda is transparent and their racist, xenophobic, neoliberal policy agenda is clear. It includes:

• Giving unhindered access to corporations while cutting public services, attacking workers, and forcing communities into deeper poverty and greater precarity

• Unquestioned support for wars and colonization in Turtle Island, and globally from Palestine to Iraq to Afghanistan

• Unequivocal support for the Israeli apartheid state and its internationally condemned war crimes and human rights violations against Palestinians and all refugees in Israel

• Expanding an already exclusionary and racist immigration system by increasing temporary work programs, citizenship rejections, detentions and deportations while cutting off refugee status, migrant sex workers, family reunification and access to full services for many, particularly undocumented residents.

• Defunding, criminalizing and censoring dissent and organizing for queer rights, gender justice, Palestinian liberation, migrant justice and beyond

This fundraiser is also meant to establish the “Jason Kenney Holocaust Education Fund”. At the same time that Kenny receives this ‘honour’, the Roma community in Canada is facing intensified discrimination as a direct result of Kenney’s brutal immigration policies. This is a horrifying insult to the memory of the Roma people who were also targets of Nazi genocide. Indeed, Kenney has shown great disregard for the atrocities committed during the Holocaust. At a 2009 event, Kenney praised WWII-era fascist collaborator Cardinal Alozije Stepinac, who was convicted for his role in collaborating with the fascist Ustasha regime in Croatia. This regime was responsible for the deaths of between 250,000 to 750,000 Jews, Roma, Serbs, and anti-fascist Croats. And yet, in Kenney’s words: “[Stepinac] was a kind of martyr for Croatia and the faith, and he for me is one of the great heroes of the 20th century”.

This is the agenda that Kenney represents, and these are just some reasons why he and Harper should not be honoured. Join us on November 4th to honour our communities, and to oppose this agenda.

Organized by: Afghans for Peace, Barrio Nuevo, Caregiver’s Action Centre, Centre for Social Justice, Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid (CAIA), Common Cause Toronto, Educators for Peace and Justice, Faculty for Palestine (F4P), Health for All, Independent Jewish Voices – Canada, Independent Jewish Voices – Toronto Chapter, Indigenous Sovereignty and Solidarity Network, International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network (IJAN) Canada, International Socialists, Justice for Mahjoub Network, Justice for Migrant Workers, Law Union of Ontario, Maggie’s: The Toronto Sex Workers Action Project, M1M, Mining Injustice Solidarity Network, Movement Defence Committee, Munk OUT of UofT, New Socialist Group (NSG), No One Is Illegal – Toronto, Not In Our Name (NION): Jews Opposing Zionism, Ontario Coalition Against Poverty (OCAP), OPIRG York, OPIRG UofT, Protest Barrick, The Public Health Social Justice Collective, The Women’s Coordinating Committee for a Free Wallmapu, Queers Against Israeli Apartheid (QuAIA), Queers for Social Justice (QFSJ), Social Justice Committee of the United Jewish People’s Order (SJC-UJPO), Socialist Project, Students Against Israeli Apartheid York & UofT, University of Toronto Students Union, Toronto Haiti Action Committee, Toronto Immigration Legal Committee, Toronto Rape Crisis Centre, Women in Solidarity with Palestine

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