Category Archives: Israel

Why is Israel a charity case for Canada?

 

 

Over the past two weeks Canada has seen its most significant ever outpouring of support for Palestinian rights. More than 150,000 letters have been sent to Canadian officials calling on Ottawa to criticize Israel human rights violations or to sanction Israel.

Tens of thousands have also taken to the streets to denounce Israel’s violence. In the largest mobilization, upwards of 1,000 vehicles were part of a multi-hour caravan in Montréal and more than 5,000 rallied/marched in the city on May 14. Around 5,000 rallied on two consecutive weekends in Toronto. Many thousands also participated in car caravans, rallies or marches in Vancouver, Edmonton, Ottawa, Halifax, Saskatoon, Guelph, Victoria, Charlottetown, Lethbridge, Winnipeg, Oakville, Kitchener, Sudbury, Red Deer, Kamloops, Vernon, Kelowna, Saint John, Calgary, Québec City and elsewhere. In most cases they were among the largest pro-Palestinian demonstrations ever held in those communities.

The outpouring of pro-Palestinian sympathy is uplifting. But if we want to ‘turn the tide against Israeli apartheid’ we need to focus on ending Canada’s immense complicity in Palestinian dispossession.

Though little discussed, the most important support Canada has offered Israel in recent decades is tax deductible charitable donations. In 2018 registered Canadian charities raised over a quarter billion dollars in tax-deductible charitable donations for Israel-focused projects.

Since the federal government introduced deductions for charities in 1967 billions of dollars in subsidized donations have gone to Israel. In 1991 the Ottawa Citizen estimated that more than $100 million a year was raised for Israel and possibly as much as $200 million. Assuming $100 million has been sent to Israel yearly since 1967 and with approximately 30% of the $5.4 billion total subsidized by the taxpayer that’s around $1.7 billion in Canadian public support.

But there’s little discussion of the public funds that have gone to Israel through charitable donations. With the exception of the campaign to revoke the charitable status of the Jewish National Fund of Canada, which won a partial victory recently, there’s been almost no activism targeting Canadian charitable support for Israel. This despite some of these donations violating Canadian charity law. Funds supporting West Bank settlements, explicitly racist institutions and the Israeli military probably contravene Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) regulations.

The Canadian government restricts registered charities from supporting other countries’ militaries. CRA guidelines note, “increasing the effectiveness and efficiency of Canada’s armed forces is charitable, but supporting the armed forces of another country is not.”

But numerous registered charities support the Israeli military. The Jewish National Fund of Canada has openly financed numerous projects supporting the Israeli military while Canadian Magen David Adom for Israel and Beit Halochem Canada (Aid to Disabled Veterans of Israel) have directly or indirectly supported the IDF. In 2018 the Toronto-based HESEG Foundation, which was established “to recognize and honor the contribution of Lone Soldiers to Israel,” spent more than $9 million in Israel.

Without any direct pressure from the Palestine solidarity movement, Beth Oloth Charitable Organization lost its charitable status two years ago for “increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of the Israeli armed forces”. With $61 million raised in 2017, it was also cited for funding projects in the occupied West Bank. (As much as the political questions, Beth Oloth appears to have lost its charitable status due to a small number of staff, huge spike in donations, and its role as a “conduit” for funding from other groups.)

A number of registered charities support settlement projects directly or indirectly. The Jewish National Fund of Canada built Canada Park on the remnants of three Palestinian villages Israel occupied after the June 1967 War. Christian Friends of Israeli Communities has said it “provides financial” support to “the Jews currently living in Biblical Israel —the communities of Judea and Samaria” (occupied West Bank). Located in the West Bank settlement of Ariel, Canadian Friends of Ariel University is also a registered charity.

Racist organization should also be excluded from receiving taxpayer subsidies. According to a 2003 CRA directive, the organization is supposed to promote racial equality. Yet the Jewish National Fund, which raised $7.7 million for Israeli projects in 2018, practices a form of legalistic discrimination outlawed by the Canadian Supreme Court seven-decades ago. A serious investigation of registered Canadian charities operating in Israel would likely uncover support for other racist organizations in Israel.

In fact, the entire thrust of Israel-focused charity funding is racist. Often framed as poverty alleviation, very little of the Canadian donations actually reach the poorest individuals living under Israel’s control. Basically none of the Canadian taxpayers subsidized money supports Palestinians in Gaza or the West Bank. Even within “Israel proper” little of the Canadian charity money likely goes to the Arab Israelis — as much as 50% of the poorest in Israel — communities.

While not against current CRA regulations, there’s a strong argument to be made against Canadian taxpayers subsidizing donations to hospitals, universities, etc. in “Israel proper”. Is it right for all Canadians to pay a share of some individuals’ donations to a country with a GDP equal to Canada’s? How many Canadian charities funnel money to Sweden or Japan? Is the Israeli government subsidizing Canadian orchestras, museums, guide dog centres, nature conservatory, universities, hospitals, etc? (Canadian Friends of the Israel Guide Dog Center for the Blind, Canadian Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel, Canadian Friends of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, Canadian Association For Labour Israel and Canadian Friends of the Israel Museum are among the many registered charities that raised over a quarter billion dollars for Israel-focused projects in 2018.)

Irrespective of CRA regulations, activists who promote the aims of the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement should push to outlaw donations to Israel until that country complies with international law. As they’ve done with other countries, federal government sanctions on Israel should seek to cut off the flow of money from Canada (in compliance with international law).

It’s important for the Palestine solidarity movement to challenge subsidized charitable donations to Israel. The demand is partly about pressing the Canada Revenue Agency to apply its own rules and the campaign can be framed as a way to save taxpayers money.

 

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10 ways to end Canadian complicity with Israeli violence

NDP leader Jagmeet Singh’s call for an arms embargo on Israel is a positive development. But, with tens of thousands taking to the streets across the country on Saturday we should expect more forthright efforts to stop Israeli violence, which has killed well over 220 Palestinians, including 64 children, in the past ten days.

Below are 10 demands the NDP and progressive activists could promote to end Canadian complicity with Israeli violence and Palestinian dispossession:

  • Singh and NDP MPs should state publicly that any recruitment for the Israeli military in Canada is not only immoral but should also be investigated by the justice minister and police as a contravention of the Foreign Enlistment Act. A recent parliamentary petition sponsored by NDP MP Matthew Green that calls for an investigation into illegal IDF recruitment in Canada has been signed by more than twelve times the number required to be read in the House of Commons. There is clearly significant support for a position rooted in simply upholding Canadian law.
  • The same can be said of the call for the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) to investigate whether registered charities are contravening CRA regulations by supporting the Israeli military, racist organizations and West Bank settlements. In a sign of support for this call, 2,400 individuals have emailed foreign minister Marc Garneau, justice minister David Lametti and revenue minister Diane Lebouthillier in recent days to pressure government officials to apply Canadian law regarding charities supporting the Israeli military and recruitment for the IDF in Canada.
  • The NDP should call for the cancellation of the Canada Israel free-trade agreement. When the Liberals “modernized” the accord two years ago the NDP voted against the motion because the Liberals refused an NDP amendment to the deal requiring distinct labelling on products originating from “illegal Israeli settlements”. Last summer a coalition of groups, including a number of major unions, came out in opposition to the trade agreement.
  • Singh should echo NDP members overwhelming support for a recent resolution calling for “ending all trade and economic cooperation with illegal settlements in Israel-Palestine.” The party motion aligns with the 2016 UN Security Council Resolution 2334, which has the force of international law, that calls on “all states… to distinguish, in their relevant dealings, between the territory of the State of Israel and the territories occupied since 1967.”
  • Singh and all NDP MPs should clearly express their opposition to the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s (IHRA) anti-Palestinian definition of antisemitism. In the lead-up to the party’s recent convention, more than 40 riding associations and numerous NDP affiliated groups supported a resolution opposing the IHRA definition.
  • The NDP should push to eliminate a recently created “special envoy” position primarily designed to deflect criticism from Israeli apartheid. Speaking from his apartment in Jerusalem, Irwin Cotler, Canada’s “special envoy” to protect Israel from criticism, was the keynote speaker at a recent online rally in support of Israeli violence in which the moderator boasted that Montrealers’ were fighting in the Israeli military.
  • The NDP should call on the government to support all UN resolutions upholding Palestinian rights. A year ago Canada lost its bid for a seat on the United Nations Security Council in large part because it consistently isolated itself against world opinion on Palestinian rights at the UN.
  • Progressives should initiate a campaign to challenge all taxpayer subsidized donations to apartheid Israel. In 2018 registered Canadian charities raised over a quarter billion dollars for Israel-focused projects. Is it right for all Canadians to pay a share of some individuals’ donations to a country with a GDP equal to Canada’s? How many Canadian charities funnel money to Sweden or Japan?
  • Progressives should campaign against Canada’s criminalization of Palestinian political life. The leftist Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and Canadian-based International Relief Fund for the Afflicted and Needy (IRFAN), which was listed because it supported orphans and a hospital in Gaza through official (Hamas controlled) channels, both need to be immediately removed from Canada’s terrorist list. Whatever some may say about Hamas tactics, the IDF has killed nearly 30 times more children over the past week and they are not on Canada’s terrorist list.
  • Finally, progressives should push for a formal apology to Palestinians over Canada’s sizable contribution to the unjust UN Partition Plan, which called for ethnically segregated states and gave most of the land to the newly arrived minority. As external affairs officials warned privately in 1947, the Canadian-shaped roadmap would lead to the decades of conflict we are seeing

These are issues that confront the role of this country in enabling the oppression of Palestinians. It’s time progressive Canadians take off their rose-coloured glasses and criticize the bad things our country does in the world.

While some may consider it unrealistic to expect Singh and others to take up these proposals, this ignores how quickly the NDP leader has shifted his position in recent weeks. A few days before the April 9-11 NDP convention Singh refused to mention Palestinians when asked repeatedly by a CBC interviewer and instead referred to anti-Semitism five times. But a little over a month later Singh was organizing a press conference to call for an arms embargo on Israel and raising the issue during question period in the House of Commons. Since then, he has promoted a party petition calling for an arms embargo on Israel and used the campaign to fundraise for the NDP!

A mix of outside pressure, NDP members passing a resolution, and a flare up of violence in the Middle East shifted Singh’s position dramatically within weeks. So why couldn’t he be pressed into supporting proposals rooted in applying Canadian and international law and which have widespread NDP backing?

Support for a more forthright policy on Palestinian rights exists within and beyond the NDP as seen with the recent outpouring of pro-Palestinian energy across Canadian streets. It is also likely a vote-getter in many communities. But, to have a chance of this happening the organized pro-Palestinian movement needs to channel righteous outrage towards Canada’s substantial complicity in Palestinian dispossession.

 

On Friday, May 21 at 7pm Yves Engler will be speaking at a Canadian Foreign Policy Institute event on “The Innumerable Ways Canada Supports Israeli Apartheid”

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Filed under Canada and Israel, Israel, NDP

Why Canada owes apology to Palestinians for the Nakba

 

Today marks the 74th anniversary of the establishment of the United Nations Special Committee on Palestine (UNSCOP). This body was tasked with determining Palestine’s fate. Few are aware of the extent to which Canada shaped UNSCOP and its role in promoting the unjust Partition Plan. This, despite warnings that going down this path would lead to decades of conflict as we are seeing today.

Under growing Zionist military pressure after the Second World War, Britain prepared to hand its mandate over Palestine to the newly created UN. In response, the U.S.-dominated international body formed the First Committee on Palestine, which was charged with developing the terms of reference for a committee that would find a solution for the British mandate.

Canada’s Undersecretary of External Affairs Lester Pearson, who had previously made his sympathy for Zionism clear, chaired the First Committee that established UNSCOP. At the First Committee, Pearson rejected Arab calls for an immediate end to the British mandate and the establishment of an independent democratic country. He also backed Washington’s push to admit a Jewish Agency representative to First Committee discussions (ultimately both a Jewish Agency and Palestinian representative were admitted).

Pearson tried to define UNSCOP largely to facilitate Zionist aspirations. The Arab Higher Committee wanted the issue of World War II European Jewish refugees excluded from UNSCOP but the Canadian diplomat worked to give the body a mandate “to investigate all questions and issues relevant to the problem of Palestine.”

A U.S. State Department memo noted that Pearson “proved to be an outstanding chairman for [the First] Committee.” The Canadian Arab Friendship League, on the other hand, complained that the First Committee plan for UNSCOP was “practically irresponsible and an invitation to…acts of terror on the part of Zionism.” Arabs, the League continued, would “never refrain from demanding for…Palestine the same freedom presently enjoyed by other Arab states,” newly independent from colonial rule. Opposed to the idea that representatives from Canada, Guatemala, Yugoslavia and other countries should decide their future, Palestinians boycotted UNSCOP.

Canada’s delegate on the UNSCOP mission to Palestine pushed for the largest possible Zionist state and is considered the lead author of the majority report in support of partitioning Palestine into ethnically segregated states. Supreme Court justice Ivan C. Rand opposed proposals for a Jewish-Arab unitary state and made key interventions in the decision-making process in support of partition. “Rand worked hard,” notes his biographer, “to ensure the maximum geographical area possible for the new Jewish state.” At one point, Rand and another UNSCOP member, supported giving the Zionists a larger piece of land than they officially asked for.

At the end of their mission, the UNSCOP majority and minority reports were sent to the special UN Ad Hoc Committee on the Palestinian Question. At the Ad Hoc Committee Pearson rejected the Arab countries push to have the International Court of Justice decide whether the UN was allowed to partition Palestine. (Under U.S. pressure, the Ad Hoc Committee voted 21 to 20 — with 16 abstentions – against allowing the International Court to adjudicate the matter.)

The Ad Hoc Committee was split into two subcommittees with one focusing on the partition plan and the other on a bi-national state. At the Ad Hoc Committee’s Special Committee 1, Pearson worked feverishly to broker a partition agreement acceptable to Washington and Moscow. Preoccupied with the great powers, the indigenous inhabitants’ concerns did not trouble Pearson. He dismissed solutions that didn’t involve partition, which effectively meant supporting a Jewish state on Palestinian land.

Pearson played a central role in Special Committee 1’s partition plan. Both the New York Times and Manchester Guardian ran articles about his role in the final stage of negotiations. Dubbed the “Canadian plan” the final Special Committee 1 agreement between the U.S. and U.S.S.R. on how to implement partition was “a result of the tireless efforts of Lester B. Pearson,” according to a front-page New York Times article. Some Zionist groups called him “Lord Balfour” of Canada and “rabbi Pearson.”

By supporting partition Canada opposed the indigenous population’s moral and political claims to sovereignty over their territory. Down from 90 per cent at the start of the British mandate, by the end of 1947 Arabs still made up two-thirds of Palestine’s population. Despite making up only a third of the population, under the UN partition plan Jews received most of the territory. Canada pushed a plan that gave the Zionist state 55 per cent of Palestine despite the Jewish population owning less than seven per cent of the land.

Privately Canadian Justice Minister J.L. Isley said he was “gravely concerned” the push for partition did not meet the Arabs “very strong moral and political claims.” The only Middle East expert at External Affairs, Elizabeth MacCallum, claimed Ottawa supported partition “because we didn’t give two hoots for democracy.” At the time of the partition vote, notes The Rise and Fall of a Middle Power, “MacCallum scribbled a note and passed it to Mike (Pearson) saying the Middle East was now in for ’40 years’ of war, due to the lack of consultation with the Arab countries.” She was prescient, even if she underestimated the duration of the conflict.

A huge boost to the Zionist movements’ desire for an ethnically-based state, the UN partition of British Mandate Palestine contributed to the displacement of at least 700,000 Palestinians, which is also commemorated May 15 with Nakba (catastrophe) Day. Scholar Walid Khalidi complained that UN (partition) Resolution 181 was “a hasty act of granting half of Palestine to an ideological movement that declared openly already in the 1930s its wish to de-Arabize Palestine.” Most residents of Gaza are descendants of people driven from their homes in 1947/48.

The violence playing out today is rooted in the unjust Partition Plan and the people of Palestine deserve a formal apology from Canada for its role in helping lay the foundations of their dispossession.

On Friday, May 21 at 7pm Yves Engler will be speaking at a Canadian Foreign Policy Institute event on “The Innumerable Ways Canada Supports Israeli Apartheid”

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The innumerable ways Canada supports Israeli apartheid

 

At the start of the year Israel’s leading human rights group B’Tselem released “A regime of Jewish supremacy from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea: This is apartheid”. Two weeks ago Human Rights Watch published a long report saying Israel’s treatment of Palestinians “amounted to the crimes of apartheid”. Since then, Israel has ramped up its efforts to ethnically cleanse East Jerusalem, attacked the Al-Aqsa mosque, targeted its Arab citizens, killed 11 Palestinians in the West Bank and begun once again to “mow the lawn” in Gaza, which has left 126, including 31 children, dead.

No matter what government officials say, Canada has enthusiastically supported Israel’s dispossession. Canadian backing of Israel includes arms sales, a free-trade agreement, security forces’ collaboration, diplomatic visits and comments as well as various other forms of common diplomatic/economic/security relations. It also includes numerous unconventional forms of backing for the apartheid regime.

To placate Israel and its supporters the “anti-racist” Trudeau government withdrew Canada from a major United Nations forum on combating racism last week. In November it appointed a vicious anti-Palestinian to a newly created “special envoy” position largely set up to justify Israeli apartheid and two years ago it adopted a description of a form of xenophobia created to shield Israel from criticism. To protect Israel’s regime of Jewish supremacy, Justin Trudeau has repeatedly condemned social justice activists on university campuses.

The current government expanded a trade agreement that applies Israel’s customs laws in the occupied West Bank and Ottawa has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to stop Canadian consumers from knowing where two wines are produced to obscure illegal Israeli land theft. Isolating itself against the vast majority of the world, the Trudeau government has defended Israel against criticism at the UN more than 50 times.

In a deepening of the criminalization of Palestinian political life, Trudeau added an eighth Palestinian organization to Canada’s terrorist list. It also maintained the listing of the first ever Canadian-based group designated a terrorist organization, which was anointed as such because it engaged in the ghastly act of supporting orphans and a hospital in Gaza through official (Hamas controlled) channels.

Even the “aid” Canada has given to Palestinians is designed to advance Israel’s control. In a unique historical dynamic, Canadian aid and military trainers have supported the creation of a Palestinian security force explicitly to enforce Israel’s occupation of the West Bank.

In what could be considered an act of treason, Canada’s top diplomat in Israel organized a pizza party in January 2020 for Canadians fighting in that country’s military. Government officials have also ignored illegal recruitment for the Israeli military in Canada.

But, these examples are less important than another form of Canadian support for Israel. Though it receives little attention, tax deductible charitable donations are the most consequential and politically unjustifiable Canadian contribution to a state/movement seeking to eliminate Palestinians.

In 2018 registered Canadian charities raised over a quarter billion dollars for Israel-focused projects. Since the federal government introduced deductions for charities in 1967 billions of dollars in subsidized donations have gone to Israel. In 1991 the Ottawa Citizen estimated that Canadian Jews sent more than $100 million a year to Israel and possibly as much as $200 million. Assuming $100 million has been sent to Israel yearly since 1967 and with approximately 30% of the $5.4 billion total subsidized by the taxpayer that’s around $1.7 billion in Canadian public support.

But there’s little discussion of the public funds that have gone to Israel through charitable donations. With the exception of the campaign to revoke the charitable status of the Jewish National Fund of Canada, which won a partial victory recently, there’s been almost no activism targeting Canadian charitable support for Israel. This despite some of these donations violating Canadian charity law. Funds supporting West Bank settlements, explicitly racist institutions and the Israeli military probably contravene Canada Revenue Agency regulations.

While not against current Canada Revenue Agency regulations, there’s a strong argument to be made against Canadian taxpayers subsidizing donations to hospitals, universities, etc. in “Israel proper”. Is it right for all Canadians to pay a share of some individuals’ donations to a country with a GDP equal to Canada’s? How many Canadian charities funnel money to Sweden or Japan? Is the Israeli government subsidizing Canadian orchestras, museums, guide dog centres, nature conservatory, universities, hospitals, etc? (Canadian Friends of the Israel Guide Dog Center for the Blind, Canadian Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel, Canadian Friends of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, Canadian Association For Labour Israel and Canadian Friends of the Israel Museum are among the many registered charities that raised over a quarter billion dollars for Israel-focused projects in 2018.)

The Canadian government offers innumerable forms of support to the racist, violent, regime. Canadians of conscience must register their opposition and work to end this country’s contribution to Palestinian dispossession.

On Friday, May 21 at 7pm Yves Engler will be speaking at a Canadian Foreign Policy Institute event on “The Innumerable Ways Canada Supports Israeli Apartheid”

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Filed under Canada and Israel, Israel, Israel Lobby, Justin Trudeau

Why is a Montréal school pushing students to join the Israeli military?

Hebrew Academy bombards its students with pro-Israel Defense Force messages. Montréal’s largest Jewish school shows movies that celebrate the Israeli military; students send gifts to IDF bases; Israeli emissaries lead kindergarten classes in “fun IDF programs”.

Why should Quebec taxpayers fund a school aggressively promoting a foreign military engaged in a brutal 50-year occupation? These efforts to entice impressionable young minds into oppressing Palestinians may even be illegal.

The Foreign Enlistment Act is supposed to prohibit Canadians from recruiting for a foreign army. It notes, “any person who, within Canada, recruits or otherwise induces any person or body of persons to enlist or to accept any commission or engagement in the armed forces of any foreign state or other armed forces operating in that state is guilty of an offence.”

Hebrew Academy (HA) promotes those who join the Israeli military. An April 2020 article from the school website notes, “following a nod to HA alumni serving in the IDF and a prayer for chayalei Tzahal [IDF] by School Rabbi Rabbi Eddie Shostak, Head of School Dr. Laura Segall relayed that her parents both served in the IDF.” That month HA also posted a video to its Facebook page of alumni currently serving in the IDF. Under the caption “A meaningful video featuring our HA alumni who are serving in the Israel Defense Forces”, a half dozen alumni spend 12 minutes telling students about the importance of serving in the violent occupation force.

The school considers joining the IDF a special accomplishment. Last March 24 HA posted a picture of three young men to its Facebook with the caption: “Mazel tov to class of 2018 alumni Michael Kuperstok, Nathan Bebuzru and Yehuda Besner who are enlisting in the Israel Defense Forces this week. We are beyond proud of you!”

A number of initiatives may more directly seek to entice students to join the IDF. Former Israeli soldiers visit HA students about to graduate (Grade 11 in Québec). In 2016 their website reported, “only one week into the new school year, Grade 10 and 11 students were privileged to meet three former members of the IDF who are in Montreal on a two-week visit as representatives of Beit Halochem.”

HA is a federal government recognized Community Learning Centre and is registered with the Québec education ministry. Private schools in Québec receive 60% of the per-pupil operational funding of public schools and 40% of their total funds generally come from the provincial government. But, this sum doesn’t include the cost to the public purse of the tax receipts given to charities. A sizable share of tuition at HA can also be deducted from an individual’s federal income tax and HA receives significant support from Federation Combined Jewish Appeal of Montréal and other registered charities.

A recent parliamentary petition is putting a spotlight on recruitment and inducement for the Israeli military. Submitted by Rabbi David Mivasair and sponsored by NDP MP Matthew Green, the petition calls “upon the Minister of Justice to undertake a thorough investigation of those who have recruited or facilitated recruiting for the Israel Defense Forces, and if warranted lay charges against those involved in recruiting and encouraging recruiting for the IDF.” It is part of a multi-faceted campaign that began in the fall with an open letter signed by Noam Chomsky, Roger Waters, filmmaker Ken Loach, author Yann Martel, former MP Jim Manly, poet El Jones and more than 150 others asking the federal government to apply charges under the Foreign Enlistment Act against those recruiting Canadians for the Israeli military.

While Canadian law makes it illegal to recruit soldiers for a foreign state, it is unclear where the line is between enticing impressionable young people to oppress Palestinians and formal recruitment.

Legal questions aside, should a Montreal school funnel youngsters into a foreign military engaged in a brutal 50-year occupation? And should taxpayers foot the bill?

 

 

Please sign the parliamentary petition calling for an investigation into illegal Israeli military recruitment in Canada.

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Challenging illegal Israeli military recruitment in Canada

The campaign to oppose illegal Israeli military recruitment in Canada has received a significant boost. A parliamentary petition calling for an investigation into IDF recruitment has quickly surpassed the number of signatures required to be presented in the House of Commons.

Submitted by Rabbi David Mivasair and sponsored by NDP MP Matthew Green, the petition “calls upon the Minister of Justice to undertake a thorough investigation of those who have recruited or facilitated recruiting for the Israel Defense Forces, and if warranted lay charges against those involved in recruiting and encouraging recruiting for the IDF.” In 48 hours over 1,000 individuals have signed the petition, which is twice what’s required for it to be read in Parliament. The government then has to respond.

The petition is part of a multi-faceted campaign that began in the fall with a formal complaint and open letter signed by Noam Chomsky, Roger Waters, filmmaker Ken Loach, author Yann Martel, former MP Jim Manly, poet El Jones and more than 150 others. The letter called on the federal government to apply charges under the Foreign Enlistment Act against those recruiting Canadians for the Israeli military.

It is a crime to recruit anyone for a foreign military or to encourage any person to serve in a foreign military. The Foreign Enlistment Act states, “Any person who, within Canada, recruits or otherwise induces any person or body of persons to enlist or to accept any commission or engagement in the armed forces of any foreign state or other armed forces operating in that state is guilty of an offence.”

On several occasions the Israeli consulate in Toronto has advertised that they have an IDF representative available for personal appointments for those wishing to join the IDF. In 2019 the consulate announced, “an IDF representative will conduct personal interviews at the Consulate on November 11-14. Young people who wish to enlist in the IDF or anyone who has not fulfilled their obligations according to the Israeli Defense Service Law are invited to meet with him.” Subsequently, United Jewish Appeal of Greater Toronto and Federation Combined Jewish Appeal Montréal publicized a webinar last June by Nefesh-B’Nefesh titled “Joining the IDF”, which claimed to offer participants “everything you need and want to know about joining the IDF.”

As part of drawing attention to the recruitment, Justice Minister David Lametti received a formal complaint and letters from nearly 1,500 individuals. Additionally, the chief of staff for the office of the RCMP Commissioner, Rob O’Reilly, received a packet of evidence and 900 emails regarding illegal Israeli military recruitment in Canada.

The campaign has been widely covered in left Canadian and pro-Palestinian media. “Why is the Israeli military still recruiting in Canada?” (Canadian Dimension), “Canadians should not be recruited to fight for the Israeli army” (Rabble), “Canadians recruited for Israeli war crimes” (Spring), “Toronto schools push students to join Israeli military” (Canada Files), “What Constitutes Recruiting” (Jewish Independent), “Civil society groups demand action on illegal Israeli military recruiting in Canada” (Rabble), “National Campaign Against IDF Recruiting Begins in Canada” (Washington Report on Middle East Affairs), “Justice minister asked to investigate alleged illegal recruiting in Canada by Israeli Military” (Canada Talks Israel Palestine), “Canadians call on justice department to investigate IDF recruitment in Toronto schools” (Mondoweiss), “Israel illegally recruits Canadian citizens to its army” (Electronic Intifada), “Open letter declares opposition to the Illegal Recruitment of Canadians by the IDF” (Canada Files), “Campaign to stop Israeli military recruitment in Canada gathers pace” (Middle Eastern Monitor) are some of the articles published on the campaign.

In Québec Le Devoir discussed the campaign on its front page and in a follow-up article while Journal de Montréal also ran a story on the challenge to Israeli military recruitment in Canada. But, in English Canada the dominant media has ignored the evidence presented to the justice minister and RCMP. A number of reporters expressed interest in the campaign but got cold feet or were stopped by their editors from covering the public letter and evidence compiled. In February Davide Mastracci wrote a powerful article about how “Media Is Ignoring Alleged Illegal Israeli Army Recruitment In Canada”.

The lack of corporate media attention partly reflects the silence of the anti-Palestinian lobby. Generally quick to denounce pro-Palestinian activists “toxic obsession with Israel”, the Israel lobby have failed to find fault with a campaign suggesting they are engaged in criminal activity. They understand that publicly denouncing the anti-recruitment campaign would draw attention to an issue difficult to defend. The potential illegality of the recruitment is embarrassing and promoting a foreign army rests uneasily with even right-wing nationalist thinking, which is generally sympathetic to an anti-Palestinian outlook. Prominent military historian Jack Granatstein, for instance, told an interviewer, “in my view no one who is a Canadian should be able to enlist in some other country’s military and keep his Canadian citizenship.”

At the same time, the Israel lobby doesn’t want to stop convincing young people to join the IDF. According to 2017 statistics from the IDF, 230 Canadians served in the Israeli military. In 2020, 9 per cent of “lone soldiers” in the Israeli military were from Canada according to the IDF. Canadians staff West Bank checkpoints and ships enforcing the blockade of Gaza.

About 3,500 “lone soldiers” serve in the IDF. This is significant but a relatively small proportion of the 150,000 enlisted in the Israeli military.

But “lone soldiers” are of value beyond their military capacities. Foreigners volunteering to fight for Israel are a powerful symbol to pressure/reassure Israelis weary of their country’s violent behavior.

“Lone soldiers” also intensify the Zionist ethos within much of Canada’s Jewish community. If a friend or family member is willing to give up two years of their life to ‘protect the Jewish people’, goes a certain Zionist logic, I should at least donate to an Israel focused group, lobby a politician, undermine a pro-Palestinian professor, etc.

The campaign to oppose Israeli military recruitment in Canada challenges this ideological climate. Bringing the issue into the House of Commons is an important step in disrupting a dynamic where a young Torontonian can be in charge of overseeing Palestinian misery. Please sign the parliamentary petition.

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Palestine solidarity delivers blow to JNF colonialism

Score a small, but symbolically significant, victory for pro-Palestinian and anti-racist forces. The Jewish National Fund of Canada has been forced to rebrand and distance itself from its Israeli parent organization.

Under pressure from Independent Jewish Voices (IJV) and others the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) instigated an audit of the JNF in 2018. The audit dragged on for over a year and there was never a formal announcement of its conclusion. But it is now clear the organization has been forced to make some changes.

In a letter buried on its website JNF Canada recently announced a change of logo to differentiate it from its parent organization in Israel (KKL-JNF). It also removed “KKL” from its corporate name and JNF Canada claims its funds will no longer be “co-mingled with KKL’s general accounts”.

JNF Canada’s letter also says that “the CRA has instructed us that it is a violation of Canadian policy to develop projects in the disputed [illegally occupied West Bank] territories. JNF Canada has gone on the record with CRA that due to this interpretation of Canadian foreign policy, we will not fund projects in the disputed territories.” Recently there’s been significant criticism of JNF-KKL’s announcement that it may buy land in the occupied West Bank (it has been doing so quietly for years).

The letter makes no mention of its discriminatory land-use policy but JNF Canada has changed its explicitly supremacist twitter handle. Previously JNF Canada’s Twitter said it “is the caretaker of the land of Israel, on behalf of its owners — Jewish people everywhere.” Now, it says, “the Jewish National Fund of Canada is Building the Foundations of Israel’s Future.”

In control of 13% of Israel’s land – and with significant influence over most of the rest – KKL-JNF openly discriminates against the over 20% of Israelis who aren’t Jewish. Its website notes that “a survey commissioned by KKL-JNF reveals that over 70% of the Jewish population in Israel opposes allocating KKL-JNF land to non-Jews, while over 80% prefer the definition of Israel as a Jewish state, rather than as the state of all its citizens.”

According to Canadian law, charities should not be supporting racism. In fact, the CRA has a policy of promoting charities that support racial equality.

Forcing changes on JNF Canada has been long in the making and has come at some cost for a number of individuals. Born in a West Bank village demolished to make way for the JNF’s Canada Park, Ismail Zayid has been complaining to the CRA about its charitable status for four decades. For years Lebanese Canadian Ron Saba has been “writing to various Canadian government departments and officials, corporations, and media to” denounce what he calls the “racist JNF tax fraud”. During the Liberal Party convention in 2006 Saba was widely smeared for drawing attention to leadership candidate Bob Rae’s ties to the JNF. Saba has put in multiple Access to Information requests regarding the JNF, demonstrating government spying of its critics and long-standing knowledge of the organization’s dubious practices. Under the headline “Event you may want to monitor,” Foreign Affairs spokesperson Caitlin Workman sent the CRA a communication about a 2011 IJV event in Ottawa stating: “author of the Black Book of Canadian Foreign Policy, Yves Engler, will give a talk on Canada and the Jewish National Fund.” At the Green Party convention in 2016 Corey Levine pushed a resolution to revoke the JNF’s charitable status because it practices “institutional discrimination against non-Jewish citizens of Israel.” The effort brought the issue into the mainstream though she, IJV and the entire Green Party were smeared as “hard core Jew haters” for even considering the resolution.

In 2018 IJV and four individuals filed a detailed complaint to the CRA and Minister of National Revenue over the JNF. For two decades activists across the country have picketed local JNF fundraising galas and Canadian campaigners have also benefited from many supporters in Palestine/Israel as well as the international Stop the JNF campaign.

While it’s outrageous that JNF Canada has been allowed to continue granting tax credits through its charitable status, it is significant to force embarrassing changes on a 100-year-old organization with powerful allies. In recent years Justin Trudeau, Stephen Harper, Irwin Cotler and other top politicians, as well as many titans of corporate Canada, have appeared at their fundraisers.

The campaign to revoke the JNF’s charitable status has always been about more than winning the specific demand. It draws attention to the racism intrinsic to Zionist ideology and highlights Canada’s contribution to Palestinian dispossession. At a broader level, there is a desperate need to question why Canadian taxpayers subsidize hundreds of millions of dollars in donations to a country with a GDP per capita equal to Canada. How many Canadian charities funnel money to France or Japan?

The no JNF campaign should not stop. Forcing the CRA to remove JNF Canada’s charitable status is a minimum demand. If Ottawa adopted the S demand of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS), it would be illegal for Canadians to support the JNF. That would be a victory!

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Filed under Activism, Israel

Challenging illegal Israeli military recruitment

Canadian Embassy in Tel Aviv hosted party with Canadian “lone soldiers” in IDF on Jan 16 2020

There’s a Canadian law that makes it illegal to recruit soldiers for a foreign state, but you’d never know it the way Israel and its supporters operate in this country.

The Foreign Enlistment Act states: “Any person who, within Canada, recruits or otherwise induces any person or body of persons to enlist or to accept any commission or engagement in the armed forces of any foreign state or other armed forces operating in that state is guilty of an offence.”

But for three quarters of a century Canadians have been recruited inside this country to fight in Israel’s military. Finally, however, there is an organized effort to stop this practice.

Recently a formal legal complaint was delivered to Justice Minister David Lametti detailing recruitment for the Israeli military in Canada and calling on the federal government to apply charges under the Foreign Enlistment Act where appropriate. Additionally, an open letter was released last week demanding the Trudeau government take action on recruitment for the Israeli military. Signed by Noam Chomsky, Roger Waters, filmmaker Ken Loach, author Yann Martel, former MP Jim Manly, poet El Jones and more than 150 others, the open letter points out that “the Israeli consulate in Toronto has advertised on several occasions that they have an IDF representative available for personal appointments for those wishing to join the IDF.”

Last November the Israeli consulate in Toronto openly announced a military recruitment effort. According to their notice, “an IDF representative will conduct personal interviews at the Consulate on November 11-14. Young people who wish to enlist in the IDF or anyone who has not fulfilled their obligations according to the Israeli Defense Service Law are invited to meet with him.”

A number of groups help bring and support Canadians in the Israeli military. Gerry Schwartz and Heather Reisman’s Heseg Foundation for Lone Soldiers supports non-Israelis in the IDF and at its Toronto office the Friends of Israeli Scouts’ Garin Tzabar program has provided Hebrew lessons and support services, as well as help with transport and accommodation in Israel, for Canadian “lone soldiers”. Nefesh B’Nefesh’s also helps non-Israelis join the IDF.

When I was Vice President of the Concordia Student Union in 2002 Hillel, a Jewish student group, provocatively handed out flyers entitled “Volunteer for the Israeli Defense Forces!” In the aftermath of then former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu being blocked from speaking on campus, Hillel advertised a recruitment program for the Israeli army!

While the number of Canadians in the IDF is always in flux, a January estimate put it at 78. In 2017 it was 230 and during Israel’s 2014 destruction of Gaza, which killed 2,200 Palestinians, 145 Canadians were thought to be fighting in the Israeli military. At least 25 individuals from the Greater Toronto Area fought in Gaza during Israel’s 22-day 2008/2009 assault, which left 1,400 dead. During Israel’s 2006 assault on Lebanon the Canadian Jewish News reported, “Canadian youths leave home to join Israeli army.”

Israeli military recruitment in Canada is long-standing. The most important and well-documented recruitment took place during the war unleashed by the 1947 UN Partition Plan and Zionist ethnic cleansing of Palestine. Representatives from Haganah, the primary pre-state Zionist military force, recruited 300 experienced Canadian soldiers to serve in Israel’s ranks a decade after Canada adopted the Foreign Enlistment Act to stop Canadians from fighting against Franco’s fascist forces in Spain. Haganah’s main recruiter in Canada, the heir to Tiptop Tailors, Ben Dunkelman, claimed “about one thousand” Canadians “fought to establish Israel.” Dunkelman wrote, “the Haganahcommand had decided to recruit experienced combat soldiers to serve in the Jewish forces. They wanted me to get to work on recruiting an infantry brigade of English-speaking volunteers, which I would lead in action.” More than half a million dollars ($5.5 million in today’s money) was raised to pay for the travel and living costs of the Canadian troops.

During the 1948 war Israel’s small air force was almost entirely foreign, with at least 53 Canadians, including 15 non-Jews, enlisted. Montreal’s Sydney Shulemson is considered the “father of the Israeli Air Force” and, in a highly mediatized move, Canada’s top World War II fighter ace, Buzz Beurling, went to fight for Israel.

Ottawa did little to stop Canadians from joining Israel’s fight despite outlawing recruitment for a foreign army during the Spanish Civil War. Far from stopping it, Canadian diplomacy helped gain the release of Canadians detained in Lebanon en route to fight in Palestine.

Canadians engaged in the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians. “By the summer of 1948,” reports researcher Dan Freeman-Maloy, “he [Dunkelman] was in command of a Brigade actively depopulating Palestinian villages by force — a unit so heavily comprised of recruits from Canada, the United States and South Africa that it came to be known as the ‘Anglo-Saxon Brigade.’”

The Israeli military’s belligerent, violent character has not abated since then. In his 2008 book Defending The Holy Land: A Critical Analysis of Israel’s Security & Foreign Policy Zeev Maoz notes, “there was only one year out of 56 years of history in which Israel did not engage in acts involving the threat, display, or limited use of force with its neighbors.” Over the years Israel has bombed Palestine, Jordan, Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Tunisia and Iraq. In recent years the Israeli military has bombed Syria on a weekly basis and has multiple boots on Palestinian necks. The Israeli military administers a brutal occupation in the West Bank and regularly kills Palestinians in Gaza.

The Liberal government needs to apply Canadian law regarding recruitment for the Israeli military. It’s long past time to disrupt the flow of Canadians killing Palestinians.

 

 

Please take a minute to email Justice Minister David Lametti to ask him to investigate recruitment in Canada for the Israeli military 

 

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Filed under Canada and Israel, Israel

Does Stephen Lewis want Palestine to disappear?

Brian Mulroney and Stephen Lewis

Stephen Lewis seems to want Palestine to disappear. The latest example in a long history of anti-Palestinian activism is his claim that Canada’s anti-Palestinian voting record at the UN didn’t contribute to its defeat for a seat on the Security Council.

Recently I was forwarded an email that activist Elizabeth Block shared to Independent Jewish Voices’ discussion list in which she challenged Lewis’ omission of Palestine during a recent CBC interview that dealt with Canada’s Security Council defeat. In it Brian Mulroney’s former ambassador to the UN responded, “Dear Elizabeth Block: I’m glad you wrote because it allows me to provide an answer. I didn’t include the Israel/Palestine issue because I genuinely believe that it had nothing to do with Canada’s loss of the Security Council seat. It’s as straightforward as that. There was nothing devious or manipulative in the omission. I just don’t think it applied. The items I listed had, I believe, the decisive influence in Canada’s loss.”

While Lewis denies that Canada’s extremist anti-Palestinian voting record at the UN had any impact on the vote, a slew of officials and commentators have highlighted the importance of the Palestinian question in Canada’s loss. After the vote Israel’s ambassador to the UN, Danny Danon, told the Jerusalem Post, “we are disappointed that Canada didn’t make it, both because we have close ties with the country and because of the campaign that the Palestinians ran against Canada.” In “UN snub the latest in Liberals’ rancid record” Toronto Star columnist Rick Salutin noted that Canada’s Security Council defeat was all about Canada’s anti-Palestinian record. He wrote, “there is one and only one reason, IMO [in my opinion], for the resounding defeat of Canada’s bid for a Security Council seat at the UN: Palestine.”

Canada’s voting record at the UN was at the heart of the grassroots No Canada on the UN Security Council campaign. An open letter launching the campaign from the Canadian Foreign Policy Institute noted, “since coming to power the Trudeau government has voted against more than fifty UN resolutions upholding Palestinian rights backed by the overwhelming majority of member states.” It added, “should it win a seat on the UNSC, Ottawa has stated that it will act as an “asset for Israel” on the Council.”

A subsequent open letter was signed by over 100 civil society groups and dozens of prominent individuals urging countries to vote against Canada’s bid for a Security Council seat due to its anti-Palestinian positions. The letter, organized by Just Peace Advocates, stated, “the Canadian government for at least a decade and a half has consistently isolated itself against world opinion on Palestinian rights at the UN. … Continuing this pattern, Canada ‘sided with Israel by voting No’ on most UN votes on the Question of Palestine in December. Three of these were Canada’s votes on Palestinian Refugees, on UNRWA and on illegal settlements, each distinguishing Canada as in direct opposition to the ‘Yes’ votes of Ireland and Norway.”

Just Peace Advocates organized 1,300 individuals to email all UN ambassadors asking them to vote for Ireland and Norway instead of Canada for the Security Council. In a sign of the campaign’s impact, Canada’s permanent representative to the UN, Marc André Blanchard, responded with a letter to all UN ambassadors defending Canada’s policy on Palestinian rights. When Blanchard’s letter was made public days before the vote the former vice-chair of a UN committee on the Question of Palestine and Vicar of Gaza, Robert Assaly, responded to the Canadian ambassador’s empty claims and took the opportunity to remind all the UN ambassadors about Canada’s anti-Palestinian record.

There’s no question that Canada’s anti-Palestinian voting record harmed its Security Council bid. The only serious question is how big of a role it played.

Omitting Palestine from the Security Council discussion is not motivated by a different interpretation of the facts but rather reflects the longstanding anti-Palestinian activism of Lewis and members of his family. Ontario NDP leader from 1970 to 1978, Lewis demanded the federal government cancel a major UN conference scheduled for Toronto in 1975 because the Palestine Liberation Organization was granted observer status at the UN the previous year and their representatives might attend (the conference had nothing to do with Palestine). In a 1977 speech to pro-Israel fundraiser United Jewish Appeal, which the Canadian Jewish News titled “Lewis praises [Conservative premier Bill] Davis for Stand on Israel”, Lewis denounced the UN’s “wantonly anti-social attitude to Israel” and told the pro-Israel audience that “the anti-Semitism that lurks underneath the surface is diabolical.”

At the NDP’s 2018 convention Lewis’ sister, Janet Solberg, was maybe the loudest anti-Palestinian voice. She led the charge against having the convention even discuss the “Palestine Resolution”. Former president of the Ontario NDP and federal council member, Solberg was a long time backroom organizer for her brother and works at the Stephen Lewis Foundation.

Lewis’ wife Michele Landsberg wrote anti-Palestinian diatribes. In one of her latter Toronto Star columns the prominent feminist wrote, “to keep their people primed for endless war, Palestinians have inculcated racist hatred of Jews and of Israel in school texts, official newspaper articles and leaders’ pronouncements, in language so hideous it would have made Goebbels grin.”

Stephen’s father, David Lewis, was also viciously anti-Palestinian. After Israel conquered East Jerusalem in 1967, the long-time influential figure in the NDP promoted a “united Jerusalem”. “The division of Jerusalem,” said David Lewis, “did not make economic or social sense. As a united city under Israel’s aegis, Jerusalem would be a much more progressive and fruitful capital of the various religions.”

Just after stepping down as federal leader of the NDP in 1975 David Lewis was the “speaker of the year” at a B’nai B’rith breakfast. In the hilariously titled “NDP’s David Lewis urges care for disadvantaged”, the Canadian Jewish News reported that Lewis “attacked the UN for having admitted the PLO” and said “a Middle East peace would require ‘some recognition of the Palestinians in some way.’ He remarked that the creation of a Palestinian state might be necessary but refused to pinpoint its location. The Israelis must make that decision, he said, without interference from Diaspora Jewry.”

I can’t find any evidence of Stephen Lewis distancing himself from his or his family’s anti-Palestinian activism. His bid to erase Canada’s anti-Palestinian record from the Security Council defeat suggests he is still plugging away on the issue.

Unfortunately, Lewis’ views on this subject matter. He has access to major platforms and no individual/family has had a greater impact on the NDP’s position towards Palestinians than the Lewis clan.

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Filed under Canada and Israel, Israel, NDP

End the Canada Israel Free Trade Agreement

 

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On Sunday a demonstration is planned in Montréal against the Canada Israel Free Trade Agreement (CIFTA). Under the banner “Against Israel’s annexation of the Jordan Valley. No to the Canada Israel Free Trade Agreement!”, the march is seeking to politicize CIFTA amidst Israel’s plan to formally annex parts of the West Bank.

The march follows an open letter released last month by over 100 Montréal artists and activists calling for the cancellation of CIFTA.

Signed in 1997, CIFTA was Canada’s fourth free trade agreement and first outside the Western hemisphere (US, NAFTA and Chile). In an implicit recognition of the occupation, the free trade agreement includes the West Bank as a place where Israel’s custom laws are applied. Canada’s trade agreement is based on the areas Israel maintains territorial control over, not on internationally recognized borders. The European Union’s trade agreement with Israel, on the other hand, explicitly excludes products from territory Israel captured in the 1967 war and occupies against international law.

The Liberals “modernized” Canada’s FTA with Israel. International trade minister Jim Carr boasted the new accord “strengthens bilateral ties between Canada and Israel.” Liberal MPs on Parliament’s Standing Committee on International Trade rejected an NDP amendment to the trade accord’s legislation stipulating its implementation “shall be based on respect for human rights and international law.” They also rejected an NDP amendment to the deal that would have required distinct labels on products originating from “Palestinian territory that has been illegally occupied since 1967.”

In July 2019 Palestine Liberation Organization Executive Committee member Hanan Ashrawi wrote, “the Palestinian leadership calls on the Canadian government to act in accordance with Canadian and international laws and amend, without delay, the Canada-Israel Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act (Bill C-85), which affords products originating from illegal Israeli settlements tariff free status, in flagrant violation of Canada’s obligations under international law, including the Fourth Geneva Convention, and United Nations Security Council resolutions, including resolution 2334 (2016).”

In July 2017 the federal government said its FTA with Israel trumped Canada’s Food and Drugs Act after the Canadian Food Inspection Agency called for accurate labelling of wines produced in the occupied West Bank. After David Kattenburg repeatedly complained about inaccurate labels on two wines sold in Ontario, the CFIA notified the Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO) that it “would not be acceptable and would be considered misleading” to declare wines produced in the Occupied Palestinian Territories as “products of Israel”. Quoting from longstanding official Canadian policy, CFIA noted that “the government of Canada does not recognize Israel’s sovereignty over the territories occupied in 1967.” In response to pressure from the Israeli embassy, Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs and B’nai Brith, the government announced that it was all a mistake made by a low level CFIA official and that the Canada-Israel FTA governed the labelling of such wine, not CFIA rules. “We did not fully consider the Canada-Israel Free Trade Agreement,” a terse CFIA statement explained. “These wines adhere to the Agreement and therefore we can confirm that the products in question can be sold as currently labeled.”

In other words, the government publicly proclaimed that the FTA trumps Canada’s consumer protections. But, this was little more than a pretext to avoid a conflict with B’nai B’rith, Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs and Israeli officials, according to Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives Trade and Investment Research Project director Scott Sinclair. “This trade-related rationale does not stand up to scrutiny,” Sinclair wrote. “The Canadian government, the CFIA and the LCBO are well within their legal and trade treaty rights to insist that products from the occupied territories be clearly labeled as such. There is nothing in the CIFTA that prevents this. The decision to reverse the CFIA’s ruling was political. The whole trade argument is a red herring, simply an excuse to provide cover for the CFIA to backtrack under pressure.”

If the Canadian government does indeed support a rules-based international order as Prime Minister Trudeau has proclaimed then the Canada Israel Free Trade Agreement should be scrapped.

Information on the demonstration “Against Israel’s annexation of the Jordan Valley. No to the Canada Israel Free Trade Agreement!” is available here.

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Filed under Canada and Israel, Israel, Justin Trudeau, Middle East