Political and economic relations between Québec and Israel have developed in major ways over the past decade. A process facilitated by the Parti libéral du Québec, with open complicity from the PQ, neoliberal colonial links articulated clearly in growing business collaborations and corporate military connections.
In 2008, the former Liberal finance minister Raymond Bachand lead an important political delegation to Israel, reported as having over forty people onboard, with both corporate and academic representatives from Québec, also including representatives from the FTQ’s Fonds de la solidarité. Bachand’s trip finalized a new formal economic and technology focused bilateral accord, existing in parallel to the Canada-Israel bilateral free trade agreement signed back in 1997, recently expanded under the Conservatives. […]
Beyond academic research, Montréal military corporations, or “defense technology” companies, best articulate the disturbing face of Québec’s significant corporate role in bolstering the very Israeli military machinery that has bombarded Gaza and killed over 2200 Palestinians over the past months. 
CAE corporation in Montréal, that specializes in flight simulators and “real-time operation systems” has secured multiple contracts involving the Israeli military, including a project with the military company Elbit Systems, to train Israeli military personnel to operate “next-generation combat aircraft.” Another CAE project focuses on operating systems for Israeli air force Black Hawk utility helicopters, corporate military work being done in the heart of Québec, CAE’s ominous buildings can clearly be seen from the Chomedey autoroute in Montréal.
Additionally the engines for the Bell “cobra” helicopter, nicknamed the “viper” on the Israeli Air Force website, are produced in the Montréal region by Pratt & Whitney Canada. Also the Israeli military uses helicopters produced in Mirabel, Quebec by Bell Helicopter Textron Canada, a company also represented on a recent Conservative governmental delegation to Israel.
In the context of the Israeli bombardment and military attack on Gaza this summer, that most human rights organizations articulate as including numerous war crimes, its critically important that progressive forces in Québec examine and take action around our own complicity with Israeli war crimes.
Certainly as politicians have been inking deals between Québec and Israel, a grassroots movement in solidarity with the Palestinian struggle for freedom has been growing on the streets of Québec.
Support in Québec for the the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement is significant and growing within social justice movements. In response to the 2005 Palestinian call to build a BDS movement, modeled after the international solidarity movement with South African resistance to apartheid, Québec student groups such as Association pour une solidarité syndicale étudiante (ASSÉ) and workers unions like the Montréal region of the Confédération des syndicats nationaux (CSN) have voted to support the movement. In Montréal a couple years ago 500 artists signed an open letter supporting the global BDS movement. 
As support for the BDS movement in Québec grows let’s consider focusing more grassroots political energy toward the critical manifestations of Québec complicity with systems of Israeli apartheid. Clearly Québec complicity with Israeli apartheid is rooted in our own history of violent colonialism that is foundational to the contemporary political, social and economic framework of both Canada and Québec. 
Today Québec’s corporate complicity with Israeli military colonialism is clear, numerous corporations are openly and directly involved in empowering the Israeli military machinery. While the academic links with institutions like the Technion illustrate the important role that academic links play in both normalizing apartheid systems but also creating the technology that empowers the violent Israeli military machine. Current neoliberal inspired Liberal leader Philippe Couillard has made no indications of stepping away from these deep policy links with Israeli apartheid.
Québec’s political and corporate complicity with Israeli apartheid is clearly manifested in this economic and technological bilateral agreement, bound by the economic of neoliberalism and the violence of colonialism. An accord that brings together all the different targets for a possible inspiring grassroots local campaign to boost the growing global BDS movement and unravel our own deep complicity with Israeli apartheid at home.

Quebec isn’t alone in this of course; both the federal goverment and the EU signed FTAs with Israel in the last 10 years, but it’s good to see it all detailed like this.

(Source: fycanadianpolitics)

This one is angry.

theghaliastuff:

Professor Michalska,

My name is Ghalia Elkerdi I am a fourth year Electrical Engineering student at McGill. This past year I’ve taken two of your courses: Control Systems (ECSE 404) and Numerical Methods (ECSE 443).

This is the first time I email a professor for a purpose other than begging for a deadline extension or a curve. I am actually merely writing to thank you for your outstanding research efforts!

As I was walking in the street yesterday, a man handed me a flyer telling me “If you know someone who attends McGill University, give them this so they can act on it.”  I took the paper and read the first paragraph and it said: “Canada is complicit in Israeli apartheid, and its elite research universities are no exception. In Montreal, McGill University collaborates with the army and with weapon manufacturers to develop some of the technologies that are essential to Israel’s murderous incursions in Gaza.”

I continued reading: “[…] McGill’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering collaborated with Lockheed Martin, the Canadian military, and military researchers in Haifa, Israel, to improve missile guidance systems used by Israel, the US, and their allies”

Being in the Electrical and Computer Engineering department of McGill for the past 4 years, my natural reaction was to refute what I had just read. I hastily went home to do my own research on the matter and came across all your publications on missile guidance systems, I recalled you bragging about your work during some of the Control Systems lectures, all the dots suddenly connected.

This morning I’ve decided to share with you a piece of my mind.

I figured, your publications are great! But they’re missing something… perhaps a “Results” section. So I am volunteering my Sunday morning to help you write it. Please find attached just a few pictures & videos showing the results of “improved guided missiles” on innocent civilians in Gaza, the world’s largest open-air prison.

I figured you and your colleagues and PhD students worked so hard on these projects, but you might be too busy and consumed with your productive & prosperous lives to catch today’s headline. After all, it’s only fair for you to see the fruits of your labor and impeccably “guided missiles”.

Take time to watch the videos and photos, watch them more than once and take a close look at what has been targeted. Humanity.   

Today more than ever we are reminded of the atrocities of Nazi Germany, as Israel unleashes hell on innocent human beings and crushes their daily lives with “improved guided missiles”,  surely we must ask what has become of “lest we forget”…

What most people don’t know is that back then Germans were the best educated people on Earth. Perhaps they had “elite” research institutions like McGill, but still, their education did not serve as a barrier to barbarity. Why is that? Because, quoting Wiesel,  a brilliant professor, activist and Nobel Peace Prize winner: “it emphasized theories instead of values, concepts rather than human beings, abstraction rather than consciousness, answers instead of questions, ideology and efficiency rather than conscience.” I believe that the foundation of everything that’s wrong with education and research nowadays is laid in those honest words he spoke. When education just doesn’t guarantee a bright future anymore… When we get lectured about “academic integrity” by professors who fail to respect human integrity in the first place…

I’d like to know what standards is the worth of your “research” measured against in the eyes of McGill and your own eyes. Violations of international law? Crimes against humanity?

Here is a link to the Engineering Code of Ethics, I invite you to read it with your colleagues, http://www.engr.usask.ca/classes/GE/449/notes/Codes_of_Ethics_various_orgs.pdf

I refer you to Article 2.01 on page 12, which you’ve particularly paved hell with:

2.01 In all aspects of his work, the engineer must respect his obligations towards man and take into account the consequences of the performance of his work on the environment and on the life, health and property of every person.   

As we watch humanity crumble to dust and feel hopeless in the face of obscene massacres we have directly and indirectly contributed to, an “elite” institution like McGill, and a “respectable” professor like yourself, should be investing in a peaceful world that we can all be proud of. Before it claims international ranking and prestige, McGill should be a shelter that promotes a holistic, humane view of the world where people, starting from its own professors and students, aspire to the highest standards of what it means to be a human being. Yes we are top-notch, and we have the brains and the funding to develop earth-shattering technologies (literally), but that does not give us the right to do so, or to even collaborate with terrorists and criminals.  

Everybody around here knows how “things” work. So many professors who cannot even deliver a proper, comprehensible and coherent lecture are still hired and kept for the research they do, and apparently, in some cases, the agenda they serve.

As a student, I expect change. I expect change to emanate from this corner of the world, I expect professors to be messengers to mankind.

Hope you are enjoying your weekend as “improved guided missiles” rain down on innocent children in Gaza.

Ghalia 

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When i realize how many times i decided not to, before i decided to, write this - i see why this is such a frightening time.When a Jew who loves Israel, who has been there, has played shows there, has visited there with family, with friends, feels this way, you know the fear is in you . As if…

aza-min-mentsch:

Prof. Ilan Pappe speaking to a Palestinian audience on the limits of dialogue. (X)

afkaari:

coolbutcautious:

Bye tumblr

Is this real life

aha I totally remember this bullshit post they made it the last time Gaza was bombed.  

afkaari:

coolbutcautious:

Bye tumblr

Is this real life

aha I totally remember this bullshit post they made it the last time Gaza was bombed.  

(via falasteeni-deactivated20140620)

"

Cross-border projects are materializing, but not between Arab countries – as Arabs would have hoped – but between Israel and Jordan. A joint industrial park is to be established along the Israeli-Jordanian border, giving Israeli companies the ability to tap into Arab markets, as their products will bear the misleading label “Made in Jordan.”

The Israeli press reports that the industrial zone – the brainchild of Israeli Minister of Regional Cooperation Silvan Shalom – will be submitted to the Israeli government for approval next week. The industrial park will consist of a section near Kibbutz Tirat Zvi on the Israeli side, which will be linked via bridge over the Jordan River to the Jordanian section.

On the Jordanian side, industrial facilities will be built by Israeli and Jordanian firms, and are expected to employ up to 2,000 Jordanian workers, while administration, logistics, and marketing facilities will operate on the Israeli side.

The estimated cost of the project, dubbed Sha’ar Hayarden, meaning Jordan Gate, will be around 180 million shekels (about $50 million).

The estimated cost of the project, dubbed Sha’ar Hayarden, meaning Jordan Gate, will be around 180 million shekels (about $50 million).According to Israeli daily Yedioth Ahronoth, Jordan will benefit from the increased job opportunities while Israel will stand to benefit from huge savings in labor costs by paying workers relatively low wages (no more than $500 per month on the Jordanian side).

In addition, the factories will be “close to home,” helping Israeli companies save on logistical costs and have more effective control over the production process. But more importantly, the products manufactured in this zone will be stamped with the label “Made in Jordan,” allowing Israeli companies to market their products in Arab countries.

Yedioth Ahronoth also noted that the project, which is considered a historic move between Israel and Jordan, will be overseen by a government agency attached to the Ministry of Regional Cooperation, which will collaborate with the ministries of economy, foreign affairs, defense and transportation.

The newspaper quoted Silvan Shalom as saying, “Sha’ar Hayarden represents a real breakthrough. The project will help strengthen relations between Israel and Jordan, and boost economic growth in the region through the establishment of new factories and joint ventures and job creation. We will continue to take the initiative and press forward with such projects.”

"

— Mohamad Bdeir  "Israel Seeks to Tap Arab Markets With Made-in-Jordan Label"  (via fala7idreams)

(via bissah-deactivated20140129)

"Another example: During the Gulf War, the property of a Jewish-Iraqi family in Ramat Gan suffered damages. In their compensation claim, a seasoned attorney advised the family to include a house that had been confiscated by the Iraqi government in 1952. Israel’s Foreign Ministry forbade the move, due to the state’s policy of holding onto such property as leverage for future negotiations with the Palestinians.The analogy between the Palestinian refugees and the Jewish Mizrahis is thus baseless, not to mention offensive and immoral. It serves to cause friction between Mizrahi Jews and Palestinians, it is an insult to a great number of Mizrahim and harms chances for real reconciliation. More than that: the analogy points to a clear lack of understanding regarding the meaning of the Nakba. The Nakba does not only refer to the events of the war. The Nakba is, at its core, the prevention of those who were expelled from returning to their homes, lands and families after the establishment of the State of Israel. The Nakba is an active and clear policy of the State of Israel – not just the chaos of war."

Yehouda Shenhav, Spineless bookkeeping: The use of Mizrahi Jews as pawns against Palestinian refugees via 972 Magazine

Out of a desire to find a magic solution to the question of the refugees, the state readopted the formula, and is now promoting it with great enthusiasm all over the world. It will be interesting to hear the position of the Minister of Education regarding the narrative that the Jewish organizations present as part of the campaign. Will he immediately establish a ministerial committee to change the history textbooks so that they match the new post-Zionist genre? Every honest person, whether Zionist or not, must admit that the analogy between the Palestinians and the Mizrahi Jews is baseless. The Palestinian refugees did not ask to leave Palestine. In 1948, many Palestinian villages were destroyed, and nearly 750,000 Palestinians were expelled or fled from the borders of historic Palestine. Those who fled did not leave out of their own free will.

[..]

On the other hand, Jews from Arab countries arrived here through the initiative of the State of Israel, as well as Jewish organizations. Some of them arrived out of free will, some against their will. Some of them lived comfortably in Arab countries, and some lived in fear and under oppression. The history of the Mizrahi immigration is complex and cannot be resigned to one simplistic explanation. Many lost a great deal of property, and there is no doubt that they should be allowed to submit individual property claims against Arab countries, something Israel and WOJAC have rejected until today. For instance, the peace agreement with Egypt does not allow individual property claims against the Egyptian government. Jewish property is seen as the property of the State of Israel, and as important leverage to offset the future claims of Palestinian refugees.

(via jayaprada)

(via tatreezconsciousness-deactivate)

ebookcollective:

Ilan Pappe, The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine (MUST READ)
Formats Available

.PDF 1
.PDF 2

In his latest work, renowned Israeli author and academic Pappe (A History of Modern Palestine) does not mince words, accusing Israel of ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity beginning in the 1948 war for independence, and continuing through the present. Focusing primarily on Plan D (Dalet, in Hebrew), conceived on March 10, 1948, Pappe demonstrates how ethnic cleansing was not a circumstance of war, but rather a deliberate goal of combat for early Israeli military units led by David Ben-Gurion, whom Pappe labels the “architect of ethnic cleansing.” The forced expulsion of 800,000 Palestinians between 1948-49, Pappe argues, was part of a long-standing Zionist plan to manufacture an ethnically pure Jewish state. Framing his argument with accepted international and UN definitions of ethnic cleansing, Pappe follows with an excruciatingly detailed account of Israeli military involvement in the demolition and depopulation of hundreds of villages, and the expulsion of hundreds of thousands of Arab inhabitants. An accessible, learned resource, this volume provides important inroads into the historical antecedents of today’s conflict, but its conclusions will not be easy for everyone to stomach: Pappe argues that the ethnic cleansing of Palestine continues today, and calls for the unconditional return of all Palestinian refugees and an end to the Israeli occupation.

I so recommend everything Ilan Pappe.

ebookcollective:

Ilan Pappe, The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine (MUST READ)

Formats Available

.PDF 1

.PDF 2

In his latest work, renowned Israeli author and academic Pappe (A History of Modern Palestine) does not mince words, accusing Israel of ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity beginning in the 1948 war for independence, and continuing through the present. Focusing primarily on Plan D (Dalet, in Hebrew), conceived on March 10, 1948, Pappe demonstrates how ethnic cleansing was not a circumstance of war, but rather a deliberate goal of combat for early Israeli military units led by David Ben-Gurion, whom Pappe labels the “architect of ethnic cleansing.” The forced expulsion of 800,000 Palestinians between 1948-49, Pappe argues, was part of a long-standing Zionist plan to manufacture an ethnically pure Jewish state. Framing his argument with accepted international and UN definitions of ethnic cleansing, Pappe follows with an excruciatingly detailed account of Israeli military involvement in the demolition and depopulation of hundreds of villages, and the expulsion of hundreds of thousands of Arab inhabitants. An accessible, learned resource, this volume provides important inroads into the historical antecedents of today’s conflict, but its conclusions will not be easy for everyone to stomach: Pappe argues that the ethnic cleansing of Palestine continues today, and calls for the unconditional return of all Palestinian refugees and an end to the Israeli occupation.

I so recommend everything Ilan Pappe.

(via ayiman)

"The problem Gaza presents for Israel is that it won’t go away — though Israel would love it if it would. It is a constant reminder of the depopulation of Palestine in 1948, the folly of the 1967 occupation, and the many massacres which have happened since them. It also places the Israelis in an uncomfortable position because it presents a problem (in the form of projectiles) which cannot be solved by force."

Bodies for Ballots - Yousef Munayyer - Jadaliyya.

Israel has tried assassinating Palestinian leaders for decades but the resistance persists. Israel launched a devastating and brutal war on Gaza from 2008 to 2009 killing 1,400 people, mostly civilians, but the resistance persists.

Go read this.

(via mehreenkasana)

If you just read one article today, etc etc.

(via ritaspassport)

onedirectionfacingmecca:

Who Profits from the Israeli Occupation?

Israeli feminist scholar, activist and co-founder of Who Profits from the Occupation, Dalit Baum, discusses lessons for the Boycott-Divestment-Sanctions (BDS) campaign to end the Israeli occupation.

http://www.whoprofits.org/

"In reviewing some of the Mizrahi-Sephardi literature, I was amazed to see how little of it, In particular those articles that address racism in Israel, also take up the problem of Zionism. Many of the articles that I read, including surprisingly, most of the Israeli feminist articles on Mizrahi women in Israel, took the existence of Israel as a given, leaving Palestinian losses at the hands of the Israeli state unquestioned while addressing the systematic exclusion of Mizrahim from positions of power in the Israeli public sphere.

Against the rise of the Shas party and the ongoing desire on the part of Ashkenazi intellectuals to conflate Mizrahi political agency with the extreme Right, I believe it is crucial that Arab Jews begin to excavate the history and possibility of a radical Mizrahi identity, one that both rescues and protects the cultural legacies of those whose ancestors and families lives in Arab countries while simultaneously opposing the ongoing oppression of Palestinian peoples.

However much we can learn from this history we cannot ignore the past six decades in which Mizrahim have not only paid an enormous cost, culturally and spiritually, but also participated in the survival of the Israeli state. Without indulging in nostalgia or denial, it seems necessary to find spaces (critical, geographic, cultural and spiritual) where new Mizrahi identities (Israeli, European, in the Americas and elsewhere) may be allowed to flourish, both locally and transnationally, that is, in conversation with each other across national borders."

— “History’s Traces” by Kyla Wazana Tompkins in Arab and Arab American Feminisms.

"As was obvious to most participants worldwide, however, there was an additional layer to the cynical exploitation of the Palestinian tragedy going on at this conference, for the “Palestinian hijack” accusation provided the United States with an excuse to opt out of the conference, thus avoiding any discussion of reparations for slavery. As international human rights activist Ibrahim Ramey put it, “Most of the NGOs in Durban suspected that the real reason for the [U.S.] withdrawal was the reluctance of the government to confront the issue of systemic racism within the U.S. itself, and the African-American case for reparations.” Thus, the United States avoided any discussions of the issues mentioned (racism in the death penalty, world responsibility for the AIDS epidemic and so on), as well as reparations for the descendants for enslaved Africans, by claiming Palestinian “hijacking” of the conference. This move could have hindered coalition building among international projustice activists, were it not for the already tarnished image of the U.S. government in the world, by the Bush administration’s warmongering and unconditional support for Israel, as the latter engaged in ever more serious violations of international law."

— Nada Elia on the US’ withdrawal from the Durban racism conference in 2001 on the grounds that Israeli racism was unfairly targeted when it was mentioned at all out of hundreds of other issues discussed at the conference, a move that Obama repeated at Durban II.  From “The Burden of Representation: When Palestinians Speak Out” in Arab and Arab American Feminisms.

idttirab:

A South African perspective by Mbuyiseni Ndlozi on BDS

Really good short talk from this year’s Israeli Apartheid Week in London

(Source: thesmellofmypyjama)

Now, Israeli settlers in the occupied West Bank are attempting to steal perhaps the most important symbol and source of economic sustenance for rural Palestinians: olive oil and olive culture.

A professionally made YouTube video released by the “Matteh Binyamin Regional Council” – an entity that represents dozens of illegal Israeli colonies in the occupied West Bank – aims to convince Israelis that Jewish settlers, not Palestinians, are the true caretakers of the region’s olive trees and the historic heirs of its olive culture.

Read the rest.

israelfacts:

Israel approves 1,100 illegal homes in East Jerusalem just three days after their call for renewed negotiations with the PA
Israel’s government has granted the go-ahead for construction of 1,100 new housing units in illegally occupied east Jerusalem, raising already heightened tensions fuelled by last week’s Palestinian move to seek full UN membership.
(Photo: Getty Images)

Let’s not talk about settler violence without talking about its causes.

israelfacts:

Israel approves 1,100 illegal homes in East Jerusalem just three days after their call for renewed negotiations with the PA

Israel’s government has granted the go-ahead for construction of 1,100 new housing units in illegally occupied east Jerusalem, raising already heightened tensions fuelled by last week’s Palestinian move to seek full UN membership.

(Photo: Getty Images)

Let’s not talk about settler violence without talking about its causes.

(via thebowspring)