Boycott Chapters and Indigo in Canada
The controlling shareholders of Chapters/Indigo use their profits to directly support Israeli soldiers enforcing the illegal and brutal occupation of Palestine.
Heather Reisman and Gerry Schwartz – majority owners of Chapters and Indigo bookstores – are the founders of the “Heseg Foundation for Lone Soldiers”, which provides scholarships and other financial support to soldiers in the Israeli Military on the basis of need and military “achievement”. At its peak, the foundation will distribute up to $3,000,000 annually to former “Lone Soldiers” – individuals without family in Israel who have chosen to join the Israeli military and remain in the country permanently.
Organizations across Canada are calling for a boycott of all Chapters, Indigo, Coles and Smith Books stores, and demanding an end to the financial ties between the majority owners of Chapters/Indigo and the Israeli military.
Many members of the Heseg Board of Directors are high-ranking Israeli military personnel. This includes Doron Almog, who avoided a warrant issued for his arrest on suspicion of war crimes by refusing to disembark from his plane when it landed in London last year.
Heather Reisman and Gerry Schwartz own or control over 68 percent of the shares in Indigo Books and Music Inc. which owns and operates bookstores under the names Indigo, Chapters, World’s Biggest Bookstore, SmithBooks, Coles, The Book Company or Indigospirit. Reisman is chair and CEO of Indigo Books and Music Inc.
What is the Foundation for Lone Soldiers?
Heather Reisman and Gerry Schwartz, majority owners of Chapters and Indigo bookstores, founded an organisation called the “Heseg Foundation for Lone Soldiers”. At its peak, it will distribute up to $3M per year to provide scholarships and other support to former “Lone Soldiers” in the Israeli military.
What is a “lone soldier?”
These are individuals who have no family in Israel but decide to join the Israeli military. As Israeli soldiers, they participate in a military that operates checkpoints that restrict Palestinian freedom of movement, enforces the occupation of Palestinian land, and has a documented history of human rights violations.
At any time there might be 5,000 “Lone Soldiers” in the Israeli military in all capacities including in combat units.
What is the purpose of the Heseg Foundation for Lone Soldiers?
According to their website: “Canadian couple Gerry Schwartz and Heather Reisman established HESEG to express gratitude and provide support to the thousands of Former Lone Soldiers who serve annually in the Israel Defense Forces.”
By rewarding and supporting Lone Soldiers who have served in the Israeli military, Reisman and Schwartz provide support for Israel’s military effort.
- In a recent ceremony honoring a Lone Soldier killed during Israel’s attacks on Lebanon “Levine’s platoon commander handed Levine’s firearm to Canadian business duo and philanthropists Gerry Schwartz and Heather Reisman, the financial backers of the Heseg project.”
- “Heseg was launched at a ceremony at the Sde Dov air base that was attended by 170 lone soldiers as well as by the IDF Chief of Staff, the Chief of the Air Force, Defence Minister Shaul Mofaz, and many other dignitaries”
Who is on the board of Heseg Foundation for Lone Soldiers?
The HESEG Lone Soldier Foundation Board of Directors is stacked with active and retired high level Israeli military personnel:
- MAJ. GENERAL DORON ALMOG: avoided arrest in London in 2005 on suspicion of war crimes. “The former head of Israeli forces in the Gaza Strip said Monday he was warned by diplomats not to leave an aircraft that had landed in London after a tip-off that British police were waiting to arrest him on war crimes charges”. Almog was in charge of the Israeli military southern command when a one-ton bomb was dropped on a house in Gaza, killing 14 civilians, nine of them children.
- GENERAL (RES.) YITZHAK EITAN: Currently the International Chairman of the “Association for the Wellbeing of Israel’s Soldiers” (AWIS), Chief Commander of the Israeli military in Gaza Strip and West Bank, and Head (GOC) of the IDF Central Command during the years 2000-2003.
- GENERAL ELAZAR STERN: Served as Deputy Commander Of the Central Brigade in the central sector of the Israeli-Lebanese border. Commander (res.) of paratroopers brigade. Commander of the Officers’ School
- SHABTAI SHAVIT: Head of Mossad (the Israeli foreign intelligence) 1989-96
- LT. COLONEL MIKE HARTMAN: Head of the marksmanship and sharpshooters section of the IDF.
I get cranky if I don’t express my hatred of Heather Reisman at least once a week and now seems as good a time as any!