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An Open Letter to the University of Manitoba Students’ Union from the Canadian Students’ Coalition for Palestine

The Canadian Students’ Coalition for Palestine includes:

York University’s SAIA
Western University’s SPHR
University of Windsor’s PSG
University of Calgary’s SPHR
University of Toronto Scarborough’s TSJP
University of Toronto Mississauga’s SAIA
McMaster University’s SPHR
Wilfrid Laurier’s L4P
University of Waterloo’s SPHR
George Brown’s SPHR
University of Guelph’s SPHR
University of British Columbia’s SPHR

Organizations that have signed onto this statement include:

CUPE Local 3909 (University of Manitoba) – Winnipeg, MB, Canada
Boycott from Within- Tel Aviv, Israel
Boycott Israeli Apartheid Campaign- Vancouver, BC, Canada
Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid (CAIA)- Toronto, ON, Canada
Committee for Open Discussion of Zionism (CODZ)
CommonGround Collaborative – Calgary, AB, Canada
Faculty for Palestine (F4P) Carleton – Ottawa, ON, Canada
The First Peoples Council
Independent Jewish Voices (IJV) of Canada
International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network (IJAN) Canada
Industrial Workers of the World (Winnipeg GMB) – Winnipeg, MB, Canada
ISM Vancouver – Vancouver, BC, Canada
Jews for Palestinian Right of Return – USA
Labor for Palestine – USA
McMaster Muslims for Peace and Justice – Hamilton, ON, Canada
National Lawyers Guild (US) Free Palestine Subcommittee – USA
New Yorkers Against the Cornell-Technion Partnership (NYACT) – New York, USA
No One Is Illegal – Vancouver Unceded Coast Salish Territories, Canada
Ontario Public Interest Research Group (OPIRG) Carleton – Ottawa, ON, Canada
Ontario Public Interest Research Group (OPIRG) Ottawa – Ottawa, ON, Canada
The Palestinian Solidarity Working Group at Laurentian University – Sudbury, ON, Canada
Queers Against Israeli Apartheid (QUAIA) – Vancouver, BC, Canada
Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network
Seriously Free Speech Committee – Vancouver, BC, Canada
Socialist Project (York) – Toronto, ON, Canada
Streams of Justice – Vancouver, BC, Canada
Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) National – USA
Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) Ryerson – Toronto, ON, Canada
Students Against Israeli Apartheid (SAIA) Carleton – Ottawa, ON, Canada
Students Against Israeli Apartheid (SAIA) University of Toronto- Toronto, ON, Canada
US Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel – USA
Winnipeg Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid (WCAIA) – Winnipeg, MB, Canada
Women in Israel

Public Shaming: Two explosives went off at the Boston Marathon on Monday, April 15,...


Two explosives went off at the Boston Marathon on Monday, April 15, 2013. There are reported casualties and many more reported injured. Information is still coming in and no one is sure who is behind the attacks. Domestic terrorists? Foreign terrorists? A lone, disturbed individual? WE JUST DON’T…

Statement from Paul Burrows, U of M alumnus, on banning SAIA

    I am an alumnus of the U of M, a former UMSU Council member, and former member of the GSA executive. All I can say is that the recent motion to ban a student group for its political perspective is unprecedented, appalling, and a clear violation of core elements of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Furthermore, to do so based on the “feelings” of Council members who clearly have their own, diametrically-opposed, viewpoint on the Israel-Palestine conflict (i.e., they are not exactly non-partisan voices, but in fact self-identified “Zionists”), suggests further that the motion’s claims of “harassment” are disingenuous at best.

As someone who was also a member of the Manitoba Coalition Against Racism and Apartheid, as well as Students Against Apartheid [i.e., in South Africa] back in the 1980s, I can honestly say that this motion does a disservice to genuine anti-racist work. By falsely equating criticism of the State of Israel with criticism of Jews, and erasing a long and rich history of Jewish anti-Zionism (including the fact that many members of SAIA and similar groups across the continent are Jewish), this motion weakens, rather than strengthens, efforts to combat genuine anti-Semitism.

I can also say that if a similar motion had been raised in 1989 to ban the original Students Against Apartheid at U of M campus — ostensibly because white people’s “feelings” were being hurt, and they felt “discriminated” against by virtue of the simple fact that South Africa’s white supremacist apartheid system was being criticized — such a motion would have been laughed out of Council chambers, and seen for what it was: a pro-apartheid ruse.

This ban will not stand — not just because we have a Charter in this country that magnanimously “grants” us things such as free expression, freedom of association, and so on. But more importantly, because most people today believe those rights to be innate and self-evident, regardless of what the “Law” is said to confer. I predict that this motion will, in fact, increase the membership of SAIA, provoke a lawsuit against UMSU, and ultimately blowback against the foolish architects of this obtuse, authoritarian gambit. In the future, I would suggest the self-described Zionists who drafted this motion stick to old-fashioned exercises, such as actually *debating* their adversaries. I realize that might require inconvenient things like: facts, arguments, logic, and even moral underpinnings. But these have never been the strong suit of those on the wrong side of social justice. No wonder, then, that they — and their favoured State of Israel — have typically resorted to more blunt instruments.

Follow me on twitter @PRRCanada


For immediate release 
Saturday, April 13, 2013

Coalition will fight ban of Students Against Israeli Apartheid
U of M Students’ Union urged to support human rights and freedom of speech

WINNIPEG—The Winnipeg Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid is appalled by the University of Manitoba Students’ Union’s April 11 decision to end Students Against Israeli Apartheid’s student group status and ban it from operating in students’ union space.
The motion passed by UMSU Council equates criticism of the Israeli government to discrimination and harassment, and takes extraordinary measures against a student group, although it appears no evidence was presented to substantiate the accusations.
“We are shocked that UMSU would ban Students Against Israeli Apartheid without any evidence or basis for the accusations brought forward in the motion,” said Liz Carlyle, spokesperson for the Winnipeg Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid. “It is clear that the architects of the motion aimed to silence opposition to the Israeli government’s Apartheid policies.”
Added Thiané Diop, a member of SAIA-UM: “By attempting to silence and obstruct SAIA, UMSU has voted to prop up the Israeli Apartheid government, its crushing military occupation and daily abuse of Palestinians’ human rights.”
Israeli Apartheid Week, a global event dedicated to education and debate on Israel’s military occupation of Palestine, has been running on Winnipeg campuses and in the community for 5 years, and SAIA groups have repeatedly shown they are seeking dialogue, while opposing racism and other human rights abuses.
There were no incidents of harassment or discrimination by event organizers, speakers or participants at IAW 2013. WCAIA maintains that SAIA’s work embodies respectful and fair political comment, and believes that the UMSU motion constitutes slander, and repression of free speech and freedom of association. WCAIA is pursuing a legal opinion on the matter.
“Support has been flooding in from students and human rights and civil liberties advocates across the country,” added Diop. “We urge UMSU to reinstate Students Against Israeli Apartheid, and to speak up against Apartheid policies everywhere.”


Apr 6

Anonymous: List of confirmed affected websites during #OpIsrael


The following list includes lastest confirmed tango downs, hacks, defaces, docks, hijacks, database leaks & releases, delets out of the internet, admin takeovers etc.

Gov. websites:

Israel’s incoming defense minister evaded war crimes arrest, called Palestinians "cancer"

"In a 2002 interview with Israeli paper Haaretz, when he was Chief of Staff of the Israeli army, Ya’alon said the “Palestinian threat” was “like cancer” and an “existential threat.” He explained that his solution was “applying chemotherapy.””

Mar 7

Statement — Minister Kenney issues statement regarding ‘Israel Apartheid Week’

“Everyone in this country has the right to freely and publicly express their views. That being said, I share the concerns of other Canadians about the reckless and overheated rhetoric associated with anti-Israel activities on many Canadian university campuses, and the toxic manner in which these activities are often carried out.

“There is no better example than the so-called ‘Israel Apartheid Week’ (IAW). Its organizers and participants have a regrettable history of promoting and holding events in ways that disregard the security and rights of Jewish faculty and students, censor other points of view, and limit academic discourse.

“The disproportionate vitriol directed against the democratic State of Israel during ‘Israel Apartheid Week’ stands in stark and ironic contrast to the silence of IAW organizers on the ongoing atrocities committed by the Syrian regime against its own citizens, and on the rampant brutalities and denial of rights in non-democratic countries in the Middle East, and elsewhere in the world.

“In free societies such as Canada’s and Israel’s, it is absolutely legitimate to debate and criticize government policies and practices. Indeed, Israel supports the right of free expression more than any other country in its part of the world. But with the freedom to criticize comes the responsibility to guard against hateful and intolerant rhetoric.

“Operating under the guise of academic freedom, Israel Apartheid Week is a misleading attempt to delegitimize and demonize the only true liberal democracy in the Middle East. IAW’s organizers choose to promote inflammatory propaganda over civil and enlightening debate. Their approach is at odds with the Canadian values of tolerance and mutual respect, and prevents meaningful dialogue from taking place.

“As Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, I encourage Canadians to speak out against all forms of discrimination, intolerance and anti-Semitism.””


Mar 7

Electronic Intifada: Canadian students challenge Harper’s support for Israeli apartheid

“Students have historically led revolutionary movements in the past. It’s our duty to stand up for human rights … our voices will alter the next generation and hopefully lead to a free Palestine,” said Sahar el-Kotob of SPHR at the University of Western Ontario”

Mar 7

Congratulations to UC Riverside where a #BDS motion just passed!

Mar 6

Neocon V Galloway on Chavez Channel 4.

“We .. are on the side of the Palestinian people’s memorable struggle … against the genocidal state of Israel that knocks down, kills and aims to terminate the Palestinian people,” Chavez told visiting Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

“We reiterate … our greatest commitment and our greatest solidarity … for the creation of an independent Palestinian state with the holy city of Jerusalem as its capital,” he added during Abbas’ first state visit to the country.”

-Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez RIP

Mar 6


Arizona State University Mock Apartheid Wall

Israeli Apartheid Week 2013- Phoenix, Arizona


Mar 3

Ministry launches 'Palestinians only' buses

Transportation Ministry sets up designated bus lines for Palestinian passengers in West Bank; insists lines are for general public, but only Palestinian villages have been advised of their existence”

- It’s shocking to see bus drivers and the ministry use orientalist dehumanizing rhetoric to suggest Palestinians will be violent and savage wherever they go.