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ACTION ALERT: Toronto Activists Protest Canada's Role in Gaza Assault


July 3, 2006
Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid

The Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid contends that the Canadian government is complicit in policy of starvation and sanctions targeting the Palestinian people. CAIA’s Canadian members held a protest vigil in front of Isreal’s consulate in Toronto on June 30.

http://www.coalitiontoronto.com

The Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid contends that the Canadian government is complicit in policy of starvation and sanctions targeting the Palestinian people. CAIA’s Canadian members held a protest vigil in front of Isreal’s consulate in Toronto on June 30.

ACTION ITEMS: PROTEST IN FRONT OF ISRAELI CONSULATE

Write to Canadian and Israeli officials; Distribute following reports

TORONTO (30 June 2006) — The Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid (CAIA) condemns in the strongest possible terms the latest Israeli military assaults on Palestinian population centers in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. Since Wednesday morning Israeli jets have bombarded positions throughout the Gaza Strip and repeatedly violated Syrian airspace through aggressive aerial maneuvers.

Israeli tanks have taken up positions across the region to buttress military assaults on communities and neighborhoods in Rafah, Khan Younis, Gaza City, Ramallah, Jenin, Nablus and Hebron. Massive Israeli shelling of self-proclaimed 'no-go areas' in the Gaza Strip has resumed.

These operations are being used to underpin a targeted campaign of mass arrests, kidnappings and arbitrary detentions of elected Palestinian officials, including a third of the Palestinian cabinet.

Of particular concern to CAIA is the targeting of civilian infrastructure, including the destruction of electrical generating infrastructure for over half of Gaza, attacks on bridges, roads and the aerial bombardment of Gaza's Islamic University.

Furthermore, the use of elected officials as hostages by the Israeli government clearly demonstrates Israel's refusal to abandon state-terrorism. The latest arrests clearly expose the political fiction of Palestinian 'self-determination' in the Oslo-created Bantustans.

Operation Summer Rains also highlights the real purposes of last-August Gaza pullout, namely to entrench Israeli apartheid throughout Palestine and to give the Israeli military free reign to pursue more aggressive policies of collective punishment in Gaza.

This latest incursion is in fact the logical culmination of a coordinated policy of starvation, sanctions, siege, indiscriminate shelling, detentions, extrajudicial executions, targeting of civilians, etc. that has been implemented with increased vigour since the election of Hamas in the January 2006 Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) elections.

This vindictive Israeli policy is designed to punish the Palestinian people for decisively rejecting Israeli Apartheid through the election of Hamas. The policy was crudely defined by Dov Weisglass, a principal adviser to Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, during an official meeting in February 2006: "It's like a meeting with a dietitian. We need to make the Palestinians lose weight, but not to starve to death." In fact, this policy of starvation and sanctions has been tragically successful in worsening the conditions of life for the majority of Palestinians with the active acquiescence of significant portions of the 'international community.'

According to UN Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territories John Dugard: "In effect the Palestinian people have been subjected to economic sanctions [by the international community], the first time that an occupied people have been so treated," stating that this was, "possibly the most rigorous form of international sanctions imposed in modern times."

Dugard cited Israel's withholding of $50-$60 million in monthly tax revenues, and funding cuts by Canada, the USA and the EU, as contributing to the crisis. As a result, some 70% of Palestinian households are now living in a 'state of poverty' as the PA cannot pay salaries to some 140,000 employees who support roughly a third of the Palestinian population.

Furthermore, the funding cut has also hit the most vulnerable sectors of the population given that the PA runs 70% of schools and 60% of health services in the occupied territories.

CANADA'S ROLE:
While Canadian funds to the PA have dried up, the Canadian state continues to enjoy cordial relations with the Israeli Apartheid regime. In fact, most analysts that follow relations between the two states predict that 2006 will set new records in bilateral trade and foreign-direct investment between the two economies.

This economic boom is coupled by increasing Canadian diplomatic support for Israel's brutal policy of starvation and state-terror. Also Canada's Free Trade agreement with Israel sends a clear message of support for all the human rights abuses that Israel has and continues to commit in the region.

Canada was the first government after Israel to fully cut relations with the PA in late March 2006 and it currently plans on voting against or abstaining on a number of UN resolutions critical of Israeli policy in the region. The Canadian government therefore holds a particular responsibility for the atrocious deterioration of the human-rights situation throughout Palestine.

CAIA calls on allies and supporters to take a few minutes to respond to the action alerts below. It is becoming increasingly clear that the international community is fully complicit in the current wave of Israeli military assaults, as governments have stood by in recent weeks and watched the repeated massacre of Palestinian civilians, including a significant number of children, without moving a finger.

It is clear, now more than ever, that only massive action against Israeli apartheid through the implementation of a clear boycott, sanctions and divestment strategy at the grassroots level will force our governments to listen.

CUPE Ontario and the Toronto Conference of the United Church of Canada have shown great courage and leadership in their adoption of resolutions to boycott Israeli apartheid; it remains for other institutions and individual Canadians to implement, extend and defend these actions.

URGENT: PROTEST ISRAELI STATE VIOLENCE, TERROR AND BRUTALITY IN GAZA
The Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid (CAIA) invites you to participate in a vigil against the Israeli occupation of Palestine: Friday June 30 5-6pm - Israeli Consulate 180 Bloor Street West (north west corner of Bloor and Avenue Rd, across from the ROM)

This vigil is co-sponsored by the Jewish Women's Committee to End the Occupation (JWCEO), the Coalition for a Just Peace in Palestine and Israel and the Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid. For more information contact: jwceo@hotmail.com, info@coalitiontoronto.com, http://www.coalitiontoronto.com, http://www.caia.tyo.ca.

SEND LETTERS DEMANDING RELEASE OF PALESTINIAN HOSTAGES TO:
• Minister of Foreign Affairs Peter MacKay House of Commons, Ottawa, Ontario, K1A 0A6 Telephone: (613) 992-6022. Fax: (613) 992-2337 MacKay.P@parl.gc.ca. http://www.petermackay.ca

• Israeli Ambassador to Canada Alan Baker 50 O'Connor Street, Ottawa,Ontario K1P 6L2 Tel: (613) 567-6450. Fax: (613) 567-9878. info@ottawa.mfa.gov.il

FURTHER READING
• PCHR Press Release - Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) Carry Out Reprisals against Palestinian Civilians in the West Bank (29 June 2006): http://www.pchrgaza.org/files/PressR/English/2006/63-2006.htm

• PCHR Press Release - Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) Carry Out Reprisals against Palestinian Civilians in the West Bank (28 June 2006) http://www.pchrgaza.org/files/PressR/English/2006/62-2006.htm

• Weekly Report on Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (PCHR Gaza, 22-28 June 2006): http://www.pchrgaza.org/files/W_report/English/2006/pdf/weekly%20report%2025.pdf

• Resource Page on Israeli "Operation Summer Rain" http://electronicintifada.net/new.shtml

• For more information on CAIA, visit: http://www.caia.tyo.ca
or email: endapartheid@riseup.net


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