Canada Park – And a double standard

Interested in learning more about the history of Canada Park, built in the occupied West Bank on demolished Palestinian villages? (click here) (see my previous posting here)

Interested in hearing about “…the double standards within Canada on these issues where it’s okay to support Israeli charities even if they’re doing things contrary to international law but on the other hand it’s illegal or not allowed to support Palestinian charities”? -Yves Engler in the video, Canadian Jews oppose the Jewish National Fund (JNF) (click here)

Consider signing the following petition as circulated by Independent Jewish Voices – Canada which is “a national human rights organization whose mandate is to promote a just resolution to the dispute in Israel and Palestine through the application of international law and respect for the human rights of all parties” (from here).

Here is an excerpt of the text of the petition (here):

“The JNF is a registered charity in Canada, subsidized by Canadian taxpayers. I do not support giving tax exemptions to organizations that practice racial discrimination, and that are complicit in war crimes.

Based on the following facts, I am calling on the Minister of National Revenue to initiate the revocation of the JNF’s charitable status. JNF activities are not charitable, and its policies and actions run contrary to the Canadian Human Rights Act, Canada Revenue Agency Policy Statement CPS-021 concerning Registering Charities that Promote Racial Equality, and international law.

·         The JNF’s projects of displacement and forestation continue, particularly in the Naqab (Negev) and the Galilee. In these areas, “development” projects in which the JNF plays a central role aim to continue the forced displacement of Palestinian citizens of Israel to make way for exclusively Jewish settlements and JNF parks and forests [5]. I am appalled by the ongoing displacement of the indigenous inhabitants of the land.

In the interests of peace and justice—which have been denied the people of the region for far too long— I kindly request that the Minister of National Revenue swiftly initiate the revocation of the JNF’s charitable status.”

The IJV petition offers these additional resources:
Israel’s Discriminatory Land Policies by Stephen Lendman (2009) (click here)

-Dossier on Canada Park (click here)

-CBC’s documentary ‘A Park with No Peace: Canada Park’ (1991) (click here)

The JNF: Planting Trees or Uprooting Families? by Moriel Rothman (2011) (click here)

[5]  –Some Things Never Change: The Prawer Plan and the Legacy of the Nakba (2013) by Rabbi Alissa Wise (click here)

I choose a just peace for all on Earth, on Human Rights Day (10 Dec. 2013).

I feel sick. I have just learned about a new example of the Canadian government’s complicity in the Israeli government’s illegal occupation of Palestine. The Canadian group, Independent Jewish Voices (IJV) (click here), reports the following:

“Harper will be the first sitting Prime Minister in Canadian history to be honoured by the JNF [Jewish National Fund] at one of their fundraising galas [on 1 Dec. 2013]. A bird sanctuary—the Stephen J. Harper Hula Valley Bird Sanctuary Visitor and Education Centre—is a new JNF project that sits over the lands belonging to dispossessed Palestinian fishermen and their families, who are banned from ever returning.

‘It’s ironic that Harper is being honoured with a bird sanctuary in his name, while his government has one of the worst environmental records of any in Canadian history,’ says [Tyler] Levitan. “Does Harper care more about the Hula Valley in Israel than the Athabasca watershed in his home province of Alberta, and the enormous ecological destruction—poisoning wildlife and First Nations communities—caused by the bituminous sands?’   -For further information contact: Tyler Levitan, Campaigns Coordinator for Independent Jewish Voices – Canada, (613) 400-2550,”

As I wrote on 25 June 2011 (click here), “Lake Hula used to serve as a natural filter of [several] rivers into the Sea of Galilee (Tiberias Lake). But Lake Hula has shrunk considerably as a result of water-intensive agriculture and military (nuclear) purposes in Israel.”

On 31 March 2012 (click here), I wrote: “As a Canadian, I am embarrassed that a place (that is part of the story of the expulsion of Palestinians) in the occupied West Bank would be named Canada Park. I am moved to think about Canada’s own colonial history. I choose to listen and learn and join the global movement for justice for all….”

How will you mark Human Rights Day on 10 Dec. 2013, as a Canadian? As a global citizen?  (click here)

Why not write to Prime Minister Harper, or the Minister of Foreign Affairs, John Baird? Ask them to take a stance against the Prawer-Begin Bill that ‘promises’ to displace Bedouin citizens living in the Naqab (Negev) desert in the south of Israel. If enacted into law and implemented, the bill would result in the destruction of 35 “unrecognized” Bedouin villages in the Naqab and the forced displacement of up to 70,000 Bedouin citizens of Israel from their land and homes. To learn more, click here and here.