At the close of 2008, I joined thousands in Toronto to protest Israel's attack on Gaza, and even spoke at some of the rallies. Like people all over the world, we called for an immediate end to the war. At York University, where I was a student, we mobilized the campus to stop the bombing and to defend Palestinian rights.
Only a few months after the siege, the bombs dropped again, but this time, they were falling on my own people -- in the Vanni region of northern Sri Lanka. And once again, we hit Toronto's streets in protest.
I realized then that even though our homelands are oceans apart, Palestinians and Tamils have much in common.
Waging war on civilians
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The walls are crumbling. The walls behind which dictators indulge in decadent opulence while "their" people are mired in wretched circumstance. The walls behind which "leaders" secretly sell -- for personal gain -- the rights of the people they claim to represent.
Across North Africa and the Middle East, across the Arab world, for decades dictatorship and deepening corruption, firmly supported by imperial powers, seemed beyond challenge. Today, once "stable" regimes are now facing a popular reckoning.
From the vantage point of Palestine, there are three new dynamics.
Palestine solidarity organizations from communities and movements across Quebec and elsewhere in Canada will be meeting in Montreal for a historic conference this weekend, Friday October 22 to Sunday October 24.
Carrying Forward the Moment Against Isreali Apartheid will map the future of the growing anti-Israeli apartheid movement by bringing together activists from across the country, as well as from the U.K., France, the U.S., and, most significantly, South Africa and Palestine. The intention is to assess and advance the global campaign for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions of the Israeli State until there is full justice, equality, and dignity for all Palestinians.
'Here on the slopes of hills, facing the dusk and the cannon of time
Close to the gardens of broken shadows,
We do what prisoners do,
And what the jobless do:
We cultivate hope'
- Mahmoud Darwish
The dynamics of the Israel-Palestine conflict are increasingly being defined by the 700-km wall encircling Palestinian communities in the West Bank and Gaza. The Wall has fundamentally altered and reshaped the possibilities and challenges of both the armed struggle and the popular resistance to Israel's occupation.
Writer and photojournalist Jon Elmer, based in Bethlehem, speaks about Palestine, the Wall, political prisoners (particularly in light of the recent prisoner exchange), and the future for Palestinian resistance to Israeli occupation.
The Human Rights Council is nearing a vote on the report which accuses Israel and Hamas militants of war crimes.
Mr Netanyahu said the Goldstone report would "deal a fatal blow to three major issues".
Firstly, he said, it would legitimise terrorists who hide behind civilians" by laying the blame on victims of terror who act in self-defence.
Israel land expropriation plan angers Palestinians
Israel has angered Palestinians with a plan to expropriate plots of West Bank land between Jerusalem and the Dead Sea including areas exposed by the lake's receding water levels.
A spokesman for Israel's Civil Administration Authority, an arm of the Defense Ministry, said Monday it advertised in the Jerusalem-based al-Quds newspaper Friday. Palestinians who object to the move were invited to file appeals within 45 days.
"The land in question includes a strip along the shores of the Dead Sea that emerged over the years as the water receded due to shrinkage," the spokesman said.