Canada and Israel: allies in apartheid, allies in colonialism

Tuesday, March 6, 2012 - 00:00 to 02:30

On a recent trip to Israel, Canadian foreign minister John Baird stated that ‘Israel has no greater friend in the world than Canada.' This is only the latest statement of strong support by the Conservative government for Israel, at a time when around the world Israel is coming under growing criticism for its ongoing policies of apartheid towards Palestinian people, the continued occupation of their lands, and the denial of their right to return to the lands from which they have been displaced in repeated wars of colonization since 1948.

This increased awareness about Israel's policies of apartheid is reflected in the growing world-wide campaign for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) targeting Israel until it complies with international law, and is a response to the 2005 call from Palestinian civil society for BDS as one of the most effective ways for people to support the Palestinian struggle against Israeli apartheid and occupation.

Meanwhile, the resistance of indigenous people continues all across Canada, including struggles against the continued theft of indigenous lands and resources, surviving the countless abuses of the residential school system, and demanding an end to the gendered colonial violence that continues against indigenous women.

How does the Canadian government's support for Israel relate to Canada's own historical and ongoing colonization of indigenous people here? What are the implications for supporters of the Palestinian struggle in carrying out solidarity work from within a ‘fellow' settler society?

This event is part of Vancouver's program for Israeli Apartheid Week, an international series of events held each March in cities and campuses across the globe. This year, Vancouver will be joining more than 70 cities around the world in raising awareness about the system of apartheid in Israel and building the growing international movement of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaigns. For the full Vancouver IAW schedule, please see

About the speakers:

Glen Coulthard is a member of the Yellowknives Dene First Nation and an assistant professor in the First Nations Studies Program and the Department of Political Science at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver.

Dana Mohammed Olwan teaches in the Department of Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies at Simon Fraser University. She is former national chair of Solidarity for Palestinian Human Rights and a current member of Faculty for Palestine.

Mike Krebs is a Vancouver-based indigenous activist of Blackfoot and European descent. He is a member of the Boycott Israeli Apartheid Campaign in Vancouver.

Organized by Boycott Israeli Apartheid Campaign (Vancouver).


Facebook event:

SFU Harbour Centre
515 W. Hastings St
49° 17' 3.0084" N, 123° 6' 43.5024" W

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