8th Annual Israeli Apartheid Week, March 5-9, 2012

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Ken Burch

Also, Spector, it sounds like you were equating(in the example of the "pacifist from Ramallah")pacifism or nonviolence with indifference or noninvolvement.  Those Palestinians who are working nonviolently are JUST as militant and committed to the liberation cause as those who use force...and it's not your place to imply that they aren't.

It's not as if being a Palestinian pacifist gives you some magical protection from the IDF.  They kill the nonviolent just as quickly as they kill the violent.


Ken Burch wrote:

I wasn't counselling Palestinians at all.  I was responding to Spector's statement that he wouldn't even agree that a pacifist from Ramallah had the right to question the use of violence by other Palestinians.  I was saying nothing at all about what I thought Palestinians should do.


I never said you were counselling Palestinians. We were talking about Howard. Come on, Ken, really.


Ken Burch

Unionist wrote:

Ken Burch wrote:

It's one thing to say that people outside a struggle shouldn't be able to question what the leadershp of that struggle does.  But surely, those WITHIN that struggle should have a say...especially since having a say DURING the struggle is the only way to create a non-repressive political culture for whatever emerges as a result of the struggle's victory.


Yeah, well, Ken, duh, no kidding, that's exactly what Spector and I both said. Where did you get your wordy notion that anyone here espoused the sanctity of violence?? Howard, you, and I have no business counselling Palestinians as to how they should wage their struggle. Pretty elementary. Not what the tactics are - but who determines them.

I wasn't counselling Palestinians at all.  I was responding to Spector's statement that he wouldn't even agree that a pacifist from Ramallah had the right to question the use of violence by other Palestinians.  I was saying nothing at all about what I thought Palestinians should do.

Also, I was rejecting the implication in that post(as I read it)that nonviolent Palestinians were somehous outside the liberation struggle).  They aren't...any more than nonviolent black South Africans were less committed to fighting apartheid than the ANC.

Ken Burch

I'm fine with telling Howard to back off.  This was what I was responding to...this quote from Spector:

"Even if Howard told us he was a Palestinian pacifist living in Ramallah, I would not accord him the "right" to determine the tactics of the Palestinian resistance"

Clearly, an actual pacifist from Ramallah(unlike Howard) should be treated differently in this regard from a Western interloper.

(And it also raised the question in my mind of who, even within a liberation struggle, should be deciding the tactics.  If we're talking about a revolt against the oppressive, dictatorial leadership of somebody else, shouldn't that revolt itself, wherever it is, be the opposite of repressive in its internal function?  That wasn't aimed at Palestine...it was meant as a universal question...and perhaps it should have its own thread).

SO tell Howard what you want...but it should be different if we were talking about an actual bonafide Palesitnian.


Canada's Zionist Lobby Exposed in New Book


'NO DEBATE' provides an exceptional account of how the Israel lobby and its supporters in the government attempted to silence free speech and academic freedom..The Israel lobby and Canadian universities."

Down with Canadian complicity in  Zionist Power!


So if those people in the struggle determine the tactics does that mean that others are not allowed to even voice an opinion of the efficacy of the chosen tactics? This seems rather odd given the fact the Palestinians are struggling against a nuclear armed state that shows precious little restraint.  It seems like the Palestinians will have to win in the court of world opinion.  

Ken Burch

I think we could make a distinction between two levels of tactics:

1)what rank-and-file Palestinians do on a day-to-day, or moment-by-moment basis, in response to Israeli repression and in the name of the ultimate cause of liberation, of which it clearly isn't appropriate(or even possible, given the speed of events)for outsiders to say much of anything.  Obviously, it's not our place to say what these folks should do when an IDF platoon has their village under attack, or if their families are being killed, their homes are being demolished, or their olive groves destroyed.

2)the larger strategic choices made by the leaders of the various factions...which simply reflect the views of the leaders, planned out over a larger time frame and supposedly with a larger objective in mind(the rocket attacks and the now-thankfully-motaly abandoned suicide bombing campaigns. among other choices.

While rank-and-file Palestinians standing at a checkpoint are, in fact, oppressed, can this actually be said of their leaders?  Why is it necessary to use the same restraint that might fairly be used to discussed the tactics of the rank-and-file when discussing the tactics of the leaderships?  If so, why?  Why should these leaders, really, be exempt from criticism?  It's not as if they're infallible...and it's not as if what they've done has been, in any really sense, effective at all at liberating Palestine.


Catchfire Catchfire's picture

Joint Statement on Minister Jason Kenney’s condemnation of Israeli Apartheid Week 

March 9, 2012 


As organizations and groups committed to protecting freedom of expression and public debate on Palestine/Israel, we demand that Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Jason Kenney immediately retract his March 7th statement “condemning Israel Apartheid Week”. 

This statement is the Conservative government’s latest attempt to silence activist groups and organizations in Canada that act or speak in support of the basic human rights of the Palestinian people. While Kenney’s statement claims to value “free exchanges of ideas” and “academic dialogue,” his targeted condemnation of Israeli Apartheid Week events on Canadian universities this week (and in previous years) is a blatant attempt to shut down free expression for Palestine solidarity on campus. 

The Harper government’s track record clearly reveals that it does not actually value the university as “an environment in which academic discourse can take place freely”. Indeed, it has been actively involved in undermining this ideal that it claims to uphold. In 2009 the Conservative Minister of State (Science and Technology), Gary Goodyear was widely criticized by Faculty for Palestine and academics across the country for his unprecedented and dangerous acts of state political interference in the public funding of an academic conference. The Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) called for the Minister’s resignation around this incident, finding it “simply unacceptable” for the Minister to engage in any act that “compromises the integrity and public purpose of universities”. The sole target of the Minister’s actions was an academic conference at York University titled Israel/Palestine: Mapping Models of Statehood and Paths to Peace . His actions were so egregious that they have since been the subject of two major inquiries, one of which is written up in the newly published book titled No Debate: The Israel lobby and free speech at Canadian universities . 

Free expression on Canadian campuses, including both academic discourse and political analysis, must be protected from these kinds of political interference and all attempts of censorship. Unlike the Conservative government, we encourage and invite open debate and discussion on the full spectrum of views on the Israel/Palestine conflict. As public events on university campuses, IAW talks are open to anyone who wishes to attend and is willing to participate within the standard regulations governing debate and events on university campuses. 

For eight years, Israeli Apartheid Week has provided a model for free and open discussion by providing a week-long series of public lectures by academics and activists on the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. Currently IAW events are held on campuses in over 100 cities around the world. Many of these lectures address, in a factual manner, the nature of Israeli rule of a Palestinian population of some five million people within the borders which it controls and the effects of the exclusion of a similar number of Palestinian refugees. This system of blockade, occupation, settlement, discrimination and exclusion has been described as a form of apartheid by a wide range of scholars, journalists, activists, politicians, UN officials and legal experts including former Minister of Government in South Africa Ronnie Kasrils and former Special Rapporteur to the UN Commission on Human Rights John Dugard. IAW events examine these conditions while also building awareness for the movement for boycotts, divestment and sanctions against apartheid Israel as called for by over 170 Palestinian civil society organizations in 2005. 

The recent welcome for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Ottawa is just the latest indicator of where the current government stands on this issue. It is a serious threat to democratic interchange that the Harper Conservatives use their position as government to try to shut down discussion and debate on their uncritical support for every action of the Israeli state, including ongoing violations of international law and the human rights of Palestinians. 

Israeli Apartheid Week has played an important role in opening up this discussion. This has been recognized by Palestinians, Jewish anti-Zionists, and South Africans including Bishop Desmond Tutu, and journalist Naomi Klein. Israeli Apartheid Week has always condemned anti-Semitism and all forms or racism including Islamophobia, and will continue to do so. 

Endorsing signatories: 

Boycott Israeli Apartheid Campaign ( BIAC ) – Vancouver , Coast Salish Territories 

Canada Palestine Association, Vancouver 

Canada Palestine Support Network (CanPalNet) 

Canadian Arab Federation (CAF) 

Canadian Boat to Gaza 

Canadian Peace Alliance 

Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME) 

Centre for Social Justice 

Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid (CAIA) – Toronto 

Coalition of Arab Canadian Professionals and Community Associations (CAPCA) 

College and University Workers United (CUWU, Montreal ) 

Edmonton Queers Against Israeli Apartheid (EQuAIA) 

Edmonton Small Press Association (ESPA) 

Educators for Peace and Justice (EPJ) 

Faculty for Palestine – F4P ( Toronto ) 

Faculty 4 Palestine (F4P Alberta ) 

Faculty 4 Palestine (F4P Carleton) 

Greater Toronto Workers Assembly (GTWA) 

Hamilton Coalition to Stop the War 

Independent Jewish Voices (IJV) 

Independent Jewish Voices, Toronto 

International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network (IJAN) 

Labour for Palestine 

Latin American and Caribbean Solidarity Network 

The Louis Riel Bolivarian Circle – Toronto 

National Council of Latin American and Caribbean Women of Canada - [email protected] 

New Socialist Group 

Nightslantern Suppressed News 

No One Is Illegal Toronto 

Not In Our Name: Jews Opposed to Zionism (NION) 

Ontario Coalition Against Poverty - OCAP 

OPIRG - Toronto 

Palestine House Educational and Cultural Centre 

Palestine Solidarity Working Group, Laurentian University, Sudbury 

Palestine Solidarity Network – Edmonton 

Peace Alliance Winnipeg 

Queers Against Israeli Apartheid (QuAIA) 

Regina Solidarity Group 

Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network 

Seriously Free Speech Committee 

Socialist Project 

SPHR UWO – Solidarity for Palestinian Human Rights at Western University 

SPHR Ryerson 


Students Against Israeli Apartheid at York University - Carleton 

Students Against Israeli Apartheid (SAIA)- Regina 

Students Against Israeli Apartheid (SAIA) – University of Toronto 

Students Against Israeli Apartheid (SAIA) at York University 

Tadamon! - Montreal 

Teachers for Palestine (T4P) – Toronto 

Toronto Bolivia Solidarity 

Toronto Coalition to Stop the War (TCSW) 

Winnipeg CAIA 

Women in Solidarity with Palestine (WSP)


UN CSW Stresses Importance of Indigenous Women


"...Deploring the dire economic and social conditions of Palestinian women and girls in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, the Council, by that text, would reaffirm that the Israeli occupation remained the major obstacle for Palestinian women with regard to their advancement, self-reliance and integration in their society's development.."


'The Pseudo Left Marches Away From Reason'  - by Terry Glavin


"Cue the mumbo-jumbo: Global March to Jerusalem is brought to you by academics, progressives and feminists (as well as misogynists and anti-academics)

To get just a glimpse of the dementia that has crippled the cognitive functioning of what was once the western world's brave and lively tradition of intellectual dissent, feminist solidarity and progressive internationalism, all you need to do is look in on any one of the dozen of vanity projects being staged across Canada at the moment under the Israeli Apartheid Week marquee.."

[email protected]

Ken Burch

That may be the single most incoherent editorial I've ever read.



 hey easy on our intelligentsia Ken - he's teaching creative writing and journalism at Uvic.  teaching other people to write like this...the mind boggles. His too perhaps. Seems so.

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

It's amazing the number of "pseudo leftists" who think Terry Glavin has anything useful to say about anything. [url=http://rabble.ca/blogs/bloggers/regina-mom/2012/02/oily-canada-eh]Case in point[/url].


China and Sinopec in the tarsands is a critically important issue he has put information out on. This one is  awful - nought but simple shit.

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

China and Sinopec account for only a small percentage of the investment in the tar sands - far less than the Americans'.

It's only a "critically important" issue to red-baiters, orientalists, xenophobes, and the phony "human rights" lobby that never utters a word about US human rights issues, its treatment of its minorities, Guantanamo Bay, or its labour laws whenever Harper goes on a trade mission to Washington. But when he goes to Beijing, suddenly everyone develops a wafer-thin social conscience and a huge concern for Chinese domestic matters. 

Hypocritical sinophobes like Terry Glavin and Andrew Nikiforuk, who appeal to popular anti-Chinese tropes and prejudices to argue against the tar sands and the Northern Gateway pipeline, are unfortunately able to link their bigotry to support of a worthwhile environmental cause, and "pseudo leftists" gobble it right up .


M. Spector wrote:

China and Sinopec account for only a small percentage of the investment in the tar sands - far less than the Americans'.

It's only a "critically important" issue to red-baiters, orientalists, xenophobes, and the phony "human rights" lobby


Of course the percentage is fractional by comparison and Glavin is as you say but I am none of the above and still very interested. China, Sinopec and resource competition global and domestic is most definitely a critical issue.