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New Book on Anti-Israel Advocacy in Canada

Several Canadian scholars co-authored a new book Advocating for Palestine in Canada Histories, Movements, Action. 

As has been the norm in pro-Palestinian academic circles, the book and its review are mostly focused on attacking Israel rather than discussing Palestinian issues.

The review proclaims the book to be “a valuable and positive examination of the Palestinian solidarity movement located in Canada. It highlights… efforts to disguise Israeli transgressions against human rights and demonstrates that there is an ongoing and growing solidarity and understanding of Palestinian interests in a peaceful equitable solution to Israeli colonial-settlerism.”

In the book, “advocacy may result in personal attacks from pro-Zionist organizations working from the top down. In Canada that top-down starts with the government of Justin Trudeau, down through the media (much of which is owned by the Asper family who strongly supports Israeli objectives), continuing on down through a powerful variety of pro-Israeli NGOs to the identities of a white, Christian, conservative base within the populace.”

The first chapter, “The Elephant in the Room” discusses the colonialism, and racism the author encountered as “cobbled together through some combination of Zionist historical narrative and contemporary Israeli propaganda… This has helped Israel enjoy widespread and institutionalized impunity while committing violations of international law on an ongoing basis.”

The chapter “Zionist Loyalty and Euro-Jewish Whiteness” discusses how the Jews in Canada maintain a position of eternal victim to an “ascent…into whiteness by permission… Pro-Palestianism is not tolerated by an institutional Jewish community which strives for acceptance in white settler societies like Canada which are incontrovertibly racist in both their colonial histories and contemporary exclusionist postures and structures.”

The chapter “Singled Out” talks about the new antisemitism, that Israel “may not be unique after all but is like that experienced by other states” such as South Africa.

The chapter “Israel Apartheid Week” (IAW) discusses the problems and successes of Israeli apartheid week and its associated boycott, divestment, and sanctions activism. the IAW examines similarities between settler colonialism in Palestine and “Turtle Island” (North America). As recognized elsewhere, “pro-Israeli attempts at censorship and oppression have only encouraged popular dissent and creative interventions in support of Palestine.”

The chapter “Two Jews, Three Opinions” Cites recent Canadian polls, which “undermine the legitimacy of the Canadian government’s claims to be acting on behalf of Jews when it sides with Israel.”

The chapter “Knowing and Not Knowing – Canada, Indigenous Peoples, Israel and Palestine” examines Canadian history of racism, ethnic cleansing, and genocide and its – mostly – similarities with Israel-Palestine. Violence and dispossession are still elements of current Canadian society against its indigenous people.

The chapter “Canadian Media and Pro-Israel Bias – An Insider’s Perspective” examines media and its alleged pro-Israel bias. Journalists are unwilling to do their “role in dissuading the public from working to hold Israel to account.” They should “give readers the tools to combat the pro-Israeli Bias.”

The chapter “Palestinian Solidarity Work in Canada” looks at the “intersectionality with other groups working against racism and other societal concerns.”

The final chapter, “Campus Palestine Activism in Ottawa from the 1970s to the 2010s”, compares “two universities and the different levels of activism through the author’s experiences. The activism derives from Arab student movements, anti-war interests (vis a vis the Gulf wars), the rise and fall of the Oslo process, and the renewed attacks on Gaza after the 2006 elections. The BDS movement is currently becoming more active as the “now dysfunctional PLO and discredited PA.” Focusing on international law through the BDS movement, the recognition very recently of the apartheid nature of Israel, and the discussions around the vague and poorly stated IHRA definition of anti-Semitism.”

The book concludes that the Palestinian solidarity movement “is at its core an inclusionary movement closely linked to anti-apartheid, anti-colonial, and anti-racist values, resonating with people seeking social justice and basic human rights.”

Intersectionality, as IAM repeatedly pointed out, is a fashionable academic movement that postulates that all minorities should speak against the alleged misdeeds of the oppressors. Since the Palestinians are considered a “minority,” all other minorities should form a coalition to target Israel, their alleged oppressor.

Clearly, the book cares little about real Palestinian issues like the tyrannical rule of Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad in Gaza and the corruption and mismanagement of the PLO rule in the West Bank led by the octogenarian Mahmoud Abbas.  The incessant attacks on Israel do little to help the Palestinians who live under brutal or inept rules.

The book authors are shackled by the ideological dogmas of intersectionality and the social justice movement to acknowledge that the Abraham Accords have created momentum toward peace and prosperity in the Middle East. According to reports, the Palestinians were given a choice to join Israel and Arab countries such as UAE, Morocco, Egypt, Jordan, Sudan, and others to create a more prosperous future. Hopefully, they will make this choice.

https://fernwoodpublishing.ca/book/advocating-for-palestine-in-canada

Advocating for Palestine in Canada

Histories, Movements, Action

Edited by Emily Regan WillsJeremy WildemanMichael Bueckert and Nadia Abu-Zahra  Foreword by Libby Davies  

PAPERBACK $26.00

EPUB $25.99

PDF $25.99

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Why is it so difficult to advocate for Palestine in Canada and what can we learn from the movement’s successes? This account of Palestine solidarity activism in Canada grapples with these questions through a wide-ranging exploration of the movement’s different actors, approaches and fields of engagement, along with its connections to different national and transnational struggles against racism, imperialism and colonialism. Led by a coalition of students, labour unions, church groups, left wing activists, progressive presses, human rights organizations, academic associations and Palestinian and Jewish community groups, Palestine solidarity activism is on the rise in Canada and Canadians are more aware of the issues than ever before. Palestine solidarity activists are also under siege as never before. The movement advocating for Palestinian rights is forced to contend with relentless political condemnation, media blackouts, administrative roadblocks, coordinated smear campaigns, individual threats, legal intimidation and institutional silencing. Through this book and the experiences of the contributing authors in it, many seasoned veterans of the movement, Advocating for Palestine in Canada offers an indispensable and often first-hand view into the complex social and historical forces at work in one of our era’s most urgent debates, and one which could determine the course of what it means to be Canadian going forward.

Download excerpt

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CONTENTS

  • Foreword (Libby Davies)
  • Introduction (Emily Regan Wills, Nadia Abu-Zahra, Michael Bueckert and Jeremy Wildeman)
  • Anti-Palestinian Racism: A Personal Account (Nyla Matuk)
  • Campus Palestine Activism in Ottawa from the 1970s to the 2010s (Hassan Husseini)
  • Israeli Apartheid Week: Popular Dissent, Creative Intervention (Rana Nazzal)
  • Two Jews, Three Opinions: Jewish Canadians’ Diverse Views on Israel- Palestine (Diana Ralph)
  • Canadian Media and Pro-Israel Bias: An Insider’s Perspective (Davide Mastracci)
  • A SWOT Analysis for Palestinian Solidarity Work in Canada (Thomas Woodley)
  • Knowing and Not Knowing: Canada, Indigenous Peoples, Israel and Palestine (Michael Keefer)
  • Singled Out: South Africa, Israel and Accusations of Unfair Criticism (Michael Bueckert)
  • Zionist Loyalty and Euro-Jewish Whiteness: Untangling the Threads of a Lethal Complicity (Sheryl Nestel)
  • Conclusion (Nadia Abu-Zahra, Michael Bueckert, Jeremy Wildeman and Emily Wills)

AUTHORS

Emily Regan Wills

  • University of Ottawa
  • Emily Regan Wills is an associate professor of comparative politics at the University of Ottawa. She is the co-director of the Community Mobilization in Crisis project, which develops and implements innovative multilingual digital pedagogical tools for teaching community mobilization skills in the Middle East and elsewhere.

Jeremy Wildeman

  • University of Ottawa, HRREC
  • Jeremy Wildeman is a Fellow at the Human Rights Resource and Education Centre (HRREC), University of Ottawa. He is a scholar of international relations, Middle East politics, Canadian foreign policy, human security and development aid.

Michael Bueckert

  • Canadians for Justice
  • Michael Bueckert is Vice President at Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME), a national advocacy organization based in Montreal. He has a PhD in Sociology with a specialization in Political Economy from Carleton University; his dissertation explored the opposition to boycott movements.

Nadia Abu-Zahra

  • University of Ottawa and Carleton University
  • Nadia Abu-Zahra is an Associate Professor and Joint Chair in Women’s Studies at the University of Ottawa and Carleton University, and a member of the University of Ottawa’s Human Rights Research and Education Centre, Centre for Research on Educational and Community Services, and Centre for International Policy Studies.

Libby Davies

  • Libby Davies has been a social activist for 45 plus years and began as a community organizer in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside in 1972. She was elected to Vancouver City Council for 5 consecutive terms, 1982-1993. As the Member of Parliament for Vancouver East for six consecutive terms, 1997-2015, she became NDP House Leader, (2003-2011) and Deputy Leader (2007-2015). Libby continues to be an outspoken advocate for human rights, housing, peace, and social justice. She was awarded the Order of Canada in 2016.
  • Libby was appointed to the board of governors of Vancouver Community College in 2018, and serves as Vice Chair. She is also a board member and Vice Chair, of the Portland Hotel Community Services Society (PHS).
  • She is the author of “Outside In: A Political Memoir” (May 2019, published by Between The Lines, Toronto) and is a frequent public speaker on progressive transformative change and its relationship to politics. Libby is currently writing a new book.
  • ==================
  • https://www.palestinechronicle.com/advocating-for-palestine-in-canada-histories-movements-actions-book-review/

Advocating for Palestine in Canada: Histories, Movements, Actions – Book Review

  • July 14, 2022 ArticlesCommentaryReviews
  • Advocating for Palestine in Canada – Histories, Movements, Actions. (Photo: Book cover)
  • By Jim Miles
  • (Advocating for Palestine in Canada – Histories, Movements, Actions. Ed.: Emily Wills, Jeremy Wildeman, Michael Beuckert, Nadia Abu-Zahra. Fernwood Publishing, Halifax/Winnipeg, 2022.)
  • Different groups advocate for Palestine from a variety of perspectives while developing several common themes. Advocating for Palestine contains nine presentations looking at Palestine from the viewpoint of students, Jewish activism, indigenous issues, being Palestinian-Arab in Canada, and Zionism and Euro-Jewish whiteness. Several themes are common to all the discussions.
  • The book starts with fear from a global perspective, recognizing that advocacy may result in personal attacks from pro-Zionist organizations working from the top down. In Canada that top-down starts with the government of Justin Trudeau, down through the media (much of which is owned by the Asper family who strongly supports Israeli objectives), continuing on down through a powerful variety of pro-Israeli NGOs to the identities of a white, Christian, conservative base within the populace.
  • This fear is connected to “a broader project of liberation from all forms of systemic injustice”, an “anti-racist movement” with “people of all backgrounds who are critical of the globalized Israeli military-industrial complex and its link to global militarism.” On the other side of fear is “in transforming fear into solidarity, in seeing ourselves as in relation to one another, we can build those futures [of a free Palestine and world] in the present.”
  • The first essay “The Elephant in the Room” discusses the unseen internalized colonialism that permeates Canadian society and the author’s recognition as to how it affects her encounters within different social situations. Most of the racism she encounters includes “highly educated scholars, professional writers, journalists, newspaper columnists, clergy and the like.”
  • This racism is “cobbled together through some combination of Zionist historical narrative and contemporary Israeli propaganda, in combination with the sheer laziness of media commentators who could not …decolonize their viewpoints….This has helped Israel enjoy widespread and institutionalized impunity while committing violations of international law on an ongoing basis.”
  • The essay “Zionist Loyalty and Euro-Jewish Whiteness” discusses how the Jew “must be understood as simultaneously under attack and as the beneficiaries of racial privilege.” Jews in Canada maintain a position of eternal victim to an “ascent…into whiteness by permission,” a combination of Holocaust memorials and contemporary positioning within the western world today. “Pro-Palestianism is not tolerated by an institutional Jewish community which strives for acceptance in white settler societies like Canada which are incontrovertibly racist in both their colonial histories and contemporary exclusionist postures and structures.”
  • The essay “Singled Out” talks about the new antisemitism, being essentially how Israel is singled out but with comparisons to South Africa showing that criticizing Israel “may not be unique after all but is like that experienced by other states.” The ‘new’ standard is composed of demonization (negative attacks), double standards (other countries do it to), and delegitimization (right to exist) as the new currents of antisemitism. However, activism does focus on a particular target and in this case on a state “which refuses to be held accountable.”
  • “Israel Apartheid Week” [IAW] discusses the problems and successes of Israeli apartheid week and its associated boycott, divestment, and sanctions activism. In Canada, the IAW examines similarities between settler colonialism in Palestine and “Turtle Island” (North America). As recognized elsewhere, “pro-Israeli attempts at censorship and oppression have only encouraged popular dissent and creative interventions in support of Palestine.”
  • The Jewish community’s values are examined in “Two Jews, Three Opinions”. Citing recent Canadian polls, it is found they “undermine the legitimacy of the Canadian government’s claims to be acting on behalf of Jews when it sides with Israel.” The author concludes “Neither public opinion nor a significant proportion of Jewish Canadians share our government’s uncritical support of Israel.”
  • Canada is an example of British colonial settlerism that compares readily to the colonial settlerism in Palestine. The essay “Knowing and Not Knowing – Canada, Indigenous Peoples, Israel and Palestine” examines Canadian history of racism, ethnic cleansing, and genocide and its – mostly – similarities with Israel-Palestine. Contemporary events still uphold our “enacted values” which are “for the most part those of the corporate and security-state interests that have guided public policy.” Violence and dispossession are still elements of current Canadian society against its indigenous people.
  • The media and its pro-Israel bias is critically examined in “Canadian Media and Pro-Israel Bias – An Insider’s Perspective.” CanWest Global Communications owns a disproportionate share of Canadian media and its original owner Israel Asper maintained a strong pro-Zionist bias (now within family control). The CBC, supposedly independent of government, carries the Trudeau government pretense of balance while extolling the virtues of Israel while ignoring Israel’s ongoing settler-colonialism in Palestine. The word Palestine is not allowed to be used by CBC broadcasters.
  • “The core journalistic function of informing the public,” the “unwillingness of journalists to address the power imbalances” and the resulting “role in dissuading the public from working to hold Israel to account” when exposed will hopefully “give readers the tools to combat the pro-Israeli Bias.”
  • The problems and successes of Canadian activism are presented in “Palestinian Solidarity Work in Canada.” From the discussion of strengths and opportunities the “PSM must try to keep its focus on human rights and international law.” Part of that is the intersectionality with other groups working against racism and other societal concerns.
  • The final essay focuses on “Campus Palestine Activism in Ottawa from the 1970s to the 2010s”, comparing two universities and the different levels of activism through the author’s experiences. The activism derives from Arab student movements, anti-war interests (vis a vis the Gulf wars), the rise and fall of the Oslo process, and the renewed attacks on Gaza after the 2006 elections. The BDS movement is currently becoming more active as the “now dysfunctional PLO and discredited PA” have been abandoned.
  • Political rhetoric/programs have transformed to one that is more directed at international law through the BDS movement, the recognition very recently of the apartheid nature of Israel, and the discussions around the vague and poorly stated IHRA definition of anti-Semitism.
  • In their conclusion the editors state, “the Palestinian solidarity movement as described in this book is at its core an inclusionary movement closely linked to anti-apartheid, anti-colonial, and anti-racist values, resonating with people seeking social justice and basic human rights.”
  • “Advocating for Palestine in Canada” is a valuable and positive examination of the Palestinian solidarity movement located in Canada. It highlights the government, corporate, and media efforts to disguise Israeli transgressions against human rights and demonstrates that there is an ongoing and growing solidarity and understanding of Palestinian interests in a peaceful equitable solution to Israeli colonial-settlerism.
  • – Jim Miles is a Canadian educator and a regular contributor/columnist of opinion pieces and book reviews to Palestine Chronicles. His interest in this topic stems originally from an environmental perspective, which encompasses the militarization and economic subjugation of the global community and its commodification by corporate governance and by the American government.
https://fernwoodpublishing.ca/book/advocating-for-palestine-in-canada

Advocating for Palestine in Canada

Histories, Movements, Action

Edited by Emily Regan WillsJeremy WildemanMichael Bueckert and Nadia Abu-Zahra  Foreword by Libby Davies

PAPERBACK $26.00

EPUB $25.99

PDF $25.99

Why is it so difficult to advocate for Palestine in Canada and what can we learn from the movement’s successes? This account of Palestine solidarity activism in Canada grapples with these questions through a wide-ranging exploration of the movement’s different actors, approaches and fields of engagement, along with its connections to different national and transnational struggles against racism, imperialism and colonialism. Led by a coalition of students, labour unions, church groups, left wing activists, progressive presses, human rights organizations, academic associations and Palestinian and Jewish community groups, Palestine solidarity activism is on the rise in Canada and Canadians are more aware of the issues than ever before. Palestine solidarity activists are also under siege as never before. The movement advocating for Palestinian rights is forced to contend with relentless political condemnation, media blackouts, administrative roadblocks, coordinated smear campaigns, individual threats, legal intimidation and institutional silencing. Through this book and the experiences of the contributing authors in it, many seasoned veterans of the movement, Advocating for Palestine in Canada offers an indispensable and often first-hand view into the complex social and historical forces at work in one of our era’s most urgent debates, and one which could determine the course of what it means to be Canadian going forward.

Download excerpt

REQUEST EXAM COPY

CONTENTS

  • Foreword (Libby Davies)
  • Introduction (Emily Regan Wills, Nadia Abu-Zahra, Michael Bueckert and Jeremy Wildeman)
  • Anti-Palestinian Racism: A Personal Account (Nyla Matuk)
  • Campus Palestine Activism in Ottawa from the 1970s to the 2010s (Hassan Husseini)
  • Israeli Apartheid Week: Popular Dissent, Creative Intervention (Rana Nazzal)
  • Two Jews, Three Opinions: Jewish Canadians’ Diverse Views on Israel- Palestine (Diana Ralph)
  • Canadian Media and Pro-Israel Bias: An Insider’s Perspective (Davide Mastracci)
  • A SWOT Analysis for Palestinian Solidarity Work in Canada (Thomas Woodley)
  • Knowing and Not Knowing: Canada, Indigenous Peoples, Israel and Palestine (Michael Keefer)
  • Singled Out: South Africa, Israel and Accusations of Unfair Criticism (Michael Bueckert)
  • Zionist Loyalty and Euro-Jewish Whiteness: Untangling the Threads of a Lethal Complicity (Sheryl Nestel)
  • Conclusion (Nadia Abu-Zahra, Michael Bueckert, Jeremy Wildeman and Emily Wills)

AUTHORS

  • Emily Regan WillsUniversity of OttawaEmily Regan Wills is an associate professor of comparative politics at the University of Ottawa. She is the co-director of the Community Mobilization in Crisis project, which develops and implements innovative multilingual digital pedagogical tools for teaching community mobilization skills in the Middle East and elsewhere.
  • Jeremy WildemanUniversity of Ottawa, HRRECJeremy Wildeman is a Fellow at the Human Rights Resource and Education Centre (HRREC), University of Ottawa. He is a scholar of international relations, Middle East politics, Canadian foreign policy, human security and development aid.
  • Michael BueckertCanadians for JusticeMichael Bueckert is Vice President at Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME), a national advocacy organization based in Montreal. He has a PhD in Sociology with a specialization in Political Economy from Carleton University; his dissertation explored the opposition to boycott movements.
  • Nadia Abu-ZahraUniversity of Ottawa and Carleton UniversityNadia Abu-Zahra is an Associate Professor and Joint Chair in Women’s Studies at the University of Ottawa and Carleton University, and a member of the University of Ottawa’s Human Rights Research and Education Centre, Centre for Research on Educational and Community Services, and Centre for International Policy Studies.

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