Tuesday July 7, 2015
1455 de Maisonneuve West, 7th floor
(Metro Guy Concordia)
Ten years ago, on July 9th 2005, the Palestinian civil society issued a call for a campaign of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel until it complies with international law and universal principles of human rights.
Since then, the call has picked up momentum globally and regionally and the movement has grown considerably. Closer to home, several labour unions, organizations, advocacy groups, artists (500 Montreal artists against apartheid), academics, student unions and associations adopted the BDS mandate and carried out various campaigns.
Globally, successes of BDS are numerous. From the Presbyterian Church’s divestment of over $20 million to European divestment from Israeli banks, from artists boycotting shows in Israel to Sodastream closing its illegal factory in a West Bank settlement (for several others, see http://www.bdsmovement.net/victories).
While the occupation is still going strong and brutal, while racism flourishes in Israel and while refugees are still denied going back to their homes, the BDS campaign has succeeded in negatively impacting public opinion about Israel. Ten years into the movement, Israel is threatened by BDS.
This panel discussion will offer reflections on the BDS campaigns and their outcomes, both globally and regionally. Panelists will critically assess the successes and discuss the future of the movement. The discussion will also reflect upon the current political landscape in Canada where the Harper government is looking to criminalize any opposition to Israel, including those advocating for BDS.
For Justice, Freedom and Self-Determination!
Introduction and moderation by Amy Darwish, a long time member of Tadamon!, one of the groups that has led BDS organizing in Montreal since 2006.
Samia El-Botmeh is a visiting Palestinian professor from Birzeit University. Samia is on the steering committee of The Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI), one of the founding civil society organizations of the BDS movement.
Mostafa Henaway has been involved in Tadamon! since 2005-2006 and thus been one of the main organizers that brought to life the first BDS conference in Montreal in 2010 among building other major foundational elements that paved way for BDS in Montreal/Quebec. A community organizer with the Immigrant Workers Centre (IWC) and Tadamon! Montreal member, Mostafa was based in Montreal till 2014, and is currently based in Berlin. He is the author of the zine Capitalism on Edge: the Crisis that came and the crisis yet to come. Mostafa will join us via a video/live on skype.
Zahia El-Masri, born as a Palestinian refugee in Lebanon. Her work and activism is mainly around areas of social justice, intercultural communications and peace building through recognition. She has mediated and participated in numerous interfaith, intercultural round table discussions and conferences, on the question of Palestine.
Zahia has worked on a wide variety of peace development and promotion projects. She holds an MA in public policy and public administration, as well as a graduate diploma in theological religious and ethical studies. Currently she is working at ROMEL, an NGO specializing in social housing for all cultural communities and immigrants, focusing on their integration process through empowerment.
FACEBOOK Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/1602692253339625/
A blast from the past:
— CKUT Radio: Boycotting Israeli Apartheid :: From South Africa to Palestine, http://www.tadamon.ca/post/250 (2006)
— Israeli Apartheid: Racism, Occupation & Discrimination: A public talk on Israeli Apartheid with Jamal Juma’a of the International Stop the Wall Campaign.
— Five-year of BDS celebration in Montreal: http://www.tadamon.ca/post/8445
Organized by Tadamon! in collaboration with Concordia Student Union (CSU)
Endorsed by BDS Quebec and SPHR McGill