Gaza: Canadian Union of Postal Workers calls for boycott

January 9th, 2009 | Posted in Boycott, Canada, Palestine

    Canadian Union of Postal Workers, January 7th, 2009.

Photo: Israeli bombing strikes Palestinian housing in Gaza.

On behalf of the 56,000 members of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers, I am writing to demand that the Canadian government condemn the military assault on the people of Gaza that the state of Israel commenced on December 26th, 2008.

Canada must also call for a cessation of the ongoing Israeli siege of Gaza, which has resulted in the collective punishment of the entire Gaza population.

Canada must also address the root cause of the violence: Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories.

Israel’s current actions are totally out of proportion with any notion of self-defense. Israel’s actions are resulting in the massacre of people in Gaza.

Israels action will not bring peace to the region. they will result in Israel being less secure.

Professor Richard Falk, the UN’s Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in the Occupied territories, has characterized the Israeli offensive as containing “…severe and massive violations of international humanitarian law as defined in the Geneva Conventions, both in regards to the obligations of an occupying power and in the requirements of the laws of war.”

CUPW strongly urges the Canadian government to condemn the serious violations of humanitarian and international law by the state of Israel.

The Israeli Government’s siege and military incursions into Gaza are not isolated events. It is a direct result of Israel’s ongoing occupation of Palestine and the refusal of the Israeli government to abide by numerous United Nations security council resolutions.

Therefore, as a longer term strategy, the Canadian Union of Postal Workers is asking your government to adopt a program of boycott, divestment and sanctions until Israel recognizes the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination and complies with international law, including the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes as stipulated in UN resolution 194.

Yours truly,

Denis Lemelin
National President

Michael Ignatieff, Liberal Leader
Jack Layton, NDP Leader
Gilles Duceppe, Bloc Quebecois Leader
Ken Georgetti, Canadian Labor Congress


If I’m wrong, please correct me, but as of yet , I haven’t seen this latest news made public in any of the mainstream media outlets. If you can please source the above letter, it can be widely and quickly disseminated to media, but not before it is properly
identified. Checked the CUPW site , but can’t find it.

Comment by carla — January 11th, 2009 @ 9:27 AM

Here are a few facts in contradiction to the assertions of an Apartheid Israel.

Jews in the Middle East: have been,all but a few ,ethnically cleansed from the Arab/Muslim world,with well over 900,000 Jews expelled from their Arab homes,in where they lived for generations,and some well before the creation of Islam.

Places in the Middle East that Jews are effectively allowed to live are :ISRAEL…! – and for a limited amount of time,240,000 Jews are living among 3.5 Million Arabs in the West Bank.

Places that Palestinians can and do live:ISRAEL,WEST BANK AND GAZA! In fact there are more Arabs living in Israel than Jews in the entire Middle East and North Africa.1.5 Million.Yet no Jew is allowed to live in Gaza and eventually in most if not all of the West Bank.

Israel is being erroneously refferred to as an “APARTHEID STATE”,when the irony is that Jews are prevented from living in most if not ALL of the Arab/Muslim Middle East,either by written or unwritten law, in a genuine case of Segregation or Apartheid”.

Keep in mind the actual size of this tiny territory referred to as an apartheid state, as compared to the vast territory considered the Muslim/Arab world,and than compare the relative generosity of Israel to Palestinians,considered an enemy of Jews and Israel,versus the Muslim world. The contradiction could not be more obvious.

Has it occurred to anyone that Israel,size of the state of New Jersey, has limited space and resources? Even China implemented a “one child “law because of limited territory and resources for what was a population that believed in having unlimited numbers of children.Gaza is an example of exactly the same problem with families having up to 30 children.Even Israel proper cannot accomodate an unlimited number of citizens without creating kaos and poverty.

It can be accurately stated that for a Jew there is no safe place in the Middle East,including Israel.But for a Jew there is only one place in the world where a Jew will be protected,and that is the only place where a Jew is effectively allowed to live… Israel.

Ironically there are more Jews living,(72,000), and permitted, to live in South Africa where the term Apartheid originates than there are Jews living in the ENTIRE Muslim/Arab Middle East and North Africa.

As few as one Jew,living in Afghanistan,and as many as a 10 thousand oppressed and persecuted Jews left in Iran.

Yemen,Iraq,Syria,Jordan,Egypt,and other places where Jews once thrived ,now boast 100 or less Jews because of a CAMPAIGN OF PERSECUTION against Jews that has fallen on deaf ears at the UN.Yet the UN ,Human Rights Commission,Durban,makes Israel the target of over 1/4 of all of the worlds Human Rights Violations.While holding the President of Sudan,an Islamic leader,harmelss for the ongoing Genocide of 300,000 civilians in Darfur.Durban is headed by Iran,Syria,Libya and Cuba.These are some of the most brutal human rights violators in the history of the world,and they sit at the helm of Durban II as JUDGES on Human Rights.

This is mind Boggling!

Comment by Ahmad Yaqeen — January 11th, 2009 @ 1:25 PM

Les médias Mainstream ont reçu cette info et bien d’autres mais ils censurent systématiquement. Ils sont totalement complices des crimes contre l’humanité et du nettoyage ethnique de la Palestine. Ils sont non seulement sionistes purs et durs mais plus largement alignés à 100% avec les intérêts du complexe militaro-industriel occidental (génocide de l’Iraq, Afghanistan, Géorgie…)
En plus il y a le format des médias qui garantit que tout est traité de façon superficielle, a-historique, amnésique.
Maintenant dans une stratégie de solidarité avec la Palestine, on peut inonder les médias de courriels, telephones aux lignes ouvertes, faxs, occupation de rédactions… dans 2 buts différents: soit dans l’espoir de ré-équilibrer leur couverture des nouvelles et qu’ils seront “un peu moins” orientés, soit dans le but de subvertir et saturer leur industrie de propagande tout en faisant passer le message que nous sommes nombreux, en colère et déterminer à soutenir le droit du peuple palestinien et que mentir aura un cout de plus en plus élevé pour eux.
Personnellement je pense que mettre temps et énergie envers les MSM vaut la peine s’il c’est clairement dans la 2e stratégie…

Dans ce “ils” : les responsables des salles de rédactions, les éditorialistes et tous les journalistes ayant un minimum de marge de manoeuvre ainsi que les pseudo-experts de plateau

PS: une nouvelle d’un site socialiste mais intéressant sur NPD et médias:
“Canada’s government and opposition trumpet Israel’s “right” to wage endless war in Gaza”

Comment by karim — January 11th, 2009 @ 11:39 PM

I agree with carla. Could you kindly confirm the accuracy of this? I have seen it also in French but quoting Tadamon at

Comment by Simeon — January 12th, 2009 @ 10:42 AM

A PDF of the original letter – in English:

and in French:

Comment by more info — January 12th, 2009 @ 2:35 PM

Congratulations to the Postal Union for having the necessary intestinal fortitude to call an end to normal relations with such a criminal regime.

Comment by al simon — January 12th, 2009 @ 3:07 PM

Mr Lemelin and the postal workers union deserve our respect and support for their courage.

Unfortunately it will take more than economic boycotts to put Israel back in its’ place. The Gaza Ghetto Massacre is one of countless criminal acts of war which are made possible by the fact that that nearly all western countries too (their political and media institutions) are “Israeli-occupied territories”. Why just last week, the US Congress passed a law drafted by AIPAC making it illegal to boycott Israel with only 5 Representatives voting against.

Comment by Marc Seemayer — January 12th, 2009 @ 3:19 PM

It is clear that most sane persons in this world are appalled by the criminal activities perpetrated against the Palestinian people. Unlike our government and the spineless lobbied politicians sitting in parliament today, I as a Canadian and retired union worker support the boycott of Israel for however long it takes. The actions of Israel represents a Palestinian Holocaust and I look forward to the world court to put the Zionist perpetrators on trial just as was done to the NAZI regime under Hitler.

Comment by Ger — January 12th, 2009 @ 5:31 PM

“Yemen,Iraq,Syria,Jordan,Egypt,and other places where Jews ONCE THRIVED,now boast 100 or less Jews because of a CAMPAIGN OF PERSECUTION against Jews that has fallen on deaf ears at the UN.”

Amad Yaqeen – You don’t say WHEN these Jews once thrived or WHEN they stopped thriving. If you’re talking about the time since 1949, the possible answer might be the Israeli persecution of the Palestinians. The Jews literally came off the boats shooting at the indigenous people in order to clear off the land so they can fulfill their dream of a Jews only country. In other words, in order to fulfill their dream of “Greater Israel”, all Arabs currently living there must be exterminated or exiled. I would rather imagine this might outrage and frighten Arabs in the surrounding areas thus leading to persecutions of Jews in Arab lands. I hope this clears things up for you.

Comment by furbaby — January 12th, 2009 @ 7:15 PM

Its good to be proud of someone. If I ran the country I would have declared the use of “any and all means” to stop the Israelis from more murder. WE did it in Kosovo and several others places, but not when it comes to Palestinians. To us, it’s almost as if Israel has every TV on it’s side.

Comment by Neil Thompson — January 12th, 2009 @ 8:19 PM

Ahmad, I’m sorry. Offers have been put out to get Jews to move to Israel, The Iranian Jews (25,000+) stated they do not wish to leave because they do not want to be supporting such murder.

I have to state any response besides police and peace officer response is too much.

Comment by Neil Thompson — January 12th, 2009 @ 8:22 PM

Jews are Choosing to NOT return to Israel because of the conflict and the discrimination. I had a jewish friend who chose to accept the right of return and she moved to Israel around 1993. She was there for just a few years and was back in her home country (country of birth) by the year 2000. She said it was too dangerous for jews to be living in Israel. She also hated the discrimination by the (white) ashkenazis against the (african and arab) sephardic jews and the (black) ethiopian jews.

Comment by Francesca — January 12th, 2009 @ 9:25 PM

Context of the current Gaza Slaughter:

The world knows and will not forget that the people of Gaza are refugees in their own land, being brutally ruled by the Israeli occupying power, which acts brazenly and criminally in contravention to International Law and the Fourth Geneva Convention.

Only recently, on the fourth of November 2008, the chairperson of a United Nations Special Committee set up to investigate Israeli practices in occupied territories, reported:

“Through an “enormous web of unlawful practices” that entailed systematic human rights violations, Israel was causing severe devastation and damage to Palestinian society.”

United Nations Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York
Sixty-third General Assembly , Fourth Committee , 21st Meeting (PM) GA/SPD/415

The Truce of June 2008

In June 0f 2008, Hamas, the democratically elected representative of the people of Gaza, entered into a truce with Israel, where Hamas would refrain from rocket attacks into Israel and Israel would halt its ‘targeted’ killings of Gazans; also they were to open the border crossings, which were harshly controlled by Israel and which made Gaza a virtual prison camp.

Who broke the truce?

The position taken by much of Canadian press and held by our Government spokesmen, is that Hamas broke the truce by firing rockets into Israel. Hamas claims that it was Israel that broke the truce. What is the truth?

1. In violation of the June 08 truce, not to mention International Law, Israel, instead of lifting the severe restrictions on the border crossings, further tightened the noose on Gazans regularly blocking supplies of food and medicines. Hamas saw this as a violation of the truce as reported in the Jerusalem Post on June 25, 2008.

John Ging, the Irish head of UNRWA (United Nations Relief and Works Agency) in Gaza, told The Electronic Intifada on November 25th:

“In fact at the UN, our supplies were also restricted during the period of the ceasefire, to the point where we were left in a very vulnerable and precarious position and with a few days of closure (of the international crossings) we ran out of food.”

The Irish Times reported on Tuesday December 30, 2008

“Even though there was a ceasefire, the people of Gaza continued to be collectively punished contrary to international humanitarian law, in particular, to Article 33 of the Fourth Geneva Convention”.

The same United Nations report referred to above stated,

“Even under the aegis of a peace process, Israel continued to breach all human rights standards,” the observer for Palestine said, referring to the numerous examples provided in the Special Committee’s report of Palestinian civilians being killed, injured, imprisoned, displaced and collectively punished. She stressed that Israel had, for decades, relentlessly pursued a two-dimensional policy, namely the brutalization and oppression of the Palestinian people, and the confiscation and colonization of the land. Every sector of life had been disrupted, and poverty, hunger, disease and unemployment continued to rise. Further, these illegal actions undermined the peace process”.

United Nations Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York
Sixty-third General Assembly , Fourth Committee , 21st Meeting (PM) GA/SPD/415

2. On November 4, 2008 Israeli forces entered Gaza and killed six members of Hamas. Israel claimed that they were digging a tunnel towards Israel. Hamas denied the allegation; but even if this were so, Israel could easily have targeted the tunnel itself with aircraft which are so often used to carry out ‘pin-point’ strikes in Gaza. Hamas retaliated by firing rockets into Gaza.

Amnesty International reported:
5 November 2008
“The killing of six Palestinian militants in Gaza by Israeli forces in a ground incursion and air strikes on 4 November was followed by a barrage of dozens of Palestinian rockets on nearby towns and villages in the south of Israel. The Palestinian attacks caused no casualties or damage, but there is a real risk that any further armed actions by either side would risk igniting another deadly campaign”.

Reporting from Jerusalem, reporter Rory McCarthy reported in the Guardian of UK, Wednesday November 5th.
“the four-month ceasefire between Israel and Palestinian militants in Gaza was in jeopardy today after Israeli troops killed six Hamas gunmen in a raid into the territory”
Isreal’s own Peace Movement, Gush-Shalom said in a statement on Saturday 27th December 2008:
“It was the State of Israel which broke the truce, in the ‘ticking tunnel’ raid on the night of the US elections two months ago. Since then the army went on stoking the fires of escalation with calculated raids and killings, whenever the shooting of missiles on Israel decreased.”

Israels Actions in Gaza Today:
Israels’s military assault on Gaza today is nothing short of war crimes. This is borne out by representatives of the United Nations and the International Committee of the Red Cross, journalists, and medical personnel.

We call on the Government of Canada:
1. Do not be a party to war crimes. The people of Canada are not war criminals.
2. Adopt an unbiased and just stand, bearing in mind the historical context of this conflict.
3. Call on Israel to stop its wanton and disproportionate use of force which is devastating a civillian population.
4. Actively support the United Nations Security Council call for a ceasefire.
5. Promote a just settlement of the Israel/palestine conflict, and insist that the world body implement United Nation’s resolutions already passed, as it has forcefully and rigourously applied UN resolutions in the case of other conflicts.

Comment by Ashton — January 12th, 2009 @ 10:58 PM

“If I was an Arab leader, I would never make terms with Israel. That is natural: We have taken their country. … They only see one thing: we have come here and stolen their country.”
-David Ben-Gurion [1886-1973]

Comment by Rex — January 12th, 2009 @ 11:59 PM


The Canadian Union of Postal workers should ask other unions to join their call.

Comment by tsk_tsk — January 13th, 2009 @ 6:51 AM

The extermination by the NAZI regime of an ethnic group was inexcusable and ‘some’ got to pay for their part in this crime. There was such a human outcry against this that an international public tribunal was set up to bring some degree of justice and retribution against the perpetrators. We saw a weaker version of these tribunals a few years ago with some ethnic cleansing being done near Europe which resulted in a bit of wrist slapping.

We have a new force that has reared its ugly greedy intolerance of any who stand in its way.

It is not really a new force but a very old one emerging again from the recesses of time. It is called ZIONISM. It like the Nazis is predicated on elitism which is another name for intolerance of others deemed lesser individuals or a culture equally so designated.

Zionism even has a culpable pal with certain ultra right wing so called, ‘Christians.’

The difficulty is that as soon as someone of the Zionist ilk objects to anyone censuring their inhumanity, the word ‘Holocaust’ emerges as justification for them perpetrating on others what was done on a segment of society that might have but may not have included some or many of the elite.

If any one of us is hurt it is painful. If any one of us is cut we bleed red. It is rare that people truly forgive and so when hatred, greed and intolerance prevail the tables do have a way of turning. It will not be a pleasure to watch; but neither has the despair and destitution been a pleasure to watch as 1.5 millions huddle in an enclosure from which there is no escape but death or fight. Now these are real terrorists they even strap explosives to their body or throw a brick at a tank. They may get enough ‘junk’ to build a Quassam rocket to howl their outrage.

Comment by G. Ferguson — January 13th, 2009 @ 7:18 AM

Felicitations Denis, de ton Courage, ou Digna Rabia en Espanol! Die ganze Welt ist empoert!

PS: Guernica is the proper ianalogy and Ilan Pappe’ s book The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine (www.oneworld is the best crash course on Eretz Israel

Comment by Hans Modlich — January 13th, 2009 @ 7:12 PM

It won’t be Canada’s politicians that will help as they are clearly with USRAEL. CUPW must now go to other unions and ask them to sign. If they don’t let’s have their names and make this shame known. I will ask my union to join as should every member. If not unions get your church or social organization to simply support the CUPW statement.
See also more information on Canada’s shocking dissenting vote at the UNHRC: Only we the people can stop this war our politicians are complicit.

Comment by John Shafer — January 14th, 2009 @ 12:18 AM

I have not seen people more devilish that Zionists. In their campaign to get the reluctant Jews to emigrate to Israel they enticed them in every way possible. And when they failed, they threatened fellow Jews, violated their security and synagogues and even tried bombing their business. While this was going on, their propaganda machines blamed what was happening to the Jews on the Arabs! What else are they planning to do next?

Comment by Janet — January 14th, 2009 @ 2:21 AM

How dare those Israelis defend themselves? How dare they not use sling shots to deter the terrorists? Hows dare Canadians not give back land to the Indians? How dare Israel which war was perpetrated against her in ’48’ ’67’ and’73 win? She tried to give the West Bank and Gaza back to Eygpt and Jordan but they said, “Palestinians, who wants them, you keep them” Jordan killed thousands of Palestinians not a word for anyone.. why? Because Jordanians are not Jews. This whoe thing is not about Israel.. It is about Jews and Jews winning wars. For those of you who do not like the Jewish people, go and knock your heads against a brick wall. What can I tell you? As for the girl who had 1 Jewish friend and based Israel’s policy towards Sepharadim and Ethiopians today, you just made a moron out of yourself. Sepharadim and Ashkenazim and Ethiopians all marry one another and enjoy a wonderful life in every aspect of Israeli society. If the
Zionists” would not want to precision hit Hamas, trust me she could, if she wanted to, make a parking lot out of Gaza. Then and only then could you yell war crimes and genocide you fools. Israel respects life, respects women and children and is very sad when innocent Palestinians are killed, but for the most part Hamas is using Palestinians as human fodder- as a propaganda tool – if you were smart, you would want to help Palestinian civilians by setting your rage upon Hamas. Oh , I forgot, Hamas is a terror organization, but hey they are not Jewish so you can’t get angry at Hamas now, could you….

Comment by Vardit Feldman — January 14th, 2009 @ 7:13 AM

Salam/Shalom/Peace to all.

In response to Carla and Simoen, I checked the Canadian Postal Workers Union Website, I used their search engine on their website, by typing in Israel…here is the link

Comment by Fatma Mughal — January 15th, 2009 @ 9:43 AM

There are three books that will explain this Gaza massacre. “Torture Team” by Queen’sCounselor Phillipe Sands, “Spies for Hire” by Tim Shorrock, “Global War on Liberty” In french “le Fin de l’Etat de le Droit” by Jean-Claude Paye. This horrible crisis is the opening salvo of the U.S. world war empire using the war on terror as a smoke screen and facilitator, Israeli paranoia as the goad, sending tons of weapons for free, shelling Gaza from the sea from US ships. Each family, child, killed, hundreds of agoniized, traumatised Arabs and Muslims vow revenge fighting. War empires are nothing without wars.

Comment by Suzanne de Kuyper — January 15th, 2009 @ 3:29 PM

The world community is pressuring the United States to stop arming and giving diplomatic immunity to Israel.
This Israeli bombing of Gaza is inhumane and criminal.
It amounts to Genocide and those responsible ought to be brought before an international criminal court of justice.

The corporate fascist media in the U.S are nothing but Zionist apologists.

The time has come for Israel to STOP once and for all its evil colonial occupation of Palestine.
We have had enough with this domination, this unjust war against the Palestinians.
Israel has engaged in an ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people, and in a outgoing expansion
of their Jewish settlements on Palestinian territories for years now.

Hamas is a consequence of the brutal, abusive and ruthless Israeli occupation.
The Palestinian people and Hamas are simply resisting and fighting for their freedom.
It’s a struggle for liberation and self determination.
And for an autonomy and sovereignty that Israel has deny them for way too long now.

As long as Israel continues its heinous crimes against the Palestinians
There will be no “security for Israel” and no peace in the middle east.

We owe it to the Palestinian people to have autonomy over their territories without Israeli intervention,
occupation and control of their borders.

All the Palestinians want is a sovereign Palestinian state or Palestinian territories.
And a peaceful coexistence with Israel.

Guillermo Kuhl
Alpharetta, GA. City Carrier

He who joyfully marches to music in rank and file has already earned my contempt.
He has been given a large brain by mistake, science for him the spinal cord would fully suffice.
This disgrace to civilization should be done away with at once.
Heroism at command, senseless brutality, deplorable love-of-country stance, how violently I hate all this,
how despicable an ignorable war is; I would rather be torn to shreds than be a part of so base an action!
It is my conviction that killing under the cloak of war is nothing but an act of murder.” (Albert Einstein)

Comment by Guillermo Kuhl — January 15th, 2009 @ 10:09 PM

Many thanks to Fatma Mughal for the link. I will spread this letter around to whichever organization, union, media contact that is available to me. Since CUPW is not a marginal group. other organizations or the members within may be inspired to adopt the boycott mentality and act upon it. BDS (Boycott, Divest, Sanction) is a non-violent means of stopping the carnage caused by Israel to the Palestinian population.

Comment by carla — January 21st, 2009 @ 10:03 AM

When is Canada going to give the land back to the natives?

Comment by Lindy — September 17th, 2009 @ 10:15 PM

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