Two Events with Israeli Peace Activist Jeff Halper

January 18, 2015


PSN is excited to welcome noted Israeli peace activist Jeff Halper to Edmonton as part of his cross-Canada speaking tour. Jeff Halper is the co-founder and Director of the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD), as well as a Nobel Peace Prize Nominee.

You’ll have two opportunities to hear him speak in Edmonton. Both events are free of charge, but we will be accepting donations, with all proceeds going to ICAHD projects to help rebuild demolished Palestinian homes.

No Home, No Homeland: Israel’s Policy of Demolishing Palestinian Homes
Friday, February 6 (7:00 – 9:00 pm)
University of Alberta Campus
(Building and Room TBC, check back after January 25)

Jeff will take the audience through an Israeli demolition of a Palestinian home and place Israel’s policy of demolishing Palestinian homes (48,000 since 1967) within Israel’s wider matrix of control — its political structure of permanent occupation — and will discuss how this policy impacts the possibility of a just peace in Palestine-Israel.

Where Are We Headed in Israel-Palestine? Apartheid Warehousing or a Just Solution?
Saturday, February 7 (7:00 – 9:00 pm)
Southminster-Steinhauer United Church
10740-19 Avenue
(Click here for map)

Jeff will analyze the political situation in Palestine-Israel through maps and visuals, then raise the fundamental question: where do we go from here? He will discuss the various options for resolving the conflict: two states (which he argues is no longer a viable option), one state (bi-national or democratic), or a regional confederation. The alternative to these options is an Israeli-imposed apartheid and/or the permanent warehousing of the Palestinian population.

Help us spread the word! Invite your friends to the Facebook event.

Local Organizers: United Church of Canada, Mennonite Central Committee of Alberta, Palestine Solidarity Network, Independent Jewish Voices

National Sponsors: United Church of Canada, Anglican Church of Canada, Canadian Friends of Sabeel, Canadian Friends Service Committee, United Jewish People’s Order

National Organizers: United Network for a Just Peace in Palestine and Israel (UNJPPI), Independent Jewish Voices (IJV)

About Jeff Halper

Jeff Halper is an Israeli anthropologist and the Coordinator of the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD), an Israeli peace and human rights organization that resists the Occupation on the ground and advocates for a just peace between Israel and the Palestinian people.

A native of the US, Jeff received his Ph.D. in Cultural and Applied Anthropology from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee before moving to Israel in 1973. For more than a decade he worked as a community worker for the Jerusalem municipality in the working class Mizrahi (Middle Eastern) Jewish neighborhoods of Jerusalem. Having done research among the Jews of Ethiopia in the 1960s, he served as the Chairman of the Israeli Committee for Ethiopian Jews.

Jeff served as the Director of the Middle East Center for Friends World College, an international college which he eventually headed, and has taught at universities in Israel, the US, Latin America and Africa. In addition to his many academic and political writings, he is the author of Between Redemption and Revival: The Jewish Yishuv in Jerusalem in the Nineteenth Century (Westview, 1991) and Obstacles to Peace, a resource manual of articles and maps on the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, published by ICAHD. His latest book is An Israeli in Palestine (London: Pluto Press, 2008) on his work against the Occupation. A forthcoming book, entitled War Amongst the People: Israel, the Palestinians and Global Pacification, will be published in 2014 by Pluto Press.

Jeff Halper participated in the first (and successful) attempt of the Free Gaza Movement to break the Israeli siege by sailing into Gaza. He serves on international support committee of the Bertrand Russell Tribunal on Palestine, and was nominated by the American Friends Service Committee for the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize, together with the Palestinian intellectual and activist Ghassan Andoni.

Palestine Sessions at International Week 2015

January 11, 2015


This year’s University of Alberta’s International Week 2015 runs from Monday, January 26 to Friday, January 30. As in past years there are a number of sessions related to Palestine and the broader Middle East of interest to PSN supporters. Most events are free, and all are open to the general public. For information about all International Week events, you can visit the website or download the program guide.

Photographs from Palestine-Israel: Living in a Context of Conflict
January 20 – February 9
Rutherford Library South, Galleria
(Click here for map)

Opening reception on Monday, January 26 at 5:00 pm in the Rutherford Library South, Foyer

Peak behind the headlines about Palestine-Israel to have a closer look at walls, snow, protests, olive trees, peace activists, checkpoints and World Cup Soccer in this context of seemingly unending conflict. This is an exhibit of photographs of people’s daily lives and challenges in Palestine and Israel taken by Ryan Roderick Beiler, a young American photographer living in Bethlehem from 2010-14.

Sponsored by the Mennonite Central Committee

Gaza: The Horror of Displacement
Featuring Dr. Ghada Ageel, Department of Political Science
Thursday, January 29 (3:30 – 4:50 pm)
Edmonton Clinic Health Academy 2-140
South Corner of 87 Avenue and 114 Street, U of A Campus
(Click here for map)

For 50 days in the summer of 2014, Israel bombed the Gaza Strip from air, land and sea, killing more than 2,200 Palestinians and wounding more than 11,000. At the height of the bombardment, roughly one third of Gaza’s population was displaced and, by the time the August 26 cease-fire was declared, over 17,000 homes had been destroyed and another 67,000 homes damaged. Dr. Ageel was there and describes the bombardment and chilling aftermath as “the scariest and most stressful trip” of her life. Join Dr. Ageel as she reflects upon her experience, the new wave of displacement (i.e. “refugeed” refugees) and the prospects for Gaza’s future.

The Middle East After the Arab Spring
Featuring Dr. Mojtaba Mahdavi, Department of Political Science & Office of Interdisciplinary Studies
Friday, January 30 (11:00 – 11:50 am)
Edmonton Clinic Health Academy 1-498
South Corner of 87 Avenue and 114 Street, U of A Campus
(Click here for map)

Where is the Middle East heading after the Arab Spring? The rise of ISIL/ISIS in Iraq and Syria, the civil/proxy war in Syria and Yemen, the return of military rule in Egypt, and the deep political crisis in post-Gaddafi Libya have contributed to the revival of an old discourse of “Middle East Exceptionalism”, meaning the Middle East is exceptionally immune to the process of democratization and remains resistant to democracy. This talk problematizes the root causes of the current crisis and sheds light on problems and future prospects of grassroots democratization in the region. It suggests that the Arab Spring is an “unfinished project” and the quest for human dignity, social justice and freedom will continue to generate democratic social movements in the region.



Two Events with Professor Steven Salaita

January 3, 2015

Professor Steven Salaita will present two lectures in Edmonton on January 13:

Silencing Dissent: Palestine, Digital Activism, Academic Freedom, and the Decline of the Public University
Tuesday, January 13 (3:30 – 5:15 pm)
Humanities Centre Lecture Hall 1 (HC-L1)
111 Street & Saskatchewan Drive, University of Alberta Campus
(Click here for map)

Palestine, Indigenous Peoples, and the Public Intellectual
Tuesday, January 13 (7:00 – 9:00 pm)
Telus Building Room 150
Corner of 111 Street & 87 Avenue, University of Alberta Campus
(Click here for map)

Help us spread the word! Invite your friends to the Facebook event.

Professor Steven Salaita is at the centre of an international protest against academic censorship and the silencing of dissent. During the summer of 2014, Salaita tweeted about the horrors of the Israeli assault and bombardment of Gaza. As he prepared to move to a new job as tenured professor in American Indian Studies at the University of Illinois, he was “de-hired” when wealthy donors objected to his Twitter feed.

Salaita is the author of many articles and six books including Israel’s Dead Soul, Arab American Literary Fictions, Cultures, and Politics, and Anti-Arab Racism in the USA. The Holy Land in Transit: Colonialism and the Quest for Canaan analyses the rhetoric and myths in the settlement of North America and Israel and the “counter-discourse patterns that connect Indigenous writing in both locations.”

Read more about Steven Salaita’s case at the Center for Constitutional Studies.

Co-sponsored by:
Association of Academic Staff, University of Alberta (AAS:UA)
Centre for Global Citizenship Education and Research (CGCER)
Faculty of Arts
Department of English and Film Studies
Faculty for Palestine (F4P)
Faculty of Native Studies
Kule Institute for Advanced Study (KIAS)
Department of Philosophy
Department of Political Science
Palestine Solidarity Network
Department of Women’s and Gender Studies

Eyewitness in Gaza

October 21, 2014

Destruction in Gaza City

Eyewitness in Gaza
Featuring Dr. Ghada Ageel
Tuesday, October 28 (7:00 pm)
Education Centre South Room 306
87 Avenue at 113 Street, University of Alberta Campus
(Click here for map)

Help spread the word! Invite your friends to the Facebook event.

For 50 days in the summer of 2014, Israeli forces pounded the besieged Gaza Strip from air, land and sea, killing more than 2200 Palestinians and wounding more than 11,000, most of them civilians. At the height of the bombardment, roughly a third of Gaza’s population was displaced, and by the time the August 26 cease-fire was declared over 17,000 homes had been completely destroyed and another 37,000 homes damaged.

In the midst of it all, Dr. Ghada Ageel travelled to Gaza to be with her family, spending more than a month experiencing the Israeli bombardment and the chilling aftermath of the assault. She calls it “the scariest and most stressful trip” of her life. Come hear Ghada’s story and learn what the prospects are now for Gaza’s future.

“Expecting the unexpectable, I put my documents, passports and money in a small bag and hung them around my neck and sat next to my mom’s bed fully dressed with my shoes on for most of the week,” Ageel writes of the experience. “In the case of invasion of the refugee camp, my brothers were to carry my disabled mother in a mattress similar to the way they’d done a few days earlier with my 89-year-old grandmother, Khadiaj, minutes before Israel bombed the neighbour’s house. My sister-in-laws, Wafa and Arwa, the plan says, would carry their children, the little money they have and some of their valuable belongings. I was to look after my two children and carry my mom’s medications.”

This is a free event, all are welcome.

Dr. Ghada Ageel is a Visiting Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Alberta. Her research interests focus on rights-based approaches to forced migration, Palestinian refugees in comparative perspective, oral history, women’s studies, the Arab-Israeli conflict, and the permanent status issues involved in the Middle East peace process. Dr. Ageel’s work has been widely published in several newspapers, magazines and journals worldwide, including The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, The International Herald Tribune, The Hill, CNN, BBC, The Guardian, Journal for Palestine Studies, Palestine Chronicle, Occupation Magazine and many Arabic newspapers throughout the Middle East. Dr. Ageel is currently working on a book project: The Palestinian Nakba and Israeli Apartheid : The Law and The Experience. She is also active in Faculty4Palestine-Alberta.

Canada’s Tax-deductible Support for Israel’s Crimes

September 3, 2014


Yves Engler’s latest article for the Electronic Intifada.

Canada’s Tax-deductible Support for Israel’s Crimes

Yves Engler | 22 August 2014

When is a Canadian who leaves this country to join a foreign military force and participate in the killing of innocent civilians, including children, called a “terror tourist” and sent to jail? The answer is: only when that person joins a military force the Conservative government disagrees with.

Numerous ministers in the current federal government have loudly denounced the radicalization of Canadian youth in foreign wars. Last year, the Conservatives passed a law that sets a maximum fifteen year prison sentence for “leaving or attempting to leave Canada” to commit terrorism. Jason Kenney, the minister for multiculturalism, recently said the government is trying “to monitor networks that recruit and radicalize youth.”

Last month, Somali-Canadian Mohamed Hersi was sentenced to ten years in prison for attempting to join the al-Shabab militia in Somalia. Arrested at Toronto’s Pearson airport before leaving, Hersi was not found guilty of committing or plotting a specific act of violence, but according to the presiding judge, was “poised to become a terror tourist.”

Yet our government does nothing to hundreds of other Canadians who join a different foreign military force which daily terrorizes millions of people and often uses explosives to kill thousands — most of whom are civilians. Read the rest of this entry »

Unraveling the Neoliberal, Colonial Links between Québec and Israel

September 2, 2014


Read Stefan Christoff’s excellent analysis for the Media Co-op of the ties between Québec and Israel.

Unraveling the neoliberal, colonial links between Québec and Israel

by Stefan Christoff

Political and economic relations between Québec and Israel have developed in major ways over the past decade. A process facilitated by the Parti libéral du Québec, with open complicity from the PQ, neoliberal colonial links articulated clearly in growing business collaborations and corporate military connections.

In 2008, the former Liberal finance minister Raymond Bachand lead an important political delegation to Israel, reported as having over forty people onboard, with both corporate and academic representatives from Québec, also including representatives from the FTQ’s Fonds de la solidarité. Bachand’s trip finalized a new formal economic and technology focused bilateral accord, existing in parallel to the Canada-Israel bilateral free trade agreement signed back in 1997, recently expanded under the Conservatives.

In signing the most recent Québec accord, Bachand stated that “by signing this complementary agreement, Québec is reiterating the attachment it has with Israel and its wish for a closer collaboration in the future.”

Symbolically the accord was signed in Jerusalem, a city that all mainstream political negotiations around Israel/Palestine clearly recognize as contested territory, a point also articulated many times by the UN. Bachand’s move to sign the deal in Jerusalem signaled a direct complicity with long standing Israeli colonial moves to assert control over the historic city as a centre of Israeli political power, while working to erase Jerusalem’s Palestinian identity.

Bachand also signed the bilateral agreement with former Israeli Industry minister Eliyahu Yishai, a right-wing politician and strong backer of ongoing settlement construction on Palestinian lands in violation of international law and UN resolutions. Read the rest of this entry »

Emergency Rally for Gaza, August 9th

August 6, 2014

Emergency Rally for Gaza
Saturday, August 9 (1:00 pm)
Edmonton, Constable Ezio Faraone Park (11004 97 Ave, North side, West of entrance to High Level Bridge).

gaza-war-crimes-2Help spread the word! Invite your friends to the Facebook event.

Join us as we rally in support of the Palestinian call for an August 9 Day of Rage, where activists and supporters of Palestine all over the world will take to the streets with a unified demand for sanctions against Israel.

The Palestinian call says:
“From Gaza under invasion, bombardment, and continuing siege, the horror is beyond words. Medical supplies are exhausted. The death toll has reached 1813 killed (398 children, 207 women, 74 elderly) and 9370 injured (2744 children, 1750 women, 343 elderly). Our hospitals, ambulances, and medical staff are all under attack while on duty. Doctors and paramedics are being killed while evacuating the dead. Our dead are not numbers and statistics to be recounted; they are loved ones, family and friends.

While we have to survive this onslaught, you certainly have the power to help end it the same way you helped overcome Apartheid and other crimes against humanity. Israel is only able to carry out this attack with the unwavering support of governments – this support must end.

This is our third massacre in six years. When not being slaughtered, we remain under siege, an illegal collective punishment of the entire population. Fishermen are shot and killed if they stray beyond a 3 km limit imposed unilaterally by Israel. Farmers are shot harvesting their crops within a border area imposed unilaterally by Israel. Gaza has become the largest open-air prison, a concentration camp since 2006. This time, we want an end to this unprecedented crime against humanity committed with the complicity and support of your own governments!

We are not asking for charity. We are demanding solidarity, because we know that until Israel is isolated and sanctioned, these horrors will be repeated.

Take action this Saturday

1. Make boycotts, divestments and sanctions the main message at every protest around the world. Take banners and placards calling for sanction on Israel to every protest. Tweet them using the hashtag #GazaDayofRage. Email us your pictures and action details to
2. While news of all the mass protests outside Israel’s embassies around the world have given us hope, after weeks of protests, we urge you to intensify your actions. Occupy Israeli embassies, challenge Israeli officials (and others) supporting the current aggression against Gaza whenever they appear in public and stage sit-in in government buildings.
3. Boycott all Israeli products and take action against corporations profiting from Israel’s system of colonialism, occupation and apartheid. March to boycott targets in your city and educate the public about companies complicit in Israel’s ongoing military assault and illegal siege of Gaza.
4. Palestinian trade unions are calling on our brothers and sisters in the trade union movement internationally to stop handling goods imported from or exported to Israel. The trade union movement has a proud history of direct action against Apartheid in South Africa, the Congress of South African Trade Unions has joined us in the call for direct action to end Israel’s impunity.

– See more at:


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