Fifty Years of Occupation

June 5, 2017

This week marks the 50th anniversary of the Israeli Occupation of the West Bank, East Jerusalem, Gaza, and the Golan Heights, which began with Israeli airstrikes on Egypt on June 5, 1967 to commence the so-called Six-Day War.

Here are some resources to help you learn more about the events of 50 years ago, and what the Occupation has meant for Palestinians living under it for the last half-century.

50 Stories of Palestinian Life Under Occupation (United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Occupied Palestinian Territory)

Israel’s occupation was a plan fulfilled (Electronic Intifada)

Israel provoked the Six-Day War in 1967, and it was not fighting for survival (Mondoweiss)

A 50-Year Occupation: Israel’s Six-Day War Started With a Lie (The Intercept)

The Unwanted ‘Bride’: Can the 1967 War Offer Opportunity for Peace? (The Palestine Chronicle)

50 years: Israeli occupation longest in modern history (Al Jazeera)

Who Started the Six-Day War of June 1967? (The Palestine Chronicle)

Israel: 50 Years of Occupation Abuses (Human Rights Watch)

Quick Facts: 50 Years of Israeli Military Rule (Institute for Middle East Understanding)

50 Years of Israeli Military Rule: Settlements & Settlers (Mondoweiss)

Why has the Occupation lasted this long? (Mondoweiss)

After 50 years of Israeli occupation, ‘now is the time’ to create Palestinian state – UN chief (UN News Centre)

Fifty years of opposition (+972)

Check out Visualizing Palestine’s latest graphic, A History of Occupation.

Watch the Al-Jazeera documentary, The War in June.

Watch the Real News Network’s interview with Norman Finkelstein, Six-Day War, 50-Year Occupation: What Really Happened in June 1967?

Forum on Syria: Reasons for the Refugee Crisis and Canada’s Role

January 4, 2016


Forum on Syria: The Refugee Crisis, the Peace Process and Canada’s Role
Thursday, January 7 (7:00 pm)
Telus Building Room 150
(Corner of 111 Street & 87 Avenue, University of Alberta Campus)
Click here for map

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

The Edmonton Coalition Against War and Racism (ECAWAR) is organizing a forum on the refugee crisis in Syria.

The current refugee crisis is said to be the greatest in the history of the modern world, even greater than the exodus caused by the ravages of World War II. The United Nations reports that at the end of 2014 there were 19.5 million refugees worldwide. This included 14.4 million people under the mandate of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and 5.1 million Palestinian refugees registered with the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA). There are about 4 million externally displaced refugees from Syria alone.

Many Canadians are taking part in acts of solidarity to welcome refugees. Actions have taken place across the country to say “refugees are welcome here,” and demand that Canada end its participation in military aggression in Syria and Iraq which is fomenting the crisis. During the federal election, the Liberals promised to bring 25,000 refugees by year-end. This was later scaled down to 10,000. As of December 28, only 2,961 refugees have arrived in Canada.

What is often missing from discussions about the Syrian refugee crisis is the broader context of the conflict that has created the terrible situation now facing millions of Syrians.

Donna Entz and Dr. Safana Makhdoom will discuss the refugee crisis and Canada’s role, as well as the initiatives being taken by Canadians in acts of solidarity.

US-NATO and their proxies in the Middle East claim that their intervention in Syria is necessary in order to degrade or defeat Da’esh (ISIS). Dr. Ghada Ageel will revisit the role of the US-NATO and their proxies in the Middle East from the invasion of Iraq to the rise of ISIS, the war in Syria and current intervention in the Middle East.

Canada justifies aggression and intervention using humanitarian as well as “security” pretexts. Peggy Morton will discuss the peace process, the stands of the US, Canada, and other NATO countries, including the “security agenda” and “responsibility to protect” which violate the UN Charter and international law and what is required for Canada to become a factor for peace.

About the Speakers:

Dr. Ghada Ageel is a Visiting Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Alberta. Her most recent book (editor and contributor), Apartheid in Palestine: Hard Laws and Harder Experiences, will be released later this month.

Donna Entz is a support worker at the Mennonite Centre for Newcomers who is well know for her work with refugees and other recent immigrants.

Dr. Safana Makhdoom is a member of ECAWAR and a physician who recently spent two weeks providing medical aid in a refugee camp in Greece.

Peggy Morton is a spokesperson for the Edmonton Coalition Against War and Racism and life-long anti-war activist.

Organized by the Edmonton Coalition Against War and Racism, co-sponsored by Palestine Solidarity Network-Edmonton.

Conference: The Unfinished Project of the Arab Spring

September 7, 2015


The University of Alberta is hosting a free international conference:

The Unfinished Project of the Arab Spring: Why “Middle East Exceptionalism” is Still Wrong
September 25 – 27
University of Alberta

For full details, visit the conference website.

The conference features a keynote by Tariq Ali (RSVP online) on Friday, September 25 at 7:00 pm and a panel which includes Yasmeen Abu-Laban (Political Science, University of Alberta) and Abigail Bakan (Social Justice Education, University of Toronto) speaking on Israel, Palestine and the Politics of Race: From Exceptionalism to Global Context on Saturday, September 26 at 10:30 am. Check the full schedule for other sessions.

Conference description:

Four years after the recent revolutions/social movements in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), the crisis in the region is evident with the rise of ISIS in Iraq and Syria, the return of a military regime in Egypt, the breakout of proxy/civil war in Syria and Yemen, and the chaos and collapse of the Libyan polity

Is the Middle East exceptionally immune to democratic movements, values and institutions?

This international conference suggests that contemporary social movements in the Middle East and North Africa are open-ended and unfinished (rather than failed) projects.

Presenters will consider these movements and their aftermath with an eye to the socio-political opportunities and potentials for progressive change they left behind.

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.



Poetic Aid

March 1, 2014


Looking for something to do after Edmonton Israeli Apartheid Week 2014 wraps up? Check out this amazing event to raise funds for Islamic Relief.

Poetic Aid
Friday, March 14 (6:00 – 9:00 pm)
Stanley Milner Library Theatre
7 Sir Winston Churchill Square

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

Tickets are $15 at the door or advance tickets for $11 on Eventbrite.

A spoken word showcase where young poets from BC, Saskatchewan and our local talents are performing to raise money for humanitarian relief in Syria and Palestine.

Refreshments will be provided to enjoy the show! It is going to be a stellar evening, let your friends know and we hope to see you all there!

Ticket purchases & donations go straight to Islamic Relief: an international aid and development charity, which strives to alleviate suffering, hunger, illiteracy, and diseases worldwide regardless of color, race, religion, or creed, and to provide aid in a compassionate and dignified manner. Islamic Relief Canada aims to provide rapid relief in the event of human and natural disasters and to establish sustainable local development projects allowing communities to better help themselves.

Middle East Upheavals and What it Means for Palestine

November 15, 2013


Middle East Upheavals and What it Means for Palestine
Wednesday, November 27 (6:30 – 8:00 pm)
Telus Building Room 217/219
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.

The past three years have seen a historic shift in the politics of the Middle East. Starting with the wave of uprisings of the so-called “Arab Spring” which began in December of 2010 and continuing through the ongoing civil war in Syria and the military coup d’etat in Egypt which overthrew the government of Mohamed Morsi.

How has the upheaval in the Middle East impacted the lives of Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank, and what does the new reality in the region mean for the latest round of US-brokered “peace talks” between Israel and the Palestinian Authority?

Come hear from two experts, Dr. Ghada Ageel and Dr. Mojtaba Mahdavi, on the new Middle East reality and the prospects for Palestine, including a first-hand account of the new reality in Gaza following the Egyptian coup based on Dr. Ageel’s three-month visit to Gaza earlier this year.

About the Speakers:

Dr. Ghada Ageel is a visiting professor at  the University of Alberta political science department, an independent scholar, an activist and a member of Faculty4Palestine-Alberta and the Palestine Solidarity Network. A third generation Palestinian refugee, Dr. Ageel was born and raised in the Khan Younis Refugee Camp in the Gaza Strip. She earned her BA in Education from the Islamic University/Gaza in 1999. In the same year, she won the Jerusalem Studies’ Scholarship of the University of Exeter in Britain, where she received her Masters and PhD degrees in Middle East Politics.

Dr. Ageel worked for several local and international organizations. Most recently, she worked last summer for the US-based Institute for Middle East Understanding, acting as their communications manager in the Gaza Strip.  Her work has been published in many newspapers and journals worldwide, including The Washington Post, The International Herald Tribune, The Los Angeles Times, the BBC, CNN, The Guardian, Journal for Palestine Studies and many Arabic newspapers throughout the Middle East.

Mojtaba Mahdavi is Associate Professor of Political Science and Middle East studies at University of Alberta. His recent books include Towards the Dignity of Difference? Neither End of History nor Clash of Civilizations (co-edited) and Under the Shadow of Khomeinism: Problems and Prospects for Democracy in Post-revolutionary Iran (forthcoming). He is currently working on two book projects: Post-Islamism in Context: Neo-Shariati Discourse, and Political Sociology of Post-revolutionary Iran. His contributions have appeared in several refereed journals and essays, edited volumes and interviews. He is the recipient of several awards and grants including the SSHRC, the IDRC Canada Partnerships Grant, Killam Research Operating Grants, and the Worldwide University Network Grant. His research interests lie in social movements, Islamism and post-Islamism, modern Islamic political thought, democratization in the Muslim World, and international politics of the Middle East.

Event: The Ugly Canadian Edmonton Book Launch

October 10, 2012

The Ugly Canadian: Stephen Harper’s Foreign Policy
Edmonton Book Launch w
ith author Yves Engler
Thursday, November 1 (7:00 pm)
Telus Building Room 134
87 Avenue and 111 Street, U of A Campus
(Click here for map)

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

The Ugly Canadian: Stephen Harper’s Foreign Policy documents the sordid story of the Canadian government’s sabotage of international environmental efforts, of a government totally committed to tar sands producers and a mining industry widely criticized for abuses. Yves Engler’s sweeping critique details Harper’s opposition to the “Arab Spring” democracy movement and his backing of repressive Middle East monarchies, as well as his support for a military coup in Honduras and indifference to the suffering of Haitians following the earthquake that devastated their country. The book also explores Canada’s extensive military campaign in Libya, opposition to social transformation in Latin America and support for the far right-wing Israeli government.

With an eye to Canada’s growing international isolation, The Ugly Canadian is a must read for those who would like to see Canada adopt a more just foreign policy.

This is a free event. Copies of The Ugly Canadian will be available for purchase.

Organized locally by the Palestine Solidarity Network-U of A and the Council of Canadians. Sponsored nationally by and Canadians for Justice & Peace in the Middle East.

For more about the book, visit or Fernwood Publishing.

Praise for the book

“Stephen Harpers’ government has fundamentally changed Canada’s foreign policy in a way most Canadians do not understand. The notion of the Ugly Canadian may be hard to accept but it is true and I for one am deeply grateful to Yves Engler for this important book.”
– Maude Barlow, National Chairperson of The Council of Canadians

“A damning chronicle of Stephen Harper’s international misdeeds.”
– Michael Byers, Canada Research Chair in Global Politics and International Law, University of British Columbia

“Ugly Canadian is a well written, thoroughly researched, powerful indictment of the Harper government’s radical shift to the right in foreign policy. This book is more than a wakeup call, it is a call to arms for Canadians to take note of where we are headed on the international stage -before it is too late.”
– Scott Taylor, Editor Esprit de Corps Magazine

About Yves Engler

Dubbed “Canada’s version of Noam Chomsky” (Georgia Straight), “one of the most important voices on the Canadian Left today” (Briarpatch), “in the mould of I. F. Stone” (Globe and Mail), “part of that rare but growing group of social critics unafraid to confront Canada’s self-satisfied myths” (Quill & Quire), “ever-insightful” ( and a “Leftist gadfly” (Ottawa Citizen), Yves Engler’s six previous books have been praised by Noam Chomsky, Naomi Klein, William Blum, Rick Salutin and many others.