Jerusalem in Danger Seminar

October 29, 2015

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Jerusalem in Danger
A seminar on the current situation in Jerusalem
Sunday, November 1 at 7:00 pm
Edmonton Islamic Academy
(14525 127 Street)

Palestine Solidarity Network and the Canada-Palestine Cultural Association are hosting a seminar which will discuss the current Palestinian uprising, especially its implications for occupied East Jerusalem and its citizens.

Speakers:

Dr. Ghada Ageel is a visiting professor at the University of Alberta Political Science Department, an independent scholar, member of PSN and Faculty4Palestine-Alberta, and author of the forthcoming book Apartheid in Palestine: Hard Laws and Harder Experiences.

Mr. Mahdi Qasqas is a Canadian Certified Counsellor, and Provisional Psychologist and President of 3OWN | Muslim Youth and Family Service.

Sheikh Basheer Hasan is a graduate from Boston University’s Faculty of Education, he holds a degree in Islamic Studies and currently works at the MAC Islamic School in Edmonton as a teacher and administrator. He has also worked as an imam at different mosques across Edmonton.

Eoin Murray is an Irish author who lived in Gaza during the Second Intifada.

Everyone is welcome to attend this free event.


Rally in Solidarity With Palestine

October 20, 2015

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Rally in Solidarity With Palestine
Sunday, October 25 (1:00 pm)
Edmonton City Hall
1 Sir Winston Churchill Square

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

As Palestinians continue to rise up against the occupation, settlersIsraeli military, and mob violence against Palestinians continues across Gaza, the West Bank, and occupied East Jerusalem.

Join us in Edmonton to stand in solidarity with the Palestinian people against the injustice of occupation, and to let our elected officials know that Canadians want peace and justice for the Palestinian people.

For background, you can read a BDS Movement Q&A on the uprisingread an IMEU Q&A on the current uprising in Palestine, Ramzy Baroud’s “Of Course, It is an Intifada: This is What You Must Know“or Ben White’s “Palestinian youth and the ‘force of disobedience’” and “A new intifada? You’re asking the wrong question.”


Speed Sisters at Global Visions Film Festival

May 1, 2015

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Speed Sisters
Edmonton Premiere at the Global Visions Film Festival
Saturday, May 9 (Noon – 2:00 pm)
Metro Cinema (Garneau Theatre)
8712-109 Street

Buy advanced tickets to the screening or the festival.

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

Despite restrictions on movement, a motor racing scene has emerged in the West Bank. The races offer a release from the pressures and uncertainties of life under military occupation. The spirited competition between cities brings spectators out in the thousands, lining rooftops and leaning over barricades to snap photos of their favorite drivers and to catch their final times on the scoreboard.

Brought together by a common desire to live life on their own terms, five determined women have joined the ranks of dozens of male drivers — competing against each other for the title, for bragging rights for their hometown, and to prove that women can compete head on with the guys.

The Speed Sisters are the first all-women race car driving team in the Middle East. They’re bold. They’re fearless. And they’re tearing up tracks all over Palestine.

Both intimate and action-filled, Speed Sisters captures the drive to defy all odds, leaving in its trail shattered stereotypes about gender and the Arab world.

Speed Sisters in an Hot Docs 2015 Official Selection.

Watch an interview with director Amber Fares and driver Noor Daoud on Canada AM.


Sharing Tea Amidst Conflict

February 8, 2015

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Two recently returned human rights observers will be sharing stories of their experience in Palestine-Israel:

Sharing Tea Amidst Conflict: Stories from Palestine & Israel
Thursday, March 5 (7:00 – 8:30 pm)
Trinity United Church
8810 Meadowlark Road
(click here for map)

Debbie Hubbard and Dean Reidt will share their stories and experiences from their recent time in Palestine and Israel as human rights observers.

Light refreshments will be served and there will be a cash beverage bar. Fair trade Palestinian products and olive wood products will be available for purchase. Everyone is welcome and this is a free event, but donations will be accepted for projects in Palestine.

Parking is available at the back of the church, on the streets around the church, or across the street in the Meadowlark Mall parking lot. The Edmonton Transit Centre is located at Meadowlark mall.

For more information about the event, contact Debbie Hubbard at 780-458-9286 or by email at sowingseedsofpossibilities@gmail.com


Two Events with Israeli Peace Activist Jeff Halper

January 18, 2015

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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)
Edmonton Clinic Health Academy (ECHA) Room 1-182
South Corner of 87 Avenue and 114 Street, U of A Campus
(Click here for map)

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.


Al-Quds Day Rally for Palestine

July 19, 2014

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Al-Quds Day Rally for Palestine
Friday, July 25 (6:00 – 7:30 pm)
Alberta Legislature Building
10800 97 Avenue NW, Edmonton
(Click here for map)

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

Edmonton is hosting its third annual Al-Quds Day rally. The International Day of al-Quds is an annual event, supporting a just peace for Palestine, and opposing apartheid Israel’s control of Jerusalem (al-Quds in Arabic: القـُدْس), the international city that stands as a powerful symbol to three of the world’s great religious traditions. It is held each year on the last Friday of the Muslim month of Ramadhan.

With the current Israeli massacre in Gaza and the increased levels of repression in Occupied East Jerusalem and the Occupied West Bank, this year’s Al-Quds day is far more than just a day of international commemoration. With the current bloodshed, torture, and injustice happening Palestine, we cannot afford to remain silent. Please join us as we mobilize to make history! Be a part of this global movement. Please spread the word! Remember, you don’t need to be Palestinian to care, you simply have to be human. Free Palestine!

PSN is proud to support the organizers of this third rally in support of the people of Gaza and all of Palestine, following up on emergency solidarity rallies held in Edmonton on July 8 and July 16.

Not in Edmonton? Check out other solidarity rallies happening around the world.

For ongoing updates and analysis about the situation in Gaza, visit Al-Jazeera English, Electronic Intifada, Palestine Chronicle, or Mondoweiss.


The Nakba at 66

May 14, 2014

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Thursday, May 15 marks 66 years since the Nakba (Arabic for “catastrophe”): the dispossession, forced exile, and ethnic cleansing of some 750,000 Palestinians from their land before and during the creation of the State of Israel in 1948.

Sixty-six years later, Palestinians still face an ongoing Nakba as Israel continues to deny the right of return of displaced Palestinians and to illegally colonize Palestinian lands. Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip have now lived under a brutal Israeli military occupation for nearly 47 years, and Palestinians in Israel live under a system of apartheid – more than 50 laws enshrine their status as second-class citizens based on their ethnic and religious identity.

Below are some basic facts about the Nakba, produced by the Institute for Middle East Understanding.

To learn more about the Nakba, you can visit the websites of the Institute for Middle East Understanding and American Muslims for Palestine.

Other sites you can use to educate people about the continuing relevance of the Nakba and the importance of the Palestinian right of return for establishing a just and lasting peace are Before Their Diaspora: A Photographic History of the Palestinians, 1876-1948 from the Institute for Palestine Studies; Ongoing Nakba Education Center from BADIL Resource Center for Palestinian Residency and Refugee Rights; and Expressions of Nakba from the US Campaign to End the Occupation.

You can also check out and share the graphic from Visualizing Palestine on An Ongoing Dispossession: The Forced Exile of the Palestinians.

You can read the latest news related to the Nakba on Mondoweiss.

For an in-depth history of the Nakba and Plan Dalet, read Ilan Pappé’s The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine.

Al Jazeera in 2008 produced an award-winning series on the Nakba, which you can watch for free below.

Parts 1 & 2:

Parts 3 & 4:

Quick Facts: Israeli Independence & The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine

Total number of Palestinians expelled during Israel’s creation (1947-49): Between 750,000 and 1 million.

Number of Palestinians expelled prior to Israel’s declaration of independence on May 14, 1948, and the ensuing war with neighboring Arab states: Between 250,000 and 350,000.

Total number of Palestinian population centers systematically destroyed during Israel’s creation (1947-49): More than 400.

Number of population centers ethnically cleansed of their Palestinian Arab inhabitants by Zionist forces prior to Israel’s declaration of independence on May 14, 1948, and the ensuing war with neighboring Arab states: More than 200.

Number of documented massacres of Palestinians by Zionist and Israeli forces during Israel’s creation: At least two dozen. The most notorious took place at Deir Yassin on April 9, 1948, when more than 100 Palestinian men, women, and children were murdered by Zionist paramilitaries belonging to the Stern Gang and Irgun (led by future Israeli Prime Ministers Yitzhak Shamir and Menachem Begin, respectively). These atrocities spurred the mass flight of Palestinians, and were instrumental in facilitating the creation of a Jewish-majority state in a region in which Palestinian Arabs were the majority.

Number of Palestinians who survived the expulsions, remaining within the borders of the new Israeli state: Approximately 150,000. Although granted Israeli citizenship, they were governed by Israeli military rule until 1966, had most of their land taken from them, and continue to suffer widespread, systematic discrimination today as non-Jews living in a “Jewish state.”

The total monetary loss of Palestinians dispossessed during Israel’s creation has been estimated at between of $100 billion and $200 billion (US) in today’s dollars.

The expulsion of the majority of the Arab population of what became Israel during the state’s establishment was not an unintended consequence of war, but rather a preconceived strategy of “transfer” to ensure the creation of a Jewish majority state. (See here for more on “transfer” in early Zionist thinking.) The military blueprint for the ethnic cleansing of Palestine was called Plan Dalet (or Plan D) and was formally approved by the Zionist leadership on March 10, 1948. It called for:

  • “Destruction of villages (setting fire to, blowing up, and planting mines in the debris), especially those population centers which are difficult to control continuously.
  • “Mounting search and control operations according to the following guidelines: encirclement of the village and conducting a search inside it. In the event of resistance, the armed force must be destroyed and the population must be expelled outside the borders of the state.”

In December 1948, the UN General Assembly passed Resolution 194, which stated: “refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbours should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date, and that compensation should be paid for the property of those choosing not to return and for loss of or damage to property which, under principles of international law or in equity, should be made good by the Governments or authorities responsible.”

Successive U.S. administrations supported Resolution 194 and consistently voted to affirm it until 1993, when the administration of President Bill Clinton began to refer to Palestinian refugee rights as a matter to be negotiated between the two parties in a final peace agreement, following the signing of the Oslo Accords between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization.

The Palestinian right of return has also been recognized by major human rights organizations such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch. In 2001, Amnesty International issued a policy statement on the subject, which concluded: “Amnesty International calls for Palestinians who fled or were expelled from Israel, the West Bank or Gaza Strip, along with those of their descendants who have maintained genuine links with the area, to be able to exercise their right to return.” (See here for more on the Palestinian right of return and international law.)

A survey released in 2010 by BADIL, the Resource Center for Palestinian Residency and Refugee Rights, found the Palestinian refugee and displaced population to be approximately 7.1 million, made up of 6.6 million refugees and 427,000 internally displaced persons. Most of them live in refugee camps in the occupied West Bank and Gaza, or in neighboring countries, often only a few miles away from the homes and lands from which they were expelled.