Palestinization of Kashmir

Palestinization of Kashmir
Featuring David Barsamian
Friday, November 22, 6:00 pm
Room 150, Telus International Centre
Corner of 111 St and 87 Avenue, University of Alberta Campus (map)

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The Mobilization for Justice (M4J) is hosting renowned journalist David Barsamian for a lecture on the crisis in Kashmir and its parallels with Palestine.

This is a free event, everyone is welcome.

Organized by M4J and the ECMC Chair in Islamic Studies at University of Alberta.

About David Barsamian

One of America’s most tireless and wide-ranging investigative journalists, David Barsamian has altered the independent media landscape, both with his weekly radio show Alternative Radio—now in its 34th year—and his books with Noam Chomsky, Eqbal Ahmad, Howard Zinn, Tariq Ali, Richard Wolff, Arundhati Roy and Edward Said. His latest books are with Noam Chomsky: Global Discontents: Rising Threats to Democracy and Edward Said: Culture and Resistance. He lectures on world affairs, imperialism, capitalism, propaganda, the media and global rebellions.

David Barsamian is the winner of the Media Education Award, the ACLU’s Upton Sinclair Award for independent journalism, and the Cultural Freedom Fellowship from the Lannan Foundation. The Institute for Alternative Journalism named him one of its Top Ten Media Heroes. He is the recipient of Lifetime Achievement Awards from the Democracy Alliance of Vancouver, the Rocky Mountain Peace and Justice Center and the Radical Desi. He has collaborated with the world-renowned Kronos Quartet in events in New York, London, Vienna, San Francisco and elsewhere.

Barsamian was deported from India due to his work on Kashmir and other revolts. He is still barred from traveling to “the world’s largest democracy.”

As a kid, David was a bit of a rebel and frequently played hooky from school. Growing up in New York in the shadow of the Armenian Genocide sparked an interest in history and politics. His first interview was with his mother, Araxie. He says, that interview was the most difficult he has ever done. He then went on to do a series of interviews with survivors.

He says he was further radicalized when his beloved Brooklyn Dodgers baseball team moved to Los Angeles. He said, “That’s all I needed to know about capitalism.”

Making Ground for Sumoud

Making Ground for Sumoud on World Refugee Day
Thursday, June 20 (Noon – 1:00 pm)

Telus Building Room 131
Corner of 111 St & 87 Ave, U of A campus (map)

You are invited to this free noon-hour presentation delivered to mark this year’s World Refugee Day.

The event features two University of Alberta-based speakers who will use their involvements with Palestinians to consider how local groups or individuals can lend further support to refugees. The speakers’ experiences are separate and different, but they similarly rely on the importance of sumoud (roughly translated from Arabic as “steadfastness”) among Palestinians. It’s a condition which describes well the actions and outlooks of camp residents in Palestine, Jordan, and Lebanon. While it’s an attitude upheld by refugees in these countries, it also might be adopted by others, in struggles to support them globally.

Coffee will be provided, BYO lunch.

About the speakers

Dr. Ghada Ageel is a visiting professor in Political Science, an independent scholar, and is active in Faculty4Palestine-Alberta)

John Doyle, who retired in 2018 from his position as programs director with the Alberta School of Business’ Centre for International Business Studies, recently taught at two Palestinian refugee camps in Sour (Tyre), Lebanon.

About World Refugee Day

June 20 is the annual, UN-designated day to commemorate strength, courage, and perseverance of refugees, who now number more than 25 million globally, over half under 18 years old. Schools, municipalities, faith groups, and NGOs in Canada have used this Day to share ways for standing with refugees, as well as asylum claimants and internally displaced persons.

Gaza Calls, Canada Answers

Gaza Calls, Canada Answers
Live Canada-wide video conference with Gaza
Saturday, June 8 at 10:00 am
Lendrum Mennonite Church
11210 59 Ave NW (map)

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Join us on June 8 for a nationwide call with Gaza! Local groups in nine cities across Canada will join a call with a group of speakers from Gaza who will share their experiences living in Gaza and the daily struggles Gazans must endure due to the blockade of Gaza and Israeli military strikes in the Gaza strip.

The call will be joined by the following guest speakers from Gaza:

Dr. Mahmoud Matar is the founding head of the Limb Reconstruction Surgery Unit at Shifa Hospital in Gaza. He has been the head of the Orthopaedic Surgery Department at Al-Shifa since October 2014. He is also an instructor at the Primary Trauma Care Course.

Bolos Swelem is a third-year dentistry student at Haider Abdel Shafi Dentistry College at Al-Azhar University in Gaza. He is also the leader at the at Arab Orthodox Scout Group of Gaza.

Please RSVP for the Edmonton event.

For more information about events in other cities across Canada, visit the event page at the Canadian Friends of Sabeel.

This is a free event, but donations will be accepted.

Local sponsors:

Canada Palestine Cultural Association
Lendrum Mennonite Church
Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) Alberta
Palestine Solidarity Network

National sponsors:

Canadian Friends of Sabeel
United Church of Canada
United Network for Peace and Justice in Palestine/Israel (UNJPPI)


Al-Quds Day 2019

Al-Quds Day 2019 Rally
Saturday, June 1 (7:00 pm – 9:00 pm)
Alberta Legislature Building
10800 97 Avenue (map)

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

On June 1, Edmonton will host its ninth 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.

Al-Quds Day is commemorated all over the planet and we are doing our part in Edmonton. We will honor the Palestinian resistance for justice. With the current series of injustice, we cannot afford to remain silent. Remember, you don’t need to be Palestinian to care, you simply have to be human.

Organized by Mobilization for Justice.

Deactivate Airbnb on Nakba Day

After initially committing to stop listing rentals in Israel’s illegal settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory, Airbnb did a complete reversal, and will now continue to allow rentals on stolen Palestinian land.

The Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC) and Jewish Voice for Peace have launched a campaign calling on people to send a clear message to Airbnb by signing a pledge to deactivate your Airbnb account on May 15, Nakba Day – a day that commemorates Israel’s establishment through the ethnic cleansing of 80% of all indigenous Palestinians from their homes and lands 71 years ago. Airbnb is enabling an ongoing Nakba – Israel’s continued and systematic dispossession of the Palestinian people.

There’s no neutrality in situations of injustice. Airbnb cannot simply donate away dirty profits, as they’ve said they will, and keep their hands clean of illegal occupation, knowing they contribute to inequality, land theft and racial discrimination. The fact remains: Palestinians cannot regain their homes and land, whereas settlers can rent out homes built on Palestinian land with the help of Airbnb.

Sign the #deactivateAirbnb pledge and save this link to deactivate.

Resistance & Resilience: The Activist Practices of Cindy and Craig Corrie

Resistance & Resilience: The Activist Practices of
Cindy and Craig Corrie
Wednesday, May 1 (7:00 – 9:00 pm)
Edmonton Clinic Health Academy (ECHA) 1-182

Corner of 114 St & 87 Ave, University of Alberta (map)

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PSN is thrilled to welcome Cindy and Craig Corrie back to Edmonton!

Cindy and Craig Corrie were brought to the issue of Palestine in 2003 when their daughter Rachel Corrie traveled to Gaza in solidarity with Palestinians engaged in nonviolent resistance to the Israeli occupation. Rachel was killed as she stood in the way of the military’s demolition of a Palestinian family’s home.  The Corries will share that history, their experiences as activists during the past sixteen years, the growth and broadening of the movement for Palestinian rights in the U.S. and throughout the world, the intersections between Palestine and other human rights issues, and the challenges and opportunities before us in 2019.

This is a free event. Donations to the Rachel Corrie Foundation for Peace and Human Rights are gratefully accepted.

PSN is a Working Group of the Alberta Public Interest Research Group (APIRG), which provided financial support for this event.

About Cindy and Craig Corrie

Cindy and Craig Corrie are the parents of human rights activist and observer Rachel Corrie who on March 16, 2003, was killed by an Israeli military, Caterpillar D9R bulldozer in the Gaza Strip as she tried to prevent the demolition of a Palestinian family’s home. Motivated by their daughter’s work and example, the Corries have dedicated themselves to the pursuit of justice and peace in the Middle East and have made numerous visits to the region, most recently in 2012 and 2016 leading Interfaith Peace-Builder delegations to Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza.  “Rachel wrote of the importance of making commitments to places and initiated this one to Rafah and Gaza. The commitment she made continues,” said Cindy Corrie.

The Corries have continued to seek accountability in the case of their daughter and to promote changes in U.S. foreign policy in Israel/Palestine through efforts with the U.S. Congress, U.S. Departments of State and Justice, the Israeli Government, the Israeli and U.S. court systems, and at the corporate headquarters of Caterpillar Inc.

Encouraged by U.S. officials, the Corrie family in 2005 filed a civil lawsuit in Israel in their daughter’s case.  On March 10, 2010, seven years after Rachel Corrie’s killing, oral argument in the case began in Haifa District Court.  It proceeded with sporadic court dates until a final hearing on July 10, 2011. In an August 28, 2012 ruling, Judge Oded Gershon absolved the Israeli military and state of all responsibility.  The Corries filed an appeal with the Israeli Supreme Court, which on February 12, 2015 exempted the Israeli defense ministry from liability for actions by its forces that it deemed to be “wartime activity,” refusing to assess whether those actions violated applicable laws of armed conflict.

Rachel Corrie was a prolific and gifted writer. With their daughter Sarah, the Corries co-edited Let Me Stand Alone: the Journals of Rachel Corrie, a collection of Rachel’s poetry, essays, letters and journal entries, published by W.W. Norton & Co in 2008. The Corries speak widely of their daughter’s story and experience, and of their own work with the people of Palestine and Israel   They have been frequent guests at post-performance discussions of the play My Name is Rachel Corrie, co-edited by Alan Rickman and Katharine Viner, and produced in theaters across the U.S. and world.

The Corries have resided in Olympia, Washington, for over forty years where with community supporters, they now carry on the work of the Rachel Corrie Foundation for Peace and Justice.  In December 2010, the foundation was recognized for “outstanding service for Human Rights-Unique Achievement” by the Thurston County Diversity Council. The Corries are recipients of a Human Rights Advocate of the Year Award from Seattle University’s Human Rights Network and a Pillar of Peace Award from the Pacific Northwest Region of the American Friends Service Committee.  In October 2012, they accepted the LennonOno Grant for Peace on behalf of their daughter Rachel.

Find out more about the Rachel Corrie Foundation for Peace and Justice.

Getting There

The Edmonton Clinic Health Academy (ECHA) is located on the southwest corner of 87 Avenue and 114 Street on the University of Alberta campus (map). ECHA is adjacent to the Jubilee Auditorium.

The building’s north entrance is closest to Room 1-182.

ECHA is a fully accessible building.


Parking is available at the Jubilee car park (map) and just across the street on the northeast corner of 87 Avenue and 114 Street the Education car park (map).


Take the LRT to the Health Sciences Centre Station, which is located just south of ECHA.

Take Edmonton transit to the 114 Street and 89 Avenue stop of the University of Alberta bus loop (map) and walk just south to ECHA.


Ample bicycle parking is located near the north entrance of ECHA.

What Walaa Wants screening at Metro Cinema

What Walaa Wants
Film screening and discussion with director Christy Garland

Sunday, February 17 (3:00 pm)
Metro Cinema, 8712 109 St NW

Purchase Tickets ($13 adult | $8 student/child/senior)

Raised in a refugee camp in the West Bank while her mother was in an Israeli prison, Walaa is determined to become one of the few women in the Palestinian Security Forces—not easy for a girl who breaks all the rules. Following Walaa from the ages of 15 to 21 with an intimate POV, What Walaa Wants tells the compelling story of a defiant young girl who navigates formidable obstacles, disproving the negative predictions from her surroundings and the world at large.

Join director Christy Garland for a Q&A and Skype session with Walaa after the screening.

What Walaa Wants has been hailed as one of the best films of 2018 by Canada’s Top Ten as chosen by the Toronto International Film Festival. It has screened at the Berlin Int’l Film Festival, the Montreal Int’l Documentary Festival and IDFA (International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam), and received the Special Jury Prize for Canadian Feature at Hot Docs in 2018. It has just been nominated for Canadian Screen Awards in Editing and Cinematography, and is also up for the prestigious Ted Rogers Best Feature-Length Documentary Award.

Canada/Denmark 2018, 89 min, Dir: Christy Garland
Arabic with subtitles

The Occupation of the American Mind

The Occupation of the American Mind
Film screening & discussion with Greg Shupak,
author of The Wrong Story: Palestine, Israel, and the Media
Monday, January 28 (7:00 – 9:00 pm)
Education Centre North, Room 2-115
87 Avenue & 113 Street, U of A campus (map)

Invite your friends to the Facebook event.

Polling shows strong global opposition to Israel’s illegal over-50-year occupation of Palestinian land, and mounting outrage over Israel’s ongoing slaughter of unarmed Palestinian civilians who are fighting for their rights. Nevertheless, public sympathy and support for Israel within the US continues to hold strong. The Occupation of the American Mind zeroes in on this critical exception, breaking down the devastatingly effective public relations war that Israel and right-wing pro-Israel advocacy groups have been waging for decades in the US.

Narrated by Roger Waters and featuring leading observers of the Israeli–Palestinian conflict, the film explores how the Israeli government, the US government, and the pro-Israel lobby have joined forces, often with very different motives and interests, to shape American media coverage of the conflict in Israel’s favor. The result is a stunning look at how—and why—American media coverage of the conflict regularly minimizes the occupation, vilifies critics of Israeli policy, and dehumanizes the Palestinian people.

The film screening will be followed by a discussion (via Skype) with Greg Shupak, who will offer his insights into the flaws and fallacies inherent to how large media organizations in both the US and Canada cover the issue of Israel-Palestine, based on his recent book, The Wrong Story:  Palestine, Israel, and the Media.

Greg Shupak teaches Media Studies and English at the University of Guelph-Humber in Toronto. He writes fiction and political analysis and is the author of The Wrong Story:  Palestine, Israel, and the Media, which can be purchased on the website of its publisher, OR Books.

The Wrong Story lays bare the flaws in the way large media organizations present the Palestine–Israel issue. It points out major fallacies in the fundamental conceptions that underpin their coverage, namely that Palestinians and Israelis are both victims to comparable extents and are equally responsible for the failure to find a solution; that the problem is “extremists,” often religiously-motivated ones, who need to be sidelined in favour of “moderates”; and that Israel’s uses of force are typically justifiable acts of self-defense.

Weaving together the existing literature with new insights, Shupak offers an up-to-date and tightly focused guide that exposes the distorted way these issues are presented and why each is misguided.


Take action to stop the JNF Canada

Last week, a CBC exposé revealed that the Jewish National Fund of Canada has been the subject of a Canada Revenue Agency audit over a complaint that it used charitable donations to build infrastructure for the Israel Defence Forces (IDF), in violation of Canada’s tax rules, and to support illegal settlement projects in the Occupied West Bank.

Created to purchase land for a Jewish State in Palestine, the JNF is today the largest single landowner in Israel. Most commonly known for its century-old campaign to “make the desert bloom,” the JNF is not a public body in Israel but a private corporation whose lands were obtained through exploitative land sales and often-violent, forced removals of Palestinians from their lands. While the JNF has planted millions of trees—a remarkable environmental achievement—it has also used its forests to keep Palestinians off the lands taken from them. In Israel, the JNF has been charged with corruption by the State Comptroller and faced High Court challenges due to its explicitly discriminatory practices.

In Canada, the JNF’s fundraising branch, JNF Canada, raises millions of dollars for its projects in Israel/Palestine each year which are tax deductible due to JNF Canada’s charitable status.

In the words of the CBC report:

[The JNF Canada has] funded infrastructure projects on Israeli army, air and naval bases. While no law bars a Canadian citizen from writing a cheque directly to Israel’s Ministry of Defence, rules do ban tax-exempt charities from issuing tax receipts for such donations, and also ban donors from claiming tax deductions for them. …

In its guide for Canadian registered charities carrying out activities outside Canada, the CRA states plainly that “increasing the effectiveness and efficiency of Canada’s armed forces is charitable, but supporting the armed forces of another country is not.”

Yet JNF documents describe some of the charity’s spending in Israel in those very terms.

Independent Jewish Voices released a media release in response to the CBC’s report, saying, “A comprehensive complaint has been filed with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) regarding the Jewish National Fund of Canada (JNF Canada). The complaint, submitted in October 2017 with the support of Independent Jewish Voices Canada (IJV), presents detailed evidence that JNF Canada works in violation of the Income Tax Act and in contravention of Canadian foreign policy in various ways.”

Despite multiple letters and complaints sent to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) and to Ministers of National Revenue over the last four decades—expressing strong concerns about the Jewish National Fund of Canada’s (JNF Canada) violations—the organization maintains its registered status with the CRA. It appears that JNF Canada has not even received any penalties from the CRA.

Take action

Independent Jewish Voices has launched a new Stop the JNF Canada website where you can take action to revoke the JNF Canada’s charitable status and expose, challenge and stop the JNF’s discriminatory and harmful activities.

If you are resident of Canada or a citizen of Canada living either in Canada or abroad, take a moment now to add your name to the Parliamentary E-Petition to call for the revocation ​of JNF Canada’s charitable status!

Once you’ve signed the petition, you can also help spread the word about the campaign, sign up for campaign updates, read IJV’s policy recommendations, read answers to frequently asked questions about the JNF Canada, and read, watch, and listen to more information about the JNF Canada.

Please take action now! In the words of Dr. Ismail Zayid, a Halifax-based retired professor who was expelled from his home and whose entire village was demolished in 1967 for what became JNF Canada’s flagship project, Canada Park, along with a new adjacent Israeli settlement, “I along with several others have been complaining to the CRA about the JNF for nearly four decades now. It’s about time that the CRA acted on its own rules and regulations and revoked the JNF Canada’s charitable status.”

Palestine Reading Circle February book selection

Here is information about the next book we have selected to read for the Palestine Reading Circle, which we’ll meet to discuss in early February 2019:

Defending Hope: Dispatches from the front lines in Palestine and Israel
Edited by Eóin Murray and James Mehigan
Publisher: Veritas, 2018
ISBN: 9781847308337
Information: Hardcover, 272 pages

Defending Hope is an inspiring collection of first-hand accounts by Palestinians and Israelis who movingly describe how their lives have been shaped by conflict and who are united by a common goal: to bring about a just peace for the land they call home.

Time and again these human rights defenders choose love, non-violence and human connection over division and fear. Their stories will transport you to the olive groves near Bethlehem, the rubble of Gaza and into the law courts in Jerusalem.

This book offers a hopeful counter-narrative in an otherwise bleak political landscape and celebrates the indomitable power of the human spirit in the midst of grave adversity.

Defending Hope has not yet been published in Canada. Copies are currently only available in Edmonton from one of the editors, Eóin Murray, who lives in Edmonton. Copies are $30, and proceeds go to the Irish charity Frontline Defenders, an Irish-based human rights charity, founded in 2001 to protect and support individuals who uphold the rights of others as outlined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

If you are interested in getting a copy to participate in the reading circle discussion, please email us at so we can arrange pickup and payment.

Full details about the reading circle and how to join are available on the Palestine Reading Circle page.