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Montreal activists protest killing of Palestinian child

by Arielle Friedman

Protestors gather outside the Israeli consulate
Protestors gather outside the Israeli consulate
Protestor links settler violence to state dehumanization
Protestor links settler violence to state dehumanization

On Saturday August 8th Montreal activists gathered outside the Israeli consulate at Westmount Square in a demo called by the Canadian Palestinian Federation of Quebec to protest the brutal killing of 18-month-old Ali Dawabsheh.

 

Shortly after midnight on July 31st, Israeli settlers firebombed the Dawabsheh family home in Duma, a Palestinian village located south of Nablus in the West Bank. The fire claimed the life of baby Ali and left the rest of the family in critical condition. The attackers, seen fleeing to the nearby settlement of Maaleh Efraim, spray painted “revenge” and “long live the messiah” on a neighbouring house.

 

These attacks are not isolated incidents, but rather are part of a pattern of violence central to Israel's colonial occupation of the West Bank, Gaza and the rest of historic Palestine. Bruce Katz, a speaker at Saturday's demo, said in his speech, “Benjamin Netanyahu refers to these settlers as Jewish terrorists. Yet his extreme right-wing government continues to expand illegal settlements on land stolen from the Palestinians. Netanyahu should take a good long look in the mirror because he is Israel’s prime Jewish terrorist and his attempt to draw his distance from settler terrorism won’t cut it.”

 

Katz also discussed Canada's complicity in Israel's ongoing violence against the Palestinian people. He pointed to Stephen Harper's unwavering support of Israel, stating, “You heard Stephen Harper say the other night during the leaders’ debate that he is adamant in his support for Israel. What he really means is that he fully supports Israeli apartheid, [and] that he is indifferent to the suffering of Palestinians living under the yoke of Israel’s institutionalized system of segregation.”

 

He goes on to draw parallels between Harper's current support of Israeli Apartheid and his support of South African Apartheid in the 1980s through his ties to the Northern Foundation, a pro-Apartheid organization.

 

Even while highlighting Harper's longtime support of Apartheid in South Africa and current support of Apartheid in Israel, Katz pointed out that none of the major political party leaders in Canada had a single word to say against the recent attacks in the West Bank. This is not exceptional, but consistent with a pattern of unquestioning political and economic support for Israel across all of Canada's major political parties.

 

The protesters on Saturday marched from the Israeli consulate to ‎Marché Adonis, a Middle-Eastern, Lebanese and Mediterranean supermarket that insists on selling Sabra Humus in violation of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. BDS is a campaign called by Palestinian civil society in 2005 with the intent to isolate Israel economically until Palestinian rights, freedom and dignity are respected. Sabra Humus is produced by the Strauss group, an Israeli food producer with close ties to the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF). The Strauss Group boasts on their website that they support the IDF directly with care packages and food supplies. They also share many close ties with the Israeli military and military supporters.[1]

 

Israel's violent occupation of Palestinian land and the system of Apartheid that sustains it is unacceptable. We have a responsibility to offset our government's close complicity with the Israeli regime by attending demos called by groups like the CPFQ and Tadamon!, taking an active role in the BDS movement, and educating ourselves on the realities of the Israeli occupation.

 

For more information, please see the website of the following organizations which organized or supported Saturday's demo:

 

CPFQ

PAJU Montreal

Tadamon!

 

[1] http://palestinechronicle.com/old/view_article_details.php?id=19155


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