Palestinian Human Rights

Palestinian Human Rights

Individuals, organizations and charities in Canada have been and continue to be silenced because of their international development or humanitarian work in the West Bank and Gaza and/or criticism of the state of Israel.

These cases include:

  • Organizations based in Canada such as Mada-al Carma, KAIROSRights and Democracy, the Canadian Arab Federation and IRFAN-Canada, have been defunded, stripped of significant government grants, had their charitable status revoked and/or have been shut down for reasons relating to their advocacy work for Palestinian Human Rights.
  • Prominent Palestinian physician and Nobel Peace Prize nominee, Dr. Mustafa Barghouti, was obstructed in obtaining a travel visa to enter Canada to deliver a public lecture in March 2010 for Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME).
  • In 2009, well known Canadian academic and lawyer, Sharryn Aiken, was the subject of direct intervention by the federal government, which attempted to defund a conference she was organizing on the Israel/Palestine conflict.

A pattern can be observed in reviewing the listed cases within this filter relating to Palestinian Human Rights whereby the government has repeatedly silenced open discussion on Palestinian Human rights and criticism of Israel in Canada and has prevented or limited humanitarian development work in Palestine by Canadian organizations. This pattern is consistent, for example, with the government's 2009 public statements relating to the defunding of KAIROS whose criticism of the Israeli government was interpreted as being anti-semitic. The evidence of these case studies supports a trend that either criticism of Israel or support for Palestinian Human Rights places individuals and organizations on the government's hit list.


 

Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement

On February 22, 2016, the House of Commons passed a Conservative motion to “reject the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement” and “call upon the government to condemn any and all attempts by Canadian organizations, groups or individuals to promote the BDS movement, both here at home and abroad.” The Canadian government has repeatedly silenced criticism of the policies of the state of Israel, as well as discussion of Palestinian human rights.

Mada al-Carmel

Mada al-Carmel

In 2010, the International Development Research Centre terminated two research grants it had awarded Mada al-Carmel, which directed its research toward Palestinian human rights in Israel.

Official Development Assistance

Official Development Assistance

Since the 1960s, Canada has been internationally recognised as a progressive and generous country in its diplomatic and financial contributions to promoting international development, thought its Official Development Assistance (ODA) program. However, since coming to power in 2006, the Conservative government has been quietly dismantling programmes, changing policy orientations and priorities, and—following an initial increase which peaked in 2011—cutting the federal foreign aid budget, all to the point where there has been a major reorientation of Canada’s international development agenda, with virtually no public consultation.

IRFAN-Canada

In April 2011, Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) revoked the charitable registration of IRFAN-Canada. IRFAN-Canada challenged the revocation and its appeal was scheduled to be heard before the Federal Court of Appeal in May 2014. 

Dr. Mustafa Barghouti

Dr. Mustafa Barghouti

Dr. Mustafa Barghouti planned a three-day speaking tour of Canada in March 2010, co-organized by Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME). His visa was not issued on time, forcing him to cancel the tour, though it was rescheduled and took place two months later. CJPME accused the government of intentionally issuing the visa late.

Sharryn Aiken

Sharryn Aiken

In 2009, Sharryn Aiken was one of four organizers for an academic conference entitled “Israel/Palestine: Mapping Models of Statehood and Paths to Peace”, co-sponsored by Queen’s and York University and held in Toronto at York’s main campus.

Palestine House

Palestine House

In January 2012, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney announced that funding for Palestine House would not be renewed after March 31. Kenney cited concerns that Palestine House was an extremist institution and a supporter of terrorists and terrorism.

George Galloway

George Galloway

Galloway participated in two successful speaking tours in Canada in 2005 and 2006 without incident. In 2009 Galloway was invited to Canada by a coalition of Canadian NGOs and anti-war organizations for a third speaking tour in March and April. 

Rights & Democracy

Rights & Democracy

Rights & Democracy was a respected government organization. Its reputation and effectiveness were undermined by political appointments and bullying designed to prevent support for three small projects that helped Palestinians. The projects represented less than 1% of the organization's budget.

Kairos

Kairos

KAIROS was abruptly denied funding by CIDA in November 2009. Bev Oda, the Conservative Minister for International Cooperation, was accused of tampering with the wording on a funding document and then lying about it to Parliament. Speaking at the Global Forum for Comabting Anti-Semitism in Jerusalem, Immigration Minister Jason Kenney defended the defunding by accusing KAIROS of anti-Semitism and of taking a leadership role in the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign against so-called Israeli apartheid. KAIROS says both accusations are false.

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