Parti QuÃ©bÃ©cois MNA Daniel Turp and Bloc QuÃ©bÃ©cois MP RÃ©al MÃ©nard led a demonstration in downtown Montreal last weekend denouncing Israel’s â€œillegal occupationâ€ of Palestinian land and its practice of â€œapartheid.â€
The coalition that organized the event, led by the major labour federations, the ConfÃ©dÃ©ration des syndicats nationaux and the Centrale des syndicats du QuÃ©bec, also called on the Canadian government to revoke the charitable status of the Jewish National Fund. The coalition charges that the JNF discriminates against non-Jews in its allocation of land and is dispossessing Palestinians.
Turp is the PQ’s spokesperson for international affairs and MÃ©nard is the co-chair, with Liberal Quebec Senator Lucie PÃ©pin, of a new parliamentary association for Palestine. They walked in the front row of the noisy demonstrators as they marched from Dorchester Square, which is across the street from the Israeli consulate, along busy St. Catherine Street to Complexe Guy-Favreau, a federal building.
One man in front held a Hezbollah flag in his hand.
The approximately 1,000 marchers stopped in front of the Indigo bookstore to call for its boycott because majority owners Heather Reisman and Gerry Schwartz established the Heseg Foundation, a fund to support former Israel Defence Forces members who have no family in Israel. According to a flyer distributed, the Israeli military has committed war crimes and these lone soldiers tend to come from abroad.
Also in the march was Amir Khadir, co-leader of QuÃ©bec solidaire, the new sovereignist party that ran candidates in all but one riding in the March election, and Eleni Bakopanos, former federal Liberal MP and current Liberal candidate in Ahuntsic.
The PQ and QuÃ©bec solidaire endorsed a declaration issued by the coalition at a press conference June 6, along with 30 other Quebec groups that condemns Israel’s 40 years of alleged occupation, violations of international law and Palestinian rights, and defiance of United Nations resolutions.
The declaration calls on the federal government to demand that Israel immediately withdraw from the West Bank, Gaza (which it calls â€œan open-air prisonâ€), east Jerusalem and the Golan, to dismantle Jewish settlements and its â€œwall of shame,â€ the security barrier.
It also urges the Harper government to restore aid to the Hamas-dominated Palestinian Authority, Israel to stop its â€œtarget assassinations of Palestinian leaders and arbitrary arrests of Palestinian parliamentarians,â€ and the right of return or compensation for Palestinians, as well as the de-listing of Jewish National Fund.
The coalition does not denounce Palestinian terrorism and makes only a passing reference to Israel’s security concerns.
Among the other signatories listed are unions representing public school and CEGEP teachers, the FÃ©dÃ©ration des femmes du Quebec and La ligue des droits et libertÃ©s
Please buy a book from one of those book stores, and bring a friend to buy one too.