Thanks to our grassroots strength, we had an amazing year in 2021 with many impactful projects. As we look ahead to 2022, there are four strategic ideas that we desperately need to implement. Can you take a look and consider helping out?
#1: Take Members of Parliament to Palestine
This was one of our objectives for 2021, but the pandemic and the federal election made it impossible. Nevertheless, we’re already in discussions with members of Parliament who are interested in going to Palestine, and we’d like to do everything we can make such a trip possible. We’d like to raise $25,000 to help enable a trip for approximately 20 MPs. The funds would be spent to help MPs pay travel expenses, to arrange services in Palestine, and to manage and coordinate the overall effort.
#2: Mobilize and Educate Youth on Palestine
When Israel started bombing Gaza in May, we had many young people begging us for resources they could use to learn about Palestine and teach their friends. In Instagram, the app most popular with twenty-somethings, our followers increased about five-fold in about three weeks! Youth explore their world through social media – Instagram, videos, video podcasts, and other channels – and we need to meet them where they are at. We need $30,000 for this project to pay for a part-time media and communications staff person to expand our presence in this space.
#3: Support Palestine Solidarity work on Campuses
Many young people arrive at university with tons of passion for Palestinian human rights, but very little support and tools. As a result, they often start from zero, have very little outside support, and struggle deeply. As a national, secular organization, CJPME already has the resources, experience, and platforms to provide students the support they need for their solidarity work. We just need staff to better support the student solidarity network. As such, we’re looking for $25,000 for this project to pay for a part-time staff person to support campus solidarity work.
#4: Create a Media Monitoring and Watchdog Capability
There is a pro-Israel organization in Canada with several staff who do nothing but pressure mainstream media to remove any comment critical of Israel. For years, CJPME has sought to build a parallel capability to support honest and balanced media coverage of Israel-Palestine, but such capacity takes tools and dedicated staff. We’ve done research, and licensing for media monitoring tools (which track TV, radio, print and on-line media) costs about $15,000 annually. With a part-time staff person to drive the effort, we’d need another $25,000 to establish this capability.
CJPME is working hard to accomplish amazing things. Our three full-time staff regularly work nights and weekends to accomplish all that we do. CJPME receives NO government funding; we are supported entirely through private donations. Our 500 monthly donors are the backbone of our operation!
The best way to help us accomplish the above projects is to start a monthly donation – even if a modest amount – so that we can budget for staff and expenses. Of course, any donation is gratefully accepted. We can also accept donations in stocks and securities.
Are you in a position to make a very large donation? Please give us a call at 438-380-5410 so we can discuss the best possible giving strategy.
The projects above are things that NEED to be done, and have been needed for a long time! But they’ll only happen when the structures and qualified staff are in place. Please help us make these projects a reality!
Tom, Michael, Madeleine, Khaoula and the rest of the team
ICYMI, here's a summary of some of the things we accomplished this past year!
We’re a small staff at CJPME, but we work super hard to make a difference for human rights in the Middle East, and related issues in Canada. Take a look below at what we accomplished this past year!
CJPME’s Crisis Response: Israel’s Assault on Gaza
Not everyone is aware of all the things that CJPME does during periods of crisis, as when Israel’s ethnic cleansing in Sheikh Jarrah eventually led to its deadly assault on Gaza this past May. Here’s a rundown of everything that we did to push Canada and Canadians to intervene positively:
Impacting Voters: CJPME’s 2021 Elections Guide
CJPME was extremely busy in the run-up to the September Federal Election. Our highly-anticipated “Vote 2021 Elections Guide” rated the five largest federal parties on ten different issues. This 66-page analysis – see summary below – was sent to over 50,000 Canadians, and received extremely positive feedback.
Impacting Voters: Candidates Respond to our Vote Palestine Campaign
CJPME was also a coordinating partner in the “Vote Palestine” campaign during the 2021 federal election. “Vote Palestine” promoted 11 policy points under four policy themes, ranging from Canada’s trade with Israel, to Canada’s support for international law, to protecting freedom of expression. In the end, dozens of candidates in the election – several of whom were elected – pledged to support our policy points if elected.
CJPME Punches way above its weight on Social Media
CJPME’s total expenses in 2020 were about $215,000. This is just a pittance compared to the budgets of the two largest Canadian pro-Israel organizations: the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA) (around $11 million), and B’nai Brith (almost $3 million). Both of these organizations have over 50 employees, and offices in many Canadian cities.
But despite our huge disadvantage in staffing and resources, we compete very successfully when it comes to getting our message out on social media (see table above). Especially when we do email campaigns on specific issues, we are often able to mobilize far more people than our adversaries.
CJPME and Zatoun collaborate to support Palestinian farmers
For over 15 years, Zatoun has supported Palestinian olive farmers by importing their olive oil at fair trade terms to Canada. Last year, CJPME opened its Montreal office as a Zatoun depot for Palestinian fair-trade products (olive oil, za’atar and Nablus soap.) Zatoun and CJPME collaborate as an act of solidarity with the Palestinian people. From sales proceeds, Zatoun has contributed over $500,000 to two projects: Trees for Life (to plant olive trees in Palestine) and Project Hope (to deliver educational and recreational programs to youth in refugee camps in Nablus). Outside of Montreal, Zatoun accepts online orders and ships anywhere in Canada. Palestinian olive oil is a great way for CJPME supporters to start conversations with friends and neighbours – and help Palestinian farmers!
CJPME’s Ongoing Campaign to Change Canada’s Voting at the UN
While the Trudeau government has voted in support of Palestinian self-determination at the UN in recent years, it otherwise continues Harper’s legacy of voting against UN resolutions that support Palestinian human rights. Since last year, CJPME has been campaigning to pressure Canada to maintain its vote for Palestinian self-determination. Our UN dashboard, with its damning summary of Canada’s UN votes, has been cited by progressive politicians, while our campaigns pressure officials in Ottawa and at the UN in New York. Voting continues this week: Please support our campaigns and sign up for updates on Canada’s UN voting to keep abreast of developments.
CJPME Foundation Raises over $200,000 for Palestinians
Throughout the spring and summer, the CJPME Foundation raised $210,000 in aid for Palestinians. Congratulations and “thank you!” to the many of you who made this humanitarian relief possible!
In May, in response to Israel’s reckless bombing of Gaza, the CJPME Foundation sent $62,000 to Gaza to provide emergency food, medical kits, and medical supplies. In addition, the Foundation’s “Help Gaza Breathe” campaign raised $157,000 between February and June in order to provide a medical-grade oxygen generating unit to Gaza’s Al-Shifa Hospital. Since the onslaught of COVID and increased hospitalizations, Gaza health care facilities had suffered from a chronic shortage of medical oxygen.
Again, we thank the many generous Canadians who made each of these projects possible.
CJPME Survey Confirms Presence of anti-Arab Racism in Canada
In October, CJPME released the sobering results of its national poll about Canadian-Arabs and anti-Arab racism in Canada. The report, entitled, “Marginalized and Misunderstood: Survey on Attitudes on Arabs and Anti-Arab Racism in Canada,” found that an overwhelming 79% of Canadians acknowledge that prejudice against Arabs is a problem.
Canadians also acknowledged that many factors could negatively affect the ability of Arab-Canadians to secure employment, including “having a name that sounds Arab” (64%), “having a strong Arab accent” (73%), and “difficulty fitting in” (78%.).
The survey, co-sponsored with the Canadian Arab Federation (CAF) and the Arab Canadian Lawyers Association (ACLA) revealed many other facets of systemic anti-Arab in Canada – issues that CJPME is taking up with politicians in the months and years ahead.
"CJPME Debrief”: A progressive podcast about Palestine and Canada
Just days ago, we launched “CJPME Debrief” – a new audio podcast - as a way to reach new audiences with our message on human rights in Palestine and the broader Middle East. In its first week, “CJPME Debrief” made the “Top Ten” on Apple among Canadian news commentary podcasts.
Already with ten published episodes, the podcast provides an effective and accessible platform for progressive commentary on the Canada-Palestine relationship. Listeners will get a timely and expert take on how Canada, its politicians, the media and others should respond to developments.
CJPME Launches Inter-Parliamentary Task Force on Palestinian Human Rights
Early in the year, CJPME reached out to Palestine Solidarity groups in the UK, the US, Ireland and the EU to establish a group of Parliamentarians around the world willing to speak out on Palestinian human rights. Composed of 23 legislators from 10 countries, including the US, Canada, the UK, Ireland, Italy, Finland, Belgium and several other European countries, the group has already had two meetings, and issued two powerful statements.
CJPME Hosts Webinar Series on BDS and other Topics
Unable to do in-person events due to the disruption of the pandemic, CJPME has instead hosted a fantastic series of Webinars, each with a panel of experts, on a variety of topics:
Factsheets and other Analyses
CJPME regularly publishes factsheets and other resources which provide an overview of key issues of importance in Canadian policymaking. They are used when CJPME visits politicians, and when average Canadians want a quick primer on a hot Middle East topic:
High Impact Campaigns on Key Political Issues
CJPME exists to give people the tools to make themselves heard: by their politicians, by the media, and by the public. This is why our campaigns are so important to us. Here’s a sampling from the past year:
Important Statements to Media, the Public and Others
Some of CJPME’s most impactful work results from statements, whether press statements or other public announcements or positions. Here is a sample from this past year:
New CJPME Settlement with Rebel Media
In October, CJPME announced the settlement of a small claims court lawsuit with Ezra Levant and Rebel Media News Network Ltd.. Launched in early 2021, CJPME’s suit was based on Rebel Media’s failure to promptly comply with the terms of a previous settlement between the two parties, reached in February 2020.
The statement of claim in CJPME’s most recent lawsuit argued that, despite repeated reminders, Rebel Media had not complied with one of the conditions of the settlement for more than six months following the February 2020 settlement. The previous settlement was based on a series of defamatory publications released by Rebel Media that attacked CJPME for its promotion of the BDS campaign.