World opinion on Israel is clearly starting to change!: public opinion polls show increasing disapproval; the media are far more skeptical of the Israeli line; and human rights organizations accuse Israel of apartheid.
And CJPME is part of this change, with another amazing year of accomplishments. In 2022, CJPME was quoted more than ever by the media, and contacted more than ever to provide our expertise to politicians and policymakers. 2022 saw us expand our work with students in a major way, send our VP to Palestine to network with Palestinian NGOs and activists, and carry out dozens of other impactful campaigns and activities.
CJPME becomes first-ever registered lobbyist focused on Palestine
This past year, CJPME became Canada’s first registered lobbyist focused specifically on Palestinian human rights in Canada's history! In Canada, official lobbyist status is achieved after an organization exceeds a minimum threshold of resources and engagement with elected officials. Even though CJPME has been meeting with members of Parliament since 2004, we had never met the minimum threshold for registration. Thanks to our recent growth and expanded capacity, we were able to expand our engagement with Parliamentarians.
CJPME gives major boost to campus solidarity work
CJPME was thrilled to launch two exciting new programs for students and campus solidarity groups this year. In the spring, we launched our academic fellowships program. The first-ever recipient of the $1000 fellowship was a young woman at Wilfrid Laurier University doing a project to help Palestinian diaspora youth learn about their heritage. In November, we opened up applications for the 2023 fellowships.
And over the summer, we launched a grant program for campus groups doing Palestine solidarity work. In the end, we awarded grants to twelve different groups, from Montreal, QC to Victoria, BC. Not only have the grants fueled greater student activism, but CJPME is ecstatic to be working more closely to support the activities of these groups.
CJPME visits Palestine to connect on-the-ground
CJPME’s VP Michael Bueckert completed a two-week delegation to Palestine in November with Peter Larson of the Ottawa Forum on Israel/Palestine. The trip provided CJPME the opportunity to connect directly with many organizations and individuals who are working to protect human rights and fight for a just future in Palestine.
Highlights of the trip included meetings with leaders of Defence for Children International -- Palestine (DCIP) and Addameer. Michael also met with representatives of the BDS National Committee, the co-founders of the One Democratic State Campaign, and many other community organizations, Palestinian business owners, politicians, academics, and youth activists. See our full report here.
CJPME continues 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. We launch campaigns which are Canadian, strategic, significant, and potentially impactful if successful. Here’s a sampling from the past year:
- Tell Trudeau: Vote to investigate Israel’s occupation! Calling Canada to support a UN vote to refer Israel’s occupation to the International Court of Justice
- Waterloo Region School Board must not adopt IHRA, one of CJPME’s many campaigns on IHRA which successfully derailed the adoption of this controversial movement
- London Ontario school board must apologize to Palestinian Canadians, calling TVDSB to apologize for suggesting saying, “Free Palestine” is an incitement to violence
- Tell Jagmeet Singh: Put NDP’s admirable Palestine policies into action, calling the NDP leader to actually instrumentalize the NDP’s strong policies on Palestine
- Tell Israel: Stop killing journalists, calling Canada to condemn the murder of Shereen Abu Akleh and insist on an independent international inquiry
- Tell Trudeau: Condemn Israel’s violence at the Al-Aqsa Mosque, calling Canada to pressure Israel to end indiscriminate violence at Islam’s third holiest site.
- Tell Trudeau: Stop arming Israeli apartheid, calling Canada to stop selling arms to Israel, after a CJPME report identified a growth in Canadian arms sales to Israel.
- Don’t let McGill University crush student support for Palestine, calling McGill to end its threats on students for their campaign in support of Palestine rights
- Tell Canadian politicians to act on Amnesty’s apartheid report, calling on action from Canada following the February release of Amnesty International’s report on Israeli apartheid.
CJPME publishes highly impactful policy reports
Among solidarity organizations, CJPME is one of the few which does both grassroots activism as well as in-depth policy reporting. CJPME’s “long-form” reports relating to Canada and Palestine-Israel get significant uptake and do much to elevate CJPME’s public profile.
In 2022, CJPME published:
- ”IHRA'S True Intentions: This is the speech about Israel and Palestine that IHRA wants to silence,” a CJPME report providing compelling evidence that IHRA’s objective is largely to suppress criticism of Israel.
- ”CJPME Delegation to Palestine, October-November, 2022”, a report on CJPME’s connections and meetings with Palestinians.
- ”Voting Against its own Interests: What ATIP documents reveal about Canada’s pro-Israel voting at the UN,” a CJPME report highlighting how the Trudeau government blindly supported Israel despite the better advice of its foreign affairs officials.
- ”Arming Apartheid: Canada’s arms exports to Israel,” a CJPME report documenting Canada’s increasing arms sales to Israel since the 1980s
CJPME continues collaboration with Zatoun to support Palestinians
For over 15 years, Zatoun has supported Palestinian olive farmers by importing their olive oil at fair trade terms to Canada. In 2020, 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.
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! Note that due to a Holiday order backlog, new orders will be fulfilled in January.
CJPME launches its BDS resource hub!
BDS – the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign pressuring Israel economically – is always an active file for CJPME. Earlier this year, we launched our “BDS Hub” to provide Canada-specific information on how to be involved in BDS.
Among other things, you can find products to boycott, lists of Canadian organizations which have endorsed BDS, and ideas on how to have a BDS impact in your community.
CJPME launches new “Student Hub”
Above, we talk about our new student grants and fellowships. But this is only part of what CJPME has been doing to support students this past year. With its new “Student Hub,” CJPME created a complete resource centre for students in 2022.
In addition to info on our student grants and fellowships, CJPME’s Student Hub provides 1) resources to help students pass BDS resolutions on campus, 2) flyers custom-designed for campus solidarity work, 3) guidance for starting a campus solidarity group, and 4) educational and informational resources: Webinars, training videos, factsheets and more.
CJPME promotes Palestine solidarity with four-city tour!
For several years, the pandemic had prevented CJPME from doing speaking tours, but CJPME finally got back on the road in 2022. CJPME’s president Tom Woodley, and VP Michael Bueckert, were both contributors to a book published in April, 2022, entitled, Advocating for Palestine in Canada. With the book launch as a platform, CJPME visited solidarity communities in Calgary, Edmonton, Saskatoon and Kelowna, BC. The discussions were rich with insight and perspective, leaving Woodley, Bueckert and audiences energized to expand the movement.
CJPME “Debrief” podcast publishes more than 50 episodes!
Launched a year ago, CJPME’s “Debrief” podcast has been an amazing vehicle to discuss developments in Canadian news and solidarity work.
Whether Michael and Tom are discussing developments or interviewing guests, the “Debrief” audience gets the latest scoop on breaking topics. Among our 50+ episodes, we’ve hosted Saleh Hijazi of Amnesty International, NDP MP Niki Ashton, and UN Special Rapporteur Michael Lynk.
CJPME launches new “All Things Palestinian Canadian” Podcast
Following the success of CJPME’s “Debrief” podcast – covering news and politics around Palestine – we decided to launch a second podcast in the spring of 2022. Called “All Things Palestinian Canadian,” the new podcast explores life for diaspora Palestinians, exploring all aspects of Palestinian culture, art and history to encourage greater Palestinian pride and engagement.
“All Things Palestinian Canadian” is only at about 15 episodes, but we’ve already had several notable Palestinian Canadians as guests, including Saeed Teebi, whose new book, “Her First Palestinian” was nominated as a finalist for Atwood Gibson Writers' Trust Prize.
CJPME’s “UN Dashboard” changes the conversation on Canada’s voting at the UN
As many of our supporters know, since 2020 CJPME has been working hard to highlight Canada’s shameful diplomatic support for Israel at the UN. Our UN dashboard, with its damning summary of Canada’s UN votes, has become an important reference site for progressive politicians and the media, while our campaigns put increasing pressure officials in Ottawa and at the UN in New York.
CJPME publishes timely factsheets and op-eds
CJPME continues to publish 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. Here are some we published in 2022:
- Innocent blood, misleading journalism, about double standards in Canadian media on the killing of Israeli/Palestinian children (op-ed)
- School board must apologize to Palestinian-Canadians, about the London, Ontario school board’s racist dress code document (op-ed)
- Pillsbury ends business in Israeli settlements (factsheet)
- What we should expect from wartime reporting, about media’s double-standard in report from Ukraine vs. other parts of the world (op-ed)
- The blockade of Gaza – 15 years later (factsheet)
- ICC investigation of war crimes in Palestine (factsheet)
- Diplomatic push between Morocco and Israel does not represent ‘peace’, countering arguments that Morocco-Israel cooperation is based on peace or human rights (op-ed)
- Anti-Palestinian racism (factsheet)
- The forcible transfer of Masafer Yatta (factsheet)
- The assassination of Shereen Abu Akleh (factsheet)
- Are Ukraine’s refugees different than those from Syria, Afghanistan or Palestine?, comparing the contrasting narratives around refugees from Ukraine and elsewhere (op-ed)
- Jarring double-standard in Canada’s response to Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, showing Canada’s diplomatic double-standard when it comes to Ukraine vs. Palestine (op-ed)
- Israel’s system of apartheid (factsheet)
- Amnesty report on Israeli apartheid demands debate on Canada’s role, asserting that Canada must question its support for a state accused of apartheid (op-ed)
CJPME speaks authoritatively to the media and the public
Some of CJPME’s most impactful work results its public statements, whether press statements, official/open letters, or other public announcements or positions. In 2022, CJPME published 55 such statements! Here is a small sample:
- CJPME: Canada wrong to oppose ICJ investigation into illegality of Israel’s occupation
- CJPME: With mounting evidence of Israeli responsibility, Canada must support and ICC investigation into the killing of Shereen Abu Akleh
- Faculty and civil society groups raise human rights concerns after Canadian university presidents tour Israel
- CJPME: Following Israeli raids on NGO offices, Canada must support Palestinian human rights defenders
- Letter to Public Safety Minister: Don’t conflate human rights work with “violent extremism”
- CJPME urges Canada’s special envoy to cancel speaking event at illegal Israeli settlement
- Following Israeli conviction, Canada must demand the release of persecuted aid worker Mohammad El Halabi
- CJPME applauds the Ontario Federation of Labour for endorsing arms embargo on Israel
- Naming anti-Palestinian racism: CJPME welcomes ground-breaking report
- CJPME welcomes ruling that “produce of Israel” labels on illegal settlement goods are false and unlawful
- Canada must condemn Israeli violence at Al-Aqsa
- Letter to McGill University on Palestine solidarity policy
- Remembering January 29; Calling for concrete action
Throughout the spring and summer, the CJPME Foundation raised close to $180,000 in humanitarian aid for Palestinians. Congratulations and “thank you!” to the many of you who made this humanitarian relief possible!
Early in the year, the CJPME Foundation launched a campaign to fund a large-impact water well project for the Al-Zaitoon neighbourhood of Gaza City. Construction began in September, and the well is now serving 30,000 Palestinians with 100 cubic metres of water per hour. And with the extra funds raised, the CJPME Foundation funded two new playgrounds in the Deir El-Balah refugee camp: one at the Rudolf Falter Primary School, and the second at the Al-Salah Primary School. A third playground is expected soon.
Again, we thank the many generous Canadians who made each of these projects of the CJPME Foundation possible.