Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Is Canada passing information on its citizens to Israel?

Yves Engler, The Electronic Intifada, 17 August 2010

(Yves Engler's most recent book is Canada and Israel: Building Apartheid. He will be on tour in Ontario with the book in early October.)

" On 7 April, Freda Guttman, a 76-year-old Jewish Montrealer, received a visit from agents of the Canadian Security and Intelligence Service (CSIS). She slammed the door on them so it's not clear if the visit was related to her role in Tadamon!, a Middle East solidarity collective, or her friendship with Canadian activist (and occasional contributor to The Electronic Intifada) Stefan Christoff. A tall, mild-mannered 29-year-old, Christoff has been one of Montreal's most effective grassroots activists for the past decade. Involved with various issues recently he's devoted himself to Palestinian solidarity work, including the highly successful Artists Against Apartheid (AAA) campaign. Over the past three years AAA has organized a dozen concerts and in February they brought together 500 Quebec artists in support of the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaign, which supporters of Israel view as a major threat......

The close ties between Canadian and Israeli intelligence agencies -- strengthened with the recent border security agreement -- means that some of the information CSIS collects on pro-Palestinian Canadians is probably passed on to their Israeli counterparts. In 2003, Stefan Christoff was barred by Israel's interior ministry from entering the occupied Palestinian territories. Was that decision based upon information from CSIS?

As Palestinian solidarity activism further challenges Canada's pro-Israeli establishment, CSIS harassment will likely increase. The way to deal with these threats is to expose them and to build a broad movement that makes them ineffective."

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