March 15th a sad anniversary for Palestinians

May 15, 2017 marked the 69th anniversary of the 1948 Nakba, the mass expulsion of Palestinians from their homeland. Between 1947 and 1949, Zionist paramilitaries, and subsequently Israeli forces, made 750,000 to one million indigenous Palestinians into refugees to establish a Jewish-majority state in Palestine. The Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions National Committee (BNC) calls … Read more

Israeli smear campaign shows that BDS is working

The Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC), of which CUSJ is a member, has reported this week that peace activist and BDS movement co-founder Omar Barghouti was arrested, interrogated and harassed by Israeli authoriites. This seems to be part of the Israeli government’s campaign to criminalize the BDS movement, intimidate activists and stop free speech. CUSJ has issued a statement, copied below. … Read more

Art is a powerful agent for change: Batsheva Dance Co must speak up

In January 2017, CUSJ added its name to a letter sent to the Batsheva Dance Company during its recent North American tour.  This letter states, “We ask that you disavow your role as Ambassador of the State. Your position as an Israeli cultural icon gives you a platform to speak up for what’s right.” This … Read more

Trudeau government favours bulldozers over BDS

One year ago, February 2016,  CUSJ President Margaret Rao wrote to Prime Minister Trudeau, urging him to overturn the anti-BDS motion that was introduced by the Conservative government. He did not grant our wish… But at least the UN acted, passing Resolution 2334 condemning Israeli settlements on Palestinian terroritory as a flagrant violation of international … Read more

Anti-BDS motion pushback continues: Letter thanking MP Andrea Horvath

The moral arc bends towards justice, but not, alas, in a timely manner, BDS supporters would agree, as the struggle to achieve justice and peace in Israel and Palestine, through peaceful means, continues. Several political and Social Justice groups, including CUSJ, co-signed a letter, reproduced below, to Ontario NDP leader Andrea Horvath (and members of the Caucus) in … Read more

CUSJ joins the Canadian BDS Coalition in support of Palestine

In January 2017, CUSJ joined the Canadian BDS Coalition (BNC), which endorses the Palestinian Civil Society Call for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS). The Coalition’s Basis of Unity (BOU) statement affirms that non-violent punitive measures (that is, boycott, divestment and sanctions) should be maintained until Israel meets its obligation to recognize the Palestinian people’s inalienable right to self-determination and … Read more

CUSJ and other orgs support the GPC pro-peace resolution

CUSJ joined a host of signatories in saluting the Green Party of Canada for its motion in support of freedom, justice and equality in Israel/Palestine. This formal nod of appreciation to the GPC was announced in a press release on Nov. 28th, sponsored by the Palestine House and Students Against Israeli Apartheid (SAIA) at York University (Toronto). … Read more

BDS is lawful and paves the way for peace, say 68 signatories to CJPME letter

Perhaps you remember the anti-BDS motion that passed in Parliament on February 22nd 2016? Or a similar bill, Bill 202 that was passed and then defeated in the Ontario legislature in May? Such bills are doubtless drafted in order to keep strong ties (the bonds of trade) between Canada and Israel, and, indeed, in the case of … Read more

Threat to Canadian Democracy and Free Speech

Voices/Voix, an organization dedicated to documenting threats to the Canadian democracy, human rights, and freedom of speech, has just published a new case study on the issue of the right of Canadians to participate in the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement.  Many Canadians from churches, students, labour unions, and other walks of life are choosing … Read more

CUSJ President Urges Justin Trudeau to be a True Friend to Israel

On Monday, February 29th, 2016, CUSJ President Margaret Rao wrote to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, urging him to overturn his government’s recent motion condemning those who support a boycott of goods produced in settlements, as a legitimate, peaceful and democratic means of putting pressure on Israel to cease its expansion of settlements. Israel is breaking the terms … Read more

CUSJ Board votes to work to end the Israeli Occupation of Palestinian Territories

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Israel’s continued expansion of settlements and destruction of Palestinian homes and farms must stop! Canadian Unitarians for Social Justice, advocating Unitarian Principles, adopts a formal stance in favour of: 1) a boycott of products from companies, regardless of origin, that participate in Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territories; 2) a cultural boycott in which performing … Read more

It is not a crime to criticize Israel: Press release

Canadian Unitarians for Social Justice P.O. Box 40011, Ottawa, ON, K1V 0W8 President, Margaret Rao president@cusj.org www.cusj.org Communiqué FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE DATE: 16 April 2015 CIVIL SOCIETY REJECTS CRIMINALIZATION OF CRITICISM  OF STATE OF ISRAEL CUSJ joins other civil society organizations in defending freedom of speech Canadian Unitarians for Social Justice (CUSJ) has issued a … Read more