The following is a statement issued by the Canada Palestine Association, Vancouver. USACBI is one of the endorsers of this statement (see below.) All endorsements should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org and will be noted on CPA’s website.
Jim Pattison Supports Israeli Apartheid and Ethnic Cleansing of Palestinians
March 9, 2012 – Canada Palestine Association calls on all supporters of the Palestinian peoples struggle to boycott Jim Pattison and his business empire. Jim Pattison, sole owner and CEO of the Jim Pattison Group, is worth $US 5.8 billion (as of March 2011), and was ranked by Forbes as the 3rd wealthiest person in Canada and 173rd in the world. Pattison is a true representative of the 1% Canadian rich who are monopolizing wealth for their personal interests. He is also a reactionary Evangelical Christian Zionist (or as the Israeli media called him, an “Evangelical billionaire”) who has financially supported many right-wing projects, including last year a donation of NIS 10.6 million ($2.9 million) to “Israeli Roots Journey”. This project is run by the group Mibereshit(1), is co-funded by the Israeli state, and has been referred to by some teachers in Israel as “incessant indoctrination“.
Marc Belzberg, who serves as the Chairman of Mibereshit, stated in an article he wrote:
“Our flagship project, Masa Yisraeli – An Israeli Roots Journey, has offered what can aptly be described as a 6-day Birthright-like experience to 60,000 grade 11 students (since 2006).
The project has made such a profound impact on the country that the Israel Defense Forces asked for a parallel program for its officers and commanders in training several years ago and now thousands participate annually.
The Government of Israel – through its Ministries of Education and Defense – is our partner in this undertaking. But it is a huge undertaking – because for every dollar it contributes – we need to raise two more. We are deeply indebted to the Jim Pattison Foundation, United Israel Appeal of Canada(2) (our emphasis), The Genesis Philanthropy Group, The Claims Conference and Friends of the IDF, whose support has seeded and helped keep this initiative afloat.”
We urge all our supporters locally and overseas to expose Jim Pattison”s complicity in Israeli apartheid, ethnic cleansing and war crimes against the indigenous Palestinian people. Boycott all divisions and outlets(3) of the enormous and global Jim Pattison group, which boasts 455 locations world wide. Join us by endorsing this campaign and sending the message that oppression of the Palestinian people will not be tolerated!!
1. Mibereshit was originally set up by Rabbi Moti Elon who no longer holds a position with the group and was charged in Oct. 2011with sex crimes.
2. Federation CJA is responsible for “allocations through United Israel Appeal Federations Canada (UIAFC) to Israel”, and all donations to Federation CJA are tax-deductible in full.
3. Car dealerships; Food companies including Canfisco, Buy-Low Foods, SunRype and Overwaitea Food Group (Save-On-Foods and PriceSmart Foods); Entertainment companies; Export and Financial companiesincluding Westshore Terminals, Real Estate Group and Great Pacific Capital; Pattison Outdoor Advertisingincluding billboard advertising; and the Broadcast Group which includes 29 FM stations and three “independent” television stations in western Canada.
Alliance of Concerned Jewish Canadians, Montreal
American Muslims of Puget Sound
BDS South Africa
Boycott Israeli Apartheid Campaign (BIAC), Vancouver
Boycott! Supporting the Palestinian BDS Call from Within, Israel
Canada Palestine Association, Halifax
Canadian Boat to Gaza
Code Pink Women for Peace, Lower Mainland, BC
One Democratic State Group (ODSG), Gaza, Palestine
Palestine House, Toronto
Palestinian and Jewish Unity (PAJU), Montreal
Palestinian Association of Hamilton
Palestinian Students” Campaign for the Academic Boycott of Israel (PSCABI), Gaza, Palestine
Popular Struggle Coordination Committee, West Bank, Palestine
Students Against Israeli Apartheid (SAIA), Carleton University, Ottawa
US Campaign for the Academic & Cultural Boycott of Israel (USACBI)
Voice of Palestine, Canada
Amir M. Maasoumi, Montreal
Annette Wegiel, Vancouver
Donald Patterson, Montreal
Edwin Daniel, Victoria.
Genevieve delmas Patterson, Montreal
Lisa Barrett, Vancouver.
Mazin Qumsiyeh, Professor, Bethlehem, Al-Quds, and Birzeit Universities, Palestine
Richard Bevis, Vancouver
Robert McInnes, Victoria, BC.