Vancouver protest against Israel's foreign minister today

Lieberman's appalling views and his visit to Canada should not be acceptable to anyone with a modicum of respect for human rights.

- Sid Shniad, Independent Jewish Voices.

What: Protest against Israel's foreign minister, Avigdor Lieberman

When: 7:30pm, Monday, September 19, 2011

Where: Outside the venue where Lieberman is speaking, the Jewish Community Centre (Note: the centre is not the event sponsor), 950 W. 41st Ave, near Oak St., Vancouver.

Why: "We are extremely distressed by the Harper government's welcoming of this visit by Israel's extremist, racist foreign minister, Avigdor Lieberman, a man who has openly advocated ethnic cleansing against the Palestinians," said Sid Shniad, spokesperson for Independent Jewish Voices.

In addition to justifying war crimes against Gaza and upholding the illegal occupation of Palestine, Lieberman has publicly called for Palestinian prisoners to be drowned in the Dead Sea; advocated the execution of Palestinian members of the Israeli parliament, the Knesset; demanded that Palestinian and Arab citizens of Israel sign a "loyalty oath"; and threatened to "destroy everything" in the West Bank and to bomb Egypt's Aswan Dam -- among other offensive and violent statements.

"People in Canada have the right to know that Avigdor Lieberman is a racist, far-right-wing Israeli minister who should not be welcome in Canada -- it is Lieberman's government who makes peace impossible," said Khaled Barakat, Palestinian community activist in Vancouver.

Lieberman's visit to Vancouver comes just ahead of his trip to New York for the United Nations General Assembly. This past May, when the Harper government took the most extreme anti-Palestinian position amongst the G8 countries, Lieberman praised Canada as a "true friend of Israel."

"The problem is not only the Israeli government, but also that we have a Canadian government, the Harper Government, that is willing to welcome racists like Lieberman," Barakat said.

Monday evening's protest is being organized by an ad hoc coalition of community groups and concerned individuals of diverse ethnic and faith backgrounds.


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