Why is Shoppers Drug Mart pulling 3,500 copies of Adbusters, my magazine, off its shelves?
A week ago, in the National Post, the Canadian Jewish Congress (CJC) accused Adbusters of anti-Semitism for publishing side-by-side photographs of the Gaza and Warsaw ghettos ( "Anti-Semitism on your magazine rack -- courtesy of Adbusters," Oct. 23). The CJC has since successfully lobbied senior management at Shoppers Drug Mart into pulling our magazine off the Canadian newsstands.
Here is the story from the Adbusters viewpoint.
In October 1939, the German Wehrmacht reached the city of Warsaw, and over the following months, the Jewish population was forced into a small section of the city called "the Jewish quarter." The situation inside the ghetto was unbearable: Nazis controlled the movement of goods, basic utilities and even food. Each person was allotted a starvation diet of 250 calories per day.
Acts of rebellion were brutally suppressed. When two German soldiers were killed in a local restaurant, 106 men in the ghetto were shot in reprisal. Arrests and random executions were common. In April 1940, the ghetto was walled off on all sides.
Services such as hospitals and schools were derelict, relying on an ever-decreasing stream of supplies allotted by the Nazis. For a while, the supplies were supplemented by goods smuggled in through tunnels, but such services were eventually forced to close.
A resistance movement was organized during the Soviet advance, but it was brutally defeated and the Warsaw ghetto was razed to the ground.
In September 2005, Israel dismantled its settlements in Gaza and withdrew its troops after 38 years of military occupation. For Israel, this marked an end to their occupation. For Palestinians confined in Gaza, however, the occupation had simply progressed into a new phase: the ghetto. The year 2005 marked the establishment of Gaza as an open air prison.
Israel controls the movement of all goods, including food and basic necessities, in and out of the Gaza strip. A study done by Johns Hopkins University in 2002 found that 17% of children aged 6-59 months suffer from chronic malnutrition, and almost half of women and children are anemic. Thirteen percent of children under five are stunted.
Israel controls all of Gaza's borders and airspace. The long ocean border, once a viable source of income for Gazans through trade and fishing, is now strictly controlled. Humanitarian missions are turned away with lethal force.
Israel responds to every Palestinian provocation with disproportionate force. The Israeli response to the murder of three civilians by Palestinian rockets in 2008 was the wide-scale destruction of Gaza, the use of white-phosphorus munitions in the area of a UN school and the killing of over 1,000 civilians.
Comparing events today with events in Nazi-occupied Europe must never be done lightly. When events are so serious as to lend themselves to such comparisons, however, there is a moral imperative to speak up.
Though the stated goal of Israel has never been the complete destruction of the Palestinian people, many of the tactics and policies supported by the state of Israel are deeply troubling and worthy of an open public discussion.
Last week, in a move to silence criticism of Israeli policies, the Canadian Jewish Congress labelled Adbusters -- and anyone who makes the above historical analogy -- anti-Semitic. The CJC has lobbied Shoppers Drug Mart not to carry Adbusters. Three-thousand-five-hundred copies of Adbusters will no longer be sold at Shoppers Drug Mart's 515 Canadian stores.
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(1) meets their concrete and tangible needs, (2) offers individuals real experiences in the movement's outcome (3) provides a sense of community, (4) makes available ongoing education and skills training and (5) shows direct and effective ways for people to take further action.
A loose interpretation of a message sent on Sunday, October 4th, 2009 by the Program on Corporations, Law & Democracy
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You can't have peace for the sake of peace. Peace is a consequence of an equitable arrangement.