Solidarity for Palestinian Human Rights University of Ottawa (SPHR) is a student run, non-profit organization that advocates on a strong social justice platform to uphold the rights of the Palestinian people in the face of human rights violations and all forms of racism, discrimination, misinformation and misrepresentation.

May 2, 2010

Happy Summer!

Dear friends,

SPHR @ uOttawa would like to thank-you for your support during this past year. 2009-10 was a success on a grand scale: we witnessed new levels of participation and awareness among the student body and our community at large, and we have you to thank.

Don't hesitate to email for more information, and please don't be afraid to get involved for the 2010-11 school year. SPHR is always looking for new people to help out with awareness campaigns, events, etc. We need your participation to be effective.

ALSO: A very exciting event is taking place at uOttawa this coming Thursday (May 6) at 7 pm. Dr. Mustafa Barghouti, Nobel Peace Prize nominee and co-founder of the Palestinian National Initiative, is coming to Ottawa to speak about "Palestinian Political Dynamics and the Realities for Middle East Peace." Hosted by the wonderful people at CJPME, tickets are $15 ($10 for students with ID) and can be purchased at the door or online.

Full event details can be found here:

Dr. Barghouti is a captivating speaker, and surely one of the Palestinians' best hopes for a just peace. Don't miss this event.

All the best for a wonderful summer, and stay tuned for more information about upcoming events. Thank-you again for your continued support.

Best wishes,
SPHR @ uOttawa

March 9, 2010

News: IAW success, Barghouti tour

Hello friends,

first off, thank-you to everyone who came out and supported SPHR and SAIA at this year's Israeli Apartheid Week. The response was truly overwhelming, and we appreciate immensely your support.

On March 22 at Carleton, the righteous folks at CJPME are hosting a special evening with Mustaffa Barghouti, Palestinian Presidential Candidate and Nobel Peace Prize Nominee. You may remember Dr. Barghouti from a well-received appearance on the Daily Show with Jon Stewart late last year. Full event details here.

Facebook event page here.

Dr. Barghouti is truly one of the best hopes for a just peace the Palestinians currently have. This is an event you won't want to miss, and we hope to see you there.

Stay tuned for more news and fab happenings in the coming weeks.

Best wishes for a pleasant spring.

February 10, 2010

Israeli Apartheid Week 2010 @ uOttawa and Carleton

Mark your calendars - the 6th International Israeli Apartheid Week (IAW) will take place across the globe from from the 1st to the 14th of March 2010!

Since it was first launched in 2005, IAW has grown to become one of the most important global events in the Palestine solidarity calendar. Last year, more than 40 cities around the world participated in the week's activities, which took place in the wake of Israel's brutal assault against Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. IAW continues to grow with new cities joining this year.

IAW 2010 takes place following a year of incredible successes for the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement on the global level. Lectures, films, and actions will highlight some of these successes along with the many injustices that continue to make BDS so crucial in the battle to end Israeli Apartheid.

Students Against Israeli Apartheid-Carleton and Solidarity for Palestinian Human Rights uOttawa are very excited and proud to announce the confirmed speakers for Ottawa's Israeli Apartheid Week 2010:

Monday March 1: Student-to-Student Solidarity in the Fight Against Apartheid
Featuring: Nada Elia, Andrew Stachiw and Yafa Jarrar
Carleton University, Azrieli Theatre 301

Tuesday March 2: Queer-Friendly, Multicultural, Green: Debunking Israel's Myths
Featuring: Natalie Kouri-Towe, Saron Ghebressellassie and Ilaria Giglioli
University of Ottawa

Mercredi 3 Mars: La Lutte Pour l'Autodetermination en Palestine
Denis Lemelin, président national du Syndicat des travailleurs et travailleuses des postes (STTP)
Université d'Ottawa, Pavillon Colonel By B012

Wednesday March 3: Cinema Politica presents Have You Heard From Johannesburg? Apartheid and the Club of the West
Carleton University

Thursday March 4: Fighting Racism, Fighting Apartheid
Featuring Naeem Jeenah, Gabriel Ash, and Nahla Abdo
University of Ottawa, Fauteux Hall 147

Friday March 5: Indigenous Sovereignty from Turtle Island to Palestine
Featuring: Dr. Jamal Zahalka, MK and Dr. Paula Sherman, Ardoch Algonquin First Nation
Carleton University, Fenn Lounge, Residence Commons Building

Saturday March 6: Verses vs Apartheid II
A night of spoken word and music to end apartheid. Details coming soon!

Watch for the full schedule with speaker bios and confirmed locations coming later this week!

To endorse or donate to Israeli Apartheid Week, send an email to

For more information, contact or visit

January 22, 2010

ICDW event: "The Economic Crisis in Palestine"

Join SPHR @ uOttawa for a very informative, interactive workshop as a part of ICDW at uOttawa: "The Economic Crisis in Palestine" will present information about the history and current situation in Israel/Palestine in addition to an intimate discussion about the effects, on the ground, of the economic crisis in Palestine.

This workshop will include a role-playing activity with simultaneous narration and a slide show so that participants can physically learn about the historical process of displacement of the Palestinian population from the 1920s until 2004. The workshop will discuss displacement and refugee populations, US-Israeli financial aid, the Apartheid wall, social, historical and political contexts to the current situation, and parallels in the colonization of Palestine and North America.

Following this workshop, there will be a presentation about the global economic crisis and its effects in Palestine. Issues such as foreign aid, border closures, and contrasts to Israel's economy will be discussed.

When: Friday, January 29, 4 pm.
Where: UCU 205

This is a special event not to be missed: please come and support ICDW and SPHR, and stand with Palestine at uOttawa. Knowledge is a tool - use it.

January 21, 2010

"Eyes in Gaza" with Dr. Mads FTW.

SPHR @ UofO would like to thank everyone who attended our event "Eyes in Gaza" with Dr. Mads Gilbert this past Monday night at the University of Ottawa. I believe it a safe assumption that everyone in the room was touched by Dr. Gilbert's presentation on both the situation in Gaza now and during the invasion, as well as what we can do to help the Palestinian people on a practical level.

Which brings up a good point - there are many ways in which we have the power to effect positive change in the everyday lives of the Palestinians. What is often advertised by the mainstream media as a "hopeless situation" is, in reality, anything but. It is our responsibility as global citizens to get informed and involved. Running the risk of sounding clichéd,"you can't stay neutral on a moving train."

Mads was highly appreciative of the warm reception on the first night of his tour. Look out for the English translation of his and his colleague Erik Fosse's new book "Eyes in Gaza," due out later this year. If his lecture was any indication, it should be a remarkable read.

Dr. Gilbert is touring across Canada and the United States in the coming weeks; help spread the word by telling friends and family in other cities to show up. I can guarantee that it will be the best decision you've made all day. For more information, click

From everyone at SPHR, thank-you again for helping make this event a success. Please stay tuned to this site for more information on SPHR-related activities in the coming months. And please, follow us on Facebook ("SPHR UofO") and Twitter ("sphruofo") for more news and information.

Best wishes,
SPHR @ uOttawa

January 3, 2010

"Eyes in Gaza" with Dr. Mads Gilbert

Dr. Mads Gilbert, internationally acclaimed doctor, Head of the Department of Emergency at the University of North Norway, Professor, and local politician embarks on a journey to describe his experiences in Palestine last winter, during "Operation Cast Lead." During the Israeli offensive against the people of Gaza, Dr. Mads Gilbert and Dr. Erik Fosse were the only two foreign doctors allowed into the region, spending days and nights at the busy and over-crowded Al-Shifaa Hospital in a region forbidden to the rest of the world. With a complete blockade on Gaza, including medical aid and media, Dr. Mads Gilbert became a common face, keeping the world informed of the atrocities taking place in the virtual prison known as Gaza. As such, he was seen on Al-Jazeera, BBC, CBS, ABC, CNN and more.

Dr. Mads Gilbert described his experience in Gaza as the most horrific, terrible thing he has ever witnessed. A long time activist and solidarity worker for the rights of Palestinians, he co-authored the book "Eyes in Gaza" with Dr. Erik Fosse on the realities of this offensive. And now, Dr. Gilbert has kindly taken the time to embark on an SPHR North American tour- on 14 different campuses- to continue sharing his experiences and the stories of Palestinians silenced. This tour is taking place approximately one year after 1300 Palestinians perished, with thousands more injured, and the stories and experience that Dr. Gilbert will share is like no other.

As a leading medical expert and moving speaker, Dr. Mads Gilbert will share with us stories and experiences we are likely to never forget. Please join SPHR @ uOttawa for this very unique event.

Monday, 18 January 2010
19:30 - 21:30
Fauteux Hall, Room 147 B - University of Ottawa
Admission by donation: $5 - 10.

December 8, 2009

Top Ten Brands to Boycott This Holiday Season

The Bay Area Campaign to End Israeli
Apartheid has created a list of the top ten companies to avoid during the holiday
season in support of the Palestinian-led call for boycott, divestment and
sanctions of Israel. The list is also available on its website:

While there are many Israeli and multinational companies that benefit from
apartheid, we put together this list to highlight ten specific companies to
target. Many of these produce goods in such a way that directly harms
Palestinians — exploiting labor, developing technology for military
operations, or supplying equipment for illegal settlements. Many are also
the targets of boycotts for other reasons, like harming the environment and
labor violations.

*1. AHAVA*

This brand’s cosmetics are produced using salt, minerals, and mud from the
Dead Sea — natural resources that are excavated from the occupied West Bank.
The products themselves are manufactured in the illegal Israeli settlement
Mitzpe Shalem. AHAVA is the target of CODEPINK’s “Stolen Beauty”

*2. Delta Galil Industries*

Israel’s largest textiles manufacturer provides clothing and underwear for
such popular brands as Gap, J-Crew, J.C. Penny, Calvin Klein, Playtex,
Victoria’s Secret (see #10) and many others. Its founder and chairman Dov
Lautman is a close associate of former Israeli President Ehud Barak. It has
also been condemned by Sweatshop Watch for its exploitation of labor in
other countries such as Egypt, Jordan, and Turkey.

*3. Motorola*

While many of us know this brand for its stylish cellphones, did you know
that it also develops and manufactures bomb fuses and missile guidance
systems? Motorola components are also used in unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs
or “drones”) and in communications and surveillance systems used in
settlements, checkpoints, and along the 490 mile apartheid wall. The US
Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation
<>has launched the “Hang
Up on Motorola” campaign <>.

*4. L’Oreal / The Body Shop*

This cosmetics and perfume company is known for its investments and
manufacturing activities in Israel, including production in Migdal Haemek,
the “Silicon Valley” of Israel built on the land of Palestinian village
Al-Mujaydil, which was ethnically cleansed in 1948. In 1998, a
representative of L’Oreal was given the Jubilee Award by Israeli Prime
Minister Netanyahu for strengthening the Israeli economy.

*5. Dorot Garlic and Herbs*

[This entry contains Bay Area-specific information] These frozen herbs that
are sold at Trader Joe’s are shipped halfway around the world when they
could easily be purchased locally. Trader Joe’s also sells Israeli Cous Cous
and Pastures of Eden feta cheese that are made in Israel. QUIT, South Bay
Mobilization, and other groups have targeted Trader Joe’s with a “Don’t Buy
into Apartheid” campaign.

*6. Estee Lauder*

This company’s chairman Ronald Lauder is also the chairman of the Jewish
National Fund, a quasi-governmental organization that was established in
1901 to acquire Palestinian land and is connected to the continued building
of illegal settlements. Estee Lauder’s popular brands include Clinique, MAC,
Origins, Bumble & Bumble, Aveda, fragrance lines for top designers, and many
others. They have been the target of QUIT
<>’s “Estee
Slaughter Killer Products”

*7. Intel*

This technology company that manufactures computer processors and other
hardware components employs thousands of Israelis and has exports from
Israel totaling over $1 billion per year. They are one of Israel’s oldest
foreign supporters, having established their first development center
outside of the US in 1974 in Haifa. Al-Awda (the Palestinian Right to Return
Coalition) <>has urged action against Intel for
building a facility on the land of former village Iraq Al Manshiya, which
was cleansed in 1949.

*8. Sabra*

This brand of hummus, baba ghanoush and other foods is co-owned by Israel’s
second-largest food company The Strauss Group and Pepsico. On the “Corporate
Responsibility” section of its website, The Strauss Group boasts of its
relationship to the Israeli Army, offering food products and political

*9. Sara Lee*

Sara Lee holds a 30% stake in Delta Galil (see #2) and is the world’s
largest clothing manufacturer, which owns or is affiliated with such brands
as Hanes, Playtex, Champion, Leggs, Sara Lee Bakery, Ball Park hotdogs,
Wonderbra, and many others. Similar to L’Oreal (see #4), a representative of
Sara Lee received the Jubilee Award from Netanyahu for its commitment to
business with Israel.

*10. Victoria’s Secret*

Most of Victoria’s Secret’s bras are produced by Delta Galil (see #2), and
much of the cotton is also grown in Israel on confiscated Palestinian land.
Victoria’s Secret has also been the target of labor rights’ groups for
sourcing products from companies with labor violations, and by environmental
groups for their unsustainable use of paper in producing their catalogues.
That’s not sexy!

Remember, it’s also important to let these companies — and the stores that
sell them — know that we will not support them as long as they support
Israeli apartheid!

From all of us at SPHR, best wishes for a wonderful holiday season.

In solidarity,
SPHR @uOttawa

November 6, 2009

Nov. 16 - Speaking Event with Professor Marc Ellis: "Does Judaism equal Israel?"

Join us for a special lecture by Professor Marc H. Ellis, an American intellectual, liberation theologian, and University Professor of Jewish Studies and Director of the Center for Jewish Studies at Baylor University. Professor Ellis will take on the difficult moral questions about Jewish support for the state of Israel, as well as examining "how Israel has replaced God and gutted the prophetic moral core of Judaism."

Ellis' current writings deal with contemporary Judaism , Jewish liberation theology, Jewish-Arab relations, and justice and peace studies. His impressive body of work has been praised by figures as diverse as Noam Chomsky and the Archbishop Desmond Tutu. The late Edward Said described him as "a man to be listened to with respect and admiration." Professor Ellis' most recent book is titled "Judaism Does Not Equal Israel: The Rebirth of the Jewish Prophetic."

This discussion will take place Monday, November 16th at the University of Ottawa, Fauteux Hall, room 147 at 7:30 p.m. Entry is by donation (suggested: $5 to $10).

This is truly a unique event not to be missed and we hope you will join us.
Co-sponsored by Solidarity for Palestinian Human Rights at uOttawa and Independent Jewish Voices.

For more information, please email Don't forget to join our Facebook event page and help to spread the word.

November 5, 2009

Right to Education campaign @ uOttawa

Student Federation at the University of Ottawa adopts Palestinian Right to Education campaign

Ottawa, November 2, 2009 – In a victory for justice, University of Ottawa students successfully passed a motion affiliating their student federation to the Right to Education Campaign, a Palestinian student initiative to counter the effects of occupation on their education. Despite some opposition from Zionist and Conservative voices, the motion was successfully passed by a vote of 74 to 52.

Parts of the motion cited education as a “fundamental human right” and that the “[Israeli] occupation of the West Bank and Gaza and the ongoing closures, military roadblocks, and the construction of an illegal wall prevent thousands of students and teachers from reaching their universities and schools”. The campaign commits the SFUO to support the call for international action against violations against the basic right to education in the occupied Palestinian territories, and to build connections to Palestinian Universities through initiatives such as exchanges. The SFUO campaigns committee is bound to the campaign for at least a year, when the campaign can then be reconsidered.

Mahmoud Hmouz, member of Solidarity for Palestinian Human Rights which put the motion forward, stated that “this victory proves that the tide is turning in Canadian Universities. Students in Canada know about the violations their peers in Palestine face and are no longer willing to stand idly by.” Robert Prazeres, also a member of SPHR points out that “we in Canada are not as far removed from the struggles of Palestinian students as we may think we are. Our universities support the ongoing injustices through links to the Israeli Academy while they ignore the plight of the Palestinian Academy and Palestinian Students. This is our response to that discrepancy.”

For more information, or to view the entire motion, contact:

Mahmoud Hmouz (English) at 613-335-4225, email
Robert Prazeres (English or French) at 613-447-4931, email

June 21, 2009

Dr. Uri Davis Canadian Tour Organized by CJPME

The following event is being organized by Canadians for Justice and
Peace in the Middle East (CJPME).

Does the JNF deserve tax-exempt status in Canada? Hear Dr. Davis'
compelling arguments against the JNF privileged status in many
Western countries.

In Canadian cities this week, CJPME is hosting Dr. Uri Davis, author and
lecturer on Canadian tour. Dr. Davis' lecture, entitled: Apartheid Israel:
Possibilities for the Struggle Within
is based on his book by the same
title. Mr. Davis will talk about the one-state and two-state options for
Israel-Palestine. Dr. Davis describes himself as an anti-Zionist
Palestinian-Hebrew citizen of the Apartheid State of Israel. Join
us for a surprising and refreshing perspective on the challenges facing
Israelis and Palestinians today.

Ottawa: Friday, June 26th, 7:00 p.m.
Saint Paul University - Amphitheatre, 223 Main Street
Admission is $10 to cover tour costs.

Dr. Uri Davis, has devoted his academic work since 1975 to a critical
examination of the philosophy and practice of political Zionism. His
most well-known books include:
* Israel: An Apartheid State;
* The Jewish National Fund;
* Citizenship and the State: A Comparative Study of Citizenship
Legislation in Israel, Jordan, Palestine, Syria and Lebanon;
* Apartheid Israel: Possibilities for the Struggle Within
Uri Davis has been active in the field of defending human rights in
general, and the rights of the Palestinian people in particular since
1965. He is the chairperson of AL-BEIT: Association for the Defense
of Human Rights in Israel; senior director for legal and political affairs
of Mosaic Communities: Association for Multinational Housing in Israel;
Honorary Research Fellow at the Universities of Exeter and Durham in
the UK; and Observer-Member of the Palestinian National Council (PNC).

Note: Only the Ottawa date and locations have been posted. For
more information or dates and locations of the London, Toronto, and
Montreal lectures, please visit CJPME's website at