Occupation on Trial

OCCUPATION ON TRIAL - Palestinian village sues Canadian corporations for building
illegal Israeli settlements


Panel Discussion, featuring:


MOHAMMAD KHATIB -- member
of the Bil'in Popular Committee Against the Wall and Settlements
EMILY SCHAEFFER – Israeli lawyer representing the village of Bil’in
MARK ARNOLD- Canadian legal counsel to Bil’in

Bil’in is a Palestinian village that is struggling to survive. It is fighting to
safeguard its land, its olive trees, its resources… its liberty.

Since 2005, the people of Bil'in have been demonstrating
non-violently against the building of settlements and the separation wall
on their land. Villagers have led weekly protests with the active
participation from both Israeli and international peace activists. Bil'in
has become an internationally celebrated symbol of Palestinian popular
non-violent resistance to the ongoing construction of the Israeli
separation wall. In constructing the wall, Israel will annex and colonize
almost 60% of Bil'in's land. In Bil’in, the wall consists of a system of
fences, security roads and cameras stretching 50 metres in width; in other
areas of the West Bank the wall towers over eight metres high and is
fortified by armed military watchtowers.

The Fourth Geneva Convention (to which Canada is a signatory), as well
as Canada's own Crimes Against Humanity and War Crimes Act,
prohibit occupying forces from establishing settlements at the expense
of indigenous populations. In the West Bank, the Israeli authorities
have intensified their efforts especially in the Jerusalem area, through
house evictions, systematic killings, detentions, settlement building and
the construction of the separation wall. Through an elaborate control
system of more than 600 military checkpoints, land confiscation and
blockades and hundreds of military orders of house demolitions, Israel is
actively creating facts on the ground that render any peaceful resolution
of the conflict impossible. Facing this painful reality, the Palestinian
people continue and develop their popular resistance to protect their
basic rights to life and freedom and to realize their aspirations for a peaceful
future.

In a landmark lawsuit, the farming village of Bil'in has brought
legal proceedings in Montreal Quebec, against two Canadian corporations
for violating both international and Canadian domestic law by acting
as agents for Israel in constructing buildings to serve as housing
for Israeli civilians in the West Bank, an area that is
internationally recognized as territory occupied as a result of war.

The two Canadian corporations, Green Park International Inc. and
Green Mount International Inc., have brought dismissal motions before
the Quebec Superior Court on the issue of jurisdiction. The motions will
be heard at the Courthouse in Montreal starting June 22, 2009. The
claim alleges that "the corporations actions are aiding, abetting,
assisting and conspiring with Israel, the Occupying Power in the West
Bank, in carrying out an illegal act."

Organized by: Ad Hoc Bil'in Tour Organizing Committee

Sponsored by: Solidarity for Palestinians Human Rights (SPHR), Near 
Eastern Cultural (NECEF), Educational Foundation, Palestine House, and Independent Jewish Voices (IJV)

For information about the Canada tour:
http://www.tadamon.ca/post/3608/langswitch_lang/en

For more information about Bil’in:
www.bilin-village.org

Location

Trinity St. Paul's United Church
427 Bloor St W (west of Spadina subway station)
Toronto, ON
Canada
43° 39' 58.266" N, 79° 24' 22.302" W
This community event is not affiliated with Faith Connections, but we believe it to be of specific interest to young adults aged 18-39 and with a faith-based or social justice theme. However, we can be mistaken — if you're not sure this event will meet your expectations, please check with the event organizers.