Manitoba Government Ignores Palestinian Oppression

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By Paul Graham, The Palestine Chronicle, Oct. 11, 2010

A few days ago, Manitoba Premier Greg Selinger announced his government’s intention to deepen economic and cultural relations with Israel.

“Manitoba and Israel have common interests in clean energy, water quality and conservation. These interests provide the opportunities to share knowledge and strengthen our education and economic relationships and partnership,” Selinger said in a news release.

Water Stewardship Minister Christine Melnick, and Innovation, Energy and Mines Minister Dave Chomiak will join Selinger on the trade mission, Oct. 15-20, which is sponsored by the Jewish Federation of Winnipeg. Selinger said he plans to sign partnership agreements, help promote the Royal Winnipeg Ballet 70th anniversary tour of Israel and dedicate a park designed to promote peace.

Early opposition to Selinger plans has been expressed by bloggers such as myself, but more organized campaigns are beginning to take shape.

“We remain unreservedly disappointed with the Manitoba government’s ever-deepening ties with reprobate Israel — especially as Premier Selinger’s visit falls upon the heels of Israel’s universally condemned attack and wanton killing of civilians aboard the Mavi Marmara humanitarian aid flotilla,” says Krishna Lalbiharie of Canada-Palestine Support Network (Winnipeg). “As ever, we will lobby the Manitoba NDP to disengage from all relations with Israel, and will continue to coordinate actions and campaigns in support of national and international BDS efforts and humanitarian aid fund raising.”

“Peace Alliance Winnipeg is asking Premier Selinger to consider the impact his visit has in terms of legitimizing Israel’s denial of Palestinian rights and the extremely harsh conditions it imposes on the daily life of the people of Gaza and the West Bank,” says Peace Alliance Winnipeg chairperson Glenn Michalchuk. “We are asking people to write to Selinger and make known their opposition.”

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