The Coalition against Israeli Apartheid (CAIA) has launched a further action to press the majority shareholders of Chapters and Indigo bookstores to stop their support of the Israeli military. The activists have chosen Chapters and Indigo bookstores as a priority target as it exposes the critical support apartheid Israel receives from Canada and the ruthless war crimes the Occupationâs army continues to perpetrate in order to maintain apartheid in Palestine.
Regular pickets raise popular awareness among the customers of Chapters & Indigo, while the latest action targeted a prestige event organized by the bookshop chain – a book signing by Ralph Nader, who was Green Party US Presidential Candidate in 1996 and 2000. In 2005 the Green Party signed onto the BDS call from Palestine.
VIDEO OF ACTION:
CAIA PRESS RELEASE
On Thursday May 10, activists from the Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid confronted Heather Reisman, majority owner of Chapters and Indigo bookstores at a book signing for Ralph Naderâs new book, The Seventeen Traditions. In the question and answer period, CAIA activists questioned Reisman about her support for the Heseg Foundation for Lone Soldiers, a program of financial support for former âlone soldiersâ in the Israeli military. Reisman refused to answer the questions posed to her and instead, shut down the event and walked out.
CAIA reiterates its demand that Chapters Indigo should be boycotted until the majority owners, Heather Reisman and Gerry Schwartz publicly announce that they will cut all financial ties to Heseg. Reismanâs refusal to answer the questions posed to her is absolutely unacceptable and indicates her culpability in Israeli apartheid. Her vocal support for Israeli war crimes will continue to be challenged whenever she appears publicly in Canada.
On June 9th 2007, Chapters Indigo stores will be picketed across Canada as part of the national campaign against their ties with Israeli apartheid.These pickets are part of the international week of action commemorating 40 years of Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
At its peak, Heseg will distribute up to $3M per year to provide scholarships and other support to former âLone Soldiersâ in the Israeli military. âLone Soldiersâ are individuals who have no family in Israeli society but decide to join the Israeli military. As Israeli soldiers, they participate in a military that operates checkpoints that restrict Palestinian freedom of movement, enforces the occupation of Palestinian land, and has a documented history of human rights violations. At any time there might be 5,000 âLone Soldiersâ in the Israeli military in all capacities including in combat units.
According to the Heseg website: âCanadian couple Gerry Schwartz and Heather Reisman established HESEG to express gratitude and provide support to the thousands of Former Lone Soldiers who serve annually in the Israel Defense Forces.â
Further information available at the CAIA website
* Promotional animation video for the campaign:
*Campaign leaflet in English, French, Italian, Bosnian/Serbian/Croatian
*âChapters, Indigo, IDF Cut the Ties with Israeli Apartheidâ Bookmarks