A Victory for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) Campaign: Air Canada Cancels its Biggest Contract with Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI)

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Wednesday November 8 2017
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Air Canada has just cancelled its contract with IAI for the maintenance of its fleet of B767 jets. This decision is a direct result of the campaign launched months ago by the Canadian BDS Coalition to force Air Canada to end its business dealings with IAI. Although Air Canada still has smaller contracts with IAI, this is a major victory for the BDS movement.

 

WHO IS IAI?

IAI Ltd is the largest Israeli aerospace and defence company. It is known worldwide for developing integrated air, space and sea defence systems, and specializes, among other things, in the construction of drones. An open letter sent to the President and CEO of Air Canada, Calin Rovinescu, in mid-October, stated:

“Israel Aerospace Industries [IAI] is the subject of boycotts across Europe for its deadly drone technology and production. IAI was one of the earliest developers of drone technology and launched its first surveillance drone in 1979. IAI’s website boasts that its drones have an “unsurpassed track record of over 1,200,000 operational flight hours for over 50 users on five continents.”

A 2014 study entitled ‘Sleepless in Gaza’ by Dr. Atef Abu Saif details the terrifying impact of drone attacks on the Gaza Strip, especially on children, “Since their first use in 2000, drones have led to the death of hundreds of Palestinians and have injured thousands more. In addition, they have directly impacted Palestinian psychological and social life, as well as causing a grossly negative impact on education.”

By partnering with IAI, Air Canada becomes complicit in the war crimes of IAI. This is fundamentally wrong.”

CUPW is part of the group of about 40 trade unions and civil organizations who signed on to this open letter.

 

THE BDS CAMPAIGN MUST CONTINUE.

In 2008, CUPW adopted a resolution at its National Convention, which read as follows:

“CUPW will support the international campaign of boycott, divestment and sanctions until Israel recognizes the right of Palestinian people to self-determination and complies with international law including the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes as stipulated in UN resolution 194.”

This is certainly another step forward for the recognition of the Palestinian people. The BDS campaign delivers real results. IT MUST CONTINUE.

Mike Palecek
National President