Hammam Farah says Palestinians in Canada are witnessing an attempt to redefine their identity away from a collective political emancipation to one where national symbols like the kuffiyeh or the olive tree are denuded of their meaning. “We are left with a culture that is being depoliticized and being ‘made safe’ for our elites’ integration into Canada’s ruling classes at an alarming rate,” Farah writes, “while exploitation and oppression suffered by the majority among us only deepen.”
Hammam Farah’s grandmother, Sura Farah, recently passed away in Gaza. He grieves the fact that he wasn’t able to be with her due to the Israeli siege: “It will be easier to see you in the afterlife than it has been in Gaza.”
Groups closely aligned with the far-right Israeli government have declared “lawfare” on the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement in Canada. Recent events in Canada’s parliament, the Ontario Legislature and on Canadian campuses reveal the increasingly forceful trajectory of this strategy.
On Thursday May 19, the Ontario Legislature will discuss the “Standing Up Against Anti-Semitism in Ontario Act, 2016.” The bill, however, has nothing to do with anti-Semitism, and does not conceal its purpose as a bill that targets the BDS movement and, both, its organizational and individual supporters.