Vancouver 2010: The IOC, Israel, Canada, and Apartheid

The Winter Olympics is taking place in the unceded territory of the Skwxwú7mesh, Xwméthkwyiem and Tsleil-Waututh peoples – what has been colonially designated Vancouver – and the unceded territory of the St’at’imc people – Whistler.

Israel has sent an ice dancing pair to the Vancouver Winter Olympics.

Of Vancouver, the Israeli Consul-General, Amir Gissin, gushed, “We find a Zionist, warm, loving community for whom Israel is a second home.”1

Vancouver a Zionist community? Zionism warm? Undoubtedly Zionism is molten warm when you happen to be a Palestinian who has had white phosphorus dropped on him by the warm Zionists of the Israeli military.

Implicit in the straightforward declaration of Zionism is racism and separation. The ineluctable corrupting force of Zionism leads to apartheid.

Zionist communities in Canada? Why not? Canada is an apartheid country just as Israel is. The First Nations have been pushed onto small reserves. Canada is based on the dispossession of the Indigenous population as is Israel. The European-cum Canadians colonialists displaced the spirituality and culture of the Indigenous peoples as did the European Jews-cum Israelis to the indigenous Palestinians. The Original Peoples in Canada are impoverished as are the Palestinians under Israeli oppression. The racist residue of apartheid politics and practices are clear in both Canada and Israel.

The supremacist attitudes held by many Canadians to the Original Peoples were verbalized by Canadian Richard Pound, board member of the Vancouver Olympics and former vice-president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC). Pound said, “We must not forget that 400 years ago, Canada was a land of savages, with scarcely 10,000 inhabitants of European descent…”2

Olympics and Apartheid

In 1964 the IOC banned South Africa from the Olympics for not renouncing apartheid. Apartheid state Rhodesia would also be banned from the Olympics in 1972. South Africa’s ban lasted until 1992. Yet somehow Israel has escaped IOC condemnation for its apartheid… as has Canada.

Danielle Gavon, an organizer with the Vancouver Jewish Community Centre, said that the Israeli athletes “feel that they represent Israel and the Jews to the outside world. It’s important to them that Israel and the Jews outside Israel support them.”1

Apartheid is clear from the comments. They emphasize that Israel is a Jewish state, oblivious to the fact that approximately a fifth of the population is Palestinian.

South Africans who lived under apartheid are unmistaken about Israeli apartheid. Archbishop Desmond Tutu stated, “I’ve been very distressed in my visit to the Holy Land; it reminded me so much of what happened to us blacks in South Africa. I have seen the humiliation of the Palestinians at checkpoints and roadblocks, suffering like us when young white police officers prevented us from moving about….”3 South African Trade Unions were certain about the apartheid in Israel, and they had a solution: sanctions and boycotts.4

Former US president Jimmy Carter spoke of witnessing an apartheid “even worse” than in South Africa.5

Many Jews recognize the prima facie apartheid.6

Even Israeli arch-Zionist Ehud Barak is speaking to the apartheid.7

So why isn’t Israel banned as an apartheid state by the IOC? Why is a de facto apartheid nation such as Canada “honored” as a host nation for the Olympics?

The Olympic sport of tennis offers a conjecture. One Israeli tennis player, Shahar Peer, has been plagued by anti-apartheid, anti-occupation protests at various tennis venues around the world. The Women’s Tennis Association and its former chief officer Larry Scott fought on behalf of Peer who was barred from competition last year in the UAE.8 This year Peer is playing in Dubai. Tennis.com reported, “It was also a triumph for the publicity machines of both Dubai and Doha, which have labored for years to show off the world’s top Western athletes… The UAE, as well as Qatar, had invested too much” in tennis and sport. In other words, money wins.9

  1. Quoted in Hilary Leila Krieger, “Vancouver Jews give Israeli team standing ovation,” Jerusalem Post, 16 February 2010. [] []
  2. CTV.ca News Staff, “Pound Urged to Resign Over ‘Savages’ Comment,” CTV, 22 October 2008. []
  3. Desmond Tutu, “How can the victims of oppression oppress another people?,” Church Times, 26 April 2002. []
  4. Zwelinzima Vavi, “COSATU leader Zwelinzima Vavi: Sanction and boycott apartheid Israel!,” LabourNet UK, 14 January 2009. []
  5. Excerpt cited by Haaretz Service, “Jimmy Carter: Israel’s ‘apartheid’ policies worse than South Africa’s,” Haaretz, 11 December 2006. []
  6. Diverse voices oppose apartheid policies, Zionism, “An Open Letter from Jewish Youth in Canada,” The Dominion, 5 January 2009. []
  7. Rory McCarthy, “Barak: make peace with Palestinians or face apartheid,” Guardian, 3 February 2010. []
  8. See Kim Petersen, “When Sports Trump Human Rights: The Fundamental Principles of Tennis,” Dissident Voice, 17 February 2009. []
  9. Steve Tignor, “Cinderella Goes to Dubai,” Tennis.com, 17 February 2010. []
Kim Petersen is a former co-editor of the Dissident Voice newsletter. He can be reached at: kimohp@gmail.com. Twitter: @kimpetersen. Read other articles by Kim.

18 comments on this article so far ...

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  1. mary said on February 19th, 2010 at 10:48am #

    Well said Kim.

    The link below refers to Miss Peer, Israeli tennis ace at Dubai. The UK Israeli embassy people think they have such a wicked sense of humour. They are actually vile and disgusting people. Prosor could hardly contain his amusement when being interviewed after his chat at the Foreign Office with some British underling.

    From Richard Silverstein’s blog –
    ‘Some true dufus from Israel’s UK embassy thought the accompanying tweet was cute, alluding to Shahar Peer’s tennis victory in a Dubai tournament and Israel’s alleged “hit” against a Hamas operative. Remember too, that the Mossad hit men wore tennis gear to disguise their evil intent. Next time you see overweight middle aged men with beards or mustaches in your hotel, beware.

    http://www.richardsilverstein.com/tikun_olam/wp-content/uploads/2010/02/israeli-tennis-tweet-screenshot-400×237.jpg

  2. Ismail Zayid said on February 19th, 2010 at 11:09am #

    Kim Petersen’s analysis is accurate and worthy of full consideration.

    Amir Gissin’s Zionist warmth is of varied degrees and patterns. For the Palestinian showered with phosphorus bombs, it is burning with shattering fire. for the Israeli stealing the land and the homes of the Palestinians, it may bring temporary warmth and comfort.

    The Israeli apartheid, as confirmed by Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Nelson Mandela and many others, is real as the Palestinians encounter systematically in their daily life. But, alas, no one is allowed to criticise that or act against it. Stephen Harper and his government tell us that an attack on Israel is an attack on Canada. So we, in Canada, evidently share more than our common apartheid history. And we must be all waiting for the report by the Harper government’s Canadian Parliamentary Coalition to Combat Antisemitism. No criticism of Israel or its policies will be tolerated and will bear serious consequences.

    Evidently, the policy, that Israel is above international law and beyond criticism, must remain the dictum to be followed.

  3. Mulga Mumblebrain said on February 19th, 2010 at 12:20pm #

    Mary, can you imagine Milipede’s delight in playing the role of outraged UK Foreign Minister, while being, in reality,in my opinion at least, a Zionist agent at the very heart of UK governance.I’d say that from what I’ve read so far that Western intelligence agencies were in on this murder from the start.In fact I suspect that they are thoroughly under Mossad control, so they would have just been following orders from a higher life form. It’s a funny old world to be sure. What does perplex is how shoddy the killers work was and how easily they were tracked by Dubai,but none apprehended.Moreover the complicity of two Fatah operatives shows that Abbas and his rotten regime are now the full Quisling quid, a terror apparatus of collaborators, sonderkommandoes following their Zionist masters’ orders to keep their own people under the jackboot.And the Zionist bloggers sand newspaper hatemongers,taking time out from advocating child torture and the ‘obliteration’ of Iran, are simply slavering in ecstasy at Israeli exterminating another Palestinian untermensch,like thousands before,and untold thousands surely to come. We are a lovely species, there’s no doubt about it, but not for much longer,I suspect.

  4. Rehmat said on February 20th, 2010 at 7:58am #

    As a member of Canada’s largest religious minority (close to one million) – I agree with Amir Gissin. The Canadian Jewish Congress (CJC), Bin’ai Brith and other pro-Zionist/pro-Israel groups have succeeded in turning 300,000-strong Jewish community into the ruling class.

    The extent of CJC grip over Ottawa was confirmed by Canada’s junior foreign minister, Peter Kent, who said only a few days ago: “An attack on Israel is an attack on Canada”.

    http://rehmat1.wordpress.com/2010/02/18/kent-attack-on-israel-is-an-attack-on-canada/

  5. mary said on February 20th, 2010 at 9:17am #

    We seem to have gone italic??

  6. jon s said on February 20th, 2010 at 11:57am #

    Kim,
    You say that Israel is an apartheid country, and that Canada is, too. But I don’t see you calling for a boycott of Canada, and expelling Canada from the Olympics. And what about the US and the UK for their wars in Afghanistan and Iraq (note this week’s civilian casualties in Afganistan), and while we’re at it how about a boycott of Russia for it’s wars in Chechnya and Georgia and China for it’s policies in Tibet? I could continue…Only Israeli athletes are singled out, only Israel is the focus of such demonisation, not countries with much worse human-rights records.

  7. Kim Petersen said on February 20th, 2010 at 5:37pm #

    jon s said, “I don’t see you calling for a boycott of Canada, and expelling Canada from the Olympics.”

    Nowhere in the article did I call for a boycott of anyone. Implicit in my article, however, was that any state that practices racism and commits crimes against humanity should be sanctioned. This applies to Canada as well as Israel. And it should apply to the USA as well. If you read through my articles, you will see that I stand firm on this.

    The main difference is that Canada, the USA, and other western hemispheric states started their genocidal dispossession and land theft earlier than did Israel. But the Israeli massacres are still ongoing as is its territorial theft.

    The case of Chechnya and Tibet are much different, but if you read my articles, you’ll read that I condemn the human rights abuses by China and Russia as well.

    Your argument is tu quoque. The fact that another country commits crimes against humanity does not exculpate the Jewish state from its crimes against humanity as you intend. Nonetheless, you are indeed correct that every state that commits crimes should be sanctioned equally according to the crime and circumstances.

    A major difference between you and I jon s is that I do not try and exculpate the colonial, genocidally created state of Canada of its crimes as you do the Jewish state. I condemn the crimes of the Canadian state (crimes that are ongoing) and call for the return of stolen land to the Indigenous peoples. Will you call for the same atonement for the Jewish state?

  8. mary said on February 21st, 2010 at 1:26am #

    The day of atonement (Yom Kippur) isn’t until 18 September I discover from the BBC website which has a lengthy special section devoted to Judaism.

    This morning we woke to the twangy tones of the Chief Rabbi on Radio 4’s Something Understood giving us all some rabbinical instruction. The programme was subtitled The Sculptors of Peace!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00qs4lq#synopsis

  9. Rolling Red said on February 21st, 2010 at 4:00pm #

    Kim,
    Jon S. has a point. If you look at the history of colonialism, many countries such as: Portugal, Spain, Britain, France, Holland, Sweden, Denmark, USA, Germany, Belgium, Turkey, Japan – are guilty. Though not all empires, most world countries I dare say at one point or another of their history oppressed native or neighboring populations. If that is the yard stick then there aren’t many eligible for Olympic participation, which is right and fine by me given my opinion of the international extravaganza that the Olympic games are. Kim, you admit that all countries ought to be held accountable in equal measure however it is not evident from your article. Your readers should not have to refer to your other essays to get your point. You are making valid judgments, sloppily.

  10. Kim Petersen said on February 21st, 2010 at 5:22pm #

    Rolling Red,
    With all due respect, you make invalid comments sloppily and with illogic. Why should I repeat myself over and over again? That would bore readers who would then ask why I keep repeating myself in my articles. Diligent commenters would do a little basic research to avoid embarrassing themselves with ill-informed comments.
    Also you did not grasp the thrust of the article either. The article condemned Canada and Israel both for apartheid. Whatever criticism is applied to one’s own state would ipso facto apply to other states. That should be self-evident.
    Besides the thrust of jon s’s comment did not have a point other than the illogic of fallaciously providing cover for the crimes of the Jewish state.

  11. Rolling Red said on February 21st, 2010 at 5:52pm #

    Fist fight, Kim? :). I get your train of thought better than you give me credit for. I chose to address what seemed more pressing to me and that is that if you expect your readers to learn something from your posts, you ought to lay out your logic with clarity and patience. It is in your best interest, or else you may be wasting your time. My comment was a constructive criticism from a like minded supporter of world peace and social justice. Make of it what you will. Being radically minded does not necessitate being an as*hole. Not everyone is out there to get you, stop throwing punches and perhaps pause and consider the spirit of what is being said.

  12. Mulga Mumblebrain said on February 23rd, 2010 at 11:38am #

    mary, the Judaisation of the West is proceeding,apace. In Australia media coverage of Palestine is now 100% pro-Israel.I forget the last time I heard from or saw in print a Palestinian voice or that of a pro-Palestinian Australian. Perhaps a year. The language is pure Zionazism. Palestinians who fight their oppressors are ‘terrorists’.Killers of children who wear little hats on their heads to illustrate their superiority to the rest of humanity, are exemplars of ‘Western Civilization’.They share ‘our values’.They own our politicians,our media and their droogs swamp any site, spitting vitriol and bile, that dares treat Palestinians, Arabs or Moslems as human beings. The media is an endless sewer of Islamophobic hatemongering,and behind every attack on the tiny fraction of Islamic women who wish to wear the burqa, or another mendacious, histrionic demand to ‘obliterate’ Iran, you will find, either directly or through a Sabbat Goy stooge, the voice of Zionism. The media is so well-trained, so morally insane and so liberally infested with Zionist Jews, that almost invariably any ‘human interest’ story of suffering or overcoming adversity turns out to be about Jews, 1%, but what a precious 1%, of the population. Our incompetent nincompoop PM, Rudd, recently revealed that he was a ‘Christian Zionist’ ie he couldn’t give a stuff how many Gazan children Israel kills, its all His God’s Will. One constantly wonders how long it can go on, just how totally they wish to dominate, and to what end?

  13. Maien said on February 24th, 2010 at 12:47am #

    I don’t know … Rolling Red. I have been reading this site for some time and have seen some very specific communication patterns. I do agree with Kims comments regarding the motives of Jon S. Jon sort of sings the same tune each time he comments. As well, it is very tiresome to have to skip through old information as you seek ‘news’… new information, you know, especially for those who try to keep up to date. It may be worth your time to check out some archived materiel. After all, that’s always a good step to understand any new topic or line of thought. A writer at a site like this should not have to do your ‘homework’ for you. And really, if you have questions ..an intelligent individual seeks out several disparate sources of info for new perspectives.

    Check out Marys sources or links. I wish I could be as vigilant a researcher as this woman. Mulga, Deadbeat, Don Hawkins …tons more… of intelligent people commenting and to learn from on this site.

    Thanks for the article Kim. I enjoyed, as usual.

  14. mary said on February 26th, 2010 at 3:23am #

    Not just the native peoples. land and rivers but the wild animals too are taken for commercialisation and profit. I have just read this article which details the trade and exploitation of captive orcas in so called ‘amusement’ marine parks. In the first place how do people go to these tawdry places to view these magnificent creatures (mammals like us) swimming around in what is virtually a bath tub? Do they not think?

    http://www.counterpunch.org/hribal02252010.html

    I was asking myself how the whales and dolphins are captured in the first place and how they are transported overland. It sounds very cruel and is yet another example of man’s inhumanity. There should be laws to stop these practices.

    PS Just hearing on the news that a massive indoor aquarium in Dubai has developed a leak and the shopping mall is being flooded. None of the 33,000 creatures are harmed according to the blurb! Disgusting.
    ( gulfnews.com/news/gulf/uae/aquarium-leak-hits-dubai-mall-1.588905 )

  15. mary said on February 27th, 2010 at 5:50am #

    Joseph Baratta – This is the individual from the private equity outfit who is now responsible for the ownership and hence the cruel exploitation of the marine animals in these ‘amusement parks, namely Seaworld Parks and Entertainment, Merlin Entertainments Group, Center Parcs, Tragus Group and Southern Cross.

    http://www.blackstone.com/cps/rde/xchg/bxcom/hs/firm_ourpeople_3773.htm

    Blackstone acquired these businesses from Anheuser–Busch for $2.7 billion so next time you down a Budweiser, Busch, Michelob, Bud Light or Natural Light think on how they profited from the sale and about the suffering of these creatures which are just commodities to these corporations.

    CounterPunch Diary, counterpunch.org, Feed Pete Peterson to the Whales by Alexander Cockburn further illuminates the horror. He quotes Frederick Douglass –

    Douglass often made direct comparisons between the treatment and use of other animals and that of himself. “When purchased, my old master probably thought as little of my advent, as he would have thought of the addition of a single pig to his stock! Like a wild young working animal, I am to be broken to the yoke of a bitter and life-long bondage. Indeed, I now saw, in my situation, several points of similarity with that of the oxen. They were property, so was I; they were to be broken, so was I; Convey was to break me, I was to break them; break and be broken – such is life.”

  16. mary said on February 27th, 2010 at 5:54am #

    And of course no show without a Rothschild on board.

    http://www.blackstone.com/cps/rde/xchg/bxcom/hs/firm_leadership_advisoryboard.htm

  17. superlabel@hotmail.com said on March 1st, 2010 at 1:07pm #

    amazing , Israel Aparthied, where? you guys do not even Know the actual meaning of Zionism, try to do a real read up , It is a Jews wish to return to Israel the land of His/Her ancestry, who are you to assume anything else?

  18. superlabel@hotmail.com said on March 1st, 2010 at 1:08pm #

    Zionism= A jews wish toreturn to his or her ancestral homeland nothing more. What aparthied?