New Ottawa-based organization to promote serious discussion and public education on Israel/Palestine


On September 27th, two Ottawa organizations will fuse into a new one with expanded capacity to promote serious discussion and public education on the complex Israel/Palestine issue. To help guide it, the new organization will have an Advisory Council of well respected, and well connected, Canadians. Read more.

The new organization is to be called “The Ottawa Forum on Israel/Palestine – a middle east discussion group”, or OFIP for short. It has been created as a result of the fusion of two pre-existing Ottawa-based groups – “Canada Talks Israel Palestine”, and “The Middle East Discussion Group”.

According to its mission statement the new Ottawa Forum on Israel/Palestine (OFIP) will “encourage the development of a Canadian foreign policy in the middle east based on recognized Canadian values of democracy, equality, justice and respect for international law.”

The entire mission statement and an outline of the group’s projected activities can be found here:  Ottawa Forum on Israel Palestine – a middle east discussion group Final

New Advisory Council

OFIP will benefit from the wisdom of an accomplished and experienced Advisory Council composed of Canadians who are widely respected for their attachment to human rights and democracy. The founding members of the Advisory Council are:

  • Dr. Joseph Debanne, founder and first Dean of Faculty of Management Sciences (now Telfer School of Management), University of Ottawa
  • Hon.  Pierre de Bane, Former Senator (and former Liberal Cabinet Minister)
  • David Halton, former chief political correspondent for CBC and longtime foreign affairs correspondent.
  • Ms. Margaret (Peggy) Mason, President, Rideau Institute and former Canadian Ambassador
  • Dr. Monia Mazigh, writer/author and academic
  • Dr. David Parnas, son of holocaust survivors and grandson of two who did not survive.
  • Mr. Haig Sarafian, former senior Canadian diplomat and former Ambassador to several countries in the Middle East
  • Dr. Jeremy Wildeman, Research Associate in International Development, University of Bath, UK, (currently at the University of Ottawa)

The main activities of the new forum include:

  • A regular noon hour luncheon series for members and supporters
  • Educational presentations for small and large groups including churches, universities and unions.
  • Annual program of public events with invited speakers;
  • Workshops focussed on human rights;
  • Advice to those organizing educational tours to Israel/Palestine;
  • Applied research aimed at understanding how to change Canadian opinion-makers’ perception of the Israel/Palestine issue.

The founding executive of the group will be composed of:

  • Dr. Peter Larson, Chair
  • Mr. Grafton Ross, Vice-Chair and head of Research
  • Ms. Catherine Casserly, Secretary Treasurer
  • Dr. Hashmat Khan, Luncheon convener


alex boulericeThe first public activity of OFIP will be a noon hour luncheon in Ottawa on September 27th at Yang Ming Asian Buffet, 1547 Merivale Rd. 

Guest speaker will be Mr. Alexandre Boulerice, Vice-Chair of the Canada-Palestine Parliamentary Friendship group.

Cost – $20/person. To register:

NOTE: As of September 27, “Canada Talks Israel Palestine (CTIP) ” will no longer exist as an organization or undertake activities of its own.  However, CTIP will continue to be the name of this blog which will continue to be regularly published.

To contact Ottawa Forum on Israel Palestine:



    1. Hey James, thanks for sharing your thought.
      What happened in the past is quite clear. However what to do about it now is actually rather complex, in my view. Not least because Palestinians themselves don’t agree on what to do. (In this sense I think it is similar to Canada’s issues with indigenous Canadians. What happened is that we took their land. What to do about it now, is a very complex issue about which there are deep divisions even in the indigenous community.) Best

    2. So true James but moving forward towards peaceful horizon is desperately needed to inform Canadians and the world concerning what is happing in Palestine. They can make their own judgment regarding human rights violation for so long.

  1. Good luck to the new OFIP.MEDG Looking forward to the first noon hour meeting with MP Bolerice. Hopefully some interesting ideas will emerge that can be referred to the govt to reinvigourate what appears to be a lagging and somewhat uninspired Israel Palestine policy mainly focused on not antogonizing or criticizing Israel to move to a soln.

  2. Congrats on this initiative! Very impressive executive and council. Education and work for human rights in P/I is much needed especially that mainstream media is biased or under the influence of political pressure. Keep the good work! It makes a difference.

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