Academic symposium in Ottawa on Israel/Palestine wildly successful


Dr. Nadia Abu-Zahra, speaks to over 100 academics, public servants and representatives of Canadian civil society who met in Ottawa on February 22 at a day-long “Canada and Palestine” symposium. Organizers see it as the “launch of an ongoing, pluralistic” discussion on the issue of Canada and Palestine. Read more…

Leading experts on the Israel/Palestine issue from across Canada gathered in Ottawa last week together to discuss Canada’s past, present and future relation to the Israel/Palestine question. The serious discussions represent a significant step forward in thoughtful analysis (and critique) of Canada’s long standing support for the Zionist project of creating a Jewish State in historic Palestine.

canada and palestine

The symposium is believed to be the first of its kind in Canada and represents a significant step forward in critical reflection on Canadian policy in the area

In all over 40 papers were presented by academics and experts from across Canada.

Some of the topics covered included a historical analysis of Canada’s role with respect to the Palestinian refugee issue, a study of the growth and impact of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement in Canada, the growth of, and fight against, anti-semitism in Canada, and a critical re-assessment of Canada’s so-called “Golden Age” of Pearsonian foreign policy.

In addition to participants from labour and various church organizations, participants included senior officials from several federal government departments and agencies. The official programme including a complete listing of panels and topics along with the biographies of presenters can be found HERE OFFICIAL PROGRAMME CanPal 2019 Feb 22 Symposium copy (002)

Conclusion and next steps

There was no attempt to draw a general conclusion from over 40 discussions on different aspects of the Canada-Israel-Palestine issue. However, Dr. Jeremy Wildeman, the symposium’s main organizer, promised a summary of proceedings will be prepared and distributed. He also indicated that he expects many published papers will result from the symposium. There also seemed to be general agreement that this was a significant first step toward a thoughtful reassessment of Canada’s historic and current role in the Israel/Palestine issue. Another symposium should be planned in the not too distant future.


Canada Talks Israel Palestine (CTIP) encourages a thoughtful discussion among Canadians on the Israel/Palestine issue, including a well informed and sensitive discussion of Zionism itself. CTIP accepts guest columnists and encourages brief comments (under 100 words) from serious readers. To learn more about what we do, contact us at


  1. Hi Peter,This seems to be an encouraging first step involving a good representation of society. Sorry I missed it.Best,Kathleen 

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