Citing Israeli apartheid, think tank journal article calls for end to Canada-Israel free trade agreement

A strong article in “The Monitor” – the flagship journal of a respected Canadian thinktank with offices across Canada and supported by many labour unions, has called for an end to the Canada-Israel free trade agreement (CIFTA). In the article, authors Stuart Trew and Stephan Tristof, cite Israeli apartheid and flouting of international law as the main reasons. Read more.

The Canada-Israel Free Trade Agreement (CIFTA), should be terminated now, argue Stuart Trew and Stephan Tristof in a recent issue of “The Monitor”, the main publication of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives. “It legitimizes Israel’s economic control over its self-declared customs zone, which includes the Palestinian territories.”

In a closely argued article, Trew and Tristof point out several damning features of the CIFTA:

CCPA is one of Canada’s premier progressive thinktanks
  • CIFTA directly and indirectly facilitates Israeli apartheid
  • CIFTA makes no clear distinction between products made in Israel and those made in illegal settlements. All can benefit frm preferential access to the Canadian market. (Note: this was the argument used by the Canadian government in opposing labelling of wines made in the occupied territories)
  • CIFTA fails to protect Palestinian women’s rights and workers’ rights

“Terminating the Canada-Israel trade agreement (…) could prove effective at pressuring Israel to heed its international legal and humanitarian obligations towards Palestine,” note the authors of the article.

This is not the first call to end the agreement. Amnesty International Canada, IJV and CJPME raised objections in 2018 when the Bill to amend CIFTA was being debated in Parliament. In 2021, over 150 prominent artists, cultural workers and authors in Canada, including Stuart Trew, called for CIFTA to be terminated.

“There would be backlash against Canada for ending the CIFTA—just like there was for early movers against South African apartheid. But backlash or not, we need countries like Canada to take braver steps to support justice over tyranny in all parts of the world”, conclude the authors.

Canada Talks Israel Palestine (CTIP) is the weekly newsletter of Peter Larson, Chair of the Ottawa Forum on Israel/Palestine (OFIP). It aims to promote a serious discussion in Canada about Canada’s response to the complicated and emotional Israel/Palestine issue with a focus on the truth, clear analysis and human rights for all. Readers with different points of view are invited to make comment.

Want to learn more about us? Go to Ottawa Forum on Israel/Palestine


    1. Who cares? We need to concentrate more on justice for the Palestinian people.

      1. Hey James, thanks for your comment.
        It isn’t nice to be branded anti semitic. Nobody I know would like to be called that. But we shouldn’t let unfair accusations stop us from calling for justice for the Palestinians.

      2. Lets worry about both! Accusation of anti-semitism is one of the techniques that Israel uses to distract people from its abuse of Palestinians. It is important to blunt that weapon.

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