Becca wertman


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When the Liberal government came to office, there was excitement over how both domestic and foreign policy would take on a more feminist approach. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau created a gender-balanced cabinet at home, while the government established its Feminist International Assistance Policy for work abroad. Among its goals, the policy seeks to enhance “peace and security, by promoting inclusive peace processes and combatting gender-based violence.”

As part of this endeavour, Global Affairs Canada (GAC) is providing $4.8-million, from 2018 to 2022, for a project titled Women of Courage – Women, Peace, and Security, run by the United Church of Canada-administered charitable group Kairos Canada.

Nearly $1-million of this grant is designated for work in the West Bank to be carried about by a Palestinian organization, Wi’am: The Palestinian Conflict Transformation Center. This sounds like a great idea. What could be bad about promoting peace, security, and gender equality in Palestinian society?

There is just one problem. Wi’am actively promotes BDS (boycott, divestment, and sanctions) campaigns against Israel, exploiting feminist rhetoric to attack the Jewish state. Though its director has claimed “With BDS, no one is taking an offensive approach and stating that we want to destroy Israel,” the group’s BDS efforts include signing various statements calling for a boycott of Israel and regularly publishing calls for BDS on its website and social media platforms.