Open Letter: AGPI Calls for ArriveCan to Correct "Occupied Palestinian Territories"
08/06/21: Dear Friends, its been another super busy and exciting week for The Abraham Global Peace Initiative as we strive for our countdown of bringing our website live this coming week. We are pleased to report that lots of people are already joining the organization and are super excited about its next-level vision and strategic plan.
Our education, programs, international reach and development of campaigns are moving forward from strength to strength with each passing day. This week, our newly founded Lawyers Division met and began hammering out a strategy that is new and innovative, coupled with active discussion on handling issues on university campuses and more.
Our education department is growing and we are adding more programs, training sessions, workshops and curricula that will begin changing the international lexicon of hate. Some of this will be unveiled this week, while some of our research and development continues to build momentum as we plan to unveil future programming and action campaigns.
In the next number of days, we will be revealing our incredible Women's Leadership Co-Chairs who are adding to our growing roster of leadership groups, Boards and Committees. We will also be updating you on our exciting speakers planned for our November 7th Global Conference on Antisemitism. It will be amazing.
In today's National Post, I wrote about The Abraham Global Peace Initiative's plan for an international task force to combat online antisemitism. We plan to partner with top AI experts around the world to create creative solutions in our approach to social media platforms especially. Sadly, they are impacting billions of people with horrific antisemitic materials.
To read the full article, please visit: https://nationalpost.com/opinion/avi-benlolo-hold-social-media-platforms-accountable-for-anti-semitism
Finally, it has come to my attention that the ArriveCan app lists the "Palestinian Territories" as "Occupied Palestinian Territory". My letter below to Minister of Transport, the Hon. Omar Alghabra provides further detail. If you are as concerned as me about this inaccurate and politicized depiction, please feel free to cut and paste my letter and send a note to Minister Alghabra (email provided below). Feel free to copy me at firstname.lastname@example.org
In this shortened summer report today, let me wish you a wonderful weekend and continued enjoyment of this summer break. As always, I am here to help or provide advice to the community at large as necessary. Thank you all for your calls and emails.
- Shabbat Shalom,
Honourable Omar Alghabra
Minister of Transport
House of Commons Ottawa, Ontario, Canada K1A 0A6
Dear Minister Alghabra;
It has come to my attention that the “ArriveCAN” application necessary for all travellers to Canada includes an inaccurate and controversial description relating to the disputed territories. In the required submission for “country of original departure” – one of the available listings is “Occupied Palestinian Territory”. As you are aware, this description is misleading and quite frankly, unnecessarily politicizes Canada’s position on a government document.
Aside from the fact that Gaza is not “occupied” and the majority of Palestinian cities, towns and villages are under full control of the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank, the territories remain in dispute and subject to final status negotiation by Israel and the Palestinian Authority. I would ask you to consider updating the designation according to international norms.
As Canadians, we have a vested interest in promoting peace and co-existence without inflaming the situation further. Unfortunately, this language is clearly a politicized statement that is inappropriate and lessens Canada’s position as a fair and honest broker of peace. I look forward to hearing back from you and your colleagues about what steps you will undertake to update this information.
Avi Abraham Benlolo
Founder and Chairman,
The Abraham Global Peace Initiative
Cc: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau