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recent copy of tfp

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teachers 4p

on 25 March 2014

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Transcript of recent copy of tfp

Teachers for Palestine (TFP)
Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid (CAIA)
Educators for Peace and Justice (EPJ)
CUPE Ontario
BDS Call
Ontario Secondary School Teachers' Federation
District 12 (TDSB)
Annual Meeting of Provincial Assembly
District 1
District 35
10 STBU executives
6 committees
7000 STBU members
(high school teachers)
3 bargaining units
102 branches
councillors/ branch presidents
district council meetings
Secondary Teacher
Bargaining Unit (STBU)
OSSTF Provincial Executive
Ontario Teachers' Federation
OTF Board of Governors
OTPP Board
2007 BDS resolution and repression
Human Rights Committee
2009 Event:
Teaching in Occupied Palestine
- resulted in official complaint
to the Human Rights Office of
the TDSB and investigation of two
teachers at PCI accused of anti-
- stacking of HRC by Zionists
- death threat to HRC member
- context: Gaza massacre, ADL
handbook, condemnation of IAW
in Ontario legislature, memo from
TDSB mandating non-partisan approach
to Gaza
- May 2006: Resolution 50 passed at CUPE Ontario's
provincial convention, which supports BDS and commits CUPE to undertake educationals about apartheid
- formed in January 2006 in response to the BDS call
In July 2009, over 170 civil society organizations
called for an international movement of Boycott,
Divestment, and Sanctions against Israel until the
following demands are fulfilled:
1. An end to the occupation and colonization
of all Arab lands and the dismantling of the wall
2. Full and equal rights for Palestinian residents
of Israel
3. The right of return, according to UN Res. 194.
- September 2007 - July 2009:
mandated to raise awareness
amongst teachers about Israeli
apartheid, to develop curriculum
on this topic, to counter
repression of pro-Palestinian
students and teachers, and
to pave the way for BDS in our
- July 2009 - present:
joined CAIA and left EPJ, and
changed mandate to exclusively
focus on calling for the OTPP
to divest from Israeli companies
Divestment strategy:
assume that
we will fail:
symbolic struggle
to raise awareness
assume that
we will win:
material struggle
for a possible ends
ethical compulsion
as moral agents
financial compulsion
for economic stability
and returns that are both
adequate and ethical
focus on lobbying OTPP board and sponsors:
proxy votes
application of effective and ethical screens
interventions at OTPP AGM
leafletting members
Distinct Challenges (?)/Fundamental problems
no direct line of communication with teachers
working conditions are counter-productive: teachers have little timeand collective/activist skills need to be built
Investment in the OTTP pension plan is mandatory for all public teachers in Ontario
intervention involves multiple tiers of action with both union, government, and private companies
in practice protected by the education act, teachers have less freedom of expression and political association
political statements made by Harper, McGuinty, Ford and TDSB director ChristoperSpence have led to Israeli- Apartheid week becoming censorioius
Five Worst Offenders
Cement Roadstone Holdings
Siemens AG
Develops water treatment technologies with Mekorot, Israel’s national water company, which since 1967 has supervised drilling of wells for Israeli settlers in the West Bank while denying permits to Palestinians. In summer months Mekorot closes valves supplying Palestinian towns and villages to maintain Israeli supplies.
Macdonald, Dettwiler and Associates
Canadian provider of electronic surveillance technology, has a joint project with Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) to build Unmanned Arial Vehicles in Canada. IAI produces aircraft capable of targeted assassinations and has developed with Caterpillar a robotic D9 bulldozer used in house demolitions.
Lockheed Martin
Ongoing investigations
Investments made by the Ontario Teacher Pension Plan that profit fom Israeli-Apartheid are the distinct focus of our boycott and divestment efforts. United Technologies and its subsidiaries, such as Pratt and Whitney, Boeing, and other companies that directly profit from the political activities of Israeli apartheid are being examined and tracked for further boycott initiatives.
We are required to prudently manage the fund so that the obligations of the pension plan are met. We have a fiduciary duty, which means we must take extra care in our investment decisions because we are dealing with other people’s money.
And we cannot select or exclude investments solely on the basis of social or environmental factors, or any other non-financial criteria. Members who wish to raise these issues can contact the Ontario Teachers’ Federation (OTF).

What we do:
Seek the best returns for our members with appropriate risk
Demonstrate fiduciary care in our investment decisions
Comply with regulations under the Ontario Pension Benefits Act and other relevant legislation
Consider all material performance-related factors, including environmental, social and governance risks
Complete extensive due diligence on companies in which we invest
Encourage good governance
Exercise proxy voting rights
Engage with management in companies we own directly if deemed appropriate

Our primary responsibility is to act in the best financial interests of the fund. This focus insulates the fund from inappropriate or undue bias from not only investment staff, but also plan sponsors, individual members and other parties.
At the same time, we recognize environmental, social and governance (ESG) matters as potential risk factors that can affect a company’s performance – and its returns to the plan. That’s why we consider them in our investment decisions when they pose material risk and press for good governance in the companies in which we invest.
Managing responsibilities with care
We are entrusted with teachers’ retirement money. That position brings diverse responsibilities which we manage with professional care and insight.
What the OTTP says...
The Ontario Teacher Pension Plan has no moral or ethical principles in relation to how profits are derived, provided they are successful in developing returns to the plan.
Irish building materials company with 25% share in the Israeli group Mashav Initiating and Development Ltd., a holding company for Nesher Cement, the sole producer of cement in Israel.
CRH has admitted that “in all probability” Nesher cement has been used in the construction of the Separation Wall, which has been condemned by the international community as a method of annexation of occupied land and found to be illegal under international law.
The world’s No.1 military contractor and is maker of the chassis of F-35 stealth fighter jet . Israel has purchased 20 F-35's from this manufacturer, estimating the total price tag at $2.75 billion, and this is to be covered by an annual U.S. defense grant of $3 billion. Israel, through its defense minister Ehud Barak, is also seeking to secure 20 more additional fighter-planes.
Canadian company, the world’s largest distributor of Caterpillar products and support services. With the aid of Caterpillar`s D9 bulldozers IDF forces destroyed 1404 Palestinian homes in 2004, 560 homes in the Jenin refugee camp in 2002, and 120 homes in a single day in a camp in Rafah. International peace activists have called for a boycott of Caterpillar, and in 2006 the Synod of the Church of England divested itself of Caterpillar shares.
Finning International
While 10-14% of Palestine’s GDP is agricultural, 90% of them must rely on rain-fed farming methods. Israel’s agriculture is only 3% of their GDP, but Israel irrigates more than 50% of its land.
Three million West Bank Palestinians use only 250 million cubic meters per year (83 cubic meters per Palestinian per year) while six million Israelis enjoy the use of 1,954 million cubic meters (333 cubic meters per Israeli per year), which means that each Israeli consumes as much water as four Palestinians. Israeli settlers are allocated 1,450 cubic meters of water per person per year.
Israel consumes the vast majority of the water from the Jordan River despite only 3% of the river falling within its pre-1967 borders. Israel now diverts one quarter of its total water consumption through its National Water Carrier from the Jordan River, whereas Palestinians have no access to it whatsoever due to Israeli closures.
When supplies of water are low in the summer months, the Israeli water company Mekorot closes the valves which supply Palestinian towns and villages so as not to affect Israeli supplies. This means that illegal Israeli settlers can have their swimming pools topped up and lawns watered while Palestinians living next to them, on whose land the settlements are situated, do not have enough water for drinking and cooking.

Utilization of the Mountain Aquifer by Israel and Palestine.
Palestine Monitor reports that the water available from West Bank aquifers, Israel uses 73%, West Bank Palestinians use 17%, and illegal Jewish settlers use 10%.
The Ontario Teacher Pension Plan did divest from South Africa
B'nai Brith. com

COMMUNITY ACTION ALERT - Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan Divestment from Israel Panel Discussion

Posted On 10/23/09

A group calling themselves Teachers for Palestine is launching a new divestment campaign against Israel. On Wednesday, October 28, 2009, the group will be holding a panel discussion on ways campaign to convince the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan (OTPP) to divest from companies that are engaged with this world’s only Jewish State, Israel. We alerted you about similar plans in the past; your vocal opposition made the difference and the anti-Israel plans were defeated.

It is time to speak up once again.

The discussion will be held on:
Wednesday October 28 at 7:00 p.m.
University of Toronto - Galbraith Building, 35 St. George - Room: GB 119

Please make your voices heard at this discussion and within any other channels that could get OTPP administration and members to understand that these plans do not benefit Ontario teachers’ interests in any way, but instead seek to demonize and delegitimize the Jewish State of Israel.

Note that the UN's “Principles for Responsible Investment” referred to below in the Teachers for Palestine release do not urge boycotts such as the one proposed by this group. What the “Principles” actually say is: “The Principles suggest a policy of engagement with companies rather than screening or avoiding stocks based on ESG criteria.” UNPRI is, in fact, a private organization only loosely associated with the United Nations.

This is not about silencing Israel’s critics. Democracy and freedom of speech are essential elements to the vibrancy of our society. At the same time, it is essential that we express our concerns and add our voices to the discussion that is taking place. Anti-Israel agitators have a long history of seeking to subvert the agenda of organizations with which they are associated. It is grassroots members that can make the difference.

For more information, please contact:
Anita Bromberg at B’nai Brith Canada - 416-633-6224 X 130

Please see the information below about what this panel seeks to do:

The Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan has investments in:
Cement Roadstone Holdings
Lockheed Martin
Finning International

Each of these companies play a role in Israeli apartheid, from partnering with a company that produces cement used in the construction of the Apartheid Wall, to distributing Caterpillar's D9 bulldozers used to demolish Palestinian homes.

It's time for divestment. Come learn more at a panel discussion hosted by Teachers for Palestine.

Wednesday October 28 at 7 p.m.
University of Toronto - Galbraith Building, 35 St. George - Room GB 119
Child Care Provided

For more info contact: tfp@tao.ca


The Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan (OTPP) does not, as a matter of policy, consider investment on ethical or moral principles. There was one exception: in the 1990s the Plan, under public pressure, was allowed to divest from apartheid South Africa. For at least the past 40 years in Israel-Palestine another apartheid system very similar to that of the former South Africa has been put in place by Israel. Many prominent public figures, including Archbishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa, former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, U.N. Special Rapporteurs John Dugard and Richard Falk, former Israeli education minister, Shulamit Aloni, and editor of the Israeli daily Haaretz, Danny Rubenstein, have drawn the parallels.

Over 170 Palestinian civil society organizations, including the Palestinian trade union movement, have called on the world to adopt a campaign of boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israel, similar to that used against South Africa under apartheid. Israeli peace groups such as the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions and Canadian Jewish organizations such as Not In Our Name and the Independent Jewish Voices have spoken out against Israel’s apartheid policies and human rights abuses.

In 2009 the OSSTF passed a motion demanding that the OTPP adopt the UN's “Principles for Responsible Investment”. This would require the Plan to divest from companies that are in direct violation of UN and ICC resolutions condemning Israeli Apartheid, and complicit in the violation of the human rights of Palestinians in the Occupied Territories.

Response from B'nai Brith
networking with union leaders
Full transcript