Toronto: Reisman Publicly Confronted by CAIA Activists - “Cut the Ties with Israeli Apartheid!”
On Thursday May 10, activists from the Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid confronted Heather Reisman, majority owner of Chapters and Indigo bookstores at a book signing for Ralph Nader’s new book, The Seventeen Traditions. In the question and answer period, CAIA activists questioned Reisman about her support for the Heseg Foundation for Lone Soldiers, a program of financial support for former “lone soldiers” in the Israeli military. Reisman refused to answer the questions posed to her and instead, shut down the event and walked out.
CAIA reiterates its demand that Chapters Indigo should be boycotted until the majority owners, Heather Reisman and Gerry Schwartz publicly announce that they will cut all financial ties to Heseg. Reisman’s refusal to answer the questions posed to her is absolutely unacceptable and indicates her culpability in Israeli apartheid. Her vocal support for Israeli war crimes will continue to be challenged whenever she appears publicly in Canada. On June 9th 2007, Chapters Indigo stores will be picketed across Canada as part of the national campaign against their ties with Israeli apartheid.
At its peak, Heseg will distribute up to $3M per year to provide scholarships and other support to former “Lone Soldiers” in the Israeli military. ‘Lone Soldiers’ are individuals who have no family in Israel but decide to join the Israeli military. As Israeli soldiers, they participate in a military that operates checkpoints that restrict Palestinian freedom of movement, enforces the occupation of Palestinian land, and has a documented history of human rights violations. At any time there might be 5,000 ‘Lone Soldiers’ in the Israeli military in all capacities including in combat units.
According to the Heseg website: “Canadian couple Gerry Schwartz and Heather Reisman established HESEG to express gratitude and provide support to the thousands of Former Lone Soldiers who serve annually in the Israel Defense Forces.” Photographs and video from the event are available at CAIA's website. To get involved in the campaign, please visit the Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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