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What Happens When you Take Away the Means, But Not the Motivation, for Palestinian Resistance?

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Making sense of the violence in the West Bank and Gaza Strip

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A New Phase in an Old Conflict

Nearly 30 Palestinians and 7 Israelis have been killed in, what appears to be, a new phase in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The mainstream media’s refusal/inability to accurately cover the ongoing, daily nature of the conflict (which includes the incessant expansion of Israeli settlements, the arbitrary arrest of Palestinians, the extrajudicial killing of unarmed Palestinians at Israeli checkpoints, and the ceaseless appropriation of Palestinian property by Israeli settlers) has forced many to refer to the last few weeks as a “surge” in violence. And while the casualties (specifically Israeli casualties, since Palestinian casualties are not worthy of headline news) are higher than usual, the repression and cyclical nature of the conflict is anything but unusual.

Observers are scrambling to explain why, over the past few weeks, several young Palestinians have engaged in lone-wolf style attacks against Israelis. Most attacks so far have consisted of stabbings, while some have also included firearms. All of the attacks have been terminal, in that the death of the attacker was always the most likely outcome.

If you, as an observer, live in a world where the conflict began the moment you turned on your television, or scrolled through your Facebook feed, you will find this behavior indescribably irrational. You may then dig for triggers to explain the most recent phase in the conflict. Was it the clashes at Al Aqsa Mosque that opened the floodgates? Perhaps it was it the shooting of a young unarmed Palestinian girl at an Israeli checkpoint? Maybe it was the decade-long siege on the people of Gaza? While I have no doubt that these grievances have played a role in the events of the last month, this level of analysis is only scratching the surface.

All Out of Options

Israel has maintained a dehumanizing level of repression in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, apparently with “deterrence” in mind. Deterrence, in this case, means the establishment of an environment where Palestinians would be incapable, or unwilling, to resist the Israeli occupation. Over the last 67 years, Israel has boastfully managed to dismantle the infrastructure of Palestinian armed/organized resistance in the West Bank (with shameless complicity from the Palestinian Authority). This was accomplished through the mass imprisonment of Palestinians, the extrajudicial killings of resistance and political leaders from every spectrum of Palestinian civil society, and the construction of – what has come to be known as – the apartheid wall. Full blown military confrontations between Israel and Palestinians – like the type witnessed in Jordan in the 50’s and 60’s, or Lebanon in the 70s, or the West Bank during the second intifada – are now unthinkable. The organized non-violent resistance of the first intifada or the BDS movement is met with live ammunition, and sweeping anti-terror legislation (both in Israel and right here in Canada). Israel has worked to crush Palestinian resistance, and it has succeeded (but only in the narrowest sense).

Israel has used its overwhelming military advantage in the conflict, while ignoring all of the core grievances that perpetuate the spirit of Palestinian resistance. In so doing, Israel has ensured that the Palestinians of the West Bank will never pose a serious challenge to the Israeli Defense Forces. However, in addressing the short-term symptoms of Palestinian resistance, and ignoring the root causes of this resistance, Israel has created an atmosphere where Palestinian violence manifests itself sporadically, and without any organization, making it far less predictable, and far more difficult to contain.

Fundamentally Self Destructive

Israel’s 70 year policy of crushing Palestinian resistance has obviously been ineffective and illegal. It is also fundamentally self-destructive. Israel, the occupying power, acts with impunity due to its massive military advantage (paid for by Uncle Sam). The Palestinians, with no remaining tools for meaningful resistance at their disposal, are forced with two options; surrender or unjust violence. To quote a great line from a horrible movie (Munich, 2005), the world may look at the Palestinians like they are animals “but soon they will question the condition of our cages”.

Israel was created with the stated aim of providing a safe home for the Jews of the world. The last 67 years have proven that Israel’s leaders have failed miserably in this goal. The only way to ensure the safety and security of Israel’s citizens is to address the root causes of the ongoing violence; to bring an end to the expansion of settlements, to end the unjust appropriation of Palestinian property, to respect Palestinian human rights and international law, and to accept a just solution to the conflict. No justice. No peace.

Bassam is an educator with a bachelor’s degree in Political Science, and is currently working on his Masters of Education. He has worked for several years in education, consulting on projects ranging from adult workforce development to the integration of culturally specific curriculum into primary education. Bassam is passionate about Politics – municipal, regional and transnational – learning, and the relationship between the two. On his spare time he enjoys reading fantasy novels and spending time with his wife and son.

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UBC is building a new three-acre campus near Surrey Memorial Hospital

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Surrey Memorial Hospital via BC Gov Photos

The University of British Columbia (UBC) has acquired a $70-million property close to Surrey Memorial Hospital for a new three-acre campus.

The new Surrey UBC campus will sit at the intersection of King George Boulevard and Fraser Highway, a 135,000-square-foot plot of land which is currently the Grace Hanin Community Church. This is an ideal location for the post-secondary institution given it is close to SkyTrain and Surrey Memorial Hospital.

UBC has a very strong representation of the Fraser Valley. There are nearly 3,500 students, 750 faculty and staff, and thousands of alumni who live in Surrey.

In addition, with a strong grip on health education, more than 4,900 health student and medical resident rotations take place in hospitals, primary care settings and clinics across the Fraser Valley.

“This is an excellent investment by UBC and will help thousands of students from Surrey and south of the Fraser get access to valuable post-secondary education in an accessible and transit-friendly location,” says Randeep Sarai, MP for Surrey Centre.

UBC’s strategic plan includes developing its presence regionally as well as improving access to post-secondary education in the Fraser region.

“We look forward to working with the City of Surrey, Fraser Health, First Nations Health Authority and regional partners to uncover the many exciting possibilities that this new project holds for the Surrey community and Fraser Valley, as well as UBC students, faculty and staff,” says Santa J. Ono, UBC President and Vice-Chancellor.

Consultations with UBC and the Surrey and Fraser Valley communities will begin next year.

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Surrey City Centre SkyTrain Extension Delayed

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Image via @jmv / Flickr

If you weren’t aware, there is an extension planned for the Expo line SkyTrain along Fraser Highway from King George Station in Surrey City Centre to Langley Centre.

This expansion would be 16 kilometres in length. It was originally planned to be completed in 2025, however residents will have to wait longer — three full years in fact — as the extension is now expected to be completed in 2028.

Why The Delay?

TransLink planned to complete the first 7 km of the expansion from funding that has now been cancelled. This $1.6 billion of funding was needed to reach the 2025 completion date. Additionally, the original date was pending a business case approval that was scheduled for the summer of 2020. Since neither happened, procurement of a contractor did not occur.

A contractor should have been procured by early 2021 to start construction early 2022. Hence the delays.

To give some scope, the entire project is estimated to be a $3.96 billion cost. Earlier this summer, the federal government announced $1.3 billion to help move the project along. This funding has not yet been formalized. The remaining $2.65 billion would be committed by the provincial government and TransLink.

Worth The Wait?

By 2028, the Expo and Millennium lines will grow to a combined fleet size of 427 cars. Specifically there will be 30 additional cars to serve the Surrey-Langley Extension.

The Surrey City Centre to Langley SkyTrain extension will increase the size of the network by 24%, it will be growing from 66 km to 82 km. This will add 8 new stations into the network from Surrey to Langley.

This means that, when open, there will be a capacity of 6,800 passengers per hour per direction. It also allows for room for growth, so the system can grow with the population and need. When the expansion is complete, its capacity will be more than 10 times the existing bus services along Fraser Highway.

Commuting time will also be cut down. The new travel time of the extended Expo line is expected to be 25 minutes faster than the existing buses. It will also serve those coming into Surrey. With no transfers, getting from Waterfront station in downtown to 166 Street Station in Fleetwood will take under an hour.

The Future is Bright

Once complete the extension will allow for easier access into Surrey Centre and Langley. Ridership is expected to grow in the area, even suggesting that there may be 62,000 daily passengers by the year 2035.

Needless to say, Surrey Centre in coming years will be getting more traffic without the traffic congestion.

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Metro Vancouver Crime Stoppers’ Top 10 “Least-Wanted Valentines” For 2021

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ACTUALLY, IT’S NOT SO GREAT BEING “WANTED” ON VALENTINE’S DAY

HERE ARE METRO VANCOUVER CRIME STOPPERS’ TOP 10 “LEAST-WANTED VALENTINES” FOR 2021

Rewards up to $100,000 are offered for some of BC’s most wanted fugitives

VANCOUVER, B.C.: From the files at Metro Vancouver Crime Stoppers, here’s our annual list of the top 10 “most wanted” criminals and suspects who remain on the lam this Valentine’s Day. They could be far away, or in your neighbourhood.

(See below list of Metro Vancouver Crime Stoppers’ 10 Least Wanted Valentines. Anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of these individuals is asked to please contact Crime Stoppers anonymously. Your anonymity is guaranteed by the Supreme Court of Canada. You’ll never be questioned or called to testify.)

Tips to Crime Stoppers that lead to the arrest and charge of any wanted criminal can lead to a reward of up to $5,000. For three of this year’s most wanted, Crime Stoppers has partnered with the national BOLO (Be On the Look Out) Program to make available extra large rewards of $50,000 to $100,000.

“Some of these fugitives have been missing a year or even longer, and with four million pairs of eyes around the province, someone should eventually spot one of them,” says Linda Annis, Executive Director of Metro Vancouver Crime Stoppers.

“Tips work. We received more than 5,000 anonymous tips in 2020 leading to 72 arrests and 135 charges laid. 21 off those arrests came from tips specifically about gang or illegal gun activity.”

Conor D’MONTE | WANTED FOR MURDER

$100,000 reward offered by Metro Vancouver Crime Stoppers and BOLO Program

AGE: 43 , Height: 6’1” (185cm) , Weight: 201lbs (91kg) , Hair: Black , Eyes: Brown

Marks: Asian characters tattoo on right shoulder, “Conrock” tattoo on left shoulder, tiger & dragon tattoo on left upper back, left eye piercing

John Norman MACKENZIE | WANTED FOR BEING UNLAWFULLY AT LARGE

$50,000 reward offered by Metro Vancouver Crime Stoppers and BOLO Program

AGE: 60 , Height: 5’9” (175cm) , Weight: 196lbs (89kg) , Hair: Gray/Brown , Eyes: Blue

Cong DINH | WANTED FOR MONEY LAUNDERING

$50,000 reward offered by Metro Vancouver Crime Stoppers and BOLO Program

AGE: 34 , Height: 5’6” (168cm) , Weight: 132lbs (60kg) , Hair: Black , Eyes: Brown

Ryan EASTON | WANTED FOR ASSAULT, POSSESSION OF A WEAPON FOR DANGEROUS PURPOSE, BREACH OF RELEASE ORDER

AGE: 44 , Height: 5’44” (180cm) , Weight: 175lbs (79kg) , Hair: Brown-Gray , Eyes: Brown

Naseem MOHAMMED | WANTED FOR BEING UNLAWFULLY AT LARGE, RESISTING/OBSTRUCTING POLICE/BREACH OF RELEASE ORDER, DRIVING WHILE PROHIBITED

AGE: 22 , Height: 5’5” (165cm) , Weight: 122lbs (55kg) , Hair: Black , Eyes: Brown

Jeremy David MORGAN | WANTED FOR ROBBERY, USE OF AN IMITATION FIREARM TO COMMIT A CRIME, POSSESSION OF A LOADED RESTRICTED FIREARM, BREACH OF PROBATION.

AGE: 33 , Height: 6’1” (185cm) , Weight: 170lbs (77kg) , Hair: Brown , Eyes: Blue

Roderick MUCHIKEKWANAPE | WANTED FOR FIRST DEGREE MURDER

AGE: 42 , Height: 6’0” (182cm) , Weight: 217lbs (98kg) , Hair: Black , Eyes: Brown

Skyrose JAWBONE | WANTED FOR ROBBERY, UTTER THREAT TO CAUSE DEATH/HARM, FAIL TO COMPLY WITH PROBATION ORDER.

AGE: 39 , Height: 5’11” (180cm) , Weight: 230lbs (104kg) , Hair: Brown , Eyes: Brown

Tattoos: Upper back – middle: lotus flower and left leg: rose

Trevor SMITHEN | WANTED FOR FORCIBLE  CONFINEMENT AND ASSAULT CAUSING BODILY HARM

AGE: 37 , Height: 5’11” (180cm) , Weight: 181lbs (82kg) , Hair: Black , Eyes: Brown

Tattoos: Right Forearm – T.R.U.M (truly real unique man), Left Forearm – 4 1 5, Right Upper Arm – Drama faces, M.O.B – Hated by Many, Loved by Few

Jordan WEIBE | WANTED FOR BREAK AND ENTER, COMMIT INDICTABLE OFFENCE AND FAILURE TO COMPLY WITH PROBATION.

AGE: 32 , Height: 5’10” (177cm) , Weight: 150lbs (68kg) , Hair: Brown , Eyes: Hazel

About Metro Vancouver Crime Stoppers

Metro Vancouver Crime Stoppers is a non-profit society and registered charity that offers rewards for anonymous tip information about criminal activity and provides it to investigators in the communities of Metro Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

Anonymous tips may be provided though Crime Stoppers’ downloadable “P3” app for Apple and Android phones, calling Crime Stoppers at 1-855-448-8477 (new number) or 1-800-222- 8477, online at solvecrime.ca, or by following the link on the Metro Vancouver Crime Stoppers Facebook page.

Metro Vancouver Crime Stoppers accepts tips in 115 different languages and will pay a reward of up to $5,000 for information leading to the arrest of a criminal, recovery of stolen property, seizure of illegal drugs or guns or denial of a fraudulent insurance claim.

Tipsters stay anonymous by using code numbers to check back later and collect their rewards. Find MVCS on Twitter: @solvecrime.

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La Niña Could Mean A Dangerous Winter For Drivers, Here’s How To Reduce The Risk

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Plan ahead for safe driving in winter conditions

In many parts of the province, drivers are beginning to experience winter conditions and snowfall on the roads. With the forecast of La Niña, a climate phenomenon that results in abnormally cooler temperatures, B.C. is set to experience a colder and wetter winter than previous years.

The Winter Driving Safety Alliance is urging motorists, workers and employers to prepare for winter driving conditions with its annual Shift into Winter campaign.

All B.C. drivers—and employers with workers who drive for business purposes – need to prepare for the winter months ahead. Winter driving conditions can be dangerous across the province – from rain and fog, to snow and ice. Even the most experienced drivers are challenged by cold temperatures, slippery roads, and reduced visibility.

In B.C., the average number of crashes where someone is killed or injured due to ‘driving too fast for the conditions’ more than doubles from fall to early winter—on average from 99 in September to 220 in December. Further, 28 percent of all work-related crashes resulting in injury and time-loss claims occur in November, December, and January.

The Shift into Winter website provides information for drivers on how best to prepare for winter driving as well as information for employers around planning, implementing, and monitoring a winter driving safety program. Employers and supervisors can access an online course and use resources provided in the employer toolkit – which includes a sample winter driving safety policy, recommended procedures, and customizable templates. In addition, an online quiz tests drivers’ and employers’ knowledge.

The Alliance encourages drivers and employers to adhere to these tips to stay safe on the road this winter:

  • Plan ahead and check the current road and weather conditions on DriveBC.ca.
  • Install a set of four matched winter tires with the 3-peaked mountain/snowflake symbol.
  • Give your vehicle a pre-season maintenance check-up.
  • Keep an emergency kit in your vehicle.
  • Slow down – the posted speed limit is the maximum speed under ideal driving conditions. Reduce your speed below the speed limit and drive with extra care.
  • Maintain a safe following distance – look ahead and keep at least four seconds of distance between you and the vehicle in front.
  • Invest in winter driving training – learn how to brake safely, get out of a skid, and become familiar with how your vehicle handles in winter weather.
  • Register and attend a free webinar to learn about practical B.C. driving tips.

Employers have a legal responsibility to ensure the health and safety of their employees who drive for work, regardless of whether they drive a company-owned or personal vehicle. ShiftIntoWinter.ca provides information and resources that can help reduce the risks employees face when driving during winter.

Al Johnson, Head of Prevention Services, WorkSafeBC | “Most employers in B.C. have workers that drive for work—whether full time like truck or taxi drivers, or as part of their job like sales people, community health nurses, or trades workers. Employers should start preparing now by accessing resources through the Shift into Winter website to ensure their workers have the information and tools they need to drive safely this winter.”

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Crime Stoppers “MOST WANTED – MUGSHOTS”

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Crime Stoppers “MOST WANTED” is a weekly fan out service based on information provided by police investigators who need public assistance in making our communities safer by identifying individuals involved in committing crimes.

If you have any information regarding the individuals listed here, please contact Crime Stoppers anonymously. You could be eligible for a reward of up to $2000 upon arrest and charge. You will never be asked your name or have to appear in court.

Subject: 1

Name: JOHNSTON, Brock Daniel
Age: 40
Height: 5’10” (170 cm)
Weight: 160lbs (72 kg)
Hair: Bald
Eyes: Blue
Wanted: *Canada Wide * Bank Robbery and Sex Assault .
Tattoos: *Right upper arm “cat”,* Chest “Death before “Dishonor”
Warrant in Effect: June 17th, 2020
Jurisdiction: Vancouver Parole

Subject: 2

Name: MACLEOD, Christopher
Age: 34
Height: 5’10″ (177 cm)
Weight: 1681bs (76 kg)
Hair: Brown
Eyes: Hazel
Wanted: *Canada Wide* Break Enter and Commit – Theft Under (x17), Break Enter with Intent (x3), and Mischief in Relation to Property
Tattoos: *Left Hand – “FUCK IT WERE 10, CM”, On fingers, Cross, Diamond, Chest – RT Side – Devils Head, LT Side – “MOM” Right Upper Arm – Grim Reaper/Skulls
Warrant in Effect: June 17, 2020
Jurisdiction: Vancouver Parole

Subject: 3

Name: SERSON, Stuart
Age: 39
Height: 5’6” (170 cm)
Weight: 176lbs (80 kg)
Hair: Brown
Eyes: Brown
Wanted: *Canada Wide*.Robbery – Use Firearm All Others, Possession of Property Obtained by Crime – Under, Fail To Comply with Probation Order, Mischief in Relation to Other Property,
Tattoos: *RIGHTER UPPER ARM “Warrier” Tribal art, LEFT SHOULDER- “Scarface” ,- NECK- Chinese symbol “81”, LEFT FOREARM- Dragan
Warrant in Effect: June 17th, 2020
Jurisdiction: New West Parole

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