The saga of close Israeli-Emirati collaboration which first came to light in June this year continues to play out in faraway lands.
In the latest, former Canadian premier Stephen Harper is reportedly taking center stage as the head of an advisory committee to Toronto-based AWZ Ventures, which finances the Israeli regime’s surveillance technology systems.
A report published by CBC said the Toronto-based company is looking to facilitate the sale of cutting-edge surveillance technology to the UAE.
“AWZ Ventures finances Israeli surveillance technology systems, including facial recognition and crowd detection systems and services that deliver comprehensive information on individuals in real time,” the report said.
Harper, it said, is a “major player” in the investment firm, which is composed of former members of Israeli spy agency Mossad and other Israeli and American intelligence agencies.
According to the firm’s website, it has investments in 18 Israeli cyber security companies.
“AWZ Ventures is in the process of incorporating a subsidiary in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Former Canadian diplomat Katherine Verrier-Fréchette has been hired as managing director of this subsidiary, AWZ Horizons, which will be based in Abu Dhabi, UAE's capital,” the CBC report stated.
The new company, AWZ Horizons, will also be helping to promote the sale of this Israeli technology “to other countries in the Middle East, such as Saudi Arabia, and countries in North Africa.”
According to a report on the Mondoweiss news website, among notable international figures working for AWZ Horizons are Richard Fadden, a former director of the Canadian security intelligence service, as well as former conservative cabinet minister Stockwell Day.
In July, AWZ Ventures announced a partnership with the Israeli regime’s ministry of military affairs and launched “AWZ X-Seed,” aimed at helping the Tel Aviv regime develop innovative security technologies.
“Together, AWZ and MAFAT will uniquely evaluate and develop early-stage technologies, creating a model that is unmatched anywhere,” Harper was quoted as saying at that time.
The “portfolio companies will further benefit from AWZ Ventures’ business development offices in Canada, the US, and UAE that will support the companies in expanding their global client base,” it added.
'Block the Boat' campaign
On June 14, a community picket had been set up against the Israeli Zim Volans ship in a small town in northern British Columbia by a group of pro-Palestine activists under the banner ‘Block the Boat’
A week later, Dubai Ports World, an Emirati company that handles the specific terminal in Prince Rupert Port where the Volans docked, sent out notices delivering three-day suspension to 94 port workers who had failed to act against the anti-Israeli picket.
Dubai Ports World, which is part of the state-owned Emirati company Dubai World, is a huge global enterprise that manages 78 operating terminals in over 40 countries, many of which are in Canada.
Following backlash from the trade union, the suspensions were reduced to one day.
This was not the first time that Dubai Ports World had tried to punish workers who respected a community picket and upheld principles of solidarity with the oppressed.
In December 2018, on Canada’s east coast, dockworkers refused to cross a picket protesting Canada’s arms sales to Saudi Arabia.
Meanwhile, the 'Block The Boat' campaign continues its resistance to the Israeli regime.
“The #BlockTheBoat campaign has now successfully prevented ZIM, Israel’s largest shipping company, from unloading cargo in Oakland for seven years and counting,” Lara Kiswani, the executive director of Arab Resource & Organizing Center (AROC), was quoted as saying by Mondoweiss.
“And across the world, from South Africa to Italy to Vancouver and Prince Rupert, we have made it clear that the ZIM shipping line, and all those who do business with, profit from, or are connected to Israeli apartheid will be boycotted. Blocking ZIM, as part of the global BDS movement, is in fact isolating Israel economically, and politically,” she added.
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