Yonatan Shapira, a former Israeli Air Force pilot who is now a highly respected peace activist, will be coming to Vancouver Island November 6 and 7 for a speaking tour. This is a rare opportunity to hear from someone who has undergone a profound personal transformation from militarism to peace activism as a result of what he has seen and been involved in.
Shapira’s Vancouver Island speaking tour is sponsored by Mid-islanders for Justice & Peace in the Middle East. All talks are open to the general public. Donations are appreciated.
Friday, Nov. 6th
Duncan: 10:30 am in Theatre 140 on VIU Campus (Duncan)
Nanaimo: 2:00 pm at St Andrew’s United Church
Courtenay: 7:00 pm at North Island College’s Stan Hagen Theatre
Saturday, Nov. 7th
Denman Island: 1:00 pm at Denman Island Community Hall
Nanaimo: 5:00 pm Potluck Supper at Pacific Gardens Co-Housing, 347 – 7th Street
BACKGROUND ON YONATAN SHAPIRA
(supplied by Mid-islanders for Justice & Peace in the Middle East)
Israeli-born Yonatan Shapira served for 12 years as a Blackhawk Helicopter pilot, flying hundreds of missions for the Israeli Air Force. He was one of 27 Israeli air force officers who denounced as war crimes the “targeted assassinations” carried out in the densely-populated Gaza Strip. The 27 were dismissed from the air force, and Shapira went on to co-found Combatants for Peace with other disillusioned Israeli and Palestinian ex-fighters.
He subsequently joined the Freedom Flotilla movement aimed at bringing world attention to the Egyptian/Israeli naval blockade of Gaza. He piloted the Jewish Boat to Gaza (2010), was a crew member of the US Boat to Gaza — The Audacity of Hope (2011), and sailed on the Estelle, along with former NDP MP Jim Manly of Nanaimo (the only Canadian on board), from Sweden in 2012.
Shapira is a member of the group supporting the Palestinian call for Boycott/Divestment/Sanctions (BDS) from within Israeli society (aka Boycott from Within) and has also taken part in numerous other non-violent actions and campaigns in opposition to the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territory.
He earned an MA in Peace and Conflict Studies and since 2010 has facilitated dialogue meetings for high school and university students at the School for Peace of the bi-national community of Wahat al-Salam – Neve Shalom (Oasis of Peace), inside the 1948 borders of Israel.