Who's on board - Organizations

We are proud to announce that the "CAF out of Calgary" campaign has already received nearly 70 endorsements! Below we've listed the many Calgary-based and Canadian organizations from across the country which have have put their support behind this campaign to get the City of Calgary to cancel it's contract with CAF. 

Want to join them? Do you represent an organization?  Click here (or scroll down) to add your organization to the list of endorsers!

Here is the letter we are asking organizations to endorse:

We, the undersigned, formally request that the City of Calgary cancel its contract for Light Rail Vehicles (LRVs) for Calgary’s new Green Line with Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles (CAF).  We make this request because of CAF’s illegal and unethical business relationships in Israel-Palestine with the City of Jerusalem and Israeli partner companies.

As a group of organizations and individuals based in Calgary, supported by like-minded groups across Canada and internationally, we do not make this request lightly.  Rather, our concerns are based on thorough research of CAF’s deep relationships with Israeli institutions and companies committing well-documented human rights violations over extended periods of time.  We are also moved by the request of Palestinian civil society which, in 2005, called for economic pressure to be applied on Israel “until it complies with international law and universal principles of human rights.”[i]...

CAF is a Basque/Spanish multinational company known primarily for its transportation vehicles and technology.  In April 2019, Trans Jerusalem J-Net Ltd consortium, formed by the CAF Group and the Israeli construction company Shapir Engineering and Industry was awarded a $2.5 billion CDN contract for trams and infrastructure to expand the Jerusalem Light Rail (JLR) network, extending its Red Line, and constructing its Green Line.  Under the contract, the consortium will operate the tramlines for 15 years.  CAF also has a 50% stake in the special purpose vehicle (SPV) company that will manage operations and maintenance works on the two lines during this period.[ii]

CAF’s contract for the JLR intersects with a long history of Israeli human rights abuses against the Palestinians.  In 1967, Israel invaded and militarily occupied the West Bank (including East Jerusalem) and Gaza – territories slated to form a future Palestinian state.  Since 1967, Israel has never withdrawn its effective military control of these territories, and commits human rights violations against the Palestinians in these territories on a daily basis.[iii]  In fact, according to a February 2022 report by Amnesty International, Israel has instituted a form of apartheid in these territories to ensure Jewish racial dominance over Palestinians.[iv] 

Today, one of the most obvious outward features of Israel’s illegal regime of apartheid is its Jewish-only “settlements.”  International law prohibits an occupying power from transferring its civilian population into territories it controls militarily,[v] and the international community has repeatedly condemned these Israeli settlements.[vi]  Legal experts point out that Israel’s settlements even constitute a “war crime” under international law.[vii]

The West Bank areas to the east and south of Jerusalem have been a focal point for Israel’s illegal settlements.  Since 1967, Israel has illegally moved 700,000 Jewish-Israelis into dozens of these de facto colonizes.[viii]  In the Jerusalem area, the JLR serves to connect the illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank to Jerusalem-proper, entrenching the settlements’ illegal presence, and further dispossessing and marginalizing Palestinians and their communities.  In fact, the JLR itself is a showcase of Israeli apartheid: of the JLR Red Line’s 23 stops, only three are located in predominantly Palestinian neighborhoods; and of the JLR Green Line’s 40 stops, only one will be located in a predominantly Palestinian neighborhood.[ix] [x] 

In February 2020, CAF’s consortium partner Shapir Engineering and Industry was listed as one of 112 companies which, through its involvement in Israel’s illegal settlements, unlawfully profits from the infringement of Palestinian human rights.[xi]  In December, 2020, 31 organisations formally requested that CAF also be included in this same UN list of shame,[xii] and there is growing global momentum for such a move.  

The City of Calgary has defended itself by asserting that it had a rigorous procurement process which involved a “fairness monitor.” It is hard to believe that a truly objective “fairness monitor” would award a contract to a company involved with projects in a country deemed to be an apartheid society by both Israeli[xiii] and international human rights organizations.[xiv] [xv]  The City of Calgary has also argued that CAF considers itself compliant with UN and OECD guidelines for multinational corporations.  Yet one can hardly expect CAF to self-regulate objectively on such a matter, and there is currently an active complaint before the OECD concerning breaches of the organization’s guidelines with CAF’s JLR project.[xvi] 

The City of Calgary has suggested that CAF is not in breach of international law with its JLR project.  Such an assertion comes across as legal “cherry picking,” especially when the UN’s Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights call on businesses to respect human rights, especially when operating in conflict-affected areas.  Among other precepts, the Guidelines state, “Business enterprises should respect human rights. This means that they should avoid infringing on the human rights of others and should address adverse human rights impacts with which they are involved.”[xvii]  Surely the City of Calgary is able to recognize that CAF’s JLR project cements and exacerbates a horrific set of Israeli laws, policies and practices designed to dominate and oppress the Palestinian people. 

The international public outcry against CAF’s unethical involvement in the JLR is widespread and overwhelming,[xviii] even including unions representing CAF’s Basque/Spanish workers.[xix]  We echo this cry, and refuse to condone CAF’s complicity in Israel’s human rights abuses by awarding it a contract for Calgary’s Green Line.  As such, we demand that the City of Calgary cancel its contract for LRVs for Calgary’s new Green Line with CAF.

8 Calgary-based and 59 Canada-wide organizations have already endorsed this campaign!

Calgary-based organizations which have endorsed

  • Justice for Palestinians - Calgary


  • Reconciliation Action Group


  • We're Together Ending Poverty


  • Migrante Alberta


  • Palestine House Association - Calgary


  • Independent Jewish Voices - Calgary


  • Association of Mexicans in Calgary


  • Voice of Oppressed


  • Run for Palestine - Calgary


Canada-wide organizations which have endorsed

The Coalition of Canadian Palestinian Organizations
  • Canadian Palestinian Research Center


  • Canada Palestine Cultural Foundation

  • Canadian Palestinian Students Federation

  • Canadian Palestinian Association of Manitoba - Winnipeg

  • Arab Palestinian Association of Ontario - Mississauga


  • Canadian Palestinian Foundation of Quebec - Montreal

  • Canadian Palestinian Council - Mississauga

  • Palestinian Association of Brantford

  • Palestine House Toronto


  • Ottawa Run For Palestine


  • Run for Palestine - Calgary


  • Canadian Physicians for Palestine - Mississauga

  • Canadian Palestinian Students Federation


  • Run for Palestine - London

  • Association of Palestinian Arab Canadians - Ottawa


  • Canada Palestine Cultural Association - Edmonton

  • Canadian Arab Forum of BC - Vancouver


  • Canadian Palestinian Association of Manitoba - Winnipeg


  • Atlantic Canada Palestinian Society


  • Canadian Palestinian Association of Manitoba - Winnipeg


  • Palestine House Association - Calgary

  • Canadian Palestinian Social Association - London


  • Arab Canadian Society of London


  • Palestinian Association of Hamilton

  • Human Without Borders - Hamilton

  • Jerusalem Sports & Social Club - Ontario

  • Run For Palestine - Edmonton


Other Canada-wide Organizations
  • Independent Jewish Voices Canada


  • United Network for a Just Peace in Palestine and Israel


  • Canadian BDS Coalition


  • Canadian Arab Federation


  • Palestinian Youth Movement


  • Quebec Public Interest Research Group at Concordia


  • Faculty for Palestine


  • Canada Palestine Association - Halifax

  • Ontario Public Interest Research Group at York University


  • Canada-Palestine Support Network


  • Hamilton Coalition To Stop The War


  • Canadians United Against Hate


  • Ontario Coalition Against Poverty


  • Laurier Students Public Interest Research Group


  • Canadian Peace Congress


  • Canadian Foreign Policy Institute


  • Oakville Palestinian Rights Association


  • Regina Peace Council


  • Indigenous Land Defence Across Borders Initiative


  • Green Party of Quebec


  • Just Peace Advocates


  • Canada Palestine Association - Vancouver


  • Niagara Movement for Justice in Palestine-Israel


  • No More Silence


  • NDP Socialist Caucus


  • Socialist Action


  • Victoria Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid


  • Palestine Solidarity Network – Edmonton


  • Student Christian Movement of Canada


  • Victoria Friends of Cuba


  • Samidoun: Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network


  • Palestinian and Jewish Unity


  • OPIRG York


  • Rideau Institute


  • Toronto Raging Grannies


  • Palestine Youth Movement - Ottawa


See additional organizational endorsements below...

Yes, my organization would like to endorse...


[i] “Palestinian Civil Society Call for BDS,” BDS Movement, July 9, 2005, accessed Jan. 30, 2022 at https://bdsmovement.net/call 

[ii] “CAF-Saphir consortium wins Jerusalem tram project in Israel,” Railway Technology, Aug. 9, 2019, accessed Jan. 30, 2022 at https://www.railway-technology.com/news/caf-saphir-consortium-wins-jerusalem-tram-project-in-israel/

[iii] “A Threshold Crossed: Israeli Authorities and the Crimes of Apartheid and Persecution,” Human Rights Watch, April 27, 2021, accessed Jan. 31, 2022 at https://www.hrw.org/report/2021/04/27/threshold-crossed/israeli-authorities-and-crimes-apartheid-and-persecution 

[iv] “Israel’s apartheid against Palestinians: a cruel system of domination and a crime against humanity,” Amnesty International, Feb. 1, 2022, accessed Feb. 3, 2022 at https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2022/02/israels-apartheid-against-palestinians-a-cruel-system-of-domination-and-a-crime-against-humanity/  

[v] Geneva Convention Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, Article 49, p.6, 12 August, 1949, United Nations, accessed Jan. 30, 2022 at https://www.un.org/en/genocideprevention/documents/atrocity-crimes/Doc.33_GC-IV-EN.pdf  

[vi] See, for example, UN Security Council 2334, Dec. 23, 2016, adopted unanimously, which states that “the establishment by Israel of settlements in the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem, has no legal validity and constitutes a flagrant violation under international law and a major obstacle to the achievement of the two-State solution and a just, lasting and comprehensive peace;” accessed Jan. 30, 2022 at https://www.un.org/webcast/pdfs/SRES2334-2016.pdf 

[vii] “Israeli Settlements Amount to a War Crime, Special Rapporteur Tells Human Rights Council,” UN Human Rights Council, July 9, 2021, accessed Jan. 31, 2022 at https://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/HRC/Pages/NewsDetail.aspx?NewsID=27295&LangID=E  

[viii] “Israel settlement expansion ‘tramples’ on human rights law, experts contend,” UN News, Nov. 3, 2021, accessed Jan. 30, 2022 at https://news.un.org/en/story/2021/11/1104792 

[ix] “Tracking Annexation: The Jerusalem Light Rail and the Israeli Occupation,” Who Profits, July 2017, pp, 3-4, accessed Jan. 31, 2022 at https://www.whoprofits.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/old/tracking_annexation_-_the_jerusalem_light_rail_and_the_israeli_occupation.pdf  

[x] The JLR is so egregious in its violations that in May of 2019, Israel’s Globes publication wrote, “For most of the international transportation and infrastructure companies, Jerusalem is 'outside the pale,'” accessed Jan. 31, 2022 at https://en.globes.co.il/en/article-only-two-bids-to-operate-jerusalem-light-rail-1001285656  

[xi] “UN rights office issues report on business activities related to settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory,” UN Human Rights Council, Office of the High Commissioner, Feb. 12, 2020, accessed Jan. 31, 2022 at https://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=25542  

[xii] “Palestine: 31 Palestinian & European human rights organisations, networks & trade unions demand Basque company CAF be included in UN settlement database,” Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies, Dec. 18, 2020, accessed Jan. 31, 2022 at https://cihrs.org/31-palestinian-european-human-rights-organisations-networks-trade-unions-demand-basque-company-caf-be-included-in-un-settlement-database/?lang=en   

[xiii] “A regime of Jewish supremacy from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea: This is apartheid,” B’Tselem, Jan. 12, 2021, accessed Feb. 3, 2022 at https://www.btselem.org/publications/fulltext/202101_this_is_apartheid   

[xiv] “A Threshold Crossed: Israeli Authorities and the Crimes of Apartheid and Persecution,” Human Rights Watch, April 27, 2021, accessed Jan. 31, 2022 at https://www.hrw.org/report/2021/04/27/threshold-crossed/israeli-authorities-and-crimes-apartheid-and-persecution  

[xv] “Israel’s apartheid against Palestinians: a cruel system of domination and a crime against humanity,” Amnesty International, Feb. 1, 2022, accessed Feb. 3, 2022 at https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2022/02/israels-apartheid-against-palestinians-a-cruel-system-of-domination-and-a-crime-against-humanity/  

[xvi] “Comité de la Solidaridad con la Causa Árabe v. Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles (CAF),” OECD Watch, Jan. 6, 2020, accessed Feb. 3, 2022 at https://www.oecdwatch.org/complaint/comite-de-la-solidaridad-con-la-causa-arabe-v-shapir-engineering-industry/    

[xvii] “Guiding Principles on Businesses and Human Rights,” United Nations Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner, 2011, p. 18, accessed Feb. 3, 2022 at https://www.ohchr.org/documents/publications/guidingprinciplesbusinesshr_en.pdf    

[xviii] “CAF is feeling the heat: Pressured from all sides to drop its business with Israel’s illegal Jerusalem Light Rail,” BDS Movement, June 11, 2021, accessed Feb. 3, 2022 at https://bdsmovement.net/news/caf-feeling-heat-pressured-from-all-sides-to-drop-its-business-with-israels-illegal-jerusalem-light-rail     

[xix] “The Basque company CAF complicit in Israel’s apartheid railway,” European Trade Union Initiative for Justice in Palestine, accessed Feb. 3, 2022 at https://www.etun-palestine.org/site/2020/12/11/the-basque-company-caf-complicit-in-israels-apartheid-railway/