“Good evening and welcome to the first edition of the Voice of Palestine…”
It was with these words that the VOP collective first went on the air in September, 1987. The collective consisted of concerned Palestinian and Canadian individuals who felt that the mainstream media totally ignored the Palestinian issue, and therefore an alternative source of news and information had to be created. Following that first broadcast in 1987, we were immediately attacked by local and national pro-Israeli forces. Pressure was put on the station, the CRTC, local media and many others in an attempt to muzzle the show. A front page headline in the Vancouver Province (pre-Canwest Global) blared“Outrage” while the inside article stated: “PLO war takes to B.C.’s airwaves”. (Amazingly, we were the ones accused of inflammatory rhetoric).
However, the collective with the backing of Coop radio, persevered and refused to be chased off the air. The process was dragged out for years, with hearings in front of the CRTC, and various other tactics employed, but eventually the credibility and legitimacy of the show was upheld. This was only after the issue had taken on national dimensions and been a test case for Palestinian support work in Canada. The fact that the first Palestinian intifada occurred during that time frame and showed public opinion around the world the true face of Israeli occupation certainly contributed to a more sympathetic environment.
The show expanded from a half-hour to one hour time slot, and also added various sections, such as Focus on Zionism, Eyewitness Palestine, and more recently, Media Literacy. Over the years, interviews have been conducted with such notable figures as – Marwan Bargouthi, Hannan Ashrawi, musician Mustafa al-Kurd who played live in our studios, and the late Israel Shahak. The show built up a sizeable listenership, here in B.C. and in Washington State, and has supporters across the country. Many of the founding members still work on the show, hoping to keep it alive and broadcasting as long as such a counter-balance is needed in the Canadian media.
November, 2011 to August, 2012
The Voice of Palestine brought to the attention of the public decisions made by the Coop Radio membership during the Vancouver Coop Radio AGM held on November 27th, 2011. Please read Coop Radio places itself on the wrong side of history.
Voice of Palestine collective issued a detailed statement on Dec. 16, 2011 regarding the first motion that was presented to the Co-Op Radio AGM, entitled Let’s Reclaim Our Radio!
Voice of Palestine collective issued a second position paper on Jan. 14, 2012 about the motion that was presented to the Co-Op AGM regarding Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel entitled Support for Palestine is Support for BDS!
The Boycott Israeli Apartheid Campaign – Vancouver (BIAC) issued an open letter to Co-Op Radio Board and members in support of the Voice of Palestine BDS resolution.
The Palestinian Committee of the Canada Palestine Association (CPA) issued a statement in support of Voice of Palestine and asked Coop Radio members and programmers, and all progressive organizations in Canada and across the world, to endorse their call.
On August 15th, 2012, the Voice of Palestine announced its exit from Vancouver Coop Radio after 25 years on air (see Voice of Palestine Exits Coop Radio after 25 Years for details).
September 4th, 2012 – 25th anniversary show
The Voice of Palestine airs its last show on Vancouver Coop Radio.
October 24th, 2012 – A new era begins!
The Voice of Palestine launches its new online show format. The struggle continues online here at http://www.voiceofpalestine.ca – follow us by subscribing to our YouTube Channel for all the latest news and interviews.