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Canadian Green Party leader Elizabeth May (C) strongly opposed the pro-BDS resolution. / Photo credit: Facebook

Canadian Jewish groups are furious at the Canadian Green Party for passing a resolution supporting boycott, divestment and sanctions movement (BDS) against Israel over the weekend. The party’s national convention in Ottawa adopted a policy resolution declaring support for the use of BDS targeted at the sectors of Israel’s economy and society which profit from the “ongoing occupation … until such time as Israel implements a permanent ban on further settlement construction in [Judea and Samaria], and enters into good faith negotiations with representatives of the Palestinian people for the purpose of establishing a viable, contiguous and truly sovereign Palestinian state.”

The resolution passed over the objection of Green Party leader Elizabeth May, who said she prefers to endorse “action that can work,” and told a workshop meeting about the policy: “I would rather not, as leader, be leading a party that has endorsed BDS.”

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“This is a perfectly legitimate movement,” May continued, “There is nothing illegal about it, and within the Charter of Rights of Freedoms. So, I am uncomfortable with the demonization of this movement. But there is for me, no question that there’s a better way to put pressure on Israel, bearing in mind the history of Israel; the fact that it’s, I think, a tactic that won’t work.”

“We need a two-state solution, and the way things are going there will be no Palestine for a two-state solution,” May said. “So it comes to the point where, what’s our best method going forward? And I think tactics like BDS, that make the people and the state of Israel think that they are under assault, and that they have lost allies and friends around the world, is not going to succeed.”

Paul Estrin, who is Jewish and a former President of the Green Party, wrote on Facebook before the vote that “a vote for BDS is a vote by those who seek the delegitimization of Israel, and ultimately seek to have it, and its population, wiped off the map.” Estrin was forced to step down as party president in 2014 over his pro-Israel views.

Another policy resolution that called on the Canada Revenue Agency to revoke the charitable status of the Jewish National Fund of Canada, passed committee by a comfortable margin, only to be modified later by the party leadership, which removed the J word from it altogether, and turned it into a call on the CRA “to revoke the charitable status of or to refrain from conferring charitable status upon any organization that is complicit in the violation of Canadian or international human rights law.”

Canadian Jewish organizations reacted swiftly and harshly to the pro-BDS resolution. Michael Mostyn, Chief Executive Officer of B’nai Brith Canada, issued a statement saying, “With the Green Party’s support for unfairly singling out the world’s only Jewish state for contempt, it has firmly entrenched itself beyond the fringe of mainstream Canadian politics. Greens have chosen to embrace the policy position of shills for 9/11 conspiracy theories and terror apologists rather than side with the democratic and environmentally-friendly State of Israel. This clearly reflects how out of touch the Green Party has become with Canadian culture and values and it has made itself less relevant after its convention this weekend by voting for the politics of division and demonization.”

“All Canadians should be very concerned by these developments,” Mostyn added. “A political party with representation in Parliament chose to adopt an anti-Semitic policy, contrary to a recent resolution in Parliament condemning BDS as discriminatory. B’nai Brith will continue to expose the bigotry that festers within Green Party ranks.”

The Center for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA), the advocacy agent of the Jewish Federations of Canada-UIA, issued a statement saying, “We condemn the Green Party’s decision to endorse this outrageous resolution. The BDS movement, which seeks to censor and blacklist Israelis, is fundamentally discriminatory and utterly at odds with Canadian values.” The statement continued: “Green Party leader Elizabeth May was right to oppose this toxic initiative as well as the disturbing assault on JNF, in keeping with her longstanding rejection of BDS.”

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14 COMMENTS

  1. If Jews are peacefull and fair they need to question thier own actions. I do support BDS and the right of everyone to live in peace. The idea of a peacefull God does not seem to exist in the middle east from any authority in power. I would wish "you-all" the best, but stay on your side of the world unless you can get smarter about getting along with others.

  2. What planet are you on? Israelis the only democracy in the Middke East. Its neighbors do so many acts against women , children and human rights, yet Israel is singled out. This is ridiculous. Whatever false narrative you believe, wise up. Find out the truth instead of believing these lies.

  3. Leftists, and green party-types in particualr, adopt extremist views even if they have no idea why they should hold that position. Ask some lefties, "Just, why do you support BDS?" or "Do you know what BDS means?", and most have no idea what or why they support the movement. It is just so common in the leftists clouded world that they repeat and adopt policies that they remain clueless about.

  4. Israel is not singled out. Its' government has practiced institutionalized racism for decades. Other middle estern countries are roundly criticized in the west for everything, from the treatment of women to anti-democratic elements to heavy handed religious fundamentalism. Good, they should be criticized, and so should Israel for the actions of its regressive ant anti-democratic regime. People should have the right to not financially support institutionalized racism.

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