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Overcoming NDP's shameful anti-Palestinian history PDF Print E-mail
Mar 07, 2018 at 12:00 AM

The NDP leadership’s naked suppression of debate on the “Palestine Resolution ” is rooted in a long pro-Israeli nationalism history.

At last month’s convention the party machine blocked any debate of the Palestine Resolution, which mostly restated official Canadian policy, except that it called for “banning settlement products from Canadian markets, and using other forms of diplomatic and economic pressure to end the occupation.”

As I detailed previously, the Palestine Resolution was confusingly renamed, deprioritized and then blocked from being debated on the convention floor. The suppression of a resolution unanimously endorsed by the NDP youth convention, many outside groups and over 25 riding associations was the latest in a long line of leadership anti-Palestinian actions.

However, the first leader of Canada’s original social democratic party actually took a sensible humanist position, criticizing the colonialist/nationalist movement’s impact on the indigenous population. In 1938 CCF (the NDP’s predecessor) leader J. S. Woodsworth said, “it was easy for Canadians, Americans and the British to agree to a Jewish colony, as long as it was somewhere else. Why ‘pick on the Arabs’ other than for ‘strategic’ and ‘imperialistic’ consideration.” 

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CBC's Michael Enright is mistaken about how to approach anti-Semitism PDF Print E-mail
Mar 05, 2018 at 03:58 PM

As the host of CBC’s Sunday Edition, Michael Enright is one of the most influential intellectuals in Canada. He is educated, well travelled and thoughtful. Each Sunday, thousands of Canadians listen to his interviews and are influenced by his observations. So when he warns about the growing danger of Anti-Semitism in Canada, it is important. But on this point, argues Martha Roth, of Independent Jewish Voices Canada, Enright is mistaken. 

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To the NDP Establishment and its organizing committee PDF Print E-mail
Feb 20, 2018 at 05:15 PM
The NDP has bailed out on bringing a strong resolution supporting Palestinian human and civic rights to  the NDP convention floor. (https://ricochet.media/en/2130/palestine-resolution-narrowly-stopped-from-hitting-ndp-convention-floor). It got lost in a backroom somewhere. I cannot say that I am surprised. Nothing has changed since I was a candidate for the NDP in the 1988 federal election (Laprairie riding). The NDP Establishment was then, and for that matter always has been, decidedly pro-Israel to the entire evacuation of the Palestinian question. My longtime and late Palestinian friend, Rezeq Faraj ran for the NDP in the riding of St-Jean in 1988. (He took 20% of the vote). The only reason he was able to get the nomination was because then National Co-President of the NDP, Michel Agnaieff, backed Rezeq’s candidature to the hilt. He also supported me (the friend of the Palestinian) in my candidature. For the NDP Establishment (individuals like Lorne Nystrom),  Rezeq was “a problem for Ottawa.’

In short, the NDP Establishment is in no way different from that of the Liberal Party of Canada or the Conservative Party of Canada or of the U.S. Democratic or Republican parties when it comes to the question of Palestinian rights. Let me tell you this: Israel has put into effect over the years a rigid system of institutionalized segregation known as apartheid. I have studied it; I have been to the West Bank; I have seen it with my own eyes. There is no question of fence-sitting on the question of apartheid. One is against it or openly or tacitly in support of it. Whether or not the NDP is openly or tacitly in support of Israel’s apartheid system is a moot point. Qui tacit consentit.
Unprecedented Support For Palestinian Cause At NDP Convention Blocked By Party Establishment PDF Print E-mail
Feb 17, 2018 at 01:10 PM
OTTAWA - Independent Jewish Voices Canada is frustrated by anti-democratic steps taken by the NDP establishment to block a strong resolution supporting Palestinian rights from reaching the convention floor for debate. Instead, a much weaker resolution, which reflects the weak existing position the party has taken on Israel-Palestine, will be debated.

Despite obtaining the official support of 26 riding associations in six provinces - more than any other resolution - the Palestine Resolution was ranked as 37th out of 45 foreign policy resolutions by the Party's undemocratic prioritization committee in order to prevent it from getting to the convention floor. By comparison, the top ten resolutions selected in the same category received a combined total of only 17 endorsements.

When the prioritization was challenged at a re-prioritization session on Friday morning, the resolution was voted down by just eleven votes (200-189).

'In what was an extremely tight vote, NDP members have shown our strongest support for Palestinian rights in history,' said NDP member and IJV spokesperson Genevieve Nevin. 'The fervor around this resolution shows the clear split between the party's grassroots - especially its younger members - and the party establishment.'
Palestine resolution narrowly stopped from hitting NDP convention floor PDF Print E-mail
Feb 16, 2018 at 12:00 AM

Organizers remain optimistic and point to generational shift in their favour  

The first morning of the NDP’s federal convention in Ottawa featured a showdown pitting high profile members of the party’s caucus against a significant part of its grassroots base. At stake was whether a resolution on Palestine would make it on to the weekend’s formal policy agenda. After a tense session and a close vote, the resolution won’t see the light of day at this convention. The organizers behind this latest push for the NDP to take a stronger stance on Palestine are disappointed but undaunted, telling Ricochet that they’re hopeful for change and won’t give up the fight.
NDP set to debate new resolution on Palestine PDF Print E-mail
Feb 09, 2018 at 12:00 AM
At next week’s New Democratic Party convention in Ottawa, Palestinian rights are set to be a major flashpoint. The NDP Socialist Caucus has submitted a resolution calling on the party to “actively campaign in support of the demand of Palestinian unions, civil society and unions across Canada and around the world which call for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against the Israeli state until it dismantles the apartheid wall, allows refugees to return home, ends its demolition of Palestinian homes and olive groves, lifts the siege of Gaza, ends its occupation of Palestinian lands, and terminates its apartheid practices."

A more moderate "Palestine Resolution: renewing the NDP’s commitment to peace and justice" has been endorsed by two dozen riding associations. The motion mostly restates official Canadian policy, except that it calls for “banning settlement products from Canadian markets, and using other forms of diplomatic and economic pressure to end the occupation.”

Already the Canadian Jewish News, Electronic Intifada, National Post, Ottawa Jewish Bulletin, Toronto Star, Le Devoir, Mondoweiss, Canada Talks Israel Palestine and rabble.ca have published stories regarding the resolutions.

The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs has called on the party leader to "push back against marginal elements within the party" promoting Palestinian rights while the Canadian Friends of Simon Wiesenthal has "Urged NDP to Disallow Anti-Israel Resolution at Upcoming Convention."
NDP to debate BDS motion at its national convention in Ottawa PDF Print E-mail
Jan 25, 2018 at 12:00 AM
A resolution that calls on Israel to “end its occupation” of Palestinian land and on Canada to employ boycott, divestment and sanctions strategies against the Jewish state, will be debated later this month at the NDP convention in Ottawa.

The resolution, titled, “Supporting a just peace in Israel/Palestine,” calls on “all parties to abandon violence and negotiate a resolution grounded in international law,” and urges Israel to end its occupation and settlement program, lift the Gaza blockade and recognize Arab-Palestinian rights and refugee claims.

Canada reluctantly joins international consensus on Jerusalem PDF Print E-mail
Dec 07, 2017 at 12:00 AM

Under foreign and domestic pressure, Canada reluctantly joins international consensus opposing Trump's decision on Jerusalem. 

Global Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland announced on Dec 6th that Canada would not be following the US lead in moving our embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. But she was very careful not to criticize Donald Trump’s decision. Read more….

Barely a week after Canada found itself isolated at the UN General Assembly over the Israel/Palestine issue, Minister Chrystia Freeland appeared to rejoin the international consensus on Israel/Palestine by declining to follow President Trump’s decision recognize Jerusalem as the Capital of Israel. 
But while she "declined to follow" she did not criticize... 
It's Time For Our Prime Minister To Commemorate Nakba Day PDF Print E-mail
May 15, 2017 at 12:00 AM


Tyler Levitan
Campaigns Coordinator for Independent Jewish Voices - Canada

Canada prides itself on being a country that espouses the values of fairness and equality. We must recognize, however, that Canada's history is one of settler colonialism, a violent process by which settlers from foreign lands dispossessed the indigenous inhabitants of this land, and established a society against the interests and consent of the people who were already living here.

While Canada is beginning to come to terms with this reprehensible past through acknowledging these truths, and is beginning the long and difficult journey of reconciliation, the same cannot be said for Canada's close friend and ally, Israel, with whom Canada asserts it has "shared values."

Israel, too, prides itself on being a country that it claims is a beacon of fairness and equality. However, Israel was established as a state - similarly to Canada - through the violent dispossession of the people who were already there, and who already had a society rooted deeply in that land for generations. This violent process of dispossession is referred to by the people who were already living there - the Palestinians - as "the catastrophe," or in Arabic, the Nakba.

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Jonathan Cook wins the 2011 Martha Gellhorn Special Prize for Journalism

At the 2011 Martha Gellhorn Special Prize for Journalism, awarded at a ceremony in London on 2 June 2011, Jonathan Cook was one of three winners. The other two were Umar Cheema, of the International News of Pakistan, and Charles Clover, of the Financial Times. Julian Assange, founder of Wikileaks, won the Martha Gellhorn Prize for Journalism.

The judge's citation reads: "Jonathan Cook's work on Palestine and Israel, especially his de-coding of official propaganda and his outstanding analysis of events often obfuscated in the mainstream, has made him one of the reliable truth-tellers in the Middle East."