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Jewish groups condemn new Green BDS resolution

From left, Elizabeth May and Ken Melamed

Despite Federal Green Leader Elizabeth May’s vocal opposition to the passing of a resolution that supported the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel at the party’s convention last summer, the text of a new policy on Israel and Palestine – which lists May as one of its sponsors – is being criticized by Jewish leaders as “divisive,” “discriminatory” and  “anti-Semitic.”

In August, the Green party passed a resolution in Ottawa in support of the “Palestinian self-determination and the movement for boycott, divestment and sanctions.”

Although the policy passed with a majority, but not by consensus, it still became party policy. May considered stepping down as leader as a result, saying she was “disappointed that the membership has adopted a policy in favour of a movement that I believe to be polarizing, ineffective, and unhelpful in the quest for peace and security for the peoples of the Middle East.”


Following a family vacation, May ultimately announced she would stay on as leader, partly because the party’s executive council agreed to call a special meeting to give members the opportunity to revisit the BDS resolution.

Earlier this month, the party posted a new policy on its website that will come before a special general meeting scheduled for Dec 3-4 in Calgary. If it passes by consensus, it will replace the policy that passed in August.

The new “Policy on Israel and Palestine,” states, among other things, that the “Palestinian people are among the indigenous people of the geographic region now designated as Israel and the [occupied Palestinian territory],” and it supports “only non-violent responses to violence and oppression, including economic measures such as government sanctions, consumer boycotts, institutional divestment, economic sanctions and arms embargoes.”

It calls for a ban on products produced “wholly or partly within or by illegal Israeli settlements, or by Israeli businesses directly benefiting from the illegal occupation,” and it calls on the Canadian government to repeal the House of Commons resolution that condemned the BDS movement last February.

In a statement, the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA) said the new resolution is “anti-Israel and suggests that Palestinians have no role or responsibility in advancing the peace process.”

CIJA chair David Cape, said he is “appalled that the Green party’s leadership would propose such a divisive policy that is hostile toward Israelis and riddled with egregious historic distortions. Among many examples, perhaps most outrageous is the suggestion that the Jewish People have no ancestral or indigenous roots in Israel.”

Cape also spoke to a “reckless flip-flop by May, given her previous unequivocal statements against boycotts,” adding that the policy has “shut its doors to mainstream Jewish Canadians and signalled to all voters that it’s not ready for the serious business of policymaking.”

B’nai Brith Canada CEO Michael Mostyn said “it’s unfortunate that after rightly voicing her opposition to the BDS movement, Elizabeth May is now bowing to pressure from extremist elements within her party and targeting the Jewish state with this discriminatory and anti-Semitic motion.

“Ms. May previously stated that she ‘entirely opposed’ a more moderate version of the Green party’s motion to support BDS, a view she claimed the majority of her party also held. How can she now justify not only the Green Party’s strengthening of this resolution, but her vocal support of it?”

Requests for an interview with May went unanswered, but Green party federal council president Ken Melamed said the new policy, which he expects will gain consensus in December in Calgary, in part because it’s backed by May, is a “compromise resolution” compared to the one that passed in August.


“It reconfirms the existing policy, which spoke to a non-violent, peaceful two-state solution, recognition of both states, but I think for me, the big difference is that the previous policy… speaks to diplomatic approaches to resolving the conflict. This new policy seems to suggest that diplomatic measures have not been successful. The situation has not improved, and it moves into economic measures while maintaining a deep commitment to non-violent solutions,” Melamed said.

He said when it comes to critics who feel that the new text is one-sided against Israel, Melamed said others will interpret it differently.

“It clearly acknowledges Israel’s right to statehood. It clearly acknowledges that both parties have to be part of the solution. It condemns anti-Semitism, it condemns Islamophobia, and an attempt has been made to be two-sided. We support both sides in trying to find a peaceful resolution.”

While Melamed said the new resolution expresses support for boycotts, divestment, sanctions and arms embargoes, its drafters were careful not to specifically endorse the international BDS movement.

“I think that was one of Elizabeth’s main sticking points. She was uncomfortable with that, and it tarnished, in a way, the previous resolution. It was a deliberate and careful redrafting to eliminate a direct reference to the movement.”

Independent Jewish Voices Canada spokesperson Tyler Levitan said in a statement that the pro-BDS group is “delighted” with the Green party’s stance on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

“This proposed resolution is in keeping with the Green party’s declared values and reflects the values of Canadians who are sympathetic to the plight of oppressed peoples, including the Palestinians. If this resolution passes, it will serve as an example for other parties to emulate.”

Cape said CIJA is encouraged by Green party members who have spoken out and voted against the previous resolution.

“We will continue working with our allies within the [Green party] in the hope that they will be successful in reversing this shameful resolution.”

  • If the Green Party wants to go down that route, so be it. We live in a democracy and they are entitled to their anti-Israel views. However all Jews should be well educated come next election so they view that they prefer colours of Green and Red (Israeli blood)

  • TerrorIsEvil

    I want to run this scenario by Canadians for their reaction:

    The Likud Party in Israel just passed a new “Policy on First Nations and Quebec,” which states, among other things, that the “Native people and the French people are among the indigenous people of the geographic region now designated as Canada and the [occupied Canadian territory],” and it supports “only non-violent responses to violence and oppression, including economic measures against Canada such as government sanctions, consumer boycotts, institutional divestment, economic sanctions and arms embargoes.” Israel will call for a ban on products produced “wholly or partly within or by illegal Canadian “settlements,” or by Canadian businesses directly benefiting from the illegal Canadian occupation,” and it calls on the Likud to repeal the Knesset resolution that condemned the anti-Canadian boycott movement last February.

    May has bowed to the Islamist-Leftist conspiracy which is working overtime to capture political parties, police forces, churches and the media. Why has May become the Israel-hate Party in Canada? Should she not be concentrating on Canada?

    Do Canadians want to live under heavy Islamist influences with the left wing under their control? Well, speak up now because it is quickly becoming a reality.

    Weak, cowardly, uninformed people who seem to be happy giving away Canada (and thrilled about eliminating Israel and Jews) are letting Canada slip away. They are being outmaneuvered by crafty and manipulative left-wing radicals. America said no to them in the recent election and now it is Canada’s turn.

  • 2003james

    If the Netanyahu government favours the two-state solution, it should unilaterally recognise the Palestinian state, abandon most settlements, withdraw soldiers from the West Bank, and ask the international community to sponsor new negotiations with whatever government the new state elects.

    • TerrorIsEvil

      Why should recognition be unilateral and not bilateral? Oh, I forgot, according to the haters of Jews and Israel over the ages, Jews must always dig their own graves and shoot themselves in the head. You haters always pull the same tricks – stooping to steal the gold from our teeth as you recommend shooting two Jews at once with one bullet to save on ammunition.

      Then George Soros types go around collecting the left over gelt to make themselves rich and once they are filthy rich they found groups like JStreet to bribe and recruit Jews to be their own executioners – and, unfortunately, there are always far to many Jews willing to take the bait to become self-hating and to work against themselves in leftist states of unconsciousness.

      • 2003james

        You seem to have lost the plot.

        • TerrorIsEvil

          The plot is bigger than you can imagine.

    • When will apartheid end? The only way forward is a one-state solution that encompasses all people now living in the region with Equal Rights for everyone. South Africa was the 2nd last apartheid state in modern times; now it’s Israel’s opportunity to do the right thing (and to apologize for their genocide and land theft)

  • 2003james

    Israel never withdrew from Gaza. It simply moved the occupation outside the boundaries. The ceasefire in 2014 was broken by Israel, not Gazans, though you wouldn’t know it from the media. Palestinians are being warehoused in communities resembling Bantustans, while Israel annexes their land. At some point Israelis will have to accept Palestinians as citizens, or conduct mass expulsions. Netanyahu hasn’t left them any choices. Where will you stand?

  • Vince Fiorito

    I judge individuals by their words and deeds, NOT groups of people by their race, religion, nationality or gender.

    I have observed that:
    1) Greed and selfishness, leads to Injustice and oppression, which leads to violence and war.
    2) Truth and selflessness, leads to justice and freedom, which leads to tolerance and peace.

    I am on the side of everyone who wants to live in peace. I want those who commit theft, murder, war crimes and crimes against humanity to know justice and for those they oppress to know freedom.

    As a Canadian, I expect the Canadian government to contribute to world peace, by defending justice and freedom with integrity, in a manner that is fair and even handed, without exceptions. Either we recognize that all human beings have fundamental human rights which must be respected or we don’t.

    My primary sources of information regarding human rights include Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch. In the case of Israel and Occupied Palestinian Territories, I also inform my opinions with B’Tselem, Israel’s New Historians and OpEd’s from Haaretz’s Gideon Levy. I appeal to you, the reader, to consult these sources in order get a fair, balanced and informed opinion regarding this conflict.

    Based on the above sources, I have concluded that Canada has failed to defend justice, freedom and human rights in a way that is honest, transparent, fair or just regarding a decades long human rights catastrophe. Canada has imposed sanctions against one side’s war criminals and “unshakably” supported the other. Canada sides with the oppressors against the oppressed, because a powerful and effective pro-Israel lobby has created opportunities for our political leaders to act selfishly, on condition they obscure truths, tacitly support injustice and turn a blind eye to oppression, war crimes and crimes against humanity.

    As a result this personal selfishness, dishonesty and immoral behavior of our political leadership, Canada has contributed to injustice, oppression, violence and war in the region.

    Canada must be better than this. Canadians must be better that this.

    I joined the Green Party of Canada, because I share Green Values with other Green Party of Canada members. I am motivated by a sincere desire to help make the world a better place. This weekend, I am in Calgary to attend the Green Party of Canada’s Special General Meeting as a delegate. I will do my best to ensure the GPC maintains our Green Values regarding Non-Violence, Social Justice, Participatory Democracy, Ecological Wisdom and Respect for Diversity.

    • TerrorIsEvil

      If you really believe your own self-righteous words then you would be condemning
      terrorism and siding with Israel which has striven for peace these past 70+
      years and found out that: 1) the Muslim Arab world and Iran do not want peace,
      they want and have always wanted Israel’s land minus Jews and 2) justice does
      not mean one abandons his/her own land and people to terrorism to satisfy the
      Islamists’ conquest. 3) Israel, more than any country in the world, meets all
      the requirements of statehood – it has been vetted, discussed, approved by
      treaties, accords, 3500 years of history and biblical references.

      If that is not enough for you then nothing would satisfy your demands…but remember
      that you too must follow the high standards and demands you make of Israel or
      risk being called a hypocrite.

      In other words, you must look at your own life and satisfy every need and demand of
      those who want to replace you (just as you ask of Israelis) – that means you
      must get lost and give it all away – home, family and life itself and then jump
      into a shallow grave.

      That, in a nutshell, is what you’re saying in your sugar-coated, silver-tonged preaching
      that is filled with enmity, maliciousness and hate for Jews.

      • Vince Fiorito

        If I hated Jews, I would not have bothered to post here and explain my viewpoint.

        If you were interested in my viewpoint, you would not attribute to me ideas I don’t believe or words I never said.

        The person blinded by hatred here is the person who attacked me, rather than my ideas. Only racists and bigots judge entire nations and religions by the actions of a few people within that nation or religion.

        Good and evil people exist in every nation and religion. I support those who want to live in peace. I oppose those who commit war crimes. and crimes against humanity.

        The people Israel conquered 50 and 70 years ago have no rights, no freedom and do not know justice. While this situation continues to exist, this region will continue to know violence and war.

        If you can’t be honest about oppression and injustice, then you are part of the problem.

        Peace starts with admitting the truth.