Next month, the Green Party of Canada will convene to debate 13 resolutions. Presumably the resolutions are intended to advance the party’s vision of building a sustainable world and fighting for Canadian values in its “four key issue areas: economy, communities, government, and climate.”
Of the proposed resolutions, only two address foreign policy. The first endorses boycotting Israel and Israeli companies. The second seeks to delist the Jewish National Fund as a legitimate, tax-deductible Canadian charity. The pro-Israel community is alarmed, furious that the Green Party would single out the world’s only Jewish state. “Why is the Green Party attacking the Jewish state,” an email from the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs
Unfortunately, we know why.
In a just world, the Green Party would celebrate the Jewish state and the JNF, passing resolutions at its convention singling out Israel for special praise as a model environmental citizen. If the Green Party were true to its platform, it would seek to learn from Israel how to balance a booming economy with environmental responsibility, how to foster a sense of community in an age of individualism, how to build a democratic government in an age of terrorism and how to protect the climate – supposedly the party’s defining concerns.
Israel’s not perfect. Neither is Canada. But as sister democracies, they could learn from each other how to advance peace, order and good – even green – government.
Israel is a world leader in green issues. In a few short decades, Israel transformed itself from a water have-not to a water have, using innovative technologies, social planning, and cutting-edge conservation techniques that Canadians could copy. Just recently, the Knesset passed a plastic bag law, assessing a cost to each super-thin plastic bag, part of a vast body of laws and regulations trying to preserve Israel’s environment. And thanks to the JNF, Israel is a rare modern capitalist democracy that ended the 20th century with more trees planted than when the century began.
Moreover, there are thousands of liberal Israeli environmental activists – whom Palestinian terrorists would happily kill and whom Palestinian extremists stupidly boycott – who seek to use the shared water, air and land resources of the Middle East as a way of building bridges between Israelis and Palestinians.
Of course, all these accomplishments, all these rational arguments, are irrelevant. They frankly have a pathetic, Sally Field-esque “please like me, I really am useful” ring to them. The Green Party haters who are targeting Israel aren’t singling out Israel for what it does. They hate Israel for what it is – the world’s only Jewish state. How else can one explain such a singular obsession, such a disproportionate response, such an inconsistent focus, and such a deviation from the organization’s core mission statement.
Of course, the Green Party bigots will claim they care about Palestinians and are fighting “the occupation.” But if they cared about Palestinians, wouldn’t they propose resolutions regarding Syria, where ongoing conflict has killed more Palestinians this year than have died in the last decade of conflict with Israel? If they cared about building a Palestinian state, wouldn’t they work on confidence-building initiatives between Israelis and Palestinians rather than confidence-destroying ones like boycotts? And if they cared about peace, wouldn’t they support quality of life, values-oriented organizations like the JNF, with its many beautification projects that serve both Arabs and Jews in Israel?
But that’s not what this is about. So let’s drop the hypocrisy. Don’t bother fighting the Green Party’s bigoted resolutions. Let it pass those resolutions, which encourage haters, anti-Semites and peace-destroyers. And let that moral failure stand as a mark of shame. Let’s make it clear who supports democracies and environmental policies, and who doesn’t – no matter what they may claim.