An anti-Israel resolution which was slated to be voted on at the NDP convention this weekend was blocked, which means it is extremely unlikely to reach the convention floor and won’t be debated this year.
The resolution, which claims that it is “reasonable” to punish Israel for its military “occupation” and settlement building, calls on Canada to use all forms of diplomatic and economic pressure on Israel until it lifts a legal blockade of the Gaza Strip which was imposed by Israel in order to prevent weapons smuggling to the terror group Hamas. The resolution also calls on the Canadian government to boycott all products made by Israeli companies beyond the Green Line.
Michael Mostyn, Chief Executive Officer of B’nai Brith Canada, a Jewish human rights organization, called the setback a “massive defeat” and a “slap in the face of those who oppose the Jewish People’s right to self-determination”.
The resolution was supported by the usual contingent of anti-Zionist activists and organizations, including Independent Jewish Voices and ex-NDP MP Libby Davies, and NDP MP Nikki Ashton, who last year had to distance herself from Nazih Khatatba, a Palestinian based in Mississauga, Ontario who, according to B’nai Brith, has a history of Holocaust denial and support for Palestinian terrorism, after she received a full-page endorsement in the August 18 edition of al-Meshwar, an Arabic-language newspaper edited by Khatatba.
Even thought the anti-Israel resolution was defeated at the convention, concerns remain over NDP’s position on Israel. In 2016, NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh was the only member of the Ontario legislature to speak out against a provincial vote to condemn the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement. In a speech lasting more than 10 minutes, Singh went on to explain how anti-Semitism is a real and growing issue in Canada and Ontario and emphasized on how it must be addressed. Following this statement, he then proceeded with the inevitable ‘but’ stating “to conflate criticism of a government’s policies with hate speech is a distraction from the real problem of anti-Semitism”, adding that “dissent, protest and freedom of speech are a fundamental part of democracy.”