Greens adopt BDS as official party policy

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Unionist
Greens adopt BDS as official party policy

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Unionist

[url=http://news.nationalpost.com/news/canada/canadian-politics/greens-add-su... add support for boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel to official party policies[/url]

Historic moment!

We'll see whether Elizabeth May survives.

 

Unionist

Here comes the Zionist counterattack. Unfortunately there is no one to stand strong against it.

[url=http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/anti-israel-campaign-divide... to support Israel boycott campaign divides Green Party[/url]

Certainly not Elizabeth May. She really doesn't belong in any progressive movement. 

Badriya

Congratulations to the Green Party for endorsing BDS. I do not usually support them, but I just made a donation because of this endorsement.

Unionist

Poor Elizabeth May. She has to take a stand of principle on human rights, but she just can't do it. Maybe she should, like, get lost.

Quote:
“I’m deeply disappointed,” Ms. May said after the vote, on the heels of an emotionally charged debate among delegates at a downtown hotel. “The party policy on this issue is a position I can’t support,” she said, calling BDS tactics ineffective and “polarizing.”

Oh, poor you, oh lord, get lost.

 

Geoff

We need to figure out a way to make sure the Greens don't form a majority government in the next election. What are the chances? 

Geoff

Geoff wrote:

We need to figure out a way to make sure the Greens don't form a majority government in the next election. This is gonna be tough, folks.

Unionist

Geoff wrote:

We need to figure out a way to make sure the Greens don't form a majority government in the next election. What are the chances? 

I'm certain you are trying to make a point.

What is it?

jjuares

The right wing has come out swinging against this. They say it will damage the Greens. They may be right but that is only because the leader is against this and it makes it appear that the party is divided. If May had supported this I believe that this may have benefitted the party. None of the parties seem to be bothered by the illegal settlements so this would have given the Greens a shot with a significant segment of the population which has concerns with Israeli policy. Man, we are in a strange place. You can criticize Canadian foreign policy but Israeli foreign policy seems to be off limits according to the media.

Geoff

Geoff wrote:

We need to figure out a way to make sure the Greens don't form a majority government in the next election. What are the chances? 

I totally misread the story and got it the wrong way around. My apologies and kudos to the Greens.

mark_alfred

I'm unclear from the article what exactly is being referred to in the Green resolution.

Is this resolution a call for economic sanctions?  Or is it simply a statement of support of the right for private individuals/entities to boycott Israeli made goods?  And if the latter, why would this even have to be a policy?  And also, if the latter, why would May oppose this?  She did say that she would have voted against the Conservative motion on the topic (as the NDP did) had she been present.  After all, seems a given to me that people can choose not to buy stuff for whatever reason if they so desire.  If the latter, then it seems much ado over nothing. 

If the former, have there been other nations who've adopted economic sanctions against Israel?  Canada currently does have some economic sanctions on some nations:  http://www.international.gc.ca/sanctions/countries-pays/index.aspx?lang=eng

Unionist

mark_alfred wrote:

I'm unclear from the article what exactly is being referred to in the Green resolution.

Here's the full text of the resolution, names of sponsors, and "background", from the Convention package:

Quote:

Palestinian Self-Determination and the Movement for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions

Code: G16-P006
 Resolution Type: Policy
 Submitter Name: Dimitri Lascaris, Justice Critic, Green Party of Canada Shadow Cabinet

Preamble

WHEREAS Article 49 of the 4th Geneva Convention prohibits an occupying power from transferring parts of its own civilian population to territory it occupies; WHEREAS the International Court of Justice has ruled that Israel’s settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (“OPT”) violate international law;

WHEREAS GP14-P22 declares that the GPC “fully condemn [sic] all illegal Israeli settlementexpansions in the [OPT] as undeniable obstacles to the Israel – Palestine peace-process”;

WHEREAS Israel has continued, since the adoption of G14-P22, to expand its settlements andto demolish Palestinian homes and other infrastructure in the OPT;

WHEREAS Canada and other nations have previously succeeded in ensuring respect for human rights through the use of economic and political sanctions, including in the case of South Africa.

WHEREAS the Liberal and Conservative parties recently supported a motion ‘condemning’ attempts by Canadians to promote the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement;

AND WHEREAS nothing in this resolution condones the use of force against innocent civilians or other human rights violations by either side in the conflict.

Operative

BE IT RESOLVED that the GPC supports the use of divestment, boycott and sanctions (“BDS”) that are targeted to those sectors of Israel’s economy and society which profit from the ongoing occupation of the OPT;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the GPC will support such a form of BDS until such time as Israel implements a permanent ban on further settlement construction in the OPT, 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.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the GPC opposes all efforts to prohibit, punish or otherwise deter expressions of support for BDS.

Related Discussion:

https://www.greenparty.ca/en/forum/convention-2016/voting/resolutions/G16-P006

Sponsors

Alex Hill, Erin Davis, Menno Meijer, Lora Teuschler, Temara Brown, Colin Griffiths, Joe Foster, Constantine Kritsonis, Brian Smallshaw, Ghaith Hannibal, Mark Bigland-Pritchard, Kyle Lacroix, Kevin Labonte, Bonnie North, Melia Helson, Stacey Leadbetter, Corey Levine, Hugh Thorburn, Matthew Chisholm, Lora Picchi, Don McLeod, Lindsay Thompson, Mohammed Rajpar, Pamela Reid, Stefan Kleitsch, Mary Ann Hodge, Johan Hamels, Inge Stahl, Saul Bottcher, Will Sorrell, Sharon Danley, Don Scott

Background

When Palestine was partitioned in 1947, the U.N. allocated approximately 1/3 of Palestinian territory to the Palestinian people, although they constituted approximately 2/3 of the population.

Since 1947, the Palestinian people have never exercised true sovereignty over the territory the

U.N. had allocated to them. Moreover, due primarily to Israeli settlement construction in the OPT, the land Palestinians occupy has shrunk dramatically since 1947.

Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention prohibits occupying powers from transferring parts of their own civilian population to territory they occupy. Accordingly, the U.N. Security Council has declared that Israeli settlements in the OPT constitute “a flagrant violation” of the Fourth Geneva Convention. Moreover, in a 2004 advisory opinion, the International Court of Justice ruled that Israel’s settlements have been established in breach of international law.

Despite the clear illegality of Israeli settlements in the OPT, Israel has continued to construct and expand such settlements up to the current time and has given no indication that it will cease doing so in the foreseeable future. Moreover, the current Israeli Prime Minister has made numerous statements that raise serious questions as to his commitment to a two-state solution. Thus, Palestinians’ prospects for achieving a sovereign Palestinian state through bilateral negotiations with Israel are remote.

This leaves only one, non-violent option to the Palestinian people for realizing their dream of self-determination within their lifetimes. That option is BDS. Further, because BDS seeks to achieve Palestinian self-determination through economic and political sanctions rather than the use of force, BDS is entirely consistent with the GPC’s commitment to peace and mutual respect.

However, should Israel implement a permanent ban on settlement construction and expansion and enter into good faith negotiations with the Palestinian authorities with a view to the creation of a viable, contiguous and truly sovereign Palestinian state, then the GPC should re-evaluate whether its support for BDS is necessary to achieve Palestinian self-determination.

For nearly 70 years, the Palestinian people have been without a sovereign state. It is time for international community to give to the Palestinian people a realistic and non-violent path to self-determination. In the current circumstances, BDS is, in the view of the submitter, the only such path.

What it would mean in specific terms is I guess in the eye of the beholder. But there's enough there to earn a McCarthyite attack by the Israel lobby and all its backers (Liberals, Conservatives - and we'll see how the heroic NDP weighs in, if at all).

 

mark_alfred

Okay, thanks.

iyraste1313

Yes thanks! The Greens deserve a hearty round of support for this resolution...congratulations!

Unionist

This Mondoweiss article (by "Winnipeg-based radio/web broadcaster and science educator" David Kattenburg) gives a far better account of what went down than I've seen elsewhere so far:

[url=http://mondoweiss.net/2016/08/canadian-greens-back/]Canadian Greens back BDS[/url]

 

ikosmos ikosmos's picture

Independent Jewish Voices wrote:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

August 8, 2016

Independent Jewish Voices congratulates the Green Party of Canada on the passage of its historic Palestinian rights resolutions

“The Green Party of Canada has passed two resolutions of historic importance that can only have a positive impact on the pursuit of justice and peace in the Middle East, as well as on Canadian democracy,” said Independent Jewish Voices Canada (IJV) spokesperson Tyler Levitan.

On Sunday, the Greens passed a resolution endorsing the non-violent tactic of Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS). The BDS movement began in 2005 when a broad coalition of Palestinian civil society organizations called on international activists, governments, and institutions to apply pressure on the Israeli government to comply with international law and respect Palestinians’ rights.

Levitan explained that,“This is the first time a Canadian political party with representation in the House of Commons has taken a strong and positive position in solidarity with the grassroots Palestinian movement for freedom, justice and equality.”

In 2004, the International Court of Justice ruled that the route of Israel’s segregation wall and its use of Jewish-only settlements to displace and dispossess Palestinians in the Occupied Palestinian Territories were illegal. “I read [that] decision,” said Lisa Barrett, the Green Party’s Shadow Cabinet Critic for International Affairs. “The decision was made by highly qualified jurists and we as a Party have to support social justice. We’ve seen BDS tactics work against the Apartheid regime in South Africa, and if we hadn’t pursued it vigorously then, Nelson Mandela would have died in jail. Our resolution is very explicit that we are targeting those Israeli companies that profit from the Occupation of Palestine,” Barrett said.

“One day the Palestinian people will have a just peace. Those who fail to stand for Palestinian rights will be judged harshly. Let us not be judged harshly.” – Dimitri Lascaris, Green Party Justice Critic (who submitted BDS resolution)

At the convention, the Greens also passed an historic resolution in support of revoking the charitable status of the Jewish National Fund of Canada (JNF Canada), an organization whose flagship project, “Canada Park”, is situated over the ruins of ethnically cleansed Palestinian villages within the occupied West Bank.

While the original resolution referred specifically to the JNF Canada, the resolution that passed held to the original resolution’s intent, but broadened its scope to include all charities that are in violation of Canadian or international human rights law. Elizabeth May stated that “I want to be clear about this: the Jewish National Fund has been complicit and involved in human rights violations in building Canada Park on top of land that was dispossessed from Palestinians who are living there in 1967.”

The wording of the resolution that passed states “The GPC calls upon the Canada Revenue Agency 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.”

“Ms. May assured supporters of the JNF resolution that she will be working with Independent Jewish Voices Canada to urge the Minister of National Revenue to follow through with her mandate, which requires that JNF Canada’s complicity and involvement in violations of human rights be addressed,” concluded Levitan.

Note well, dear babblers; the effect is not only on peace in the Middle East but also is expected to have a positive effect on Canadian democracy.

Some Honourable Members: dead silence.

Because freedom. [/rolleyes]

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
We'll see whether Elizabeth May survives.

Or leaves of her own accord.

Quote:
"I'm struggling with the question of whether I should continue as leader or not, quite honestly," May told Rosemary Barton in an interview with The National.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

The Greens are going to split apart over this issue. Maybe May can start up her Small Party again, it would instantly have an MP.

This article is quite informative on how deep the division over this issue goes. 

Quote:

My name is Paul Estrin. Until Aug. 5, I was the president of the Green Party of Canada.

On July 25, I published a blog on the party’s website entitled “Why Gaza makes me sad.” My comments were moderate in nature. The essential point I conveyed was that I was, and still am, saddened by what is happening in Gaza. By highlighting Hamas’ cynical tactics, I was trying to show that the conflict is not black and white – a thesis in opposition to what other members of the party seemed to be suggesting. 

Sadly, my moderate article criticizing a violent terrorist group could not be tolerated by a majority of the party membership. The article was eventually removed from the website – there was apparently no room within the party for dialogue – but not before some online commenters issued threats about my personal safety. Those comments concern me a great deal. 

Ultimately, my dissenting view led to me being drummed out of my position. 

Many people have asked me about my resignation. Others are wondering why, given my views, I would have wanted to be president of the Green Party in the first place.

 

http://www.cjnews.com/news/im-no-longer-president-green-party-canada

 

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

I've taken the odd swipe at May and her motley band, but I'm not being facetious when I suggest that if she does abdicate the Green Throne, she could probably be a good Liberal.  She's shown some solidarity with them in the past, and if she were to run as a Lib (and probably win easily) and take over the portfolio of Minister of the Environment, the Libs would probably gain even more votes than the Greens would lose without her.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Actually part of her riding includes David Anderson's old seat so it is very likely she could win as a Liberal. Of course her riding is very environmentally aware so if not only Site C goes ahead but also the pipelines that could be the kiss of death for any Liberal chances on VI.

Geoff

Mr. Magoo wrote:

I've taken the odd swipe at May and her motley band, but I'm not being facetious when I suggest that if she does abdicate the Green Throne, she could probably be a good Liberal.  She's shown some solidarity with them in the past, and if she were to run as a Lib (and probably win easily) and take over the portfolio of Minister of the Environment, the Libs would probably gain even more votes than the Greens would lose without her.

Hey, the NDP is trying to run a leadership campaign with no candidates. May could demonstrate her commitment to recycling by running to lead the orange crush/crash.

I know she's more cozy with the Liberals, but according to the polls, many New Democrats are happy with the job Justin is doing, anyway, so what the heck.

It's just a thought, as I hate to see someone out of a job.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

I considered that too, but there's a lot of bad blood between the Greens and the NDP.  It'd be like Ralph Nader wanting to be the CEO of General Motors.

Unionist

Well, when the NDP federal office barred Paul Manly from running in Nanaimo-Ladysmith (even though the local riding association had ok'ed him), one babbler commented:

Quote:
Now that the messaage has been sent loud and clear that Anti-Zionists are persona non grata in the NDP (yay!) maybe they can go try and ilfiltrate the Green party instead!
[sic]

Soon after, Manly did indeed join the Greens and ran provincially.

So, in the interests of balance, perhaps there's a certain logic in the Green Party dumping May so she can go infiltrate the NDP?

 

Geoff

Mr. Magoo wrote:

I considered that too, but there's a lot of bad blood between the Greens and the NDP.  It'd be like Ralph Nader wanting to be the CEO of General Motors.

Sadly, that's a very good analogy. There's no way she would consider it. Oh well, maybe Bob Rae would like to renew his NDP membership and have a go at it. Laughing

Rev Pesky

From Paul Estrin's article in the Canadian Jewish News (posted above):

Quote:
Those who wanted me out – and let me be clear: it was the large majority of those who control the party – made it as simple as possible. They offered me a choice: An “easy” resignation where I would get to walk away relatively unscathed, or a “hard” resignation that would – well, let’s just say it would have been bad. 

So what was the 'hard way' Paul? Concrete overshoes? an offer you couldn't refuse? go for a ride? a chat with the fishes? helicopter ride without the parachute?

If this posted article is anything like the blog post he says he was villified for, I don't wonder he was rejected by the party. 

Rev Pesky

For those interested, here is Paul Estrin's blog post, which was almost simultaneously posted at CIJA (Center for Israel and Jewish Affairs).

Why Gaza Makes Me Sad

Quote:
... On the other side of the coin, Israel is doing all it can with an untenable situation. The world media vilifies it, to the point that when those firing missiles into its borders and sending militias into its land need to see that they cannot do this, it is Israel, and not Gaza, that feels the world’s hate. When al-Jazeera does a more balanced job than CNN, and let’s not talk about here in Canada our media, how that has been … …

...military people the world over, say that Israel’s military is the most moral of them all, above the British, above the Americans, but at what price, when the enemy knows no qualms, and would rather see hundreds of their own people die for a media blitz against Israel than do all it can to save a single life. What other military calls up the enemy on their phone to tell them that their building will be bombed, to kindly leave, yes, you have enough time to leave, just thought it would be the neighbourly thing to do … anyone else in war, and that is what Hamas is calling this time in Gaza, would simply bomb, kill and destroy.

...One day, and soon, I hope that Gaza’s government will act appropriately and show that the life of every single person is precious. But I fear that our world’s international media, international agencies and all the activists who noble actions are grossly misplaced, although nonetheless noble, they are simply enabling the terrorists, and so all they are having reinforced is that this is a strategy that works.

...I feel that peace will take a miracle. Israel is losing patience, a country cannot live in constant fear without hardliners coming to power ..  oh wait .. and then, while the world watches, Israel will be forced to conduct a military manoeuver, one that perhaps it ought to have made years ago, to then enable reconstruction and a manageable peace. I pray it will not come to that, but if Gaza under Hamas continues its reign of terror, what choice will Israel plausibly have.

Thank you for reading.

Paul Estrin

President, Green Party of Canada  

Note this article was posted on the CIJA website as coming from the President of the Green Party of Canada. According to Estrin, these comments were 'moderate in nature'.

ikosmos ikosmos's picture

This reminds me of a piece in MR by Michel Warschawski in which he remarked,

Quote:
There was a time when the Zionist left was accused of “shooting and then crying.” Today we can say that it bombs and then whimpers in self-pity. Far from fighting for the society that it dreamed of not all that long ago, it is turning inward. It is accusing the whole world, the Palestinians first and foremost, of being responsible for its sorry fate.

Never mind about past violence - the piece by Estrin is full of apologetic for future atrocities by Israel.

Who writes like this?

The New Israel

Supplemental: it bears repeating from upthread. This isn't just about Israel. The effect of racist Israel is harmful even to Canadian democracy.  

Resistance, therefore, helps Canadian democracy.

 

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Unionist wrote:

Well, when the NDP federal office barred Paul Manly from running in Nanaimo-Ladysmith (even though the local riding association had ok'ed him), one babbler commented:

Quote:
Now that the messaage has been sent loud and clear that Anti-Zionists are persona non grata in the NDP (yay!) maybe they can go try and ilfiltrate the Green party instead!
[sic]

Soon after, Manly did indeed join the Greens and ran provincially.

So, in the interests of balance, perhaps there's a certain logic in the Green Party dumping May so she can go infiltrate the NDP?

Well he will find that the BC Greens are not a hospitable place for his views on Gaza. In fact the leader Weaver has made it clear the topic will never even be debated at a provincial convention since it goes against the party's basic principle's.

Quote:

“The passage of a policy endorsing Boycott, Divest and Sanction (BDS) at the Green Party of Canada convention in Ottawa this past weekend represents a significant step away from the values that define the BC Green Party.

“This is not a policy that I nor the B.C. Green Party support. I think the Green Party of Canada needs to take a careful look at their policy process and ask themselves how a policy that goes against Green Party values could have been allowed on the floor of a convention.

...

The B.C. Green Party recently overhauled its policy development process through a member-driven process. It has created a rigorous and inclusive policy approach which ensures that policies brought to B.C. Green Party conventions are consistent with the six guiding principles. Policies that seek to force a specific action, rather than outline a value that is supported by evidence, are not eligible to make it to the floor of a convention.

https://www.bcgreens.ca/statement-by-andrew-weaver-on-the-passage-of-bds...

Weaver is firmly in control and is just as autocratic as any modern day political potentate.

 

Unionist

kropotkin1951 wrote:

Well he will find that the BC Greens are not a hospitable place for his views on Gaza.

You don't know his views on Gaza. Neither do I. (Read the earlier thread.) And neither did the NDP inner circle that banned him, just because he made a statement of support for his father when he was imprisoned by the Israeli bandit regime.

If Manly were looking for a party which matches his views on Gaza (whatever they might be), I wouldn't vote for him. How could someone's views on Gaza be a determining factor provincially or federally?

The issue is very different. The NDP banned him, and the provincial Greens welcomed him as a candidate. That's good enough for me. The Greens obviously have room for differing opinions. And right now, we'll see whether that's true for the federal Greens as well.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Nitpick much Unionist. Weaver has absolutely no place for any dissent in his party and that would include any views that supported the people of Gaza in their struggle against the apartheid regime they live under. 

I also didn't pick up on your claim that he ran for the BC Greens. He actually ran for the Green party federally and came in fourth behind the NDP, Conservatives and even the Liberals. 

My point was that the BC Greens are not a party that supports BDS and in fact they will not even debate the issue.

Unionist

Sorry krop, my mistake, it was indeed the federal Greens that welcomed him as a candidate.

Don't you see that as an important difference of principle between the Greens and the NDP - irrespective of anyone's views about Gaza? The NDP bans anyone who looks sideways at Palestine, and the Greens not only welcome them, but go ahead and pass a pro-BDS resolution at convention?

What this has to do with Weaver or May or any other individual is beyond me. Clearly there's room for divergence and debate in one party that is non-existent in the other. As you know extremely well from your own bitter experience with Svend and Bill.

 

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Indeed there seems to be a difference between the Greens and NDP federally. My point was that the BC Greens are at least as contolling as the NDP.

Rev Pesky

From a statement posted by Paul Manly on a website known as 'Cowichan Conversations with Richard Hughes.

Paul Manly replies to "What has changed"

 

Quote:
I will tell you what changed for me. You will know from my film work and my community organizing that I am solid and unequivocal on a number of issues. Initially, I thought that running to be an NDP MP would help steer the party in a positive, progressive direction. Since the time that I decided to run for the NDP, I have learned a number of things about how the NDP have abandoned their own policies. Policies that are very important to me.

...I found out that every NDP MP voted in lock-step for the Canada Korea free trade agreement this fall (a whipped vote no doubt). This went against NDP trade policy which opposes supporting any trade agreement with Investor State provisions.

...I found out that Tom Mulcair is opposed to decriminalizing marijuana and has stated on national TV that he will not follow through with NDP policy to decriminalize.

...I found out that the NDP supports gas fracking. I am opposed to gas fracking and have been for a long time.

I heard from an Ottawa insider that it is just as likely that I was blocked from entering the nomination race because of my involvement with the Council of Canadians and my unequivocal stands against investor state provisions in trade agreements, my unequivocal stance against new raw bitumen export pipeline projects and my unequivocal stand to protect water resources and oppose fracking.

I found out that other activists that hold views like my own were being actively blocked from nominations with the NDP as well.

My respect to the Federal Green Party for allowing Manly to stand in the last federal election. At the same time, I suspect they didn't think he would be elected, so whatever his views were, the party wasn't likely to have to deal with them. The best the Greens have done in that riding was under 10% of the vote, so they were pretty safe with Manly as a candidate.

At the same time, they did allow him to run, which the NDP, to their shame, didn't.  

One of the positive results of the Green Party supporting BDS is the simple fact that for years the right wing media found it in their interest to promote the Greens, believing that a larger Green vote would equal a smaller NDP vote. I don't necessarily agree with that assessment, but they didn't ask me. In any case, with the adoption of this resolution, the Greens will no longer be the 'go to' party to help in the battle against the NDP.

 

ikosmos ikosmos's picture

Rev Pesky wrote:
One of the positive results of the Green Party supporting BDS is the simple fact that for years the right wing media found it in their interest to promote the Greens, believing that a larger Green vote would equal a smaller NDP vote. I don't necessarily agree with that assessment, but they didn't ask me. In any case, with the adoption of this resolution, the Greens will no longer be the 'go to' party to help in the battle against the NDP.

There's another way to look at this. What need for the right to attack the NDP from the outside when there's such a generous representation of right-wing views inside the party?

Rev Pesky

ikosmos wrote:
...There's another way to look at this. What need for the right to attack the NDP from the outside when there's such a generous representation of right-wing views inside the party? 

True enough, unfortunately. However, the NDP will never be right-wing enough for the business press.

NorthReport

May will be joining the Liberals her dream from the getgo.

swallow swallow's picture

Quote:
What BDS isn’t, though, is a fringe movement. In Canada, dozens of groups have endorsed BDS, including unions, university professors as well as student government associations, at least two church conferences and several progressive organizations, Jewish and otherwise.

Not coincidentally, the Green Party of Canada draws its support from these very demographics, and it’s here where things get tricky for Elizabeth May. In regards to Israel, the governing Liberals and the Conservatives  are violently in agreement. Under Tom Mulcair, in a quest for Liberal votes, the NDP joined their ranks.

In doing so, the parties have abandoned a significant part of the electorate. One need look no further than the vote on the Conservative’s anti-BDS motion. Fifty-one of the country’s 338 MPs voted against it, the vast majority of them were from the NDP. Regardless of how you feel about the BDS movement, it has significant support amongst the Canadian electorate.

Such support deserves political representation. The U.S. Green Party knows as much; it, like the U.K. Green Party, officially champions the BDS cause. In endorsing BDS, Canada’s Green party hoi polloi has (accidentally or otherwise) demonstrated a rare bit of political savvy. Except, of course, its leader and only elected member has come out against it.

[url=http://www.macleans.ca/politics/ottawa/elizabeth-mays-split-with-the-gre... May's split with the Greens[/url]

 

Rev Pesky

I was struck by this paragraph in the posted McLean's article:

Quote:
Let’s be clear: the BDS movement is, at best, a blunt instrument. Its ideological underpinning—that Israel is an apartheid state akin to South Africa circa 1982—is both unhelpful to the movement’s own legitimacy and an insult to actual sufferers of government-sanctioned racial segregation.

Nope. A blunt instrument is the bombs and soldiers that the West has used against countries that failed to do their bidding. Just ask anyone from Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Vietnam, and a host of other nations.

And calling Israel an apartheid state is not an insult to those who suffer 'real' racial segregation. The Palestinians suffer very real discrimination, coupled with the blunt instrument of violence which is used against them on a regular basis.

swallow swallow's picture

And even so, that article was one of the most sympathetic to the BDS movement in the rabidly pro-Israel media. 

Meanwhile, I'm struck by the idea that May needs to resign because her party passed a policy resolution that she disagreed with. How many Liberal policy resolutions have Liberal leaders disagreed with? Plenty. No one calls on the leader to resign. 

Rikardo

Canada's sanctions, aside from making Brian Mulrony a world statesman, had little effect on ending apartheid which was an internal affair.  They may have strengthened the opposition.  Imagine sanctions on Quebec when they elected the PQ, determined to "break Canada". The Green Party resolution was mild and supported the UN Two-State solution but was an unnecessary and unfortunate division and weakening of the party.

josh

Had it strictly been an "internal affair," apartheid would stil be the law in SA.  And comparing that with Quebec is ludicrous. 

mark_alfred
Debater

Elizabeth May caught in a joyless political marriage

Chantal Hébert

Sat., Aug. 13, 2016

What Elizabeth May’s model performance as a parliamentarian has not accomplished is to advance the fortunes and the policies of the Green Party in or out of Parliament.

https://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2016/08/13/elizabeth-may-caught-in-a...

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
Elizabeth May caught in a joyless political marriage

My heart goes out to all the earnest, well-meaning Green candidates and MPPs.  When Mom and Dad are trapped in a loveless marriage, it's the children who suffer the most.

Rev Pesky

Rikardo wrote:

Canada's sanctions, aside from making Brian Mulrony a world statesman, had little effect on ending apartheid which was an internal affair.  They may have strengthened the opposition.  Imagine sanctions on Quebec when they elected the PQ, determined to "break Canada". The Green Party resolution was mild and supported the UN Two-State solution but was an unnecessary and unfortunate division and weakening of the party.

Interesting that no one chose to make that argument when the object of the sanctions was Iran. So far as I know, Israel, USA, Canada, UK, and a host of other countries (and their apologists) were on board with sanctions.

And none of them made the observation that sanctions were 'anti-Persian'.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Sanctions

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Canada has imposed sanctions and/or related measures against the following countries:

Canada has implemented mechanisms to prevent the concealment and transfer of funds or assets used to finance terrorism. These allow specified measures to be applied to listed terrorist entities.

http://www.international.gc.ca/sanctions/countries-pays/index.aspx?lang=eng

 

Boze

I oppose all economic sanctions imposed by Canada. On any country, for any reason. The government has no business telling its citizens who they can conduct business with.

I think what Israel is doing to the occupied territories is disgusting and the international community should do more about it. Israel has no more right to make decisions about what goes on in the West Bank or Gaza than Canada does. But I don't know exactly what should be done about it. UN peacekeepers would be a good start I suspect.

I notice that Noam Chomsky and Norman Finkelstein, two heroes of mine whose principled opposition to Israeli crimes no one can gainsay, oppose the BDS movement. Chomsky likens it to people in glass houses throwing stones - why not divest from Washington DC while we're at it, since there is much more blood on people's hands there?

I am not entirely sure what to think, to be honest, but I have a lot of sympathy for Elizabeth May on this issue.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

I think that boycotts are a personal choice. I agree that sanctions should not be imposed on any country because they always harm regular folks and are not applied consistently. I agree with the idea that if you are going to divest and apply sanctions then America should head the list.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
I agree that sanctions should not be imposed on any country because they always harm regular folks and are not applied consistently.

The sanctions on DPRK (North Korea) have always included "no luxury goods".  Well, that and no large weapons.  But do you feel that this keeps the average North Korean down?

Boze

Mr. Magoo wrote:

Quote:
I agree that sanctions should not be imposed on any country because they always harm regular folks and are not applied consistently.

The sanctions on DPRK (North Korea) have always included "no luxury goods".  Well, that and no large weapons.  But do you feel that this keeps the average North Korean down?

Without knowing how "luxury goods" are defined I would have to guess that the answer is probably yes. At the very least it makes them more dependent on the DPRK government.

Rev Pesky

Boze wrote:

I oppose all economic sanctions imposed by Canada. On any country, for any reason. The government has no business telling its citizens who they can conduct business with.

You need not worry in this case because Canada has not, and does not, impose any sort of sanctions on Israel.

Boze wrote:
...I think what Israel is doing to the occupied territories is disgusting and the international community should do more about it. Israel has no more right to make decisions about what goes on in the West Bank or Gaza than Canada does. But I don't know exactly what should be done about it. UN peacekeepers would be a good start I suspect.

Another very obvious action would be to break the blockade of Gaza.  

Boze wrote:
...I notice that Noam Chomsky and Norman Finkelstein, two heroes of mine whose principled opposition to Israeli crimes no one can gainsay, oppose the BDS movement.

I'm not so sure Chomsky does oppose BDS. Here he is in an interview with Amy Goodman from Democracy Now! Aug 11, 2014

Noam Chomsky on BDS

Quote:
AMY GOODMAN: Noam, I wanted to ask you about your recent piece for The Nation on Israel-Palestine and BDS. You were critical of the effectiveness of the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement...

NOAM CHOMSKY:...in brief, far from being critical of BDS, I was strongly supportive of it. One of the oddities of what’s called the BDS movement is that they can’t—many of the activists just can’t see support as support unless it becomes something like almost worship: repeat the catechism. If you take a look at that article, it very strongly supported these tactics. In fact, I was involved in them and supporting them before the BDS movement even existed. They’re the right tactics.

Read the full interview to get a more nuanced view, but the fact remains, Chomsky supports BDS. Norm Finkelstein is a different matter. His opposition is based on BDS not acknowledging the state of Israel.

Here is Finkelstein from a 2012 piece quoted in Wikipedia:

The problem as I see it

Quote:
The problem as I see it with the BDS movement is not the tactic. Who could not support Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions? Of course you should. And most of the human rights organizations, church organizations have moved in that direction.

The problem is the goal . . . The official BDS movement, they claim to be agnostic, neutral—whatever term you want to use—on the question of Israel. You can’t reach a broad public if you are agnostic on the question of Israel. The broad public wants to know, where do you stand? And if you claim not to have a stand, you lose them. The BDS movement, it always says, and I’m using their language, "We are a rights-based organization. We are based in international law." I agree with that. That’s where you have to go: rights-based international law.

But the international law is clear. You read the last sentence of the 2004 International Court of Justice opinion on the wall that Israel has been building in the West Bank, and the last sentence says, "We look forward to two states: a Palestinian state alongside Israel and at peace with its neighbors." That's the law.

Finkelstein is being a bit disingenuous about this decision. To begin with, it was an advisory decision, not 'the law'. According to Wikipedia:

Quote:
In principle, the Court's advisory opinions are only consultative in character but they are influential and widely respected.

In other words, the courts opinion does not have legal force. A the same time, the decision in this case left no doubt where the court stood:

Contruction of the wall, advisory opinion

Quote:
159. Given the character and the importance of the rights and obligations involved, the Court is of the view that all States are under an obligation not to recognize the illegal situation resulting from the construction of the wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including in and around East Jerusalem. They are also under an obligation not to render aid or assistance in imaintaining the situation created by such construction. It is also for all States, while respecting the United Nations Charter and international law, to see to it that any impediment, resulting from the construction of the wall, to the exercise by the Palestinian people of its right to self-determination is brought to an end.

In addition, all the States parties to the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War of 12 August 1949 are under an obligation, while respecting the United Nations Charter and international law, to ensure compliance by lsrael with international humanitarian law as embodied in that Convention.

160. Finally, the Court is of the view that the United Nations, and especially the General Assembly and the Security Council, should consider what further action is required to bring to an end the illegal situation resulting from the construction of the wall and the associated régime, taking due account of the present Advisory Opinion.

... Replies in the following manner to the question put by the General Assembly :

A. By fourteen votes to one,

The construction of the wall being built by Israel, the occupying Power, in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including in and around East Jerusalem, and its associated régime, are contrary to international law;

IN FAVOUR: President Shi; Vice-President Ranjeva; Judges Guillaume, Koroma, Vereshchetin, Higgins, Parra-Aranguren, Kooijmans, Rezek, Al-Khasawneh, Elaraby, Owada, Simma, Tomka; AGAINST: Judge Buergenthal;

B. By fourteen voles to one,

Israel is under an obligation to terminate its breaches of international law; it is under an obligation to cease forthwith the works of construction of the wall being built in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including in and around East Jerusalem, to dismantle forthwith the structure therein situated, and to repeal or render ineffective forthwith all legislative and regulatory acts relating thereto, in accordance with paragraph 15 1 of this Opinion;

IN FAVOUR : PresiAnt Shi ; Vice-Puesident Ranjeva : Judge.r Guillaume, Koroma, Vereshchetin, Higgins, Parra-Aranguren, Kooijmans, Rezek, Al-Khasawneh, Elaraby, Owada. Simma, Tomka; AGAINST: Judge Buergenthal;

C. By fourteen votes to one,
Israel is under an obligation to make reparation for all damage caused by the construction of the wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including in and around East Jerusalem;

IN FAVOUR: President Shi; Vice-President Ranjeva; Judges Guillaume, Koroma, Vereshchetin, Higgins, Parra-Aranguren, Kooijmans, Rezek, Al-Khasawneh, Ellaraby, Owada, Simma, Tomka; AGAINST: Judge Buergenthal ;

D. By thirteen votes to two,
All States are under an obligation not to recognize the illegal situation resulting from the construction of the wall and not to render aid or assistance in maintaining the situation created by such construction; all States parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Tiine of War of 12 August 1949 have in addition the obligation. while respecting the United Nations Charter and international law, to ensure compliance by Israel with international humanitarian law as embodied in that Convention;

IN FAVOUR: President Shi; Vice-President Ranjeva; Judges Guillaume, Koroma, Vereshchetin, Higgins, Parra-Aranguren, Rezek, Al-Khasawneh, Elaraby, Owada, Simma, Tomka; AGAINST: Judges Kooijmans, Buergenthal;

I apologize for quoting so extensively, but I think it was necessary in this case. It certainly puts Finkelstein's remark about 'the law' in perpsective.

Boze wrote:
...I have a lot of sympathy for Elizabeth May on this issue.

Why?

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