More than 50 cultural and political figures released the following open letter today, calling for the Green Party of Canada not to reverse its party policy established at convention in August, where it overwhelmingly voted to support the international Boycott, Divestment and Sanction (BDS) movement in opposition to Israel's occupation of Palestine.
Elizabeth May toyed with the idea of stepping down as leader in response to the vote and the party promised to revisit the decision in a special General Meeting this weekend. Naomi Klein, Noam Chomsky, Gabor Maté and dozens of others penned the following letter, urging the Green Party to stay the course on Solidarity with the Palestinian people.
As Israel's illegal military occupation approaches a half-century, it's long past time for concrete international action to pressure its government to reverse course. The Green Party of Canada's recent vote to support "the use of divestment, boycott and sanctions (BDS) that are targeted at those sectors of Israel's economy and society which profit from the ongoing occupation of the Occupied Palestinian Territories" represents such a measure.
Without international pressure, Israel will continue to steal Palestinian land, demolish olive groves, build Jewish-only roads, imprison without due process and impose collective punishment on innocent Palestinians. It will continue to violate international law and dominate a defenceless people.
Canadians cannot wash their hands of Palestinians' plight. Ottawa has long been a close ally of Israel and each year registered Canadian charities channel millions of dollars to projects supporting Israel's powerful military and illegal settlements.
We urge you not to succumb to political pressure to reverse or weaken the vote to support Palestinian rights. Your position is consistent with -- indeed required by -- the Fourth Geneva Convention, and reflects the vote of the vast majority of UN member states. It even aligns with official Canadian policy.
And, most importantly, it's a contribution to the nonviolent campaign to advance Palestinian rights.
Author, Social Activist and Filmmaker
Professor Emeritus, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Writer, Journalist and Filmmaker
Bruce Cockburn, OC
Singer, Songwriter and Guitarist
Journalist, Activist, Author and Presbyterian Minister
Author and Physician
Journalist, Broadcaster, Author and Social Activist
Filmmaker, Prix du Québec 2015
Author and Political Activist
Filmmaker and York University professor
Writer and Photographer
Historian and Journalist
Richard Reed Parry
Musician, Arcade Fire
Israeli-Canadian Journalist and Filmmaker
Stop-it-at-the-source Campaigner, 350.org
Associate Professor of International Development and Global Studies,
University of Ottawa
University of Manitoba
Mohammed Azhar Ali Khan, C.M., O.Ont.
Former journalist, civil servant, refugee judge
Professor (retired), Département d'anglais, Université de Moncton
Reverend Steve Berube
Co-chair, United Network for Justice and Peace in Palestine/Israel
Martha Lucia Blandon
Chair, Latin American and Caribbean Solidarity Network
Acting President, Canadian Arab Federation
Energy and Climate Campaigner, Council of Canadians
Chair, Educators for Peace and Justice
Professor, Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, University of Western Ontario
Associate Professor, Integrated Studies in Education, McGill University
Ontario Coalition Against Poverty
Professor, University of Toronto
Member of Independent Jewish Voices
Board member of Centre for Social Justice
Gordon Doctorow, Ed.D.
Adjunct Faculty, Nova Southeastern University
Associate Professor, University of Saskatchewan
Alumni Advisor, Students Against Israeli Apartheid at York University
Professor Emerita, Department of Geography, University of Western Ontario
Mohawk Activist and Artist
Professor of Political Science, York University
Founder, Canadian Dimension
Associate Professor of Middle Eastern and Mediterranean History, University of Toronto
Associate Professor, Institute of Islamic Studies, McGill University
Chair, Palestinian Solidarity Network - Edmonton
Associate Professor, French & Linguistics, University of Western Ontario
Member, Independent Jewish Voices
Co-president, Palestinian and Jewish Unity
Professor Emeritus, University of Guelph
Maureen Korp, PhD
Secretary, BDS Action Calgary
Coordinator, Ontario Public Interest Research Group (OPIRG) Peterborough
Social anthropology, University of Victoria, Retired
Former President, Canadian Arab Federation
Spokesperson, Justice for Palestinians
Diana Ralph, MSW, Ph.D.
Retired Associate Professor Carleton University
Professor Emeritus, University of Toronto
Rev. Karen Rodman
Minister in the United Church of Canada
Member, Green Party of Canada
Professor Emeritus of English, University of Minnesota
Member of the Green Party of Canada
Reuben Roth, Ph.D.
School of Northern and Community Studies, Laurentian University
Regional Executive Vice-President, National Capital Region, Public Service Alliance of Canada
Former President, Ontario Federation Labour
Douglass St. Christian
Emeritus Professor, Anthropology, University of Western Ontario
Member, Green Party of Canada
National Steering Committee, Independent Jewish Voice Canada
President, Immigrant Workers Centre
Secretary, Socialist Project
Treasurer, Hamilton Coalition to Stop the War
Leader, Green Party of Quebec
Maria Paez Victor
Spokesperson, The Loui Riel Bolivian Circle (Toronto)
Professor of Development Studies, Saint Mary's University
Secretary, Socialist Action
Professor of Communications, University of Windsor
President, Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East
Ralph Carl Wushke
Minister, Bathurst Street United Church
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