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Independent Jewish Voices Canada (IJV), and by association, Canada’s progressive movement, has come under libelous attack by the Vancouver Sun, owned by the Canadian Postmedia giant. 

The editorial defamed us in order to bully the Green Party of Canada into reversing its support for the  non-violent Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, and its agreement around challenging the Jewish National Fund’s scandalous charitable status. This echoes a defamatory campaign against us by the Israel lobby through postings by B’nai Brith Canada.  

While very disturbing, this campaign must be seen in the broader context of Israel’s direct repression of Palestinians, and their global campaign to vilify and ultimately muzzle the expanding movement of supporters of Palestinian rights.

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu has declared BDS to be Israel’s greatest existential threat — a country he apparently conceives of as a settler-colony, endlessly at war.  

Nothing that the Vancouver Sun wrote about IJV is true. We have demanded that they publicly apologize, refrain from printing any further libel against IJV, and give us an op-ed to state our reasons for supporting the two Green Party resolutions critical of Israel’s policies. 

The Canadian government, (despite officially opposing the occupation), along with the Israel lobby and the mainstream media are involved in a domestic war targeting supporters of Palestinians’ rights within Canada’s progressive movement

IJV is proudly Jewish, and honoured to be a part of a growing community of Jews who stand for justice and human rights for all — including Palestinians. We and the BDS movement fight anti-Semitism and Islamophobia. We support Indigenous people here on Turtle Island in their struggle to defend their lives, their land and their rights. We oppose all racism, sexism and bigotry.  

IJV was the first national Jewish organization globally to support the non-violent BDS movement. Most people don’t know that these BDS demands are similar to Canada’s and the U.S.’s official policies: 

1. We oppose Israel’s occupation of Palestine, and its Wall effectively annexing large swathes of Palestinian land in militarily occupied territory.

2. We work to overcome the institutional discrimination against Palestinian citizens of Israel. 

3. We support the right of exiled Palestinians, as stipulated by the United Nations, to return to their homes and properties.

IJV demands an honest public debate addressing the issues arising from Canada’s support for Israel’s settler-colonialism. The Israel lobby also defames our movement in order to sidetrack any real public debate, because it would force them to defend the indefensible. IJV holds itself to high ethical standards in our public communications. We don’t libel our critics, nor do we base our claims on invented or irrelevant facts. 

We ask that if you value social justice, if you believe the status quo is unsustainable, and if you hold onto a desire that a better world is possible, then please keep your eyes on the prize and remember to stand in solidarity with your allies who are under attack. 

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