On June 19, 2023, The Hill Times published a letter by CJPME Vice-President Michael Bueckert in response to a June 12 article in which a pro-Israel lobby group denied its “fact-finding missions” are “not a lobbying exercise.” Buecker compared the all-expenses-paid trips to Israel for Canadian MPS with those that took place during South Africa’s late apartheid years. He writes:
“Then, as now, it is impossible to ignore the ethical implications of touring an apartheid state on behalf of its supporters. Such tours cannot help MPs see the “whole view, ”but only reinforce the power dynamics that already exist on the ground. Regardless of what ultimately happens to these trips because of changes to the Lobbyists’ Code of Conduct, MPs should seriously reconsider whether it is possible to understand the realities of military occupation from the perspective of the occupier.”
You can also read the original letter here.