Re: "Changes to lobbying rules could spell end to 50 years of free trips to Israel for Canadian MPs, senators"
"It is edifying to pass through Israeli military checkpoints alongside Palestinians, to witness Israeli settlements with manicured green grass beside impoverished Palestinian villages with crumbling infrastructure, and to see the realities of ordinary life on the other side of the wall."Read more
"The article frames Quebec’s decision to open an office in Tel Aviv as a business-as-usual action. It is alarming that Canadian Press would fail to include any context about Israel’s ongoing internal protests, escalating violence against Palestinians, settlement expansion, or the extremist, far-right coalition now in power."Read more
"Passing the buck and waiting for other nations to do something about Israel’s behaviour rather than standing up for what is right, as we have done with our multi-faceted support for Ukraine, only gives the Israeli government the message that they can continue to do as they please without fear of any serious consequences."Read more
"The prime minister continues to assert that Canada will always remain a “steadfast friend” to Israel. Maybe then, the Prime Minister should help his “friend” to become a responsible member of the international community, rather than an apartheid regime of oppression."Read more
“Speaking up” is not a “feel good” thing. If she had done it right, Lederman would indeed have been vilified by her community. If she had truly spoken out against racism and injustice in Israel, she would indeed have had her words co-opted by malefactors. This is the price of standing up for your principles."Read more
It’s time for Canada to question Israel’s democratic character. It’s time to forcefully condemn Israel’s illegal settlements in Palestinian territory. It’s time to denounce Israel’s apartheid policies. It’s time to withhold trade benefits and arms from Israel until it respects international legal norms.Read more
"Noa Tishby is an Israeli government official. Israel’s Foreign Minister appointed Noa Tishby as the “Special Envoy for Combating Antisemitism and Delegitimization.” Again, this is an official role in the Israeli government. Tishby is not acting as an activist in her forthcoming talk in Winnipeg, but rather acting in her role as an Israeli Official."Read more
Misleading headline about Minister Melanie Joly’s meeting with Israeli Foreign Affairs Minister Eli Cohen
"While the above lines from the readout may amount to implicit or indirect criticism of current actions by the Israeli government, this requires a significant degree of subjective interpretation. Ultimately, nothing in the readout (nor in the quotes from a GAC source) suggests that Joly’s comments were intended to “call out” Israel’s actions, or that she is “pushing” for them to stop. Instead, they appear to be included as an indirect acknowledgement of controversies which she is obliged to reference, the absolute bare minimum that one might expect."Read more
On March 20, 2023, the Hill Times published a letter to the editor by CJPME’s Jason Toney about the need for Canadian politicians to stop meeting with far-right Israeli figures, and for this issue to be included in broader coverage of far-right extremism.
Here is an excerpt of the edited letter:
Who politicians meet with matters. It’s becoming increasingly apparent that far-right politics are gaining a foothold in Canada. While this article mentions a recent meeting between Conservative MPs and far-right Israeli real estate developer Chaim Silverstein, this only scratches the surface of connections between Canadian officials and Israeli extremists.
In February, Trade Minister Mary Ng met with Ofir Akunis, a minister in the most far-right government in Israel’s history, and an anti-Palestinian extremist who advocates for annexing the occupied West Bank.
More recently, Senate Speaker George Furey and Senators Don Plett and Patti Laboucane-Benson met with members of Israel’s far-right government on a trip to Israel. Of particular concern was Furey’s meeting with Knesset Speaker MK Amir Ohana (Likud), who is on record as saying that Muslims have a “murderous culture” and that Palestinians are merely “guests” in their country.
Let’s face it: politicians need to be more discerning about with whom they rub shoulders. Far-right Israeli extremism is dangerous as it has a real-world impact on the lives and safety of Palestinians under Israel’s regime of oppression, which human rights groups describe as apartheid. Canadian officials must stop giving them a pass.
Lilley makes only three actual assertions against Jama: she has attended protests and events in support of Palestinian human rights; she supports the Palestinian call to boycott Israel until it respects international law; and she has named Israel’s racist practices as ‘apartheid’ – as have Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, UN experts, and many of Israel’s human rights organizations. These are not just legitimate but necessary responses to Israel’s ongoing violations of Palestinian human rights, and should be commended.Read more