Canada’s New Democratic Party (NDP) approved an anti-Israel resolution during its policy convention over the weekend.
The resolution, entitled “Justice and Peace in Israel-Palestine” calls on Israel “to end its occupation and settlement program, lift the Gaza blockade, recognize its Arab-Palestinian citizens’ right to full equality, and address refugee claims fairly.”
It also calls to “ensure all relevant government agencies require accurate identification of settlement products imported and marketed in Canada as products of occupied territories in accordance with UNSC 2334, s. 5; and recognize the State of Palestine and upgrade the status of the Palestinian General Delegation in Ottawa to the General Delegation of Palestine, with full immunities.”
At the same time, the NDP did not adopt a resolution that would have committed it to opposing the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance Working Definition of Anti-Semitism.
Canadian Jewish groups had asked NDP members not to approve the resolution to overrule its leader’s support of the IHRA definition.
B’nai Brith Canada on Sunday welcomed the non-approval of the resolution concerning the IHRA but also expressed concerned over the anti-Israel resolution.
“Unfortunately, the anti-Israel resolution that was passed (‘Justice and Peace in Israel-Palestine’) contributes neither towards justice nor towards peace,” B’nai Brith Canada said in a statement.
“It further removes the party from any relevance in a serious discussion of ‘redefining Canada’s place in the world.’ The resolution does nothing to contribute to a constructive Canadian role or to the prospects of a durable peace in the Middle East. Despite the positive development on IHRA, the sleight-of-hand language and deliberately vague terms found in this resolution has shifted the party towards the direction of the antisemitic Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement – contrary to previously stated NDP policy,” the group added.
“Sanity has prevailed, and a shameful attempt to manipulate the federal NDP against Canada’s Jewish community has been rightly rejected,” said Michael Mostyn, Chief Executive Officer of B’nai Brith Canada. “The IHRA Working Definition is the global standard for combating Jew-hatred, and these attempts to undermine it ultimately undermine the struggle against antisemitism itself. At the same time, the NDP has missed an opportunity to make a balanced contribution by not calling for Palestinian leaders to respect the human rights of their citizens, for an end to Palestinian attacks on Israel, for an end to Hamas’ brutal control of the Gaza Strip, and for an end to hatred and incitement against Jews and the Jewish state in Palestinian education materials.”
“Had the NDP addressed in reasoned debate what all Canadians accept as pressing human rights concerns, they would have shown they are serious about a balanced foreign policy agenda,” said Brian Herman, B’nai Brith Canada’s Director of Government Relations. “Instead, the unhealthy preoccupation with Israel continued under the guise of helping Palestinians. This extended to support among some vocal NDP members for a resolution objecting to the IHRA Definition. All of this suggests the NDP has lost its sense of balance and realism.”
The NDP is a left-wing social democratic party that is generally considered Canada’s third party federally, although at times it has been the official opposition, and it has formed governments provincially.