Re: Why not talk about an ‘anti-Israeli lobby?’, Oct. 15.
In his column, Terry Glavin mislabels criticism of Israel’s laws and policies as being “anti-Israeli.” While it’s true that Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East criticizes Israel’s laws and policies, it does so out of a yearning for a just and lasting peace in Israel and Palestine, not out of any ill-feelings toward Israelis.
Glavin uses insulting and hyperbolic language to disparage other criticisms of Israel, calling Roger Waters a “loony” and referring to Israeli Apartheid Week as “hysterics.” What Roger Waters and Israeli Apartheid Week share in common is a support for the Palestinian call for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel. Perhaps Glavin is unaware of the fact that this call comes from more than 170 Palestinian civil society organizations, is a non-violent way of resisting Israel’s systematic human rights violations against Palestinians, and has been endorsed by the African National Congress — the very body that used the same tactic successfully to non-violently resist South Africa’s apartheid policies.
As a Jewish-Canadian who supports justice and peace for both peoples, I strongly believe that we need to acknowledge the fact that Israel has sovereignty over all of the land between the Mediterranean and the Jordan River, yet deprives Palestinians of basic human rights, and is unwilling to grant the Palestinians the right to self-determination within even a tiny fraction of their homeland.
This is unjust and unsustainable, and CJPME plays a vital role in educating Canadians in ways that help us to urgently address this. This doesn’t make them “anti-Israeli.”
Tyler Levitan, Ottawa, Campaigns Coordinator for Independent Jewish Voices-Canada