FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 27, 2016
Jewish advocacy group raises alarm bells as hawkish ultra-nationalist takes control of the Israeli military
OTTAWA—At the same time that Ontario Premiere Kathleen Wynne was on a trade mission to Israel-Palestine and the Ontario government was debating the merits of limiting free speech related to criticism of Israel, international media sources were reporting a major deterioration in the political situation in that country. Independent Jewish Voices Canada (IJV), representing Jews across the country, is raising concern over growing instability in Israel following the appointment of Avigdor Lieberman, from the far-right Yisrael Beiteinu party, to Defense Minister.
Numerous international media sources have reported that the political situation in Israel has deteriorated so badly that Major General Yair Golan of the Israeli Defense Forces likened developments in Israel today to those in Germany in the 1930s. Echoing this view, former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak charged that the current government has been infected by the “seeds of fascism,” and warned that the installation of Lieberman as the new Defence Minister amounts to “a hostile takeover of the Israeli government by dangerous elements. And it’s just the beginning.”
In light of these intensifying developments, IJV has launched a nation-wide initiative to engage Canadian decision makers on developments in the region.
“Our goal is to ensure that our government representatives are making decisions related to the Middle East with all the necessary information,” said IJV spokesperson Tyler Levitan. “We plan to engage them with periodic briefings and meetings so we can share our understanding of the politics on the ground with them.”
Speaking to the recently defeated bill that would have imposed serious repercussions for individuals and organizations that support the non-violent Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, IJV noted that a lot of work needed to be done. “It is unfortunate that such a bill attacking free speech would even make it into the Ontario legislature,” said Levitan. “But the very fact that it was brought to a vote demonstrates the need for our decision makers to have access to better information on what is actually happening in Israel-Palestine,” he concluded.
For more information contact:
Campaigns Coordinator for Independent Jewish Voices Canada
For an example of the briefings that we will be periodically providing to our elected politicians, please refer to this link: http://ijvcanada.org/11042-2/
Independent Jewish Voices Canada (IJV) is a national human rights organization whose mandate is to promote a just resolution to the conflict in Israel and Palestine through the application of international law and respect for the human rights of all parties. There are currently ten chapters of IJV in cities across the country, in addition to a growing number of student groups on major university campuses. IJV supports the right of Canadians to criticize and challenge the current laws and policies of the State of Israel, including through the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement.