February 16, 2017
Diana Ralph’s statement for press conference.
I represent Independent Jewish Voices Canada. We are a national Jewish 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. We are pleased to announce that this survey shows that IJV’s values are in line with those of most Canadians and especially of Canadian Jews.
The results of this survey are consistent with those of other recent surveys in Canada, the US and of British Jews in Canada. They all show growing sympathy for Palestinians and rising criticism of the Israeli Government.
As a Jewish Canadian, I especially want to highlight the disconnect between the responses of Jewish Canadians with the narrative promoted by pro-Israel lobby groups like the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA).
We found that Canadians who identified as “Jewish” were slightly more likely to hold a negative than a positive opinion of the Government of Israel (39% vs. 32%). They were also far more likely to view the Canadian media as biased toward Israel (48%) than as biased toward Palestinians (7%).
And they generally shared the overwhelming view of other Canadians that criticism of Israeli government policies are like those of any other country, and are not necessarily anti-Semitic (93% vs. 7% who believe it is anti-Semitic).
Those results echo those in a 2015 national survey of British Jews, which found that, in spite of being highly identified with Israel, 68% agreed with the statement “I feel a sense of despair every time Israel approves further expansion of settlements.” Almost three-quarters (72% vs. 14% against) agreed that Palestinians have “rights to a land of their own.” And the majority (58% vs. 22% against) believe “Israel will be seen as an ‘apartheid state’ if it tries to retain control over borders which include more Arabs than Jews.”.
This study shows that, even Jewish Canadians do not agree with the Canadian government’s uncritical support of Israel. CIJA has far more money than we do. But it has never commissioned a representative survey of the Canadian Jews it claims to represent, perhaps because it already knows that Canadian Jews do not share their agenda.
We challenge the Canadian Government and all political parties to listen to the people, and to stop enabling Israel’s unjust policies. We expect you to hold Israel to the same standards of human rights and justice that we expect of all other countries.
Full Survey Results – Click here
Survey results charts by political party affiliation – Click here