ALLIANCE OF CONCERNED JEWISH CANADIANS
The Alliance of Concerned Jewish Canadians is a national, umbrella organization of Canadian-Jewish groups and individuals who believe Canadian Jews should take a greater role in supporting and promoting a peaceful and just solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
1. Like Jews everywhere, we, too, are greatly concerned about Israel and the direction it has taken, especially in recent years, but we are also concerned with how the Israel-Palestine conflict is impacting on Jews in Canada.
2. We believe that Israel has a right to exist within the pre-1967 borders, but it should evacuate the Occupied Territories in order to permit the Palestinians to establish a viable, independent, democratic, and just society that can live in peace and harmony with a rejuvenated Israel.
3. We believe that Israeli Jews must learn to live in peaceful and co-operative co-existence with the Palestinians. We will, accordingly, promote groups and programs that support such goals as well as the principle of reconciliation among Jews, Muslims, and Christians.
4. We believe that the Government of Canada should give strong support to the UN and its resolutions and follow an even-handed policy in respect to the Middle East conflict.
5. Our members believe in the future of Jewish communities based in Canada, organized by Canadian Jews, and working in our interests. Though Israel will always be an important concern for us, we do not necessarily approve of all the policies undertaken by Israel. Indeed, we believe that Canadian Jews must be free to state any differences they have with the Israeli government.
6. The ACJC wishes to reclaim the Canadian-Jewish heritage of sympathy to and affiliation with progressive causes.
The new organization will be called the Alliance of Concerned Jewish Canadians (ACJC) to indicate that our members hold a wide variety of views on the Israel-Palestine conflict and how it might be resolved.
The ACJC might consist of various Jewish constituent groups across Canada who would be free to conduct their customary activities in accordance with their own policies and procedures. But it is also open to individual Jews, who would be free to run for elected office within the group on an equal basis to those who belong to constituent groups. Small regional executives will be elected in each major Canadian centre. These small groups will automatically become the national executive. The national executive will use available communication technology to decide who will undertake which task and for how long. There should, however, be regular annual elections.
At the moment, there is no need to set or arrange for membership fees. At a later stage, a nominal fee may be required to handle the cost of phone calls, the printing of informational materials, certain travel expenses, and various other routine costs associated with maintaining a national organization.
PROCEDURES AND STRATEGIES
We have members in Winnipeg, Toronto, Montreal, and on the West Coast, but we wish to expand. Each one of us is asked to use our contacts and persuasive powers to bring in new people. There is room for both active and silent members. To achieve its goals, the Alliance will:
- establish a web-site for our members, potential members, and to the public in order to provide information about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and how it impacts on Canadian Jews;
- establish a committee which will demonstrate the diversity of views held by Canadian Jews a) to both Jews and non-Jews, b) to government officials, to members of Parliament as the opportunities arise, and c) to the media;
- apply for membership in the Canadian Jewish Congress (CJC), take part in its deliberations, and present the position of Canadian Jews who want the CJC publicly to acknowledge the diversity of views within the community;
- build on existing networks with Israelis, Palestinians, and with others around the world who share our beliefs;
- address the public wherever possible;
- enlist new members to help in this work.