FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 8, 2016
Independent Jewish Voices congratulates the Green Party of Canada on the passage of its historic Palestinian rights resolutions
“The Green Party of Canada has passed two resolutions of historic importance that can only have a positive impact on the pursuit of justice and peace in the Middle East, as well as on Canadian democracy,” said Independent Jewish Voices Canada (IJV) spokesperson Tyler Levitan.
On Sunday, the Greens passed a resolution endorsing the non-violent tactic of Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS). The BDS movement began in 2005 when a broad coalition of Palestinian civil society organizations called on international activists, governments, and institutions to apply pressure on the Israeli government to comply with international law and respect Palestinians’ rights.
Levitan explained that,“This is the first time a Canadian political party with representation in the House of Commons has taken a strong and positive position in solidarity with the grassroots Palestinian movement for freedom, justice and equality.”
In 2004, the International Court of Justice ruled that the route of Israel’s segregation wall and its use of Jewish-only settlements to displace and dispossess Palestinians in the Occupied Palestinian Territories were illegal. “I read [that] decision,” said Lisa Barrett, the Green Party’s Shadow Cabinet Critic for International Affairs. “The decision was made by highly qualified jurists and we as a Party have to support social justice. We’ve seen BDS tactics work against the Apartheid regime in South Africa, and if we hadn’t pursued it vigorously then, Nelson Mandela would have died in jail. Our resolution is very explicit that we are targeting those Israeli companies that profit from the Occupation of Palestine,” Barrett said.
“One day the Palestinian people will have a just peace. Those who fail to stand for Palestinian rights will be judged harshly. Let us not be judged harshly.” – Dimitri Lascaris, Green Party Justice Critic (who submitted BDS resolution)
At the convention, the Greens also passed an historic resolution in support of revoking the charitable status of the Jewish National Fund of Canada (JNF Canada), an organization whose flagship project, “Canada Park”, is situated over the ruins of ethnically cleansed Palestinian villages within the occupied West Bank.
While the original resolution referred specifically to the JNF Canada, the resolution that passed held to the original resolution’s intent, but broadened its scope to include all charities that are in violation of Canadian or international human rights law. Elizabeth May stated that “I want to be clear about this: the Jewish National Fund has been complicit and involved in human rights violations in building Canada Park on top of land that was dispossessed from Palestinians who are living there in 1967.”
The wording of the resolution that passed states “The GPC calls upon the Canada Revenue Agency to revoke the charitable status of or to refrain from conferring charitable status upon any organization that is complicit in the violation of Canadian or international human rights law.”
“Ms. May assured supporters of the JNF resolution that she will be working with Independent Jewish Voices Canada to urge the Minister of National Revenue to follow through with her mandate, which requires that JNF Canada’s complicity and involvement in violations of human rights be addressed,” concluded Levitan.
For more information contact:
Tyler Levitan, spokesperson for Independent Jewish Voices Canada