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Politics and its Discontents: BDS, May And Israel’s Occupation

The title for this post I took from the online flurry of letters that brought out the usual voices in The Star. I will reproduce a number below that both support and demonize the movement to sanction Israel for its depraved mistreatment of Palestinians… . . . → Read More: Politics and its Discontents: BDS, May And Israel’s Occupation

Politics and its Discontents: BDS, May And Israel’s Occupation

The title for this post I took from the online flurry of letters that brought out the usual voices in The Star. I will reproduce a number below that both support and demonize the movement to sanction Israel for its depraved mistreatment of Palestinians in the occupied territories. I remain convinced that words will accomplish nothing in this long and ongoing heartache. Only strong and principled action has a chance of success. For that reason alone, no concerted effort to label people like me and others who support the cause as anti-Semitic will have any effect whatsoever.

Re: May shouldn’t run away from boycott, Opinion Aug. 22

Thank you very much for your publishing Linda McQuaig’s powerful piece. As a Jewish-Canadian, I am deeply concerned about our collective failure to hold Israel accountable for its war crimes, human rights violations and ongoing military occupation of Palestine. Support for Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) is not only growing among campuses, church and union groups, it is also increasing in our Jewish communities.

Why have we been silent? Why have we not understood that it is not anti-Semitic to criticize Israel. It is, in fact, pro-human rights and taking the collective wisdom of our peoples’ histories of being persecuted. Tragically, we know the impact of global silence in the face of state terror.

Those of use who care deeply about Palestinian human rights were thrilled to see the Green Party take a courageous stand in support of BDS. I am very hopeful that Elizabeth May will support this position. This is not a radical position. It is simply taking a very obvious, peaceful stance against violence.

Unfortunately, people who publicly criticize Israel (including journalists and Jewish people) are subject to violent threats and accusations of anti-Semitism.

Much gratitude to Linda McQuaig for her excellent commentary and her courage to speak out about such an important issue. And thanks to the Star for printing this. Although you will likely receive pushback from pro-Israel folks, please know you that you are giving voice to a position supported by many of us.

Alisa Gayle, Toronto

Canada needs a principled position that respects Canadian values of human rights and the rule of international law. If BDS is one efficient way to lead to that end, then there is a well-justified reason to support this movement.

Dr. Nabil Tabbara, professor, Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Western Ontario

The problem with Ms McQuaig and her fellow travelers’ support of BDS is that it singles out Israel, not just in the region but amongst the nations of the world, and does nothing to move along the peace process. To say that the solution to the 100-year conflict lies solely on one side can only be rationalized by someone wearing blinders.

Ms May’s thoughtful rejection of supporting this movement should be praised. Ms McQuaig is the one to be admonished for her stance.

Morris Sosnovitch, Toronto

I agree with writer Linda McQuaig. The leader of the Green Party should not only stay but work as hard as ever that her party does not become the hijacked home base of the anti-Israel bashing club that singularly focuses on Israel and excludes all others.

The solidarity with Palestine is all well and fine except that there is only silence for the people of Sudan and Syria who we see slaughtered daily on a scale that is horrific and cruel.

The military occupation over Palestinian lands will end when there is trust and a true commitment in place to build peace based on a two-state solution by both sides. Peace will never flow by punishing and demonizing one side in a complicated two-sided conflict.

Elizabeth May needs to stay to fight for the soul of her party. She needs to ensure that the Green Party remains committed to real principles and not false narratives.

Martin Gladstone, Toronto

Linda McQuaig’s article presents several incorrect statements and a false narrative. BDS is not a “peaceful way to protest” Israel’s perceived misteps – it is an odious attempt to delegitimize the State of Israel. Palestinians live under Israeli occupation because Jordan refused to stay out of the Six Day War, forcing Israel’s hand to take the West Bank from Jordanian occupation. And the author fails to state that West Bank Palestinian Arabs enjoy far more rights than anywhere else in the Middle East.

David E. Bronfman, Toronto

I see the Star has stooped to a new low. This article exposes your proclivity to show your anti-Israel bias. To defend the BDS movement is exactly the same as calling for the destruction of the State of Israel, the only country of almost 200 in the world that is censured for destruction.

Marek Machtinger, Thornhill

The suggestion that the BDS movement is anti-Semitic is rooted in a narrative created by those who support the 49-year-long illegal occupation of Palestine. The ongoing violations by Israel of international human rights and humanitarian laws, the Fourth Geneva Convention and UN Security Council and General Assembly resolutions are why the majority of Green Party members and others support BDS.

The desperate situation in Palestine has been thoroughly documented by reputable human rights agencies such as Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International and Defence for Children International.

This year the Israeli government has significantly reduced the water supply to Palestinians. In addition, in comparison to 2015, the Israelis have increased the rates of arrests of Palestinian children and youth and increased their destruction of Palestinian homes leaving Palestinian children homeless.

Those in the media have the responsibility to read the evidence regarding the situation in Palestine compiled by internationally credible non-governmental agencies before they accuse the BDS movement of anti-Semitism.

Rev. Steve Berube, co-chair, United Network for a Just Peace in Palestine and Israel

. . . → Read More: Politics and its Discontents: BDS, May And Israel’s Occupation

Left Over: Green Party ReGrowth?

Elizabeth May could quit as Green Party leader this month ‘Broken-hearted’ May says boycott Israel policy has her on verge of stepping down as leader By David Cochrane, CBC News Posted: Aug 12, 2016 5:00 AM ET Last Updated: Aug 12, … Continue reading . . . → Read More: Left Over: Green Party ReGrowth?

Song of the Watermelon: An Open Letter to Elizabeth May Regarding BDS

Dear Elizabeth May, Please don’t resign over Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions. Far from being “polarizing, ineffective and unhelpful,” the BDS movement seeks to employ moderate, non-violent means (i.e. boycotts and other economic measures) to pressure Israel to end its decades-long … Continue reading . . . → Read More: Song of the Watermelon: An Open Letter to Elizabeth May Regarding BDS

Left Over: BDS is no BS – They Call the State “Pariah”

Jewish groups condemn Green Party for supporting Israeli boycott policy Leader Elizabeth May ‘disappointed’ by party’s vote at its national convention The Canadian Press Posted: Aug 08, 2016 10:09 AM ET Last Updated: Aug 08, 2016 10:09 AM ET World … Continue reading . . . → Read More: Left Over: BDS is no BS – They Call the State “Pariah”

Bill Longstaff: The inevitability of the BDS movement

The Palestinians need a Canadian champion, specifically a political champion. None of our three main political parties will stand up for them. It would normally be the responsibility of the NDP to demand justice for these beleaguered people—after a… . . . → Read More: Bill Longstaff: The inevitability of the BDS movement

Bill Longstaff: The inevitability of the BDS movement

The Palestinians need a Canadian champion, specifically a political champion. None of our three main political parties will stand up for them. It would normally be the responsibility of the NDP to demand justice for these beleaguered people—after a… . . . → Read More: Bill Longstaff: The inevitability of the BDS movement

The Canadian Progressive: Harper must clarify ‘zero tolerance’ for Israel boycotters: Church

The United Church of Canada wants “clear reassurance” that Prime minister Stephen Harper does not intend to criminalize Canadians critical of Israel.

The post Harper must clarify ‘zero tolerance’ for Israel boycotters: Church appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

The Canadian Progressive: Harper’s effort to criminalize legitimate Canadian criticism of Israel is diabolical

Canadians have a moral obligation to revolt against Stephen Harper’s efforts to criminalize both legitimate criticism of Israel and support for Palestinians.

The post Harper’s effort to criminalize legitimate Canadian criticism of Israel is diabolical appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

drive-by planet: ‘Zionism is the problem’: new Presbyterian study guide takes a criticial look at Zionist ideology

A recent post on Electronic Intifada discusses a new study guide published by the Presbyterian Church in the U.S. titled Zionism Unsettled. It takes a critical look at Zionist ideology that has influenced many of the unjust Israeli policies targeted by the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.

In an upcoming General Assembly in . . . → Read More: drive-by planet: ‘Zionism is the problem’: new Presbyterian study guide takes a criticial look at Zionist ideology

drive-by planet: Calls by Jewish groups for removal of Translink ‘Disappearing Palestine’ ads is an attack on free speech

Beneath left: Martha Roth of the Palestine Awareness Coalition

An ad appearing on a dozen or more Vancouver buses and in the City Center SkyTrain station has been the target of criticism by some Jewish groups. The four-panel ad shows a map of Israel over the last six decades – from 1946 through . . . → Read More: drive-by planet: Calls by Jewish groups for removal of Translink ‘Disappearing Palestine’ ads is an attack on free speech

drive-by planet: Purim hoax: Rolling Stones ‘Israel performance’ story reported as real news by a few pundits

Mondoweiss has a post about a prank story that ran in the Jewish Press over the Purim holiday. Under the headline – “Defying Boycotts, Jagger, Stones, to Honor Israel’s 65th Birthday” – the JPress article makes the hoax claim that the Rolling Stones are scheduled to perform in Israel in April.

A badly . . . → Read More: drive-by planet: Purim hoax: Rolling Stones ‘Israel performance’ story reported as real news by a few pundits

drive-by planet: BDS event at Brooklyn College goes as planned despite backlash by Israel supporters

 Standing for Free Speech: Students for Justice in Palestine at Brooklyn College  in the run-up to the BDS event

The BDS panel discussion at Brooklyn College went ahead Thursday. It proceeded as planned despite efforts to discredit the event and intimidate the College in what really amounted to an attack on academic . . . → Read More: drive-by planet: BDS event at Brooklyn College goes as planned despite backlash by Israel supporters

drive-by planet: South Africa’s ANC makes support for BDS part of official policy: ‘Roadmap to Apartheid’ released

At its 53rd National Conference, South Africa’s ruling ANC affirmed support for the Palestinian call for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel. It is now part of official ANC policy.

Mbuyiseni Ndlozi of BDS South Africa welcomed the ANC move:

“This reaffirmation by the ANC’s National Conference, its highest decision making . . . → Read More: drive-by planet: South Africa’s ANC makes support for BDS part of official policy: ‘Roadmap to Apartheid’ released