In August, NDP leader Jagmeet Singh sent out an email to supporters setting out his party’s demands regarding the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict. You can read it here.
Mr. Singh’s intentions may be noble, and he professes to want to see a peaceful two-state solution. So do we. A peaceful two-state solution for two peoples is supported by CIJA, the broader Jewish community, the Government of Canada, and all major Canadian political parties.
However, Mr. Singh’s approach ignores the reality on the ground in the Middle East. He lays all blame at the feet of Israel, asking the Government of Canada to overturn decades of Middle Eastern policy and diplomacy and reverse Canada’s relationship with the only democracy in the region.
He also does a disservice to Palestinians and their cause by infantilizing them and treating them as passive victims instead of as partners in peace. Mr. Singh assumes that every challenge faced by the Palestinian people is not just wholly the fault of Israel, but also entirely up to Israel to solve.
The NDP’s position:
- Ignores the multiple rejections of peace and the chance for a sovereign Palestinian state by Palestinian leadership, including by Palestinian leaders Yasser Arafat in 2000 and Mahmoud Abbas in 2008. This obstructionism has even been rejected by other Arab states.
- Does not mention democratic failures and the lack of protection of human rights by Palestinian leadership.
- Does not mention the use and abuse of Palestinian children as soldiers by Palestinian armed groups.
- Does not address the tyranny and violence toward both Palestinians and Israelis by Hamas in the West Bank and Gaza or by other Canadian-listed terrorist entities.
- Is based on a faulty interpretation of the United Nations’ Security Council’s resolution 242 regarding the Israeli occupation of the West Bank that ignores the UN’s own calls for a peace process.
Canada has already responded to false claims accusing Israel of “apartheid.” It has rejected the label being applied to Israel, as have other democracies, including the Netherlands, the UK, Germany, and the USA. This decades-old campaign originates in Soviet-era propaganda and seeks to isolate and eliminate the only Jewish state.
Mr. Singh’s approach does not build peace.
The NDP could be an important bridge-builder to help bring Israelis and Palestinians together. But this kind of skewed letter hurts the NDP’s credibility, panders to those who advance a distorted narrative, and precludes a safe space for Jews within the NDP.
Tell the NDP to stop using this divisive rhetoric that infantilizes Palestinians, demonizes Israelis, and ignores the reality on the ground.
Tell the NDP to support peace.