Canada's Green Party rejects BDS but bans 'settlements'

Canada’s Green Party votes to repeal resolution that supported BDS, but still endorses a ban on products from "illegal Israeli settlements".

Elad Benari ,

Canadian Green Party leader Elizabeth May
Canadian Green Party leader Elizabeth May
Reuters

Canada’s Green Party has voted to repeal a resolution that supported a boycott of Israel, but still endorsed a ban on products from "illegal Israeli settlements", the CBC reported.

The Green Party became the first federal party to endorse the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement during the party's biennial convention in Ottawa in August.

Party leader Elizabeth May later expressed disappointment over the decision to endorse the movement and even hinted that she would resign her post because of it.

The party held a special general meeting in Calgary on the weekend to revisit the BDS endorsement, which Alberta Green Party leader Janet Keeping said had "threatened to rupture the party", according to CBC.

The Greens voted to replace the BDS resolution with an addendum to an existing policy on the two-state solution laid out in its Vision Green.

"The Green Party explicitly rejects the notion of boycotting the state of Israel," states the addendum endorsed on the weekend.

"The Green Party rejects the goals of the 'BDS movement' as they do not include supporting the right of the State of Israel to exist. Many well-meaning Canadians support this movement, but on examination of its goals, it is clear that they are incompatible with Green Party policy."

At the same time, however, the Green Party endorsed a resolution stating: "A ban on the importation into Canada of products produced wholly or partly within or by illegal Israeli settlements, or by Israeli businesses directly benefiting from the illegal occupation."

B’nai Brith Canada, while welcoming the Greens’ retraction of the support for BDS, also denounced the new resolution calling for a boycott of communities in Judea and Samaria.

“Considering the public outrage sparked by the previous resolution, one would have expected the Green Party to have undertaken objective research before forming a revised policy,” said Michael Mostyn, Chief Executive Officer of B’nai Brith Canada.

“The very characterization of settlements as ‘illegal’ under Article 49 of the Geneva Convention, for example, is either a deliberate misreading of that document, or complete ignorance of international law,” he added.

“Furthermore, the implication that the Jewish people are not indigenous to the land of Israel ignores historical reality for the promotion of an anti-Jewish ideology. This is particularly insensitive coming on the heels of last week’s Day of Commemoration for the nearly one million Jewish refugees expelled from Arab lands following the creation of Israel in 1948,” continued Mostyn.

The Calgary Jewish Federation also strongly condemned what it called the latest "anti-Israel resolution passed by the Green Party of Canada yesterday in a special meeting", according to the CBC.

The CEO of the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA) also issued a statement, calling the resolution "one-sided, biased and discriminatory."



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