The leader of Canada's Green Party is facing a vote of non-confidence by the party's governing body for refusing to denounce a former aide's pro-Israel remarks and condemnation of anti-Semitism.
Annamie Paul, who is Jewish, will be subject to a July 20 vote on a motion of non-confidence by the Green Party’s governing body, the federal council, as outlined in a letter released during a town hall by interim party president Liana Cusmano, reported the CBC.
The letter detailed that the federal council is attempting to remove Paul for “failing to openly condemn the actions of Noa Zatzman.”
Zatzman was a close advisor to Paul but is no longer in that position.
In a May 14 social media post, Zatzman had expressed solidarity with Israel and criticized unnamed MPs - including Green MPs – for “appalling” anti-Semitism and said that if the Green Party did not change course, it would lose its seats in the next election to candidates supportive of Israel.
The post caused an outcry from anti-Israel Green Party members who began a letter-writing campaign demanding his ouster, according to the CBC.
On June 15, members of the federal council gave Paul an ultimatum to not only disavow Zatzman’s comments but to reaffirm her commitment to the party’s two MPs at a news conference or face a vote of non-confidence.
Paul later told Canadian media that she was no longer obligated to go through with the party executive’s demand.
On June 29, the federal council met to discuss calling a vote of non-confidence against Paul.
For the non-confidence motion to pass, 75 percent of council members will have to vote in favor. If that occurs, party members will have the opportunity to decide if they want to choose a new leader at their August 21 general meeting.
According to the Canadian Jewish News, Zatzman released a statement calling the upcoming non-confidence vote “further evidence of an organization whose leadership fosters a culture of systemic anti-Semitism and discrimination.”
In 2016, the Green Party became the first Canadian federal party to endorse the anti-Israel BDS movement. After the vote was criticized by then leader Elizabeth May, the party held a second vote where they repealed the resolution that supported a boycott of Israel, but still endorsed a ban on products from "illegal Israeli settlements."