Tuesday, April 2, 2024

NDP motion on Palestine a step forward, but not nearly enough


Canada politics Gaza Palestine NDP genocide military trade incitement sanctions embargo

The motion may yet help to change the political status quo on Israel—but it will also be remembered as a missed opportunity

On March 18, the House of Commons passed an opposition day motion put forward by Heather McPherson, the NDP’s foreign affairs critic, and endorsed by NDP leader Jagmeet Singh. The non-binding motion called for a reconsideration of Canadian policy toward securing Middle East peace in the midst of Israel’s onslaught in the Gaza Strip.

The initial NDP proposal was significantly stronger than the final version—though not nearly as strong as it should have been. The first iteration had called on Canada to join the 139 nations that unequivocally recognize the State of Palestine (72 percent of UN member states), suspend all trade of military goods with Israel, and sanction Israeli officials for inciting genocide.

As Yves Engler outlines, additional demands the NDP could (and should) have made include: cancelling the Canada-Israel Free Trade Agreement, in force since 1997, or at least restricting the import of products from the occupied West Bank; declaring that Canadians fighting in Gaza will be investigated for potential war crimes, and that Israeli efforts to recruit Canadians to fight in the IDF are illegal under the Foreign Enlistment Act; and rescinding the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s (IHRA) definition of antisemitism, which is designed, in part, to undermine valid criticism of Israel.

Even these measures would merely be the tip of the iceberg in terms of ending Canadian participation and complicity in Israel’s violence against Palestinians.  (more...)

NDP motion on Palestine a step forward, but not nearly enough

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