Israeli Apartheid Defenders in Canada Attack Green Leader May

Canada's Green Party Leader, Elizabeth May. (Photo: Karen Fox, via Wikimedia Commons)

By Yves Engler

The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs’ recent attack against Elizabeth May is farcical. Canada’s leading mouthpiece for Israel criticized the Green Party leader for saying she takes her direction from the representative of the Palestinian Authority, which actually serves as the subcontractor for Israel’s occupation. 

At an event marking International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People May said, “I take my marching orders from the permanent representative of Palestine to Canada.” CIJA clipped this short bit of a much longer speech and tweeted, “particularly at a time when Canadians are increasingly concerned about foreign interference in Canadian politics, no Canadian elected official should get their ‘marching orders’ from a foreign government and its official representatives.” 

While it is interesting that CIJA has acknowledged the PA as a “foreign government” when many fanatic Israeli nationalists condemn the CBC for even saying there is such a place as Palestine, the video has been viewed 220,000 times. Apparently, Zionist Twitter and May’s detractors are smitten with it. 

This is an extreme example of the pot making racist comments at the kettle. In case the apartheid lobbyists forgot, the first three words in CIJA’s name are “Centre for Israel”. CIJA justifies Israel’s apartheid and violence against Palestinians while celebrating Israel’s friends and demonizing its enemies. 

Framing May’s comment as a sign of foreign interference is way beyond silly and headed into fantasyland. Are we to believe the Palestinians, without control over any territory, are even trying to dictate to a member of the G7? 

CIJA’s post is absurd for other reasons. As CIJA knows, May orchestrated a stunningly anti-democratic move to protect Israel from censure. After Green members voted to back boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) measures targeting sectors of the Israeli economy profiting from the occupation of the West Bank, May demanded a special general membership meeting be held to discuss a Palestine policy endorsed prior to the August 2016 convention, at the convention and in a follow-up online poll. She forced the party to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to hold a special convention four months later to discuss that single resolution. 

Yes, since then, May’s position on Palestinian rights has improved. On November 29 she tweeted, “Today, I stand in solidarity with the Palestinian people living under conditions worse than apartheid. Alongside my friend, Mona Abuamara, Chief representative of the Palestinian Delegation to Canada, I call for an end to the occupation. Let Palestinians live in peace.” 

Still, May’s hyper-focus on the PA representative is a political weakness. The PA is highly deferential to the apartheid state and there have been major demonstrations in the West Bank calling for the fall of the PA due to its role in repressing the Palestinian liberation struggle. The US/Canada-financed and armed PA acts as a subcontractor of Israel’s occupation in the West Bank and internationally it has undercut Palestinian civil society’s call to boycott Israel. In Canada, the PA has failed to raise its voice against the outrageous sums raised for Israeli-focused registered charities, which include groups that support racist organizations, West Bank settlements and the Israeli military. 

Irrespective of her limitations, May should be applauded for marking the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. She should also be defended from CIJA’s attacks and the apartheid lobby group should be constantly denounced. 

 – Yves Engler is the author of Canada and Israel: Building Apartheid and a number of other books. He contributed this article to The Palestine Chronicle. Visit his website: yvesengler.com.
(The Palestine Chronicle is a registered 501(c)3 organization, thus, all donations are tax deductible.)
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