Independent Jewish Voices, Canada (IJV), Israel and the Palestinians (cont’d)

This is the second article that provides a further analysis of a recent survey by Independent Jewish Voices (IJV) and Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME), prepared by Dogan Akman, an independent scholar reveals the flaws in the research and bias of the sponsoring organizations. The article is the sole work of the author.

By Doğan D. Akman*

PART I: Background

In my first paper titled “The Independent Jewish Voices, Canada (IJV), Israel and the Palestinians” I wrote a critical analysis of the first two parts of a report based on the data generated by the telephone survey of a sample of 1009 persons (“respondents”), sponsored by Independent Jewish Voices, Canada (IJV), Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East(CJPME ) and United Network for Justice and Peace in Palestine-Israel(UNJPPI) (“the sponsors”), and conducted by EKOS Research Associates (“EKOS”) between June 5-10, 2020 titled, EKOS Survey of Attitudes in Canada on Israel, the Palestinians and related topics.

On June 17, 2020 and on September 16, 2020 the sponsors published Part 1 and Part 2 respectively of their report. Part 1 is titled, “Out of Touch: Canada’s Foreign Policy Disconnected from Canadians”,

while Part 2 is titled, “No Double Standards: Canadians Expect Greater Impartiality vis-a-vis Israel”.

My critical review shows that neither one of these titles are warranted.

PART II: The object of this review

In the final paragraphs of my review of the reports on Parts1 and 2, I concluded that:

Regrettably, self-evidently, based on authors’ statements and analysis of the background facts; the law relevant to the issues at hand, and their handling of the survey data, and as to be expected from IJV, the paramount objective of this project is to vilify Israel once more and to criticise the Canadian government’s handling of its relationship with Israel in the context of the Palestinian Arab-Israel conflict and more particularly its refusal to vilify Israel.

All of which brings me back to the application of the IHRA definition of antisemitism. Under the guise of free speech and legitimate criticism of the policies and actions of the Government of Israel, I note that the organisations and the authors are applying double standards by:

  1. requiring Israel to behave in a manner not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation, and

  2. treating Israel in a manner which they would not treat any other such nation.

The sponsors must have expected this kind of criticism because on October 7, 2020 they published Part 3 of the survey report titled, Survey: Canadians Reject Branding Criticism of Israel as Antisemitic.

This part of the project was also handled by six investigators and authors, all members of the sponsor organisations, whose names are provided in the report, and whose qualifications are included as follows:

  1. Three executives of the CJPME :the first of whom has a Ph.D. in an unspecified field while the second has an MPA (Master’s degree in Public Administration) and one is referred to as “Senior Analyst”.

  2. Two members of IJV who have a Ph.D. and a Master’s Degree (M.A.) respectively, in unspecified disciplines.

  3. One member of UNJPPI whose academic credentials are not provided.

The object of this paper is to submit Part 3 of the survey and report to a critical review.

PART III: Historical precedents to the present survey and report

The survey and the report seem to be a follow up to two previous EKOS surveys:

First, a 2017 EKOS survey found that 91% of Canadians believe that ‘criticizing Israeli government policies is not necessarily antisemitic’” (Italics mine). This survey sponsored by IJV and CJPME resulted in a report issued by these two organisations on February 16, 2017.One of the report’s authors writing as the IJV representative , Dimitri Lascaris is known to have made a remark which is not necessarily but clearly antisemitic.

Second, a 2018, EKOS survey of Jewish Canadians found that almost half (48%) agreed that ‘accusation of antisemitism are often used to silence legitimate criticism of Israel government policies’”. This survey appears to have been sponsored again by IJV and the United Jewish People’s Order, presumably another organisation that shares IJV’s view of the world and of the Jews and Israel in it.

The authors state, “… to date there has been no data clarifying specifically where Canadians draw the line, and what kind of criticism they deem to be antisemitic. Given the ongoing confusion and heated disagreement as to what does or does not constitute antisemitism, particularly in regard to debates over Israel, we wanted to ascertain which forms they believe to be legitimate criticism .

PART IV-The generic question that guided the survey

The generic question which guided this segment of the survey is:

“Some people argue that the following are (antisemitic / legitimate criticisms). Other people argue that they are (legitimate criticisms / antisemitic). Do you believe that the followi