NDP Response: Canadian Antisemitism Education Foundation
The extreme right, extreme left and Islamism are all causing an increase in Jew-hatred in Canada. Canada’s Jewish community is rightly concerned. Given that the Federal Government has adopted the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of antisemitism, including its illustrative principles. Will your Party implement the IHRA throughout government and all corporate agencies and institutions that are accountable to government? Will you punish antisemitism uonder the IHRA definition as a hate crime? The rise in antisemitism we see here in Canada and in other countries is alarming. We must all be united in condemning this hatred and take meaningful steps to ensure we put a stop to it. We believe the government of Canada must have a clear definition of antisemitism so we can better gauge, report and work towards ending it. We have some concerns that the IHRA definition and its associated examples could undermine those who wish to speak out in favour of the human rights of Palestinians. New Democrats are committed to taking on white supremacist and neo-Nazi groups, starting with a national action plan to dismantle far-right extremist organizations.
The Federal Government recently held an Emergency Summit on Antisemitism and received many recommendations, most notably from the Special Envoy on Holocaust Remembrance and Combating Antisemitism. How will your Party act on the recommendations to keep the Jewish community in Canada safe? New Democrats unequivocally condemn anti-Semitism in all its forms and are committed to taking clear action to end anti-Semitism in Canada. A New Democrat government will develop a national action plan to dismantle far-right extremist organizations. We will establish national standards for identifying and recording all hate incidents and their dispensation in the justice system and work in collaboration with non-profits to increase the reporting of hate crimes. We will convene a national working group to counter online hate and protect public safety, and make sure that social media platforms are legally responsible for the removal of hateful and extremist content before it can do harm. We will also begin work immediately to ensure that all major cities have dedicated hate crime units within local police forces.
Canada reinstated funding of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency despite it being proven that UNRWA schools have been used as a cover for terror tunnels and rocket launching against Israeli civilians, and that UNRWA foments Jew hatred with the curriculum they provide to all grades in all their schools, whether in Gaza, the disputed territories, Lebanon. Will you withhold funds from UNRWA if these practices continue, and given Canada’s commitment to fighting terrorism and terror financing. New Democrats condemn all bigotry or discrimination against the Jewish community. Canadian public funds should never support programs that encourage a sense of hatred against the Jewish community. We believe Canada should take strong steps to ensure the protection and best interest of children in the occupied Palestinian territories, including by supporting UNRWA schools. We reject any school curricula that encourage hate in the classroom. We are also committed to uphold the human rights of Palestinians, as well the essential services that they rely on and that UNRWA provides.
UNRWA keeps alive the notion that there are millions of Arab refugees from Israel, despite the fact that only about 20,000 individuals are truly refugees by the UN’s own international definition—those left their homes because of conflict and did not or could not return. The balance of the millions of so-called refugees are the 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th generation, even 6th, of those who left their homes and were either prevented from resettling by UNRWA or discouraged from doing so, or have found settlement in other countries, including Canada, but are still considered “refugees” by UNRWA. This plays a huge part in the ongoing double standard in viewing Israel against any other country or any other conflict. Assigning “refugee” status to descendants of Arabs from former areas of Israel is unique and has allowed for billions of dollars of expenditure towards NOT settling people, whereas all other refugees from countries around the world are assisted by the UN refugee agency at far less expense, and once settled, are no longer considered a refugee. This confusion and double standard exacerbates and lengthens the conflict. Will your Party call a meeting of the Refugee Working Group of which Canada is chair, and finally resolve the matter of who is a true refugee and needs resettlement? New Democrats are committed to standing up for the rights of refugees.
Every country around the world has the right to name its capital city, yet Canada has refused to acknowledge that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel, despite recognizing this right for every other country, and the fact that Jerusalem has never been the capital of any other country, is historically the capital of Israel, is the holiest city for Jews, and it is where the Knesset (Parliament of Israel) is located. Will your Party recognize Jerusalem as the capital of the democratic and Jewish State of Israel, and will it move the Canadian embassy to Jerusalem? We believe that moving Israel’s capital to Jerusalem would be detrimental to international law and peace, as East Jerusalem is occupied Palestinian territory.
Hamas, which controls Gaza, continues to shower rockets on Israel and Israeli civilians, and Israel need respond to protect its citizens, which includes people of all faiths, creeds, colour. Israel, like any other country has an obligation, not just a right, to selfdefense and deterrence, to protect its people, and yet comes under regular hostile criticism, based on false reporting, and antisemitic bias. Will your Party continue to provide military and moral support to Israel, speak out on her behalf, condemn the terrorists and leave Israel to broker a peace deal, when and if, there are legitimate and willing Arab parties to such a negotiation? New Democrats believe that both Israelis and Palestinians have the right to exist and to live in safety and peace and understand that the plight of both is interconnected and long-term peace will require a commitment to human rights, the dignity of all people and cooperation. We condemn violence in all its forms. While we believe that Israel has the right to protect itself, we call for an end to the repeated escalation of violence and disregard for the human rights of Palestinians. New Democrats are committed to making Canada a force for peace. Recognizing that both Palestinians and Israelis have the right to live in safety and security, we will work towards a just and lasting solution between Israel and Palestine that respects human rights and upholds international law. Canada must play an active and constructive role in advancing peace, beginning by suspending arms sales to Israel until the end of the illegal occupation, as well as working to ensure no illegal arms are sent to Hamas.