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Thursday, February 3, 2011

Independent Jewish Voices (Canada)

Independent Jewish Voices (Canada) is the first Jewish organization in the World to join  Boycott, Disinvestment & Sanctions (BDS) campaign in support of Palestinians (see: ; IJV (Canada) website: ).

Independent Jewish Voices (Canada) voted to  the  Boycott, Disinvestment & Sanctions (BDS) campaign at its 2009 AGM with the support of 95% of voting delegates, and also called on the Canadian government to "1) cease its one-sided and uncritical support for Israel and 2) insist that Israel abide by international law”.

 Diana Ralph, Co-Chair of IJV: "Independent Jewish Voices has voted to join the international boycott campaign because we stand in solidarity with the Palestinian people and support their right to self-determination. We are calling on the Canadian government and all Members of Parliament to push for immediate sanctions on Israel."

Fabienne Presentey, Steering Committee member of IJV: "The time has come for people around the world to rise to the challenge in Israel/Palestine, as we did for South Africa. All voices that can be raised against this injustice must be". [1]

Independent Jewish Voices (Canada), February 19, 2009 Press Release, about Stephen Harper Conservative government’s position on the Israeli/Palestinian conflict and Minister Jason Kenney’s cutting off funding for English Second Language training programs run by the Canadian Arab Federation (CAF): :
We believe that Mr. Kenny [sic] and his Conservative government is threatening CAF’s funding because CAF stands for justice for Palestinian people and because it expresses principled criticism of oppressive Israeli policies.

As Jews, we affirm that criticizing Israeli policies is NOT anti-Semitic. Anti-Semitism refers to hostility and/or prejudice against Jews. Like any other government, Israel has obligations under international law.

To responsibly raise critical concerns about the discriminatory, illegal, and brutal policies of another government is an ethical imperative, which our government should support.

However, the Conservative government has gone further than any previous Canadian administration in endorsing illegal and brutal Israeli assaults on Palestinian and Lebanese people.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper has pledged complete allegiance with Israel and labels as “anti-Semitic” any criticism of Israeli actions (including the Gaza massacre, house demolitions, use of illegal phosphorous and DIME weapons against civilians, etc.).

As Jews, we believe this is a dishonest smoke-screen, a ploy to discredit principled calls for humanity, justice, and compliance with international law.” [2].

[1]. “Independent Jewish Voices (Canada) joins Campaign of Boycott, Disinvestment and Sanctions against Israel”, Global BDS Movement, 17 June, 2009: .
[2]. Independent Jewish Voices (Canada), February 19, 2009 Press Release, quoted by Edward Corrigan in  “Is it anti-Semitism to defend Palestinian human rights? Jewish opposition to Zionism”, Dissident Voice, 1 September 2009: .

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