Green Party Rank-and-File Reject Anti-Israel Boycott

Green Party leader Elizabeth May said she was "devastated' that her party endorsed the BDS policy which she personally opposes.

(Sept. 16, 2016) – Most members of the Green Party of Canada believe its recently adopted Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) policy should not be kept in its current form, according to information obtained by B’nai Brith Canada.

Results of an internal Green Party survey reveal that 44 per cent of the respondents believe that the party’s anti-Israel boycott policy should be repealed entirely, while 28.1 per cent believe that it should “not [be] tied to one actor or one movement” — such as Israel.

Only 27.9 per cent of respondents considered the boycott policy acceptable in its current form. The response rate for the survey was 19.3 per cent, or a total of 2,856 people. By contrast, the August Green Party convention in Ottawa, which adopted the boycott policy, was attended by fewer than 1,000 individuals in total.

On Tuesday of this week, Green Party Leader Elizabeth May fired three members of her Shadow Cabinet, including justice critic Dimitri Lascaris, after they co-signed a letter that slammed B.C. Green Party Leader Andrew Weaver for opposing the federal party’s new anti-Israel boycott policy. B’nai Brith had previously urged May to dismiss Lascaris after headvocated on behalf of a terrorist who murdered three Israeli civilians.

“Despite the efforts of a small and vocal minority within the Green Party, rank-and-file members seem to be sending the message that they don’t support discrimination against Israel as part of their policy platform,” said Amanda Hohmann, National Director of B’nai Brith’s League of Human Rights.

“The insistence by many Greens that boycott tactics not be linked only to ‘one actor or movement’ shows that they understand that double standards targeting the world’s sole Jewish State are unacceptable, antisemitic and have no place in Canadian politics.”

B’nai Brith had previously reported that an email was distributed to Green Party members asking them about the anti-Israel boycott, with the same available answers as those found in the survey results. The Greens will reconsider their stance on Israel vis-a-vis BDS at a Special General Meeting scheduled for December 3-4 in Calgary.

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