Visit ArabTopics.com

Challenging the NDP on Palestine During the Election Campaign

Last week I interrupted Jagmeet Singh at a public event to criticize the NDP’s suppression of Palestine solidarity activism.

Holding a placard with the words “Jagmeet, Palestinian Lives Matter”, I demanded the NDP leader apologize for overturning the vote of members who elected Rana Zaman to represent the Dartmouth-Cole Harbour ridding because she defended Palestinians mowed down by Israeli snipers. I also asked him to apologize for suppressing debate at last year’s convention on the modest “Palestine Resolution: renewing the NDP’s commitment to peace and justice”, which which was unanimously endorsed by the NDP youth convention, many affiliated groups and two dozen riding associations. I also criticized his refusal to heed the call from 200 prominent individuals, labour leaders and party members — including Roger Waters, Noam Chomsky, Linda McQuaig and Maher Arar — for the NDP to withdraw from the Canada Israel Interparliamentary Group (CIIG).

While my intervention was a bit chaotic — there was a concurrent disruption and my phone rang — it served its purpose. It was mentioned in a La Presse story and Global News did a 2 ½ minute clip titled “Protester asks Jagmeet Singh for apology over removal of former NDP candidate in Halifax.” Two hundred people in the room heard the criticism and the video I shot of the intervention was viewed more than 3,000 times online.

In his response, Singh claimed he wasn’t responsible for ousting Zaman but rather a party committee. While technically correct, it’s hard to imagine he didn’t okay it, particularly considering NDP National Director Melissa Bruno – quoted justifying Zaman’s ouster – was Singh’s chief of staff as deputy leader of the Ontario NDP between 2012 and 2017. (Bruno took a break to be “part of Hillary Clinton’s 2016 Presidential campaign”, notes her bio.) Similarly, during the 2018 convention Singh mobilized his family and dozens of members of his community to vote against allowing debate on the Palestine Resolution at the convention. Additionally, Singh explicitly rejected the call for the NDP to withdraw from CIIG.

Zaman is not the only candidate the NDP blocked from running at least partly because they support Palestinian rights. A number of individuals who signed the open letter calling on the NDP to withdraw from CIIG had their bids sabotaged. Robbie Mahood and Barry Weisleder were formally disallowed while Saron Gebresellassi and Sid Ryan’s bids to run in the upcoming election were subverted. Christeen Elizabeth who didn’t sign the letter but supports the Palestinian led boycott movement was also blocked.

The recent decision to block pro-Palestinian candidates follow on the heels of the NDP stopping as many as eight individuals from running or contesting nominations to be candidates in 2015 for defending Palestinian rights. Back then at least the NDP had the excuse that it was the official opposition and atop the polls with Thomas Mulcair explicitly positioning the party as the mainstream alternative to Stephen Harper’s Conservatives. Today, after the Liberals campaigned to their left in the last election, the NDP has the third most seats in the House of Commons, is languishing below 10% in the polls and the Green Party is polling ahead of them. Many NDP MPs are not running again and the Liberals are portraying themselves as the only credible “left” alternative to the Conservatives.

While it is clear that most voters have decided there is little point to a ‘Liberal-lite’ brand of NDP, the party brass seems determined to follow the same anti-democratic, anti-Palestinian, centrist script that proved a dead end before. It seems they are more eager to play to the dominant media than party members.

But, there’s a better way. When the Liberals recently ousted Hassan Guillet as a candidate for challenging Israeli apartheid, the NDP should have asked the high-profile Imam to run for the party. The winner of the Saint-Leonard—Saint-Michel riding nomination gained global notoriety for his sermon at the memorial for the victims of the 2017 Québec City mosque attack. Offering Guillet a spot would have embarrassed the Liberals, brought many Quebec Muslims into the NDP fold and increased the party’s chance of winning Saint-Leonard—Saint-Michel or another Montréal riding. It would be good for the NDP to be seen as willing to challenge the Israel lobby, dominant media and Liberals over the issue.

Pro-Palestinian supporters of the NDP should not be afraid of challenging the party leadership during the election campaign. Having seen Singh in action during a confrontation, as well as Justin Trudeau and Andrew Scheer, I can tell you the NDP leader performs better than the others. Rather than have security usher me out, he at least responded by expressing sympathy towards the plight of Palestinians.

The right wing, Israeli nationalist lobby will be active during the election campaign. So too must the Palestinian solidarity movement.

While B’nai B’rith can garner coverage of their criticism of the NDP by releasing a statement, Palestine solidarity activists must disrupt public events for the media to take interest. If that means wherever he goes across the country Jagmeet Singh is confronted by Palestine solidarity activists raising the name of Rana Zaman, the Palestine Resolution and the Canada Israel Interparliamentary Group, so be it. Palestinian lives matter. Certainly, more than the comfort of politicians and political parties.

Source: 
Dissident Voice

Dear friends of this aggregator

  • Yes, I intentionally removed Newsbud from the aggregator on Mar 22.
  • Newsbud did not block the aggregator, although their editor blocked me on twitter after a comment I made to her
  • As far as I know, the only site that blocks this aggregator is Global Research. I have no idea why!!
  • Please stop recommending Newsbud and Global Research to be added to the aggregator.

Support this site

News Sources

Source Items
WWI Hidden History 51
Grayzone Project 217
Pass Blue 238
Dilyana Gaytandzhieva 16
John Pilger 416
The Real News 367
Scrutinised Minds 29
Need To Know News 2733
FEE 4819
Marine Le Pen 382
Francois Asselineau 25
Opassande 53
HAX on 5July 220
Henrik Alexandersson 977
Mohamed Omar 383
Professors Blog 10
Arg Blatte Talar 40
Angry Foreigner 18
Fritte Fritzson 12
Teologiska rummet 32
Filosofiska rummet 114
Vetenskapsradion Historia 162
Snedtänkt (Kalle Lind) 225
Les Crises 2953
Richard Falk 175
Ian Sinclair 112
SpinWatch 61
Counter Currents 9996
Kafila 502
Gail Malone 42
Transnational Foundation 221
Rick Falkvinge 95
The Duran 9951
Vanessa Beeley 143
Nina Kouprianova 9
MintPress 5678
Paul Craig Roberts 1961
News Junkie Post 58
Nomi Prins 27
Kurt Nimmo 191
Strategic Culture 5033
Sir Ken Robinson 25
Stephan Kinsella 101
Liberty Blitzkrieg 858
Sami Bedouin 65
Consortium News 2685
21 Century Wire 3649
Burning Blogger 324
Stephen Gowans 92
David D. Friedman 154
Anarchist Standard 16
The BRICS Post 1519
Tom Dispatch 541
Levant Report 18
The Saker 4451
The Barnes Review 536
John Friend 491
Psyche Truth 160
Jonathan Cook 155
New Eastern Outlook 4180
School Sucks Project 1782
Giza Death Star 1975
Andrew Gavin Marshall 15
Red Ice Radio 622
GMWatch 2369
Robert Faurisson 150
Espionage History Archive 34
Jay's Analysis 1016
Le 4ème singe 90
Jacob Cohen 210
Agora Vox 16205
Cercle Des Volontaires 437
Panamza 2237
Fairewinds 117
Project Censored 986
Spy Culture 553
Conspiracy Archive 77
Crystal Clark 11
Timothy Kelly 581
PINAC 1482
The Conscious Resistance 863
Independent Science News 81
The Anti Media 6734
Positive News 820
Brandon Martinez 30
Steven Chovanec 61
Lionel 298
The Mind renewed 445
Natural Society 2619
Yanis Varoufakis 1025
Tragedy & Hope 122
Dr. Tim Ball 114
Web of Debt 148
Porkins Policy Review 433
Conspiracy Watch 174
Eva Bartlett 616
Libyan War Truth 339
DeadLine Live 1913
Kevin Ryan 64
BSNEWS 2087
Aaron Franz 244
Traces of Reality 166
Revelations Radio News 121
Dr. Bruce Levine 150
Peter B Collins 1619
Faux Capitalism 205
Dissident Voice 11013
Climate Audit 225
Donna Laframboise 452
Judith Curry 1141
Geneva Business Insider 40
Media Monarchy 2436
Syria Report 78
Human Rights Investigation 93
Intifada (Voice of Palestine) 1685
Down With Tyranny 12245
Laura Wells Solutions 44
Video Rebel's Blog 440
Revisionist Review 485
Aletho News 20976
ضد العولمة 27
Penny for your thoughts 3088
Northerntruthseeker 2457
كساريات 37
Color Revolutions and Geopolitics 27
Stop Nato 4723
AntiWar.com Blog 3145
AntiWar.com Original Content 7087
Corbett Report 2412
Stop Imperialism 491
Land Destroyer 1219
Webster Tarpley Website 1118

Compiled Feeds

Public Lists

Title Visibility
Funny Public