Jagmeet Singh must withdraw from conference with advocates of genocidal violence against Palestinians
NDP leader Jagmeet Singh is scheduled to speak at a large anti-Palestinian gathering beginning tomorrow, Monday, October 16, in Ottawa. The two-day conference organized by the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA) and Canada’s Jewish Federations is co-sponsored by the Jewish National Fund (JNF). While framed as fighting antisemitism, this long-planned event includes a slew of leading anti-Palestinian speakers.
A conference headliner is Arsen Ostrovsky who recently tweeted an image of an Israeli military boot crushing a Palestinian bug. When challenged on sharing the genocidal meme Ostrovsky responded, “these are not ‘people’. This is Hamas- savages and barbarians. Exactly like vermin.”
While X deleted Ostrovsky’s tweet as violating its rules against violence speech, CIJA has yet to respond to complaints about the headline speaker.
Independent Jewish Voices has detailed the racism of a number of other conference speakers.
“Jagmeet Singh must withdraw from the apartheid lobby’s conference”, said Bruce Katz of Palestinian and Jewish Unity. “Amidst the horrors in Gaza, it’s abhorrent the NDP leader would speak alongside individuals advocating policies tantamount to crimes against humanity.”
A number of experts in international law have suggested Israel’s ongoing siege and violence in Gaza have reached the legal threshold of crimes against humanity and maybe even genocide.
On Saturday police and private security were called to the NDP convention in Hamilton to stop protesters demanding the party condemn Israel’s violence in Gaza and declare Israel an apartheid state. One of those who was detained, McMaster PhD candidate Ghada Sasa, had family members killed in Gaza just before the protest.
“Many NDP members and supporters are stunned the party turned to police and security instead of unequivocally condemning Israel’s siege and violence on Gaza”, noted Yves Engler from the Canadian Foreign Policy Institute. “It would be outrageous for Jagmeet Singh to follow up that anti-Palestinian move by attending a conference promoting genocidal policies in Gaza.”
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