On Saturday August 27 the Star published several letters about columnist Linda McQuaigs’ shining the light on Elizabeth May’s cowardice in running away from the Boycott, Sanctions and Divestment (BDS) movement, the nonviolent attempt to use global persuasion instead of violence in bringing Israel to its senses over its 50 year illegal occupation.
Ms.May is a fine woman and should not be singled out among all the other leaders of Canada’s political parties. They are all craven in their refusal to confront Israel over its decades of barbaric behaviour.
Israel of course is the third rail for craven politicians, terrified of offending some Jewish voters. The public is now waking up that many jews like the rest of the public who has studied this issue are horrified at the brutal treatment of the Palestinian people.
Today with the advance of computer technologies and hand held devices Israel can no longer hide its state violence.
In particular read the final letter of david Bronfman printed here. It is the ultimate in outrageous commentary. To say that BDS is an attempt to delegitimize Israel is a hoary lie. Israel is here to stay. No one wishes it to disappear. But most of us want the apartheid state resembling pre-Mandala South Africa to come to its senses and live up to its many broken promises to the UN and its abject failure to live up to the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights which Israel signed onto at the time of partition.
This sadly is the best that our media can do—allow intelligent citizens to print what its editorial department is unwilling to write. All it would take would be to send one reporter for one month to either Gaza or the West Bank.It would lay bare what no Canadian, Jewish or otherwise, would ever tolerate. So far that journalistic courage has not shown itself.
Re: May shouldn’t run away from boycott, Opinion Aug. 22
Thank you very much for your publishing Linda McQuaig’s powerful piece. As a Jewish-Canadian, I am deeply concerned about our collective failure to hold Israel accountable for its war crimes, human rights violations and ongoing military occupation of Palestine. Support for Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) is not only growing among campuses, church and union groups, it is also increasing in our Jewish communities.
Why have we been silent? Why have we not understood that it is not anti-Semitic to criticize Israel. It is, in fact, pro-human rights and taking the collective wisdom of our peoples’ histories of being persecuted. Tragically, we know the impact of global silence in the face of state terror.
Those of use who care deeply about Palestinian human rights were thrilled to see the Green Party take a courageous stand in support of BDS. I am very hopeful that Elizabeth May will support this position. This is not a radical position. It is simply taking a very obvious, peaceful stance against violence.
Unfortunately, people who publicly criticize Israel (including journalists and Jewish people) are subject to violent threats and accusations of anti-Semitism.
Much gratitude to Linda McQuaig for her excellent commentary and her courage to speak out about such an important issue. And thanks to the Star for printing this. Although you will likely receive pushback from pro-Israel folks, please know you that you are giving voice to a position supported by many of us.
Alisa Gayle, Toronto
The problem with Ms McQuaig and her fellow travelers’ support of BDS is that it singles out Israel, not just in the region but amongst the nations of the world, and does nothing to move along the peace process. To say that the solution to the 100-year conflict lies solely on one side can only be rationalized by someone wearing blinders.
Ms May’s thoughtful rejection of supporting this movement should be praised. Ms McQuaig is the one to be admonished for her stance.
Morris Sosnovitch, Toronto
I agree with writer Linda McQuaig. The leader of the Green Party should not only stay but work as hard as ever that her party does not become the hijacked home base of the anti-Israel bashing club that singularly focuses on Israel and excludes all others.
The solidarity with Palestine is all well and fine except that there is only silence for the people of Sudan and Syria who we see slaughtered daily on a scale that is horrific and cruel.
The military occupation over Palestinian lands will end when there is trust and a true commitment in place to build peace based on a two-state solution by both sides. Peace will never flow by punishing and demonizing one side in a complicated two-sided conflict.
Elizabeth May needs to stay to fight for the soul of her party. She needs to ensure that the Green Party remains committed to real principles and not false narratives.
Martin Gladstone, Toronto
Linda McQuaig’s article presents several incorrect statements and a false narrative. BDS is not a “peaceful way to protest” Israel’s perceived misteps – it is an odious attempt to delegitimize the State of Israel. Palestinians live under Israeli occupation because Jordan refused to stay out of the Six Day War, forcing Israel’s hand to take the West Bank from Jordanian occupation. And the author fails to state that West Bank Palestinian Arabs enjoy far more rights than anywhere else in the Middle East.
David E. Bronfman, Toronto