There has been much discussion about the proposed resolution recently developed by members of Shadow Cabinet. It repeals and replaces the contentious policy passed without adequate debate or consensus during an acrimonious session at last summer's convention. Both Elizabeth May and Dimitri Lascaris have endorsed this new resolution and everyone is hoping we can put this behind us by adopting the new motion at the SGM in Calgary.
Here is a synopsis of how they differ:
The original resolution (G16-P006) was too broad, targeting all sectors of Israel’s economy and society which profit from the OPT. This allowed for an interpretation of support, by association, for the BDS movement. We can not support a movement which at it’s core refuses the right of the state of Israel to exist by including the right of return and (until recently*) refusing to condemn Antisemitism.
The new resolution (S16-P013) is much more explicit and targets specifically those actions which are illegal under international law and those companies benefiting from illegal settlements. It applies the generally accepted concept of differentiation between the legal state of Israel and the OPT. Finally it clearly separates us from the BDS movement by supporting Israel’s right to exist, calling for mutually recognized statehood and condemning both Islamophobia and Antisemitism.
* Editor's Note: It has been brought to my attention that a spokesperson for the BDS movement has recently recorded a video, thanking the Green Party of Canada for passing a BDS resolution last summer, in which he rejects Antisemitism.
This is encouraging in so far as it may signal a more conciliatory and less confrontational approach on behalf of the BDS leadership. It might also encourage BDS supporters to be more vocal about their stance on Israel's right to exist and their commitment to a peaceful two state solution.
Maybe by adopting more measured tones and drawing a clear distinction between the policies and actions of a particular government and the state of Israel as a whole, the BDS movement can begin to change its public image.