Canadian Solidarity with Palestine

A Call for the NDP to Withdraw from the Canada-Israel Interparliamentary Group

The undersigned are appalled by the recent deaths in Gaza. At least 110 Palestinians have been killed and thousands injured by sniper fire and noxious gas used by the Israeli military. The recent violence takes place alongside ongoing land theft, destruction of olive groves, construction of Jewish-only roads, imprisonment without due process and a blockade of Gaza. During its 70-year history Israel has been as unjust toward Palestinians as the white-ruled apartheid state was to Black South Africans.

We are concerned that members of parliament would seek to strengthen relations with a country systematically violating Palestinian rights.

In particular, we are dismayed that NDP justice critic Murray Rankin and NDP defence critic Randall Garrison serve as executive members of the Canada-Israel Interparliamentary Group. NDP MPs Peter Julian and Gord Johns are also members of that organization. The Canada-Israel Interparliamentary Group promotes “greater friendship” between Canadian MPs and members of the Israeli Knesset and has organized events with other pro-Israel lobby organizations.

It is wholly inconsistent with the avowed principles of the NDP for the party to be working for “greater friendship” with a country that is killing and maiming thousands of overwhelmingly non-violent protestors, many of them children, as well as journalists and doctors, while systematically violating international law and human rights standards with regard to all Palestinians.

Accordingly, we call on NDP leader Jagmeet Singh, MPs Garrison, Rankin, Julian, and Johns, and the parliamentary caucus to immediately disassociate themselves from the Canada-Israel Interparliamentary Group. •

List of individuals and groups endorsing statement:

  • Roger Waters, co-founder Pink Floyd
  • Noam Chomsky, professor
  • Linda McQuaig, author, NDP candidate
  • Maher Arar, 2007 Time Magazine 100 most influential people in the world
  • Amir Khadir, Québec Solidaire, member National Assembly of Quebec
  • Sid Ryan, former president of the Ontario Federation of Labour, NDP member since 1981
  • Mike Palecek, President Canadian Union of Postal Workers
  • Chris Hedges, author
  • Steve Ashton, long-serving NDP member of the Manitoba legislature and cabinet minister
  • Monia Mazigh, academic, author and former NDP candidate
  • Jim Manly, former NDP MP 1980-88
  • Richard Falk, Professor of International Law, Emeritus, Princeton University
  • Norman Finkelstein, author
  • Antonia Zerbisias, CBC-TV and Toronto Star veteran journalist, NDP member
  • Medea Benjamin, co-founder CodePink
  • El Jones, activist, educator, journalist and poet
  • Gordon Laxer, Professor Emeritus University of Alberta, NDP member since 1963
  • Jean Swanson, author, Vancouver housing and poverty activist, NDP member
  • Murray Dobbin, journalist, broadcaster and author
  • Azeezah Kanji, (JD, LLM) legal analyst and writer
  • Stephen von Sychowski, President, Vancouver & District Labour Council
  • Mike Bocking, former Unifor Local 2000 president and federal NDP candidate in 2004, 2006 and 2008
  • Sheelah McLean, Co-founder of Idle No More, NDP member
  • Alain Deneault, author, Directeur de programme, Collège international de philosophie
  • Ramzy Baroud, editor Palestine Chronicle, author My Father Was a Freedom Fighter: Gaza’s Untold Story
  • Sana Hassainia, former NDP MP
  • Will Prosper, filmmaker and civil rights activist
  • Charles Demers, writer/comedian, NDP member
  • Rob Lyons, Former NDP Member of Saskatchewan Legislature (Regina Rosemont)
  • Saron Gebresellassi, Human Rights Lawyer and Activist
  • Clayton Thomas-Müller, Stop-it-at-the-Source Campaigner –, NDP member Manitoba
  • Leon Rosselson, Songwriter & children’s author
  • Cy Gonick, former Manitoba NDP MLA and founding editor of Canadian Dimension
  • Propagandhi: Jord Samolesky, Chris Hannah, Todd Kowalski and Sulynn Hago
  • Andrea Harden, climate justice organizer and NDP member
  • Sam Gindin, Retired, Unifor Research Director and Retired, Packer Chair in Social Justice, York
  • Trevor Herriot, author and naturalist
  • Harsha Walia, activist and writer
  • Sandy Hudson, activist and writer
  • Ellen Woodsworth, writer, organizer and former Vancouver City councillor
  • Judi Rever, author
  • Candace Savage, author of two-dozen books, NDP member
  • Aziz Fall, president Centre Internationaliste Ryerson Fondation Aubin
  • Corey Balsam, National Coordinator, Independent Jewish Voices Canada
  • Gary Porter, FCPA, FCGA, CA, executive member Saanich Gulf Islands, NDP EDA
  • Sibel Epi Ataoğul, Labour and human rights lawyer and lecturer at the University of Montreal, founding member of the Association des juristes progressistes, former NDP member
  • Terry Engler, President I.L.W.U. Local 400
  • Hossein Fazeli, writter and film director, winner of 37 awards
    Martin Duckworth, documentary film-maker, winner of le Prix du Québec 2015
  • Dara Culhane, Professor of Anthropology at Simon Fraser University, winner 2018 Weaver Tremblay award of the Canadian Association of Anthropology
  • Gary Kinsman, gay liberation and social justice activist, co-author of The Canadian War on Queers
  • Ernest Tate, former vice-president of CUPE, Local One
  • Jess MacKenzie, long time NDP activist
  • Herman Rosenfeld, retired Canadian Auto Workers national staff person, former NDP member
  • Mohammad Fadel, Associate Professor of Law University of Toronto Faculty of Law
  • Chris Huxley, Professor Emeritus, Trent University, long-time NDP member
  • Charlene Gannage, Associate Professor Emerita, University of Windsor, long-time NDP member
  • Samir Gandesha, Associate Prof and Director of the Institute for the Humanities, SFU
  • Reem Bahdi, Associate Professor of Law
  • Faisal Kutty, Lawyer and Professor of Law
  • Natalie Zemon Davis, Professor of History
  • Tyler Shipley, Professor of Culture, Society and Commerce, Humber College
  • Joseph G. Debanné, former Chair of the Middle East Discussion Group
  • Yavar Hameed, Human Rights Lawyer, Former NDP Member
  • Robert Massoud, Beit Zatoun
  • Faisal Bhabha, Associate Professor Osgoode Hall Law School, York University, NDP Member
  • Emily Carasco, Professor Emeritus
  • Martin Lukacs, writer
  • Jason Woods, Vice-President I.L.W.U. Local 400
  • Leslie Miller, retired Sociology professor at the University of Calgary, NDP supporter
  • Suzanne Weiss, Palestinian rights activist and Holocaust survivor
  • John Riddell, author and editor, NDP member
  • John Orrett, President Thornhill NDP Federal Riding Association
  • Richard Fidler, writer, translator, Ontario Bar
  • Maria Páez Victor Chair, Canadian, Latin American and Caribbean Policy Centre
  • Marion Pollack, retired Canadian Union of Postal Workers representative, NDP donor
  • Marv Gandall, former journalist and trade unionist
  • Yves Engler, author, NDP member
  • Art Young, Palestine solidarity activist, Canadian political prisoner, Quebec 1970
  • Andrea Glickman, NDP member, Vancouver
  • Nick Fillmore, news editor and producer with the CBC for more than 20 years
  • Conrad Alexandrowicz, theatre artist, scholar, instructor at University of Victoria, NDP member
  • Nadia Abu-Zahra, Associate Professor, University of Ottawa, NDP donor and long-time member
  • David Rifat, Professor Emeritus, University of Toronto
  • Tim McCaskell, author, Queer Progress
  • Larry Hannant, writer, historian and NDP donor
  • Richard Sanders, researcher, writer, antiwar activist
  • Cara-Lee Malange, peace activist
  • Larry Wartels, born Jewish, NDP Member Victoria BC
  • Randy Janzen, College Instructor: Peace and Justice Studies
  • Fred Jones, former president Dawson Teachers’ Union, NDP member
  • Ali Mallah, Federal NDP Candidate Election 2000, Former Vice President Ontario NDP
  • Grahame Russell, director Rights Action
  • Peter Eglin, Professor Emeritus of Sociology, Wilfrid Laurier University, long-time NDP member
  • Michael A. Lebowitz, Professor Emeritus of Economics, Simon Fraser University
  • Hassan Husseini, labour negotiator and activist, Member of Unifor and Labour for Palestine
  • John Price, Professor of History, University of Victoria, longtime NDP supporter
  • Greg Albo, Department of Politics, York University, Centre for Social Justice
  • William S. Geimer, Professor of Law Emeritus, member of Vancouver Island Peace and Disarmament Network
  • Anthony Fenton, researcher, Ph.D. Candidate at York U
  • Arnold August, author
  • Steve Heeren, Professor, Convener, Palestine Study Group
  • Katherine Nastovski, Associate – Institute on Globalization and the Human Condition, McMaster University and Labour for Palestine
  • Evert Hoogers, Labour researcher, retired CUPW National Union Representative
  • David Bernans, union leader, NDP candidate and current NDP member
  • Eva Manly, retired filmmaker, activist, lifelong NDP, now Green
  • Robert Mahood, Family Physician, member of NDP Socialist Caucus
  • Kevin Neish, Mavi Marmara massacre survivor
  • Sid Shniad, Research Director, Telecommunications Workers Union (retired), Member, national steering committee, Independent Jewish Voices Canada
  • Ken Hiebert, Palestine solidarity activist and retired trade unionist
  • Chris Cook, Managing Editor and Broadcaster Pacific Free Press/Gorilla Radio
  • Howard Breen, Executive Director Urgent Climate and Ocean Rapid Response, Unifor 433
  • Tareq Ismael, professor
  • Kimball Cariou, editor of People’s Voice newspaper
  • Debbie Hubbard, Member of Amnesty International Kelowna, Palestine Study Group Vernon, NDP member
  • Mark Golden, professor emeritus of Classics, University of Winnipeg, longtime NDP donor and campaign worker
  • Kevin Skerrett, trade union researcher
  • Randy Caravaggio, Sculptor
  • Al Engler, retired trade unionist and long-time NDP member
  • Tsiporah Grignon, awakened citizen, Gabriola Island, BC
  • Mazin Qumsiyeh, director of the Palestine Museum of Natural History at the Palestine Institute of Biodiversity and Sustainability at Bethlehem University
  • Lia Tarachansky, Israeli-Canadian journalist and documentary filmmaker
  • Charlotte Kates, International Coordinator, Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network
  • Walid Chahal, Continuing Lecturer, Lakehead University; co-chair Diversity Thunder Bay, former NDP member
  • Phil Little, retired teacher from Ontario Ladysmith, B.C.
  • Taina Maki Chahal, Contract Lecturer, Lakehead University, former NDP member
  • Karen Rodman, Reverend, NDP member
  • Morgan McGuigan, ESL Teacher
  • Jean Rands, retired trade unionist and long-time NDP member
    Joan Russow, Global Compliance Research Project
  • Laura Westra, Professor Emerita (Philosophy)
  • Jason Kunin, Toronto teacher and writer
  • Henry Evans-Tenbrinke, Human Rights, Labour and Pro Palestine activist
  • Julius Arscott Executive Board Member of OPSEU and member of NDP Socialist Caucus
  • Ken Stone, Hamilton Mountain NDP member for 35 years
  • Ian Angus, editor Climate & Capitalism
  • Erika Shaker, editor and researcher
  • Amy Miller, documentary filmmaker, NDP member
  • Alroy Fonseca, Federal NDP member
  • Bob Chandler, COPE 343 member, Toronto Danforth NDP member
  • Paul Tetrault, Cupe Staff Lawyer (retired), longtime NDP member
  • Eva Bartlett, activist and independent journalist who lived three years in Gaza
  • Dimitri Lascaris,lawyer, journalist and activist, NDP member
  • Kevin MacKay, author, professor at Mohawk College of Applied Arts and Technology, labour and co-op activist
  • Reuben Roth, Associate Professor, Labour Studies Program Laurentian University, NDP activist in Oshawa riding since 1984
  • Aminah Sheikh, union organizer, worked on numerous NDP campaigns
  • Eric Martin, professor of philosophy, Edouard-Montpetit CEGEP
  • Byron Rempel-Burkholder, member of Mennonite Church Manitoba working group on Palestine and Israel
  • Krishna Lalbiharie, Member Canada-Palestine Support Network, President St. Johns NDP Constituency (Manitoba)
  • Michael J. Carpenter, Postdoctoral fellow, University of Victoria
  • Mark Etkin, MD FRCPC
  • Ed Lehman, NDP member, Cupar, Saskatchewan
  • Bianca Mugyenyi, activist and author
  • Rana Bose, Engineer, author and playwright, NDP member NDG borough
  • Norman Nawrocki, Author, musician, actor, part-time faculty Concordia
  • Rachel Engler-Stringer, Associate Professor, Community Health and Epidemiology, University of Saskatchewan, NDP member
  • Joe Emersberger, Unifor member, writer
  • David Weller, retired teacher and IJV member
  • Eric Shragge, retired professor
  • Gary Engler retired union officer with Unifor Local 2000 in Vancouver, NDP member
  • Monira kitmitto, Canadian Palestinian activist and NDP member
  • David Kattenburg, science educator, web publisher and social activist
  • Stephen Ellis, lawyer and activist
  • Barry Weisleder, Chairperson NDP Socialist Caucus, delegate to most NDP federal and provincial conventions since 1971
  • David Heap,Associate Professor, UWO, human rights & peace advocate, NDP member
  • Avrum Rosner, Retired union president, son of Holocaust survivors, joined Manitoba NDP in 1969
  • Diane Field, Ph.D. Candidate at University of Calgary
  • David Lethbridge, professor of psychology, retired
  • Ray Zimmermann, mariner captain
  • Sharon Hazelwood, political musician, long-time NDP activist
  • Chris Black, lawyer, former NDP member
  • Hani A. Faris, Ph.D. Professor of Political science
  • Freda Knott, Raging Granny, NDP member, Independent Jewish Voices Victoria
  • Cory Greenlees, Victoria Peace Coalition
  • SL Rifat, Neuroepidemiologist
  • Geneviève Nevin, organizer Independent Jewish Voices Canada-Victoria, NDP activist and member
  • Gavin Fridell, Canada Research Chair in International Development, NDP member
  • Justin Podur, Associate Professor, York University
  • Rana Abdulla, CPA Palestinian Activist and fights for what’s right Human Rights Award Recipient 2014
  • Georgina Kirkman, member of Independent Jewish Voices and Amnesty International, Victoria
  • Mostafa Henaway, organizer at Immigrant Workers Centre
  • Bruce Katz, organizer Palestinian and Jewish Unity, former NDP member
  • Malcolm Guy, filmmaker, Montréal
  • Jooneed Khan, writer, journalist, Human rights activist, former NDP member
  • Annette Lengyel, Human rights and social justice advocate, NDP member Calgary Nose Hill
  • Theresa Wolfwood, Barnard-Boecker Centre Foundation
  • Dan Freeman-Maloy, postdoctoral fellow, Université du Québec à Montréal
  • Sheryl Nestel, Ph.D., NDP member
  • Alan Sears, Professor, Ryerson University
  • David Camfield, labour activist and educator
  • Freda Guttman, Artist/Activist, member of Tadamon
  • Virginia Daniel, Victoria Raging Granny, CAIA member, NDP member
  • Judith Deutsch, psychoanalyst
  • Ron Dart, Department of Political Science/Philosophy/Religious Studies University of the Fraser Valley
  • Susan Clarke, non-partisan peace activist, Sooke BC
  • Kevin MacKay, former Campaigns Officer at Ontario Public Service Employees Union
  • Dru Oja Jay, co-founder of the Media Co-op, Friends of Public Services and Courage
  • Edwin E. Daniel, WWII veteran, scientist and peace activist
  • Antonio Artuso, activist, translator and interpreter – Communist Reconstruction Canada
  • Derrick O’Keefe, Vancouver-based organizer and editor with Ricochet Media
  • Henry Veltmeyer, professor Emeritus of Development Studies at Saint Mary’s University
  • Jerome Klassen, UMASS Boston, author of several books on Canadian foreign policy
  • Suha Jarrar, Policy Researcher at Al-Haq human rights organization in Ramallah, Palestine
  • Ismail Zayid M.D. President, Canada Palestine Association
  • William K. Carroll, Professor and Co-director of the Corporate Mapping Project Sociology Department University of Victoria
  • Mohammad Ali, the Socialist Vocalist, Artist
  • Yazan Khader, former member of Nova Scotia NDP Provincial Council
  • Andrew Mitrovica, writer and former executive assistant to NDP MPs Pauline Jewett and Simon de Jong


  • Independent Jewish Voices Canada
  • Canada Palestine Support Network (CanPalNet)
  • Victoria Peace Coalition
  • NDP Socialist Caucus
  • Canadian BDS Coalition
  • Palestinian and Jewish Unity
  • Toronto BDS Action
  • United for Palestine Toronto/GTA
  • People For Peace London, Ontario
  • Socialist Action / Ligue pour l’Action socialiste
  • Palestine Solidarity Network – Edmonton
  • Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid Victoria
  • Mid-Islanders for Justice and Peace in the Middle East
  • Barnard-Boecker Centre Foundation
  • Canada Palestine Association
  • Canadian Peace Congress

Motion on Academic Boycott of Israel Passes at Society for Socialist Studies AGM

The Society for Socialist Studies (SSS) joined the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel when it passed a motion supporting the boycott of Israeli academic institutions at its AGM on May 31st.

The motion, which passed unanimously, reads that the Society “endorses and will honor the call of Palestinian civil society for a boycott of Israeli academic institutions” and that the Society “supports the protected rights of students and scholars everywhere to engage in research and public speaking about Palestine and the state of Israel and in support of the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement.”

Radhika Desai, president of the Society remarked:

“The members at the well-attended AGM voted unanimously to stand in solidarity with those struggling against colonialism.

Supporting anti-colonial struggles at home and abroad is a necessary part of our Society’s work for socialist justice. Israeli institutions of higher education in Palestine and Israel are directly and indirectly complicit in the systematic maintenance of the occupation and colonization of Palestinians and in policies that discriminate against Palestinian students and scholars. The Palestinian BDS National Committee, representing hundreds of Palestinian civil society groups, has called for international solidarity in its Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign. We are honoured to take up that call.”

The Society for Socialist Studies meetings, held at the University of Regina from May 29 to 31st, were part of the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences and fell directly after another massacre of Palestinians in Gaza by the Israeli army. On May 14, 2018 Israel killed 60 and injured 2,771 Palestinians who were peacefully protesting their mass expulsion and occupation.

By passing their motion, the SSS joins academic associations across the world, including the American Studies Association, National Women’s Studies Association, African Literature Association, and the International Critical Geography Group among others.

MOTION-01: Boycott Divestment Sanctions

This year, the Society for Socialist Studies meetings follow yet another massacre of Palestinians protesting their 70-year-old mass expulsion and their 51-year-old occupation. Since March 30th, 2018 the Israeli army has killed 122 unarmed civilians in Gaza, of which 14 were children, and has injured more than 13,000 protestors, 155 of which remain in critical condition.

The Society wishes to express strong condemnation of the Israeli state for its ongoing colonization and occupation of Palestinian lands and people.

By adopting the following motion (modeled on the Critical Ethnic Studies Association motion passed on July 18, 2014), the Society for Socialist Studies joins academic associations across the world in showing solidarity for Palestinian civil society through the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel.


  • the Society for Socialist Studies acknowledges ongoing colonization across Turtle Island and the world and commits to dismantling colonial systems as a necessary part of its work for socialist justice;
  • Palestinian universities and schools have been periodically forced to close as a result of actions related to the Israeli occupation, or have been destroyed by Israeli military strikes and expansion, and Palestinian students, activists, and scholars face restrictions on movement and travel that limit their ability to attend and work at universities, travel to conferences and to study abroad, and thereby obstruct their right to education;
  • the State of Israel engages in ongoing practices of dispossession, population transfer, illegal settlement, and political incarceration, in the context of continuing settler-colonialism, occupation, and the blockade of Gaza;
  • the state of Israel engages in systematic discrimination against both its Palestinian citizens and against migrant workers and refugees of color;
  • the Israeli state and Israeli universities directly and indirectly impose restrictions on education, scholarships, and participation in campus activities on Palestinian students in Israel;
  • Israel imposes severe restrictions on foreign academics and students seeking to attend conferences and do research in Palestine, as well as on scholars and students of Arab/Palestinian origin who wish to travel to Palestine and the state of Israel;
  • Israeli institutions of higher education have not condemned or taken measures to oppose the occupation and racial discrimination against Palestinians in Israel, but have, rather, been directly and indirectly complicit in the systematic maintenance of the occupation and of policies and practices that discriminate against Palestinian students and scholars throughout Palestine and in Israel;
  • Israeli academic institutions are deeply complicit in Israel’s violations of international law and human rights and in its denial of the right to education and academic freedom to Palestinians, in addition to their basic rights as guaranteed by international law;
  • the Society for Socialist Studies recognizes the Palestinian movement for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions as a practice of solidarity and resistance;
  • the Society for Socialist Studies supports research and open discussion about these issues without censorship, intimidation, or harassment, and seeks to promote academic exchange, collaboration and opportunities for students and scholars everywhere;

Be it resolved that the Society for Socialist Studies endorses and will honor the call of Palestinian civil society for a boycott of Israeli academic institutions.

Be it also resolved that the Society for Socialist Studies supports the protected rights of students and scholars everywhere to engage in research and public speaking about Palestine and the state of Israel and in support of the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement. •