Saturday, November 18

Canadian Liberal hypocrisy on human rights and NDP following Along

"Liberal hypocrisy on human rights" - Letter to Jameet Singh from Independent Jewish Voices (IJV), Canada

Dear Mr. Singh,

Thank you for your email message. 

I strongly agree with your criticism of the Trudeau government's unconscionable failure to act on compliance orders from the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal to end discrimination against Indigenous children in Canada when it comes to funding child welfare services; the need for Parliamentary oversight of arms sales; and the defeat of the Bill to incorporate the right to housing into Canadian law.

However, I must draw your attention to the fact that the actions of the NDP as a whole and the party's Foreign Affairs Critic, Hélène Laverdière, in particular, do not square with your declared support for human rights. Ms. Laverdière allowed the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), a major institutional part of the U.S. Israel lobby, to sponsor her participation at their annual conference in Washington, D.C., paying for her flight and accommodation. Furthermore, the AIPAC website lists her as a confirmed speaker at their upcoming 2018 conference.

Months after that​ AIPAC speech, Ms. Laverdière chose to participate in a tree-planting ceremony ​held by the Jewish National Fund ​(JNF) ​
in Jerusalem.
​ ​
The Fund controls 13​% of Israel’s land, 
​ of ​which was seized from Palestinians forced from their homes by Zionist militias during the 1947-1948 ethnic cleansing
​ that accompanied the establishment of the state of Israel​
​ ​
The JNF systematically discriminates against Palestinian citizens of Israel,
​one fifth of the country's ​population. According to a United ​Nations​ report, J
​NF lands are “chartered to benefit Jews exclusively,” which has led to an “institutionalized form of discrimination.”

​In conclusion, if you and your party are serious about addressing human rights and not merely scoring debating points against the Trudeau government, I urge you to 

1) end the practice of participating in events sponsored by the Israeli government and its lobby organizations and

2) end your silence on the plight of the Palestinian people, who are suffering under institutionalized discrimination in Israel as well as military occupation in the West Bank and Gaza.

Yours truly,

Sid Shniad
Member, National Steering Committee
Independent Jewish Voices Canada

A response letter to the following 

While Justin Trudeau talks a good game on human rights, there's little evidence of real change in Ottawa. His government continues to rack up a record of missed opportunities and broken promises.
It's unacceptable that the Trudeau government is ignoring multiple compliance orders from the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal, along with the will of Parliament, to end the underfunding of child welfare and fully implement Jordan's Principle. The Tribunal ruled that the Federal government discriminates against Indigenous children by failing to provide the same level of child welfare services that exist elsewhere in Canada. But, the Liberals continue to spend taxpayers' money on legal fees, fighting Indigenous families who are seeking equal access to these services.
I've spoken out against this discrimination, re-affirming our belief that Indigenous children should have access to the same services as all other children in Canada.
The Liberals also failed to protect human rights when they rejected NDP Foreign Affairs Critic Hélène Laverdière's call for parliamentary oversight of arms exports—especially to states like Saudi Arabia with poor human rights records. Experts agree with Laverdière, supporting a multi-partisan committee like the one set-up by the British government to oversee the sale of arms. 
What's more, the Liberals defeated Bill C-325, legislation calling for the right to housing. NDP MP Rachel Blaney's bill aimed to incorporate the internationally recognized right to housing into Canadian law.
While the Trudeau Liberals continue to mimic the Harper Conservatives, New Democrats will keep fighting to make sure Canada takes a leadership role in human rights—at home and around the world.
With love and courage,
Jagmeet Singh
Leader of Canada's NDP
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