Members of Canada's New Democratic Party (NDP) have voted overwhelmingly to endorse sanctions on Israel during the party's 2021 convention.
NDP members voted over the weekend in favour of a motion brought forward by a coalition of Palestinian and Jewish activists calling to amend its policy book to include a boycott of products emanating from illegal Israeli settlements as well as an arms embargo on the state of Israel. The motion comes after years of many within the party demanding that the NDP take a clear stance on Israel-Palestine.
"The adoption of this motion today was a result of a groundswell of support from the grassroots membership," said Amy Kishek, one of the lead organisers for the Justice and Peace in Israel Palestine Resolution at this weekend's NDP convention. "Not only is this position hugely popular with the NDP membership but it is something that is supported by the vast majority of the Canadian labour movement as well as the Canadian population at large."
A 2017 poll carried out by EKOS Research confirmed that in the context of Israel's ongoing human rights violations, 78 per cent of Canadians believed that the Palestinian call for boycott is reasonable. The number was even higher among those who identified as NDP supporters at over 90 per cent in support. The adopted policy today also has strong support among many of Canada's major labour unions including the Canadian Labour Congress which represents over three million workers across the country.
"The adoption of this policy today firmly positions the NDP as one of the few parties demanding the end of Canada's support for illegal settlements and suspending the flow of weapons to and from Israel until Palestinians are free," said Geneviève Nevin, another organiser behind the successful resolution. "In a time of unparalleled and intersecting social, environmental, and economic crises, it is of paramount importance that the NDP stand with and take direction from marginalized communities and those fighting for peace and justice everywhere."
NDP's vote is the latest in a series of actions by Canadian organisations against Israel's brutal occupation of Palestine. Last month Jewish faculty members in Canadian universities opposed the adoption of the highly controversial International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of racism against Jews.