April 8, 2010

Ask the NDP to withdraw from the CPCCA

Dear friends,

In a few weeks, a report will be issued that could be the first step to criminalizing criticism of Israel in Canada. The Canadian Parliamentary Coalition to Combat Anti-Semitism (CPCCA) is preparing a summary report and recommendations. This report could make criticism of the policies of the State of Israel difficult, perhaps even illegal, by positioning such criticism as a form of anti-Semitism.

The Bloc Quebecois has already resigned from the CPCCA in protest. We urge everyone who wishes to protect Canadians' freedom of expression, and who believes in justice in the Middle East, to take action below, asking the NDP to also withdraw from this coalition.

Click here to send an e-mail to NDP MPs to ask them to publicly disassociate themselves from the CPCCA.

Please respond to this action alert, and forward this message to your friends and acquaintances.

If you like the work that CJPME does, please donate to help us expand our work.

More Info
The CPCCA is an ad-hoc (unofficial) coalition of - until the resignation of the Bloc Québécois in early March - MPs from each of the political parties represented in Parliament. The CPCCA launched a call for submissions last summer "to gain insight into the problem of anti-Semitism in Canada and to draft concrete recommendations to combat the phenomena both locally and globally." CJPME was among the groups that submitted briefs arguing that the Coalition's attempt to establish a link between criticism of Israel and anti-Semitism was indefensible, and that it also violated the fundamental rights guaranteed under Canada's Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

The Bloc Québécois announced in early March that it was withdrawing from the CPCCA for the following reasons:
  • The fact that the list of "witnesses" called by the Coalition's Steering Committee presented only one perspective on the question.
  • The fact that the Bloc MPs had been unable to influence the Steering Committee to call two witnesses - us (CJPME) and the Canadian Arab Federation (CAF).
  • The Bloc's sense that the Coalition had been-from the outset-improper in its orientation, partisan and unwilling to consider different points of view.
Like many other observers, CJPME is of the opinion that the CPCCA has taken a very biased approach to the matter, such that its conclusions will necessarily be tainted. Likely, the conclusions will be such that criticism of Israel will be considered a form of anti-Semitism, thus laying the groundwork for making it illegal. The CPCCA's exercise is neither objective nor balanced, and constitutes a real threat to Canadians' freedom of expression.

Please forward this email to other like-minded friends and acquaintances.

Warmest regards,
The CJPME Leadership

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