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IJV Demands That Canada's Mainstream Jewish Groups Condemn Spate of Racist, Anti-Democratic Laws Passed By Israeli Parliament

April 11, 2011

“Israel’s friends tout it as the only democracy in the Middle East. But at a time when democracy is breaking out in countries all over the region, Israel’s Knesset (the country's parliament) has mounted a legislative attack on the fundamental freedoms of its Arab citizens and Israeli Jews who support them,” declared Sid Shniad, spokesperson for Independent Jewish Voices Canada.

“If they are seriously committed to the fundamental principles of democracy, we expect organizations like the Canadian Jewish Congress, the Canada-Israel Committee and B’nai Brith to condemn these outrageous, anti-democratic laws,” Shniad explained.

“On March 23, the Knesset adopted two of these loathsome laws,” explained. “The first allows the state to annul the citizenship of anyone found guilty of 'security offences'. It is widely acknowledged that this law is designed to be used against Palestinian Israelis who take action against the discrimination they are experiencing,” he stressed.

“The second law allows small Israeli communities to exclude 'unsuitable' persons from taking up residence. This is clearly directed at preventing Palestinian Israelis from living in villages where the Jewish majority wishes to exclude them,” Shniad said.

“A third law that is in the final stages of receiving legislative approval outlaws the boycotting of products from Israel as well as areas under its control -- in other words, products from Israeli settlements situated on Palestinian land in the occupied West Bank and Syria's Golan Heights,” he noted.

“These Israeli settlements are illegal under international law. Yet under the terms of this new law, actions like the recent refusal by Israeli actors to perform in the illegal settlement of Ariel would be liable to criminal prosecution. We agree with Uri Avnery, the Israeli activist, who argues that this law amounts to a legislative annexation of the occupied Palestinian Territories,” he concluded.

For more information contact:
Sid Shniad
Independent Jewish Voices
Phone: 604-314-5589
Cell: 604-314-5589

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Independent Jewish Voices


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