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Jewish group to Layton: Investigate Israel/Palestine with Neutral Hosts

June 24, 2010

The New Democratic Party should reject the invitation of the Canada-Israel Committee to host or facilitate a trip by Jack Layton and his caucus members to Israel, says Independent Jewish Voices – Canada. The Canada-Israel Committee made the offer in the wake of the manufactured uproar about remarks by NDP Deputy Leader Libby Davies on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

“If Jack Layton accepts this offer,” says Independent Jewish Voices spokesperson Larry Haiven, “he and his party will forfeit any ability to speak with authority and impartiality on the issue. They will be caving in to intimidation from the pro-Israel lobby. The Conservatives and the Liberals have abdicated any sense of even-handedness on the Israel-Palestine file. Will the NDP follow suit or develop an independent position?

IJV is demanding that instead of capitulating to this pressure from an organization that provides unquestioning support to one side of this conflict, Layton and his caucus members visit both Israel and Palestine, including the West Bank and Gaza, but with the guidance of a party neutral to the conflict, such as the United Nations or a credible international human rights organization.

“If the NDP wants to speak intelligently and credibly about the issue, it must not allow itself to be led by the State of Israel or its agents in Canada,” says Haiven, “To do otherwise would be a sign of capitulation and abandonment of NDP supporters' shared desire for a just resolution to the Israel occupation of Palestine. The thousands of people who wrote to decry the party leader’s abandonment of Libby Davies will become even more disillusioned with the NDP.”

Independent Jewish Voices – Canada is a national human rights organization whose mandate is to promote a just resolution to the conflict in Israel and Palestine through the application of international law and respect for the human rights of all parties. IJV has chapters in Halifax, Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Hamilton,Winnipeg, Saskatoon and Vancouver plus many individual members.

For more information contact:
Larry Haiven
Independent Jewish Voices
Phone: (902) 240-2782

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Independent Jewish Voices


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