Jewish groups condemn Green Party for supporting Israeli boycott policy

Canadian Jewish groups are blasting the Green Party of Canada for passing a resolution this weekend supporting sanctions against Israel.

Leader Elizabeth May 'disappointed' by party's vote at its national convention

In this Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2012 file photo, French demonstrators and supporters of Palestinians hold a placard with the word 'Boycott' during a demonstration in Paris, France. A campaign called BDS, which was started by Palestinian activists 10 years ago to boycott Israel, has grown into a worldwide network of thousands of volunteers lobbying corporations, artists and academic institutions to sever ties with Israel. (AP Photo/Jacques Brinon, File) (The Associated Press)

Canadian Jewish groups are blasting the Green Party of Canada for passing a resolution this weekend supporting sanctions against Israel.

B'nai Brith issued a statement Sunday night saying it was "irate" that delegates at the party's biennial convention in Ottawa voted in support of the so-called Boycott Divestment and Sanctions movement, also called BDS.

B'nai Brith Chief Executive Michael Mostyn says the Greens have decided to embrace the policy position of terror apologists rather than side with the "democratic and environmentally friendly state of Israel."

Supporters of BDS are calling for boycotts and sanctions over the way Israel has dealt with the Palestinians.

Green Party Leader Elizabeth May sought to distance herself from the party's vote, saying she is disappointed her members have adopted a policy that favours a movement she calls "polarizing, ineffective and unhelpful in the quest for peace and security."

However her remarks didn't appear to mollify Mostyn, who roundly condemned the Greens in his statement.

"This clearly reflects how out of touch the Green Party has become with Canadian culture and values and it has made itself less relevant after its convention this weekend by voting for the politics of division and demonization," Mostyn said in the statement.

Resolutions not vetted by leadership

Another Jewish organization, the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs posted a statement on its website titled: "Why is the Green Party attacking Israel?"

"We condemn the Green Party's decision to endorse this outrageous resolution. The BDS movement, which seeks to censor and blacklist Israelis, is fundamentally discriminatory and utterly at odds with Canadian values," the statement said.

A statement on the Greens' convention posted on the party's website said the party's members come up with resolutions independently and aren't vetted by the leader or the party's executive.

The BDS movement has gained momentum in recent months. Supporters say it's aimed at supporting Palestinian independence while critics say the campaign is aimed at delegitimizing Israel itself.

In May more than 1,500 students filled the United Nations General Assembly for a conference sponsored by the Israeli mission on how best to combat the movement on many U.S. campuses.