As a long-time member of the NDP and a one-time riding president, I have been delighted by the job you have been doing in keeping Stephen Harper’s feet to the fire. You have shown what being Opposition Leader is all about. I am, however, concerned that the party has denied Paul Manly the right to represent us in Nanaimo.
I am a Jew. I am a member of a synagogue. My wife was its president. I grew up during the Second World War. I understand that the Jewish survivors of the Holocaust had littler choice. No one else wanted them, though I think most of the Jews living in countries that closed their doors to us were good and loyal citizens.In 1948, Jews fought because they had no other options. I somehow deluded myself at the time that we were somehow better than those who oppressed us, that we could create a just society in Israel. The Israelis have not done so. Israel is a brutal and oppressive society. Whether you like term apartheid or not, Palestinians under Israeli rule have no more rights than Africans did in South Africa. About a hundred civilians are killed every year by the IDF or by brutal settler gangs. IDF soldiers stand by while settlers beat PAlestinian peasants, kill their animals and uproot the olive tree on which they depend for a living. Thousands are held in detention without any trial and any right to know charges against them. Palestinians are subjected to regular abuse by Israelis and particularly by the IDF. Those fortunate to have Israeli citizenship and to live in Israel proper have many rights, but those rights are regularly being threatened by the right-wing parties in the Knesset.
When you deny Paul Manly the right to represent the NDP, you are also saying that I could not run for the party I have supported with work and money for 43 years. Ironically I and other progressive Jews are more concerned about human rights in Israel than Manly. Manly got involved because his father, an NDP MP, was in an Isreli jail. He believes in justice, but his primary focus is elsewhere. We believe, like many progressive Israelis, that Israel should be held accountable to the same principles as other nations. It is distressing that such views can no longer be expressed in the NDP and that an honourable progressive like Paul Manly should be denied the right to represent us.