Dear Justin Trudeau:
I am a Jewish Canadian. I am also an associate member of the Canadian Friends Service Committee, and I have just seen the letter you wrote regarding Friends’ support for BDS. Yes, there are Jewish Quakers. They – we – have been instrumental in persuading Quakers to support BDS.
We were also instrumental in getting a previous minute approved (that’s Quakerese for getting a resolution passed), calling on Israel and any future state of Palestine to grant equal rights, privileges, and responsibilities to all of their respective citizens. If Israel actually were to do this, it would no longer be a Jewish state – though I’m sure most Quakers did not, and still do not, realize this. They have no idea just how unequal is the treatment Israel metes out to its non-Jewish citizens.
You say BDS makes Canadian Jews feel unsafe. Really? Do BDS supporters threaten to attack Zionists, the way the Jewish Defence League has threatened me? This is nonsense. BDS is totally nonviolent (if it weren’t the Quakers wouldn’t touch it). It threatens no one, except politically.
You cite Canadian values of respect, openness, and engaging with each other. If you think Israel shares those values, you obviously haven’t been paying attention.
And as for the two-state solution, I ask you what I asked your predecessor, Bob Rae, only I asked him in person: What’s your Plan B? What will you do when you can no longer ignore the fact that Israel has gobbled up so much Palestinian land that there cannot be a viable Palestinian state?
Bob Rae ducked the question. I look forward to your reply.