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Paul Manly, the newly elected Green MP for Nanaimo–Ladysmith was previously banned from running under the New Democrat Party banner over concerns about his position on “Israeli-Palestinian issues” according to the CBC.
In 2015, Mr. Manly took to social media to complain that Thomas Mulcair’s NDP had denied him the party’s banner after the local riding association had approved it.
In two phone calls. Manly was allegedly told that he was removed for comments he made in 2012, largely criticizing the NDP for “muzzling” their MPs, and not doing more to ensure the release of his father Jim Manly.
Jim Manly was a former NDP MP who was detained in an Israeli jail because he was part of a boat flotilla that had tried to get assistance to Palestinians in Gaza.
In 2016, the Vancouver Sun published an article highlighting the internal party disputes occurring as a result of the addition of Paul Manly alongside other prominent BDS activists (Boycott, Sanction, and Divest) to the Green party’s shadow cabinet. At that time, the pro-BDS wing of the party had voted to support BDS against the direct wishes of party leader Elizabeth May.
The Green party leader published a blog post detailing how she felt at the convention that BDS is “very divisive and, fairly or unfairly, is seen as anti-Israel and anti-Semitic.”
The party later voted for a slightly more muted wording instead, opting to continue to call for “consumer boycotts, institutional divestment and other sanctions to pressure Israel over Jewish settlements in occupied territories” while issuing a statement saying the party “rejects the goals of the ‘BDS movement’ as they do not include supporting the right of the State of Israel to exist.”
At least two Jewish groups called out that 2016 resolution.
The Calgary Jewish Federation issued a statement saying it “strongly condemns” what it called the latest “anti-Israel resolution passed by the Green Party of Canada.”
The CEO of the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA) also issued a statement, calling the resolution “one-sided, biased and discriminatory.”
“It should be concerning to anyone who cares about political discourse in Canada when a political party’s positions on Israel become so toxic that they end up alienating Jewish Canadians who would otherwise naturally support their party. That has happened in the UK Labour Party with alarming speed. said CIJA CEO Koffler Fogel.
According to Fogel, the fact that Manly was disqualified by the NDP as a potential candidate indicates a shift of anti-Israel attitudes being embraced by the Green Party.
“It is also happening within the Green Party of Canada which appears to be giving space to anti-Israel activists seeking to use the party as a vehicle to advance their marginal, single-issue agenda,” said Fogel.
“It speaks volumes that the NDP disqualified Mr. Manly as a potential candidate in 2015, reportedly due to his anti-Israel views. That he has been embraced by the Green Party’s leadership will compound the Green Party’s problem with the Jewish community.”
Paul Manly did not respond but May told The Post Millennial that the party’s rookie member of parliament was “part of our shadow cabinet process so we’re on the same page in rejecting BDS (and) one of the key people who (helped) repealed the BDS motion.”
At the special general meeting convened in Calgary in December 2016, members rejected BDS. While official Green policy backs the “two-state solution” in the region, yet tacitly endorses the BDS’ boycott-objective: “Accurately label(ling) products so that consumers can differentiate between products of Israel and those of disputed areas.”
Party policy then expects Israel to just play through “Amend(ing) the Canada-Israel Free Trade pact.”