On Feb. 11, B’nai Brith Canada issued a statement declaring that Canada had rejected the new Amnesty Int’l report. The statement noted the following: “We are aware of the recent Amnesty Report. Canada rejects the view that Israel’s actions constitute apartheid,” said a spokesperson for Global Affairs Canada.
Canadian Jewish News CJN also carried the story and elaborated: “James Wanki, spokesperson for Global Affairs Canada, dismissed the report’s claim in a brief statement Feb. 10.
“Canada is a steadfast ally of Israel and a friend of the Palestinian people,” he wrote. “Canada rejects the view that Israel’s actions constitute apartheid.”
Curiously, an online search for any confirmation of this statement turned up empty; no mention of it on Global Affairs Canada website, FB or twitter account. Perhaps it was in a TikTok video?
A closer reading of the B’nai Brith release seemed to indicate that this new Canadian position was relayed verbally (“said a spokesperson”), without detailing when or under what circumstances, while CJN said it came in written form (“he wrote”). So how was this information communicated? Was it in a closed meeting? Is there any written official statement?
The only other reference to this was from Liberal MP Anthony Housefather, who reposted the B’nai Brith statement on FB, claiming that “Canada rejects the Amnesty report and we emphatically reject the ridiculous claim that Israeli is an apartheid state”. (MP Housefather is the chair of the Canada-Israel Interparliamentary Group). B’nai Brith then rushed to retweet Housefather’s repost of their orginial statement.
Canada Palestine Association has contacted Global Affairs for clarification. It would not be surprising if Canada has taken such a position; Marc Garneau was very clear on June 11, 2021, when he responded in the House of Commons to Human Rights Watch report on Israeli Apartheid:
“… the position of the Liberal Government is extremely clear on the question of the Apartheid label, we reject it categorically. It is not part of our approach with respect to Israel or the Jewish community…”
However, it is bizarre that a Global Affairs Canada position statement would be released in such a dubious manner. Are we to conclude that B’nai Brith Canada has a new job as Media Relations for Global Affairs Canada, in addition to their media advocacy for apartheid Israel?
Write letter HERE to Canadian government: You can’t keep the lid on Israeli war crimes forever!