"I have been subjected to months of antisemitic attacks. The moment it became known that I was Jewish, I was bombarded with questions about my positions on Israel, the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign, and the proposed annexation of West Bank territories."
--Annamie Paul, Green Party of Canada Leadership Contestant, July 27 2020 (from: "You Can Respond to Hate with Hate or Convert it to a Teaching Moment. We Chose the Latter." Canadian Jewish Record)
|Response from Paul after Zoom Meeting
interrupted by racist and anti-Semitic posts
When the only Jewish leadership contestant in a field of eight candidates says she's experienced prejudice that directly targets her Jewish identity, everyone should be listening.
When the anti-Semitic attacks are coming from members of her own Party, that's egregious. When that Party is the Green Party of Canada, it's downright unfathomable. And yet, here we are.
I'm pretty sure that Annamie Paul would rather be discussing issues like the climate emergency and human rights, or how to build stronger Green electoral district associations across the nation. But so much of her limited oxygen that any leadership contestant gets to expel during a leadership contestant has been taken up dealing with anti-Semitic remarks, claims and false accusations - made by Green Party members or supporters - because of Paul's religious faith.
And that's just not right.
Paul herself has been sounding the alarm bells for months, but it seems to me that she has been a lone voice in the wilderness. Even though the instances of anti-Semitic attacks on Paul have been well-documented. The Green Party of Canada itself has taken no actions to address anti-Semitism. And indeed, by ignoring it, the Party has gone out of its way to facilitate anti-Semitism.
And that's just unacceptable.
Look, I get it. Very few of these anti-Semitic statements are being made in places that the Party has any control over. The Party might have its own sites on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc., but that's not where the conversations around the leadership campaigns are taking place. Those aren't the spaces that some Greens feel comfortable engaging in anti-Semitic speech.
|Racist and anti-Semitic posts made at
all-candidates Zoom meeting
If you don't have control of the space, you can't control what goes on there, right? To a degree that may be true - but the Green Party does have a tool at its disposal that it should be using to ensure that Green Party members abide by a higher standard - one the Members themselves agree to when they pay their fee and sign their membership card.
It's the Members Code of Conduct. And it applies to members where ever we may go - including those dark places on the internet nominally set aside for Green Party members and supporters, but which have really turned into an echo chamber for promoting a single leadership contestant. And it's a place where Greens feel free to express anti-Semitic tropes openly - mostly directed at the Party's only Jewish leadership contestant. They know that little action will be taken by group moderators who should be creating a safe space for Greens to have conversations and dialogue, because the moderators themselves appear to see little problem with the use of anti-Semitic tropes.
And why should the moderators of Facebook groups like Green Party of Canada Supporters be held to a standard that the Party doesn't want to seem to uphold either? Evidence of these attacks has been there for anyone who might have bothered to go and look for it. The following screencaps were all taken from the Green Party of Canada Supporters Facebook group over the span of about 4 weeks. I was a member of that group, who engaged periodically. I was eventually removed from the group by moderators because I was calling out anti-Semitic posts like these too often.
They would rather sweep anti-Semitism under the rug. It's easier to deal with their. And in that, they are little different from the Green Party of Canada itself.
For the record, Greens - along with everybody else - should not be asking Jewish politicians about their loyalty just because you think Jewish politicians are more susceptible to taking bribes. No one should be asking questions about loyalty and bribery because doing so is anti-Semitic.
Reject BDS = Complicity in Genocide