Responding to news that Prime Minister-elect Benjamin Netanyahu has sworn in the most hardline government in Israel’s history, the following six Canadian Jewish organizations issued the following statement:
Our seven Canadian Jewish organizations join the broad chorus of Jews around the world, including a great many Israelis themselves, who are deeply alarmed by this new, extremist Israeli government.
Israel’s new government has not only promised its member parties that it will accelerate settlement construction and upend the status quo with the Palestinians, but also that it will weaken the judicial system and civil society NGOs’ abilities to protect minorities’ rights. Prime Minister Netanyahu has given extremists the helms of key ministries with expanded powers capable of igniting more violence.
We and our thousands of members are steadfastly committed to Israel as a liberal democracy that protects the rights of women, LGBTQ individuals, non-Orthodox Jews, Palestinian citizens, and other minorities in Israel. We work towards a two-state solution and an end to the occupation that safeguard’s Israel’s security and respects the human rights and self-determination of the Palestinian people, as every Canadian government has supported.
We applaud efforts already spreading around the world by Jewish leaders and communities to raise these difficult issues and to demonstrate opposition to radical changes that threaten inclusion, human rights, public security, and Israel’s relations with its neighbours.
We urge Canadian Jewish leaders, institutions, and the government that represents us in foreign affairs to aid Israelis fighting for liberal democracy and to reject extremism, even when it emanates from sitting Israeli ministers.