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Survey: Strong majority of Canadians believe Palestine solidarity activism is not antisemitic

A wide-ranging survey revealed that most Canadians would disagree when Canadian politicians describe Palestine solidarity activism, such as BDS or Israeli Apartheid Week, as being antisemitic.

Ottawa (QNN)- A wide-range survey by EKOS Research Associates on behalf of Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME) has revealed that a strong majority of Canadians reject equating criticism of Israel to antisemitism.

The third part of the survey, sponsored by Independent Jewish Voices Canada and the United Network for Justice and Peace in Palestine-Israel, interestingly revealed significant discord between popular sentiments and thoughts and government rhetoric on the question of Palestine in Canada.

According to the survey, most Canadians are able to distinguish between anti-Israel activism and antisemitism, and believe that criticism of Israel, even when harsh, is not in principle antisemitic.

The findings show that a strong majority of Canadians believe that most forms of criticism of Israel are not antisemitic. 80% of Canadians stated that accusing the occupation state of committing human rights abuses against Palestinians in not antisemitic, while 79% of them said accusing the occupation state of unlawfully pushing Palestinians off their land is not antisemitic. Most importantly, 76% said boycotting the occupation state over human rights abuses in not antisemitic and 69% said comparing Israel’s restrictive movement and residency laws on Palestinians to those in South African Apartheid laws is not antisemitic.

The findings confirm that most Canadians would disagree when Canadian politicians describe Palestine solidarity activism, such as BDS or Israeli Apartheid Week, as being antisemitic neither when they adopt the IHRA working definition of antisemitism.

A majority of Canadians identified acts like painting swastikas on an Israeli consulate as being antisemitic with 91%.

The survey noticed that those, who were most likely to see criticism of the occupation state as legitimate were also the most sensitive to negative statements about Jewish Canadians.

the survey is the third publication in a three-part series. Part One of this survey was published on June 17, 2020, on issues related to Israeli annexation and Canada’s bid for a seat on the United Nations Security Council. Part Two was published on September 16, 2020, on issues related to the International Criminal Court and the status of Jerusalem. Both parts showed similar views on the question of Palestine, strongly opposing the Israeli annexation of Palestinian land and supporting the ICC investigation of war crimes committed by Israel.

In 2019, the Trudeau government adopted the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance Working Definition of Antisemitism (IHRA) working definition, which equates certain political criticisms of ‘Israel’ with antisemitism.

However, due to IHRA’s weaponization to suppress free speech relating to the occupation state and Palestine, its adoption has been opposed by the Canadian Labour Congress, the British Columbia Civil Liberties Association, and over 400 Canadian academics.

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