Déclarations / Statements

On the New Democratic Party’s (NDP) Motion on Palestine

The Canadian government is scrambling in the face of mass protests and widespread disgust at its support for zionism. A recent motion in the House of Commons has brought out internal divisions within the governing Liberal Party. At the same time, it has made clear that the Canadian ruling class is fundamentally committed to the zionist project, and stands in support of its genocidal actions. This motion was a response the popular struggle that the Palestinian and broader Arab community, along with other progressive and revolutionary groups, have been waging, not only since last October, but for decades. 

The people’s movement for Palestinian liberation and against zionist oppression must and will take advantage of the political openings created, while refusing the ruling class’ attempts to mislead and pacify us. 

The non-binding motion, put forward by the NDP and eventually passed after heavy amendments, calls for the Canadian government to “actively pursue” a two state solution and to “cease the further authorization and transfer of arms exports to Israel”. The first of these is already the government’s stated policy, and means legitimizing zionist occupation and theft of Palestinian land. 

The second, while sounding more encouraging, has been the subject of confusing and contradictory statements by MPs, journalists, and commentators. It seems that  no one can agree on whether this includes a ban on “non-lethal” military equipment as well, or if it means that already approved permits will no longer be honoured. Not to mention that it says nothing about Canadian purchases from the zionist entity. Canada will still be funnelling money to zionist arms companies through payments for their weaponry,  billed as“battle-tested” due to their use in the mass killing and maiming of Palestinians. 

Despite the language coming from Foreign Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly, a number of commentators have pointed out that the resolution, (as amended), does not represent a break from previous Liberal policy. In the words of  “Defence” Minister Bill Blair, the acceptance of this motion represents a “continuation of existing government policy”. The very same policy that has seen the Canadian state stand behind the zionist entity as it has massacred Palestinians. The same policy that legitimizes genocide. 

Furthermore, the above provisions were paired with amendments condemning Hamas as a “terrorist organization”, affirming the “right” of israel to “defend itself” and demanding disarmament by Hamas. Although making a token gesture towards a “negotiated two-state solution”, therefore, the amendment shows clearly where the Canadian government’s priorities lie. They are more concerned with extinguishing Palestinian resistance than with ending an ongoing genocide. 

When the political representatives of the ruling class speak in Parliament about a two-state solution, or about stopping arms exports, they are manoeuvring. They are forced into a response by the determination and the strength of the movement which has taken to the streets every week since October, and which has been fighting for Palestinian liberation for decades. However, the politicians will only go as far as to support a policy of continued occupation through their support for an unacceptable imperialist-backed “two-state solution” under zionist military domination. This “solution” was originally part of the now widely rejected Oslo Accords that set up the totally discredited Palestinian Authority. This body, representing a section of the Palestinian elite/bourgeoisie, set about doing the imperialist-zionist dirty work in the occupied territories, leading to the eventual election of Hamas in Gaza.

The NDP, despite the progressive tenor of its original motion, has capitulated on so many major points that it is now claiming as a victory what was essentially a surrender. This shows once again that this party, while occasionally saying the right things, is completely unwilling and unable to effectively break from Canada’s imperialist foreign policy. A policy which remains, regardless of tactical twists and turns, steadfastly committed to upholding US imperialism. 

While the people can celebrate and make use of the political opportunities that this motion has revealed, there is nothing for self-serving politicians to pat themselves on the back about. 

In short, the Liberal party’s acceptance of this motion shows the strength of the popular movement for Palestinian liberation. The confusion and internal division over what the motion means shows the Canadian ruling class’ attempt to mollify that movement without compromising their own support for zionism. 

The fact that the political representatives of the ruling class have been thrown into such confusion is a testament to the strength of the popular movement. However, we cannot allow them to pay lip service to the Palestinian cause while underwriting zionism. 

Why can’t we trust the politicians? Why don’t we believe they will voluntarily change the Canadian state’s policy? 

Canada is a state which is embedded in and upholds the global imperialist system. The system which arms and legitimizes zionism, just as it arms and legitimizes reactionary regimes around the world. Canada’s corporations and the capitalist class that owns those corporations profit from this system, which allows them to control the resources and the labour of people all over the world. It is this class that funds, lobbies, and strong-arms the politicians who make it to Parliament. Canada supports zionism because it is a pillar of this imperialist system, which allows countries like Canada and the US to extend their control into the region. In short, because of imperialism, Canada has a stake in zionism. 

We believe that the Palestinian resistance can and will be victorious, and will win full liberation from the River to the Sea. We believe that oppressed and exploited people across the world can successfully overthrow their oppression through struggle. Canada’s support for the zionist entity can be broken, but this will be due to the struggle waged by the people ourselves rather than by the benevolence of MPs. We see now that our actions are impacting the ruling class. Let us carry forward that struggle even further.

The ruling-class is off balance. Now is the time to push harder and demand the complete end to military and political support for the zionist entity. We will not let the professional politicians dance around this. 

Movements in struggle across the world stand with the Palestinian people in their ongoing resistance. We will not stop organizing, mobilizing, and struggling until all oppressed peoples are free. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.