Jagmeet Singh issues 13 clear demands with respect to Canada’s policy and practice on Israel/Palestine

“By failing to call out Israel for breaching international law and violating the human rights of the Palestinian people, Canada is contributing to the problem” says NDP leader Jagmeet Singh in a recent statement. As an important ally of the current minority Liberal government, Singh is in a position to force a change. Read more…

In response to appeals from many NDP supporters expressing concern about human rights for Palestinians, NDP leader Jagmeet Singh has sent an email including a strong statement of NDP demands, denouncing the Trudeau government for failing to call out Israel for breaching international law and for violating the human rights of the Palestinian people”.

Singh’s statement echoes that of many other observers who have indicated that while Canada has what appears to be a fair and balanced policy on paper, in practice our policy has been to support Israel across the board.

In his email, Singh listed 13 practical and principled steps that the NDP urges Canada to take.

New Democrats are asking the Liberal government to: 

  1. respond to reports from Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, Israeli human rights NGOs and the United Nations and accept their recommendations to states 
  2. refer the killing of journalist Shireen Abu Akleh to the International Criminal Court 
  3. increase pressure on the Israeli government to stop its plan to annex Palestinian territory in violation of international law 
  4. condemn the construction of illegal settlements, demolitions of Palestinian homes in the West Bank, and evictions from East Jerusalem, including Sheikh Jarrah 
  5. call on Israel to end forcible displacement of villagers in Masafer Yatta  
  6. increase funding to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) which supports Palestinian refugees 
  7. condemn Israel’s undemocratic nation-state law 
  8. condemn the Israeli government’s attacks on civil society in Israel and Palestine, including the recent designation of six Palestinian human rights groups as “terrorist” 
  9. condemn the ongoing blockade of Gaza and increase Canadian humanitarian assistance to the people of Gaza  
  10. condemn military detention of Palestinian children, and reaffirm support for the Convention on the Rights of the Child  
  11. vote for Palestinian human rights at the United Nations 
  12. end all trade and economic cooperation with illegal settlements in Israel-Palestine 
  13. suspend the bilateral trade of all arms and related materials with the State of Israel until Palestinian rights are upheld 

A private statement or a public one?

Singh’s excellent statement was sent by email to a number of people, many of whom had written to him, concerned over Israel’s policy toward the Palestinians and urging him to intervene with the Canadian government. A link to the entire statement sent through the mass mailing Mailchimp program can be found here.

It deserves both praise and widespread circulation. But how much does the NDP want to publicize this?

Unfortunately, it seems to have had only limited circulation. While some of the demands have appeared in previous statements issued by NDP foreign affairs critic Heather McPherson, this complete list of demands, signed by the party leader, is nowhere to be found on the NDP webpage. Hopefully the explanation is that the NDP webmaster has not yet had time to include it, and not that the NDP sends different messages to different audiences.

Canada Talks Israel Palestine (CTIP) is the weekly newsletter of Peter Larson, Chair of the Ottawa Forum on Israel/Palestine (OFIP). It aims to promote a serious discussion in Canada about Canada’s response to the complicated and emotional Israel/Palestine issue with a focus on the truth, clear analysis and human rights for all. Readers with different points of view are invited to make comment.

Want to learn more about us? Go to http://www.ottawaforumip.org


  1. I sent this to Jagmeet Singh:

    Well! Things have changed. Jack Layton wouldn’t touch Israel/Palestine with a ten-foot pole. I can’t blame him. It was a political third rail. [I knew him; I sang at his wedding to Olivia.]

    You say, “Canada needs to play a more productive role in working towards its stated commitment to a two-state solution. For years, successive Liberal and Conservative governments have done more to support the status quo than to make any tangible contributions towards peace and security in the region.”

    Well, doh. The two-state solution is dead. Long dead. Years ago I asked the late Paul Dewar, who was NDP critic for foreign affairs, “What’s your Plan B? When you can no longer pretend that there’s going to be a Palestinian state, what then?” He said he had no Plan B.
    People who say they support a two-state solution actually support the status quo, i.e. the continuing theft of Palestinian land, water, livelihood and lives. The NDP should recognize this. The NDP needs a Plan B.

    1. Well stated yet, I am absolutely pleased to see Jagmeet attempt to open a fresh discussion.

  2. As you say, it’s the first time that the NDP came out with a comprehensive list of what the government should adopt.
    The NDP deserves public praise and encouragement.
    Thank you Peter for highlighting this.

    1. Agreed! I think praise and encouragement for the NDP for taking this step are significantly more important in the circumstances than focusing our energy on criticism and pointing out flaws….

  3. What I miss in this statement is a description of an acceptable end-state. It, properly, calls for an end to some of the most egregious violations of Palestinian human rights but says nothing about the fundamental situation – the establishment of a religiously biased state on land that was previously shared to the detriment of residents who do not have the preferred religion. That’s the fundamental problem and we need a political party to propose a way to solve it.

  4. Thank you, Jagmeet Singh, for taking a principled stand and speaking up for human rights and in support of international law with regard to the violations of Palestinian human rights. Your leadership is noted and very much appreciated by a majority of Canadians.

      1. Hello Mr. Sigman,
        While I do agree that many Canadians appreciate Mr. Singh’s leadership and personal style, I am sorry to admit that I don’t think a majority agree with him on these demands.
        That does not make them any less important. It means that those who do agree with them, have lots of work to do.

  5. This policy statement has been a long time coming and is long overdue. The NDP must stand with the Palestinians and promote their struggle for statehood and freedom. In this struggle the Palestinians are David.The NDP must insist that Israel adhere to UN General Assembly resolutions.Israel must comply with international law.

  6. Rather then interfering with other countries why are you not stepping up to the plate for Canadians?

    1. Hey Gina, to whom are you directing that question? Singh? The NDP? or CTIP?

      As far as I know Mr. Singh and the NDP do spend most of their time talking about Canadian issues. They spend relatively little time on foreign affairs.

      CTIP spends most of its time on Israel/Palestine because that is its mandate.

  7. You notice every suggestion is against Israel! Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch are notoriously anti-Semitic. UNRWA hasn’t resettled a single Palestinian refugee (these are the only ones they deal with) and has repeatedly been found to support Islamic terrorists and promoting anti-Semitism in schools etc. etc.

    1. “As relations have warmed between Israel and the monarchies of the Persian Gulf, American officials have begun using the struggle against antisemitism to shield those regimes from human rights pressure, too.” See Has the Fight Against Antisemitism Lost Its Way? By Peter Beinart
      New York Times
      Aug. 26, 2022

  8. From a real human rights organization:

    The letter begins innocently enough by articulating support for a position all of us – and all political parties – can and should get behind: a peaceful two-state solution.

    However, rather than proposing constructive, informed ideas on how to achieve this laudable objective, Mr. Singh presents ill-informed, fringe positions copied and pasted from the anti-Israel playbook. The NDP apparently now believes that the Palestinians have no agency and no responsibility. This racism of low expectations is absurd.

    Singling out Israel as exclusively responsible for the current impasse is as absurd as it is unhelpful. The Palestinians do have agency and they must be part of the solution. Suggesting otherwise moves us further from peace – to the serious detriment of Israelis and Palestinians alike.

    The only hope for enduring peace is through direct negotiations between the two parties.

    We have reached out to Mr. Singh privately, directly, and unambiguously, highlighting the factual errors in his letter and the baseless and irrational logic that underpins his party’s new position.

    Gail Adelson-Marcovitz CIJA

    1. Thank you Mr. Sigman for referring to CIJA’s response to Singh’s letter. Singh’s 13 points ALL fit well within the 2 state solution. CIJA claims it is also in favour of a 2 state solution, but has said very little each time Israel takes another step to undermine it. In practice, it appears CIJA is in favour of whatever Israel does.

  9. Who exactly do you want Israel to make peace with. 2 Sate Policy? The governing body their states from the river to the sea, meaning no Israel. They haven’t had elections since 2006. You can’t speak about peace in Gaza or you get arrested. Israel allows 10’s of 1000’s of people from Gaza to cross into Israel every day to work. What is the governing authority doing to help employment. Their leaders live in luxury mostly outside Gaza while the people of Gaza live in poverty. Where does the billions of dollars in foreign aid go that the people of Gaza live in such poverty ? Israel supplies them with water because they would rather spend the money on rockets than water filtration so don’t write that Israel steals their water. Those houses in Jerusalem are owned by Jews and were given away to Arabs in 1948 after Jews were expelled from there. Jordan while occupying that part of Jerusalem never compensated the owners or transferred ownership to those now living there so by law they still belong to the Jews who were expelled. Reaffirm support for the convention on the rights of the child. I agree. Stop teaching them to shoot guns and to kill Jews so that they can be children and not end up in jail or dead committing acts of terror or murder. Israel the Apartheid state has 1.7 million Muslims living in Israel in peace in all fields including hospitals, government, the Israeli Defense forces and the Israeli Supreme Court. But all this doesn’t matter because you are not interested in facts, only demonizing Israel.

    1. I respectfully disagree with you. I used to be blinded as well. But then I encountered lots of people that told me first hand experiences, oral history and read lots of books that changed my mind.

      It’s hard to explain everything here in this post. But I can recommend some books that tell a lot of the true history; both past and present. Many of them are Israeli authors like Ilan Pappe, Miko Peled, Shlomo Sand and Nurit Peled El Hanan.

      Palestinian authors: Hanan Ashrawi and Edward Saed (both Palestinian Christians). Also a good book by the former president of the US, Jimmy Carter, “Palestine. Peace not Apartheid.”

      What has been happening in Palestine is plain apartheid, discrimination, violations of basic human rights and international law. There has been systemic ethnic cleansing and that is by all means unacceptable. I applaud Mr. Singh’s initiative as Canada has a huge role in defending the oppressed.

      I hope you will read the recommended books with an open mind as they go hand in hand with the oral history I have heard from both, Palestinians and Israelis.

      1. Really, I didn’t know Israel was governing Gaza and the West Bank. I thought it was The Palestinian Authority and Hamas. They are the ones that have the population living in terrible poverty and conditions not Israel. You will never have a 2 State solution until pressure is put on those governing The West Bank and Gaza to recognize Israel’s right to exist. The government of Israel’s duty is to ensure Israel’s existence and the protection of it’s citizens. You should also look up the definition of Apartheid before using it and I suggest that you start reading better books.

      2. Every book you mentioned is pro-Palestinian and Anti-Israel. Pappe is noted to be the worst Israeli historian on record. Jimmy Carter apologized. If those, and those like them, are the only authors you have read, then you are totally prejudiced. My personal library has all of the authors you mention, some pro-palestinians you haven’t, pro-israeli authors, and several textbook histories.

        Your suggestions will only make a bigot.

  10. Thank you Jamgeet for standing up for the human rights of Palestinians. It has been ignored for years and years. We respect your initiative and we would like to see Canada taking real practical action. Lots of respect!

  11. A brave move! Canada is number one in the world that advocates for human rights. I am glad the violations of human rights in Palestine is being addressed. The apartheid regime was wrong in Africa. And is also wrong in Palestine. Thank you Jamgeet!

  12. One only needs to see the patterns of settlements, walls and roadways built over the past 55 years on the land taken by Israel in 1967 to see that the two-state solution – one for Israel and one for Palestinians with contiguous borders is not possible. Unfortunately, there is now a Bantustan situation – otherwise known as Apartheid. At least one Canadian political leader, Jagmeet Singh had the courage to speak out. Bravo! Who knows where this will lead but as we have learned in Canada and elsewhere one must have Truth before there is Reconciliation.

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