Departure from NATO, however, is not enough. Canada should not get involved in any war unless military action is approved by a two-thirds vote of the United Nations General Assembly. Freed from the NATO web Canada can pursue an independent foreign policy, including on the Israel-Palestine issue.

Sid Ryan’s advocacy for the Palestinian people, starting in his days in CUPE where he endorsed the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions movement, shows that an NDP leader could muster broad support for a process where Canada is non-aligned, expresses solidarity with Palestinians and other oppressed nations in the Global South, and champions a foreign policy based on peace, democracy, social justice and human rights.

New Politics. New Leadership. What Sid says:

Israel’s recent bombing campaign and incursion in Gaza has destroyed schools and universities, demolished bridges and roads, and killed several Palestinians. The sonic-boom bombardments wreak havoc on a civilian population, smashing windows and doors and terrorizing children. More damaging, there is no electricity for more than 700,000 people — no lights, no refrigerators, and no fans in the suffocating heat. It means no clean water — the public water supply uses electricity — leading to disease, possibly cholera. It means limited services in hospitals and clinics dependant on electricity. Were this Northern Ireland, the wrath of the international community would be swift and harsh. Yet when we criticize this behaviour, we are labelled anti-Semites — a convenient tactic used to shut down debate and silence us from any criticism of the state of Israel.

 

Sid Ryan
Globe and Mail, July 7, 2015

It is following a long tradition and a peaceful tradition of using the pressures of a boycott in a peaceful way to bring pressure to bear on the state of Israel to end this illegal occupation

 

Sid Ryan

When Israel was founded by the UN in 1948, it was granted 56 per cent of the territory the world refers to as the Holy Land. Following wars between Israel and its Arab neighbors and the resultant treaties, Israel wound up with 77 per cent of the land, and Palestinians with 23 per cent, divided between the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza.

 

Sid Ryan
Speaking when he was President of CUPE Ontario

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