NDP Emergency Resolutions
As was widely reported in the media, Judy Wasylycia-Leis M.P. spoke out on the floor of the convention against the ‘Lebanon’ resolution, and was booed when she characterized Hezbollah as a terrorist organization. Other MPs and individuals – Pat Martin M.P. and now former NDP President Adam Giambrone – worked behind the scenes to ameliorate the resolutions, but were largely unsuccessful due to the strong support the resolutions received from the NDP grassroots and other MPs in caucus.
The CIC responded to the resolutions with a press release. In the release, the CIC characterized the resolutions as “an irresponsibly one-sided and dangerously misinformed.” The resolutions were problematic for many reasons, including: NDP recognition of Hezbollah and Hamas as legitimate political organizations; an absence of condemnation concerning the abductions of Israeli soldiers across the Gaza and Lebanon borders; and the placing of blame entirely on Israel for the lack of progress on the ‘peace process’.
CIC Board Members wishing to express their views to the party are invited to send letters to Jack Layton; they should be copied to Alexa McDonough (Foreign Affairs Critic). Contact information is below:
Hon. Jack Layton M.P.
Leader of the NDP
House of Commons
Ottawa, ON K1A 0A6
Alexa McDonough M.P.
Foreign Affairs Critic
House of Commons
Ottawa, ON K1A 0A6
Letters of support to MPs Judy Wasylycia-Leis and Pat Martin would be helpful.
NDP EMERGENCY RESOLUTIONS
ADOPTED SEPTEMBER 10, 2006
NDP BIENNIAL CONFERENCE, QUEBEC CITY
RESOLUTION ON LEBANON
WHEREAS the recent 34-day war between Israel and Hezbollah in Lebanon ended due to a UN-brokered ceasefire and not with an agreement for a lasting peace; and
WHEREAS Israel’s response to the capture of two and killing of seven of its soldiers by Hezbollah was drastically disproportionate, resulting in over 1,200 mostly-civilian deaths and the wholesale destruction of villages, towns and neighborhoods along with significant Lebanese infrastructure; and
WHEREAS Israel continues to hold hundreds of Lebanese prisoners and to violate the country’s airspace, and Hezbollah continues to hold two Israeli prisoners and retains the capacity to strike at Israel’s northern towns and cities; and
WHEREAS Hezbollah is a recognized political party with democratically elected members In Lebanon’s cabinet and Parliament; and
WHEREAS Prime Minister Harper uncritically supported the actions of the Government of Israel and shamelessly refused to call for an immediate ceasefire and to condemn the killing of a Lebanese Canadian family and a Canadian UN observer by Israel,
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the NDP call for the immediate and complete withdrawal of Israeli troops from Lebanon; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the NDP use every available means to help restore Canada’s position in support of justice and international law; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the NDP press the federal government to advocate for a comprehensive peace process, bringing all state and non-state parties to the table, aimed at resolving conflicts in this region, including:
• the withdrawal by Israel from the Syrian Golan Heights and Lebanese Sheba Farms;
• the negotiated release of prisoners held by both sides;
• strict enforcement of the existing Lebanon-Israel border (by air, sea and land); and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the NDP continue to press the federal government to restore balance to Canada’s approach in the Middle East and to offer Canadian troops to the UN mission in south’ Lebanon if approved by all parties; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED the NDP press for Canada to increase financial support for humanitarian relief and reconstruction, particularly in southern Lebanon and Beirut.
INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS COMMITTEE
RESOLUTION ON MIDDLE EAST
WHEREAS the capture of an Israeli soldier and Israel’s military incursion into Gaza launched June 28, 2006, make it more urgent than ever for Canada to help bring all parties in this conflict back to the negotiating table; and
WHEREAS efforts to achieve a lasting, peaceful resolution of the conflict in the Middle East continue to be frustrated by actions such as continued occupation of the West Bank and Gaza by Israeli forces, ongoing violations of United Nations resolutions, and acts of violence against civilians; and
WHEREAS Prime Minister Harper’s recent interventions on the conflict in Lebanon are irresponsible and diminish Canada’s long-standing commitment to a just position with respect to conflict in the Middle East; and
WHEREAS achieving lasting and just peace requires a comprehensive peace process, involving all state and non-state actors in the region, inclusion of elected representatives of the Palestinian people, presence of UN forces where appropriate, a two-state solution for Israel and Palestine, and negotiated resolution of the right of return issues; and
WHEREAS Canada has recently been urged to facilitate an international conference on the Palestinian refugee challenge during the recent visit by Palestinian Parliamentarian Hanan Ashrawl; and
WHEREAS prospects for a viable Palestinian state are threatened by Israel’s:
• Completion of the 685km barrier wall deemed illegal by the International Court of Justice that annexes part of the West Bank and places all of Jerusalem firmly within a unilaterally-drawn Israeli border by 2008.
• Creation of Israeli settler-only bypass roads that hamper residents from having freedom of mobility within the West Bank.
• Permanent annexation and enlargement of key settlements throughout the occupied West Bank and in East Jerusalem, declared by the Israeli government as a ‘forever an inseparable part of the state of Israel”,
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the NDP reaffirm its longstanding support to achieve a two-state solution which ensures Israelis and Palestinians can live safely, side by side, In independent states with secure borders; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the NDP use every available means to help restore Canada’s just position in support of international law, and press for more positive, pro-active role in bringing all parties into a comprehensive peace process which includes addressing the Palestinians’ right of return issue; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the NDP condemns all acts of violence against civilians; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the NDP continue to call on both the Palestinian Authority and Israel to abide by UN resolutions; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the NDP work with Palestinian and Israeli Canadians to promote and support greater dialogue in Canada as well as in Israel and Palestine; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the NDP continue to oppose Israel’s occupation of and unilateral plans for the West Bank and East Jerusalem, including settlement expansions, and ongoing control of Gaza’s borders; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the NDP press the federal government to facilitate an international conference on the Palestinian refugee challenge; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that Canada increase financial support for capacity building, good governance, and developmental assistance projects in Gaza and the West Bank through local, national or international nongovernmental organizations, and through the Palestinian Authority as appropriate.
INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS COMMI1TEE