Stunning results about Canadian opinions on Israel & Palestine Dear Friend, Results of a national survey of Canadians by EKOS, which Independent Jew

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Stunning results about Canadian opinions on Israel & Palestine

Ottawa rally 2014 gaza photo

Dear Friend,

Results of a national survey of Canadians by EKOS, which Independent Jewish Voices Canada (IJV) co-sponsored, show that Canadians are at sharp odds with the Canadian government’s and Jewish establishment’s pro-Israel bias.

Gaza rubble chart

We should all take heart. After years of organizing against the oppressive conditions Israel imposes on Palestinians, here is tangible proof that Canadians share our values in support of human rights for all in Israel-Palestine.

The poll found that far more Canadians had a negative (46%) than a positive (28%) opinion of the Israeli government. This was particularly true of Liberal Party supporters (55% vs 22%); NDPers (61% vs 7%); Greens (58% vs 5%); and Bloc Quebecois supporters (78% vs 10%). Only Conservative Party supporters tended to have more positive than negative opinions of the Israeli government (21% vs 58%).

CIJA protest image

In sharp contrast, almost four times as many Canadians believe that the Canadian government is pro-Israel (61%) than believe it is pro-Palestinian (16%). On February 13, the Green Party of Canada adopted a strong position in support of Palestinian rights. But so far, the Liberal, NDP and Bloc party platforms on Israel-Palestine do not accord with the views of their respective constituencies. Given these survey results, members of these parties should more confidently demand progressive political policy changes in relation to Israel-Palestine.

Despite the lobby group Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs’ (CIJA) claim to represent the diverse Jewish community of Canada, the results show that Jewish Canadians are deeply divided, and many hold critical views towards the Israeli government. The study found that Jewish Canadians were more likely to hold a negative than a positive opinion of the government of Israel (39% vs. 32%). They were also far more likely to view the Canadian media as biased toward Israel (48%) than as biased toward Palestinians (7%). And they shared the overwhelming view of other Canadians that criticisms of Israeli government policies are like those of any other country, and are not necessarily anti-Semitic (93% vs. 7%).

Arrest Palestinian chart full

People under 35 years of age tended to hold the most negative views toward the government of Israel. It makes sense because until fifteen years ago, Palestinian issues had received very little publicity in Canada. Especially on university campuses, Palestinian rights activism is working to raise awareness and solidarity.

This study reports on the findings of an EKOS national on-line survey of 1,000 Canadians conducted between January 25 and February 2, 2017. It was commissioned by Independent Jewish Voices Canada, Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East, activist Dimitri Lascaris, and journliast Murray Dobbin. Care was taken to word the questions as neutrally as possible.

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Diana Ralph
National Steering Committee
Independent Jewish Voices Canada

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