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The Green Party of Canada slides into irrelevance with antisemitic and racist behaviour
PoliticsThe Green Party of Canada slides into irrelevance with antisemitic and racist behaviour

The Green Party of Canada slides into irrelevance with antisemitic and racist behaviour

The Green Party of Canada slides into irrelevance with antisemitic and racist behaviour

I have always been fascinated by the amount of coverage the Green Party receives in the national media given that they have never lived up to their billing in terms of electoral votes or seats for more than three decades.

Former Green Party leader Elizabeth May failed to bring the party success with seats in the House of Commons despite trying for over 13 years over five separate election cycles. In the 2019 election, the Greens garnered only 6.4 per cent of the popular vote nationally. Not quite fringe numbers but certainly not respectable in terms of being a real player. Despite the unearned media hype, they ended the campaign with a grand total of three seats. YES, that is three seats in the House of Commons including May’s in British Columbia.

In 2020, May stepped down as leader and was replaced by Annamie Paul. She is the first Black Canadian and first Jewish woman to become the leader of a major political party in Canada. 

Paul had electoral experience having run for the Green Party in Toronto Centre against  former Liberal Finance Minister Bill Morneau, in 2019. She lost but had the second-best Green result in the Greater Toronto Area, nearly tripling their vote in the riding.

The Green Party has failed to take hold with mainstream voters in Canada because they have never matured politically. This is mainly because they have some nutbars in the party whose positions and antics deter many mainstream voters from supporting them.

Having principles and coming from a place of doing the right thing is an admirable quality in any political party, but there is a fine line between being principled and being strident and stubborn, or worse, stupid. Sadly, the current prickly people from the Birkenstock sector who run the Green party are now in full meltdown mode and are trying to oust their new leader Annamie Paul with a breathtakingly ignorant, antisemitic, and racist narrative that is quickly suffocating any remaining credibility the Greens have with voters.

To be clear, Annamie Paul by any standard is a serious and very credible person and her treatment by many of the party members is embarrassing and shameful. It proves the point that ‘the left’ in Canada have elements in it that are as racist and ignorant as the people on the right of the spectrum who they are often quick to accuse of being prejudiced and who they smugly attack when their views do not align with Green ideological positions.

As party leader, Annamie Paul represented the first real chance to bring the Greens into the mainstream of Canada’s politics. She is a first generation Canadian—the daughter of immigrants who moved to Canada from the Caribbean in the 1960s. Her mother took a job as a live-in domestic before regaining her profession as an elementary teacher where she would teach for more than 30 years in Toronto schools. Annamie’s was enrolled in a French immersion program in Toronto and was among the first group of students to graduate from the program in the late 1980s. She had an interest in politics at a young age and became a Page in the Ontario Legislature when she was only 12. She would go on to earn a Master of Public Affairs at Princeton University, a Bachelor of Law at the University of Ottawa, and was called to the Bar in Ontario .

Professionally she worked in international affairs abroad as a director for a leading conflict prevention NGO in Brussels, as an advisor at the International Criminal Court in The Hague, and as a Political Officer in Canada’s Mission to the European Union. She co-founded and co-directed BIPP HUB in Barcelona: an innovation hub for international NGOs working on global challenges. She  also served on the board and advised several international NGOs, including the Climate Infrastructure Partnership (CLIP), Higher Education Alliance for Refugees (HEAR) and Institute for Integrated Transitions (IFIT). Paul has long promoted diversity in Canadian politics as the founder of the Canadian Centre for Political Leadership (CCPL) from 2001-2005: a non-partisan charity that trained women and under-represented minorities to run for elected office. She volunteered with Operation Black Vote Canada (OBVC) and served on the steering committee for Equal Voice Canada, two non-partisan organisations working to diversify our political representation. She has published articles and policy papers on social inclusion and representation in Canadian politics.

Paul’s husband is an international human rights lawyer who specializes in peace negotiations and reconciliation, and they have two teenage children.

After watching the nasty and demeaning circus that is unfolding in the Green Party, I cannot imagine why anyone would want to vote for them let alone be associated with them as a candidate in an election. Sadly, the Green Party of Canada has been overtaken by a gaggle of fringe ideologues whose uncompromising narrative can only be found in the hallowed halls of many of Canada’s politically correct social studies faculties where ‘tenured professors’ who would find difficulty getting a job in the real world postulate about such things as ‘better speech over free speech’ and believe absurd things like if you think Israel has a right to defend itself from missile attacks by Hamas then you are a supporter of apartheid. 

Worse is the subtle but very real racist and antisemitic undertones being used to try to dethrone Paul in this sad mutiny. The antisemites came out in full force when Annamie Paul’s senior advisor Noah Zatzman expressed his solidarity with Israel in a May 14, 2021 social media post which accused many politicians, including unspecified Green MPs, of discrimination and antisemitism. His comments appeared to be in response to attacks on Israel by Green party members who were stridently calling out Israel over their air strikes and blaming Israel for the conflict while conveniently leaving out the fact that the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas had fired almost 3,800 missiles at Israel and the only thing stopping mass casualties in Israel was the Israeli defence system known and the Irondome.

While Zatzman showed poor judgment in making the post given that he was a senior aide to Paul, he then went further in a Facebook post stating that Greens “will work to defeat you and bring in progressive climate champions who are Antifa and pro-LGBT and pro-Indigenous sovereignty and Zionists!”

This comment infuriated many in the party and they began relentlessly attacking Paul. They demanded not only that Zatzman be fired but the Paul resign. Zatzman would eventually leave but the attacks on Paul only increased and were often personal or nasty in nature with many implying she was stupid, prejudiced, ignorant or worse. Many of the Green Party emails and releases regarding the situation were sent to media across Canada, including Ottawa Life Magazine. The aggressive tone and strident and accusatory content in many of them is quite shocking and were not what one would get from a mature political party trying to provide an alternative to the three traditional parties in Canada.

As this debacle played out, on June 10, 2021, the Greens were further reduced to two seats when  New Brunswick MP Jenica Atwin, their only MP from West of British Columbia, crossed the floor and joined the Liberal party and caucus after some clever maneuvering and persuasive bidding by New Brunswick MP and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, Dominick Leblanc.

There was the stench of hypocrisy and intellectual dishonesty in Atwin’s move and her New Brunswick constituents will decide her fate in the coming election. Atwin justified the defection saying, “there were too many ‘distractions’” in the Green Party, and she wanted to work in a more “supportive and collaborative environment.” She bizarrely suggested her crossing the floor was as direct result of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in which she had directly challenged Annamie Paul’s position on the issue, saying Paul’s call for de-escalation and a return to dialogue between the two was “totally inadequate.” On May 11, 2021, Atwin had tweeted, “I stand with Palestine and condemn the unthinkable airstrikes in Gaza. End apartheid!”  

Atwin did not explain how the very views and position expressed by Annamie Paul on the conflict is any different from the official position of the Trudeau Liberal government she quit the Greens to join. The fact is that the Trudeau Liberal government does not consider Israel an ‘apartheid state’ and the Canadian government also called for a de-escalation in the conflict when it occurred.

Throughout all this Annamie Paul has attempted to take the high road, saying party debate is healthy.

To understand the internal politics and what is really going on in the Green Party of Canada, you need look no further than the departments of Sociology or Arts in many university campuses across Canada where ideological Marxist professors with fully funded taxpayer tenures have taken over the narrative. They are offended by everything. They cannot have serious discussions about anything because someone might get triggered or offended or have an emotional crisis because a contrarian view is expressed that does not fit with their narrative. The left in Canada, including the Green Party have become masters at tagging people with the term racist or anti Semite or white nationalist if you do not agree with them. Now they have turned inward and are eating their own because they don’t know how to have a discussion that might include contrarian views.

Annamie Paul’s statements on the Israeli-Hamas conflict were balanced and tempered. In fact, her views would mirror what most Canadians would say about the conflict.

The reality is a cabal of whack jobs in the Green Party are showing their true antisemitic and racist colours in trying to oust Paul over her very sensical comments about the issue.

The Green Party are not deserving of the support of anyone in the next election. They will be lucky if Annamie Paul sticks around to put up with this vile attack. What the Green Party really needs is a political enema. And soon, or they will be discarded to the dustbin of history.

Comments (1)

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S C July 19, 2021 5:04 pm

The headline is certainly eye-catching, but doesn't quite seem to be born out in the body of the article. Anti-Israeli sentiment is hardly the exclusive domain of the antisemite. Indeed, the most ardent critics of Israel are often Jewish themselves, which makes the criticisms of Israel hardly a guarantee of antisemitism. Moreover, there's no small amount of bad-faith argumentation taking place in this article either. For example: "and believe absurd things like if you think Israel has a right to defend itself from missile attacks by Hamas then you are a supporter of apartheid." That's inane. While there are surely people who believe this brand of sentiment, it's hardly a popular one. The actual arguments are almost universally more nuanced, specifically targeting the root-cause of the missile strikes by Hamas in the first place (the occupation and illegal settlements in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, the forced displacement of Palestinians, etc.). Hardly anyone is pointing to Israel and declaring that they have no right to defend themselves, but there's a reality of conduct by the Israeli regime that dates back much further than the start of this volley of missile attacks. It's a remarkable display of bad faith to pretend like Israel has done nothing to provoke resentment or further disenfranchise Palestinians. If they hadn't, there'd hardly be anything for Hamas to leverage to gain any modicum of support for their own unjustifiable misconduct. There are many parties at fault here, but the Palestinian people themselves and many Israelis are the ones getting the worst of it, not Israel as a nation state and it is certainly not antisemitic to draw valid criticisms against a state and its apparatus. Just as one can (and ought to) duly critique Hamas, one should criticise Israel. But you do raise a valid critique of Atwin who surely deserves it. The reasons she gives for crossing the aisle are clearly false and I would wager have far more to do with her wanting to aspire to re-election rather than any entrenched moral conflict between herself and Paul on the issue of Iraeli-Palestinian relations. The most inane part of this article, however, is the following: "To understand the internal politics and what is really going on in the Green Party of Canada, you need look no further than the departments of Sociology or Arts in many university campuses across Canada where ideological Marxist professors with fully funded taxpayer tenures have taken over the narrative." This line in and of itself betrays a startling lack of knowledge about universities in Canada today and encroaches into the realm of absurdism/parody. It is usually best to not invoke a bogeyman unless one is at least somewhat familiar with it. University teaching staff has overwhelming shifted away from those with tenure (or on the tenure track) and toward adjuncts. Moreover, it's been like this for at least two decades now. The Marxist professor trope is also one that has little bearing in reality; you'll definitely find a sizable number of progressives or small-L liberals, but outright Marxists are essentially a rarity in at least my experience, but also based on polling (https://www.researchgate.net/publication/265189676_Political_Affiliation_of_Canadian_University_Professors). Best not to bog down an article already laden with bias in dated stereotypes, afterall. Just reads like a pretty weak filler piece rather than something that offers up anything worth considering. It also kind of reads like a fluff essay someone might write in high school just to get it done and over the minimum word count, and while I understand that it's an editorial, I've seen better leveraging the same sorts of arguments in less faulty/fallacious/flawed ways.