JSpaceCanada is a progressive Zionist organization. We support a negotiated settlement which results in two states for two peoples living in peace. We oppose all attempts to delegitimize Israel through sanctions, boycotts or divestment. We are also opposed to the expansion of settlements in the West Bank because they are a serious obstacle to peace and, ultimately, counter-productive to Israel’s security.
A lingering question in the Jewish community is whether it is legitimate to criticize Israel. In our view, it is legitimate to criticize Israel just as it is fair to criticize any other country in the world. Indeed, Israel should be held to the same standard as any other nation and fair criticism of Israel involves commenting on specific actions of the Israeli government. Suggesting or implying, however, that because of its flaws Israel does not have a right to exist is an entirely different matter. To draw a parallel, Canada sometimes manifests racism, sexism, ableism, and homophobia, yet no one would seriously consider questioning our country’s fundamental right to exist.
West Bank settlements
JSpaceCanada believes that the continued establishment of settlements in the West Bank impedes the peace process and that the ongoing occupation of the West Bank is untenable, morally problematic, and not in Israel’s best interests.
In recent years, some commentators have labelled Israel an apartheid state. Israel does indeed face challenges in protecting the rights of all its citizens; Arab Israelis, the Bedouin of the Negev, African asylum-seekers and visible minorities, all should be afforded equality and respect. Also, Israel needs to continue negotiating peace so that Palestinians living in the West Bank will gain status as citizens of their own state. These challenges remind us that there is a long way to go in the work of building a state in keeping with the rich Jewish tradition of care for the other. At the same time, while many societal and institutional barriers exist in Israel, existing anti-discrimination legislation and the presence of Arab Israelis on the Supreme Court, inside the Knesset and throughout the civil service, make it clear that Israel is not an apartheid state.