Canadian Jewish Congress Has to Relax

I have been watching, with some interest, the flap, caused by the Canadian Jewish Congress (CJC) about a few resolutions which came to the United Church conference this year in Kamloops. The CJC called them racist.

Political parties, trade unions, churches and other organizations, all which claim to be democratic, ask their members to submit resolutions which are designed to give direction to the leadership of said organizations. The CJC may do the same.

The messy thing about democracy is that you can't dictate what your members may submit for debate. Generally they reflect the broad ideological focus of the organization but, from time to time some wacko is bound to submit something which pushes the envelope beyond the leadership's comfort zone. Not that all the resolutions submitted to the conference about Israel were off the wall. They were not.

The fact remains that the conduct by both side of the conflicts in the middle east is suspect and should be challenged. Israel should not be immune from criticism because of the western world's collective guilt about the atrocities committed against the Jewish peoples during the second world war. It seems to many that Israel is given a free ride by most western states including our own, what ever their conduct.

There are plenty of reasons to find fault with the Israeli state and armed forces. Criticizing the conduct of the Israeli army and the Government is completely justified and a boycott of Israeli goods may very well be justified to get a message across. Calling for that action is not a racist act.

The Canadian Jewish Congress has to begin to temper its response to issues such as this. There is no reason to act like bullies and to try and stifle what can only be described as democratic debate. So take a Valium CJC and back off a bit. You current conduct will only lose you friends.

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