Rabbi David Mivasair is a member of Independent Jewish Voices Canada and a long-time active member of the New Democratic Party (NDP). Resident of Hamilton, ON Mivasair worked at Vancouver’s Ahavat Olam progressive synagogue and First United Church homeless shelter.
On February 5, 2020 David Mivasair posted:
It was cold in Ottawa today. Here I am sitting on a bench made of ice. I went to Ottawa to talk with MP’s about improving Canada’s stance on Palestine. I was representing Independent Jewish Voices Canada together with Corey Balsam. We did it together with representatives from the United Church of Canada, the MennoniteCentralCommittee of Canada and some very top notch academics. We had individual meetings with 12 MP’s. I met with Elizabeth May, (Green), Marwan Tabbara (Lib and chair of the Canada-Palestine Parliamentary Friendship Group), the lead staff of Niki Ashton (NDP) and with MP Rob Oliphant (Lib and Parliamentary Secretary for Foreign Affairs).
Our meetings were very helpful. We had three specific asks: (1) that the government of Canada will act — not only talk — to support human rights and international law, (2) increase Canada’s support for UNRWA from the current $25 million to $50 million and (3) drop its appeal attempting to overturn the court ruling that products imported to Canada from illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank may not be falsely and misleadingly labeled as “Product of Israel”.
In addition to these asks, I mentioned three specific administrative things that the government of Canada can do to slightly mitigate the hardships of Palestinians living under Israeli military occupation: (1) have our consular officials show up when the Israeli military demolitions are about to be carried out in Palestinians villages and towns, (2) provide consular services in Gaza on some regular basis so that people living there who want visas to Canada don’t need to go through the ordeal of getting themselves to the embassy in Tel Aviv and then back into the ghetto of Gaza before the curfew and (3) expressing some concern to the Israeli government when Canadian academics who have been invited by Palestinian universities to as visiting scholars are denied visas by Israel. These suggestions of specific, fairly minor administrative changes were well-received. I am hopeful that there might be some concrete outcome and will follow through with the relevant MP’s.
I invite you to join and/or support Independent Jewish Voices Canada to enable us to continue this vital effort here in Canada.