Green party candidate apologizes for anti-Israel tweets

Green party candidate Dale Dewar

A Green party candidate in Saskatchewan has apologized for her past anti-Israel tweets.

Dale Dewar, the Green hopeful in the riding of Regina–Qu’Appelle, said she’s sorry for a series of “inflammatory” tweets excoriating Israel for its treatment of Palestinians, supporting the BDS movement and suggesting Israelis have mental illness.

“I am deeply sorry for the use of inflammatory language when describing the Middle East situation; it was unacceptable and I regret doing so. Today, I have removed all such posts,” Dewar wrote in a message to the party that was relayed to The CJN on Sept. 11. The party has accepted her apology.

Dewar’s apology came on the heels of the ouster of Hassan Guillet, who was dumped as a Montreal-area Liberal candidate after being accused of attacking Israel and glorifying terrorism on social media.

And in June, the NDP dropped Rana Zaman, after several tweets in which the Nova Scotia candidate accused Israel of committing genocide, acting like Nazis and using money to influence Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

A physician, Dewar said that because of her dedication to human rights and progressive values, “I have been critical of the State of Israel and its treatment of the Palestinian people. I believe there are serious issues in regard to the Israeli government’s policies in the West Bank and Gaza. I also believe that there are serious problems within the Palestinian leadership that hinder brokering a peace settlement.”

A sampling of her past tweets, most of them from 2019, include:

  • “BDS starting to have an effect? Roll on – shut down Israeli economics. #ApartheidIsrael Give the Israelis some mental health workers – they need help getting over their PTSD.”
  • “Israel is practically a serial rapist.”
  • “Since Zionism is a made-up cult, opposing it should occur in a pluralistic society, one that is not controlled by WWII guilt over Western failure about Jews – which resulted in Israel, a ‘country’ imposed upon Palestine, already occupied by a people.”
  • “Israel continuing to colonize land already owned and farmed by another people, the Palestinians.”
  • “Definitely time to pull the blinders off with respect to supporting Israel. Might help to recognize that the support is simply a way to assuage the guilt that North Americans feel over WWII – for Israelis, a way to live out their PTSD.”
  • “Israel has too much time on its hands and a distorted sense of reality. Pick on children! How do they think that translates to the opinions of the next generation? #Support BDS.”

The CJN first made inquiries about Dewar to Green party headquarters on Sept. 4. On Sept. 10, Dewar tweeted: “I want to say I utterly and completely condemn anti-Semitism. I support a two-state solution and condemn violent behaviour on both sides. @CanadianGreens A human conflict needs a human solution…” Soon afterward, she deactivated her Twitter account.

In her apology, Dewar said she is “committed to non-violence and a global end to war. I do not support violence in the Middle East by either party. As all Greens, I unreservedly condemn anti-Semitism and I support the right of the State of Israel to exist.”

In response, Martin Sampson of the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs said: “As Canadians, we expect our elected officials to hold themselves to the highest standards. Invoking anti-Semitic or otherwise hateful stereotypes obviously fails that standard.

“Lending support to BDS, an antiSemitic movement that has been condemned by Canada’s Parliament, is unbecoming of any candidate running for political office.”

In a news release on Sept. 12, the Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Centre (FSWC) called on the Green party to dismiss Dewar as a candidate. “There is no place in the political process for those who promote bigotry and racial hatred,” said FSWC president and CEO Avi Benlolo.

Regina–Qu’Appelle is represented by Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer.