A Jewish take on Tom Mulcair’s departure from the NDP


The New Democratic Party is looking for a new leader, after its members voted on Sunday to replace Tom Mulcair.

Mulcair drew the ire of many in the Jewish community recently when he and the entire NDP parliamentary caucus voted against a motion rejecting the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel. (This after Mulcair had thoroughly rejected the BDS campaign during an interview with The CJN.) But if some have long suspected that the NDP harbours the animosity of the far left when it comes to Israel, it could be about to get much worse.

The NDP rank-and-file appear to be warming to the Leap Manifesto, which calls for a ban on new oil pipeline infrastructure in Canada and a dramatic move away from fossil fuels. And while that’s worth debating, the problem is that some of the people behind it, including the activist and author Naomi Klein, are vocal supporters of BDS. (Klein’s husband, Avi Lewis, has even been touted as a potential NDP leader.)

The Leap Manifesto doesn’t mention Israel per se. But if the document does eventually form the basis of NDP policy, its backers could try to shoehorn BDS into the agenda. And if that happens, the Jewish community might very well be left longing for Mulcair’s more centrist path.