In 2008, I visited Israel and stayed with family. I was at their community Remembrance Day
(Yom Ha’zikaron) and saw far too many posters of so many community members – mothers,
fathers, daughters and sons of those present at the service — who had died in service for their
country, from 1948 and forward. Two days later, I saw their young daughter’s boyfriend, 19
years old, clean-shaven, all of 140 pounds soaking wet, washing dishes in their home while
wearing his army outfit, and an Uzi machine gun slung over his shoulder. Physically and by age,
he could have been either of my sons who have known only peace and safety here in Winnipeg.
In that moment, staring at that boy at the sink, I realized the audacity of my preaching to Israel
how it should live, how it “should” find peace, from the safety of my home on the Canadian
prairies 6,000 miles away. Their lives are at risk, not mine, and they truly cannot afford an
“oops” moment when it comes to defining and shaping what peace looks like.
I do believe in a two-state solution, which is consistent with the position taken by the Union of
Reform Judaism. What I don’t believe in is the absurd and frankly childish motion brought
forward by the federal New Democratic Party calling for Canada to recognize the immediate
and unilateral recognition of a Palestinian State. Really? What does this even look like? Never
mind who might govern. How about other issues like oh, borders. Jerusalem. Palestinian
refugees. How about the motion legitimizing Hamas, now listed by Canada as a terrorist
organization, as the government of Gaza?
I had no qualms, together with all the other rabbis on the Winnipeg Council of Rabbis, in
offering support to CIJA, (our Canadian Jewish advocacy organization) for any initiatives they
undertake to push back hard against this motion. I do believe in and I seek peace in that region,
but it has to be negotiated mutually by those who will live next to each other. It cannot be
imposed from the comfort of our living rooms far, far away.
The NDP motion will be introduced in the House of Commons on Monday, March 18. I’m in the
“no” camp on this one. If this is where you are at, please let your Member of Parliament know,
via this CIJA link.

Please be sure to tell your Member of Parliament asap to vote “NO” to rewarding Hamas and                                                                              changing Canada’s longstanding foreign policy.

Shabbat shalom,
Rabbi Allan