CJPME Condemns Provocative Statements by CIJA's Israel Office Director

Montreal, April 24, 2023 Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME) is calling on the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA) to publicly denounce the provocative and anti-Palestinian remarks of their Israel Office Director, David M. Weinberg. As a frequent columnist in Israeli media, Mr. Weinberg has recently called on Israel to “retake control” of Al-Aqsa/Temple Mount, expel the family members of Palestinian “terrorists,” and compared the bombing of Gaza to “mowing your front lawn,” while likening Palestinians to “weeds” and “snakes.” CJPME insists that CIJA clarify that they reject and condemn their director’s extremist positions.

“CIJA must condemn their senior director’s reckless and unacceptable public remarks, including his calls for Israel to ‘retake control’ of the Temple Mount/Al Aqsa compound, and his racist comparisons of Palestinians to snakes,” said Michael Bueckert, Vice President of CJPME. “CIJA’s director in Israel is not just defending Israel’s illegal actions, but actively encouraging its government to go even further and unapologetically commit war crimes,” added Bueckert.

CJPME notes that CIJA’s Israel Office Director Mr. Weinberg is a long-time public advocate for illegal and dangerous policies which reflect, and even go further than, many of the extremist priorities of Israel’s far-right government. Mr. Weinberg is a vocal proponent of Netanyahu’s judicial coup and is a senior fellow of the far-right Kohelet Policy Forum, which is widely credited with developing Netanyahu’s legislative agenda. Some of his positions have previously been reported by the Ottawa Citizen and The Maple. Additionally, CIJA’s director:

  • Calls on Israel to “retake control of the Temple Mount [Al-Aqsa mosque compound]” and “demonstrate sovereignty,” and says that “Israel had best plow through the overwrought criticism and implement Temple Mount reforms with dispatch.”
  • Calls on Israel to use much greater military force in its bombardments of the occupied Gaza Strip, writing: “Just like mowing your front lawn, this is constant, hard work. If you fail to do so, weeds grow wild and snakes begin to slither around in the brush.”
  • Calls on Israel to expand illegal settlements in all regions under occupation as a way to collectively punish Palestinians, writing: “Building up the Land of Israel is the right response to Palestinian terrorism. It is a Zionist response. It is also sweet revenge.”
  • Calls on Israel to expel Palestinian Arab and Bedouin villages, writing: “Israel had best plow through the overwrought criticism and take down Khan al-Ahmar with dispatch … And while at it, the IDF also should act against eight dozen other illegal Palestinian settlements [villages] in Area C [in the occupied West Bank].”
  • Calls on Israel to enact collective punishment against Palestinians, including by demolishing homes and expelling (revoking citizenship/residency status) of the families of Palestinians convicted of attacks, writing: “Israel can and should raze Palestinian homes that give shelter to terrorists and expel the families of terrorists too.”
  • Calls on Israel to “Expel hostile UN agencies from the prime Jerusalem real estate they occupy […] in Jerusalem, including the outrageously regressive United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) and Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).”
  • Calls on Israel to approach negotiations with Palestinians with a “baseline” that “100 percent of the West Bank belongs to Israel, by historical right, and that this right is richly buttressed by political experience, legitimate settlement, and security necessity.”

CJPME notes CIJA’s website lists Weinberg as a media contact and states that he “maintains CIJA’s extensive set of contacts in Israeli decision-making circles.” Given Mr. Weinberg’s prominent role in CIJA’s Israel operations, CJPME recommends that Canadian journalists regard CIJA’s analysis of Israeli-Palestinian affairs with extreme skepticism. CJPME also recommends that parliamentarians engage with CIJA’s lobby junkets and similar events with extreme caution, understanding that CIJA is taking direction from far-right advisors.

About CJPME – Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME) is a non-profit and secular organization bringing together men and women of all backgrounds who labour to see justice and peace take root again in the Middle East. Its mission is to empower decision-makers to view all sides with fairness and to promote the equitable and sustainable development of the region.

For more information, please contact: Michael Bueckert, VP CJPME: 613-315-7947 or [email protected].

Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East www.cjpme.org

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