Montreal, May 26, 2023 — Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME) is calling on Members of Parliament to boycott meetings with Israel’s far-right Diaspora Affairs Minister Amichai Chikli, who will be visiting Canada next week. Chikli is a far-right extremist and anti-Palestinian racist who has called for the suppression of the Palestinian national identity and has said that annexing the occupied West Bank – explicitly illegal under international law – would be “excellent.” CJPME reiterates its call for Canada to boycott meetings with Israel’s far-right regime, which would send a strong message in support of human rights and international law.
“It is completely unacceptable that Members of Parliament would give an audience to an anti-Palestinian and homophobic extremist in Israel’s government,” said Michael Bueckert, Vice President of CJPME. According to media reports, Chikli was originally scheduled to participate only in events hosted by far-right Christian organizations, including the Canada Christian College and the Israel Allies Caucus. However, after criticism from Liberal MPs and staff in Foreign Affairs Minister Joly’s office, Chikli will now meet with the Canada-Israel Parliamentary Group and other groups. “Instead of legitimizing Chikli’s far-right extremism with additional meetings, MPs should instead rescind their invitations immediately,” added Bueckert.
CJPME identifies Israeli Minister Chikli as an anti-Palestinian and homophobic extremist with a long record of expressing hateful views. For example, Chikli has:
- denigrated and called for the elimination of Palestinian national identity, claiming that it has no “positive content of its own” and that “we won’t be rid of this conflict until this national identity ceases to be”;
- demonized Palestinian society as “a barbaric society that breeds murderous children and admirers of martyrs who slaughter women and babies”;
- repeatedly compared Palestinians to Nazis, referring to the Palestinian Authority as a “neo-Nazi entity” and saying that an entire generation of Palestinians was raised “in the spirit of the Hitler Youth”;
- said of his government’s moves to illegally annex the occupied West Bank that “De facto annexation is excellent. I don’t have any problem with that”;
- has made many anti-LGBTQ statements, including attacking the Pride flag and calling the Tel Aviv Pride Parade a “disgraceful vulgarity.”
This year, CJPME has raised similar concerns regarding the recent meetings of Minister Joly, Minister Ng, and a group of Senators with their counterparts in Israel’s far-right government. Led by Prime Minister Netanyahu, Israel has rapidly advanced illegal colonial settlements and has taken steps that amount to the annexation of the occupied West Bank, while guided by a statement of principles which claims that the entire territory under Israeli control belongs exclusively to the Jewish people, a supremacist position that explicitly denies Palestinian rights. More than 2,000 Canadians have written to the Canadian government requesting a boycott of all meetings with Israel’s regime, as it poses an immediate threat to the safety of Palestinians on both sides of the Green Line.