Montreal, September 6, 2023 — “Apartheid” is the most popular choice for how Canadians say that they view Israel, according to a new survey of Canadian public opinion conducted by EKOS Research Associates and sponsored by Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME). Similarly, the survey found that only a small minority of Canadians view Israel as a “vibrant democracy.” CJPME believes that these findings pose a disturbing challenge to Canada’s warm relationship with Israel, which is premised on the claim that Canada and Israel share “democratic values.”
The survey sought to find out what average Canadians think about the democratic character of Israel, given the competing claims describing it as a democracy versus the view that Israel is practicing apartheid. Excluding those who responded with “I don’t know,” the largest number of Canadians who provided an answer said that they view Israel as “a state with segregation similar to apartheid” (38%), which is more than three times as many Canadians who said they view Israel as a vibrant democracy (11%). The survey also found that:
- Almost half (48%) of Canadians aged 18–34 view Israel as a state with segregation similar to apartheid.
- A significant majority (64%) of NDP supporters view Israel as a state with segregation similar to apartheid, as do a majority (53%) of BQ supporters. Meanwhile, 33% of Liberal supporters view Israel in this way.
- 0% of NDP, BQ, or GPC supporters view Israel as a vibrant democracy, while one-quarter (27%) of CPC supporters and a small minority (8%) of Liberal supporters view Israel as a vibrant democracy.
“Despite the efforts of Israel’s supporters to dismiss the apartheid term as fringe or extreme, these survey results show that this is the first choice for how Canadians describe Israel,” said Michael Bueckert, Vice President of CJPME. In recent years, human rights groups including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have concluded that Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians amounts to apartheid, a crime under international law. However, their findings have been glibly dismissed by the Trudeau government and largely ignored by policymakers and journalists. “As it turns out, Canadians are largely aligned with the human rights community on the question of apartheid. It is those who see Israel as a vibrant democracy who hold the fringe position,” added Bueckert.
The survey was conducted by EKOS Research Associates from August 3-10, 2023, with a random sample of 1,089 Canadian adults aged 18 and over. The margin of error associated with the sample is plus or minus 3.0 percentage points, 19 times out of 20. All survey results, charts, and the report entitled “Survey: Canadians view Israel as apartheid, not a vibrant democracy,” can be accessed at www.cjpme.org/survey2023.
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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