HANSARD, THURSDAY, FEB. 25, 2010PRIVATE MEMBERS’PUBLIC BUSINESS
ISRAEL APARTHEID WEEK
Mr. Peter Shurman:
I move that in the opinion of this House, theterm “Israel Apartheid Week” is condemned as it serves to incite hatredagainst Israel, a democratic state that respects the rule of law and humanrights, and the use of the word “apartheid” in this context diminishes thesuffering of those who were victims of a true apartheid regime in SouthAfrica.
The Speaker (Hon. Steve Peters):
Pursuant to standing order 98,the member has 12 minutes for his presentation.
Mr. Peter Shurman:
We debate some interesting things in thechamber, not always what appear to be provincial business. One might thinkthat my resolution falls into that category. But since Israel Apartheid Weektakes place next week on campuses across Ontario, I’d submit that it verymuch concerns us in this place and it should concern all fair-mindedOntarians.Resolutions here do one thing only: They send a message, moralsuasion, pertinent to any given subject. I am passionate about my resolutiontoday and the subject Israel Apartheid Week. I am the MPP for Thornhill; over40% of my constituents are Jewish. Understandably, there is broad supportfor Israel in Thornhill, and not just in Thornhill and not just among Jewishpeople. I have been approached in and outside of Thornhill, on and off collegecampuses all over Ontario, to champion this cause, and I’m very happy to doso.I am sick and tired of the demonization of Israel by the use of a wordthat was only ever applied in one historical case and remains applicable onlyto that one period of South African history. In honesty, I have also, along withall colleague MPPs, been approached as well by those not in agreement withthis resolution. I say here and now that I reject their position out of hand. Thisis a resolution that is entirely appropriate for discussion in our OntarioLegislature. It’s about an annual event in our province on our campuses, andmost significantly it’s about our values, because our values are the same asthe values of the state of Israel: democracy, education, individual freedom,human rights and the right to defend oneself from aggressors. In fact, thevalues of Judaism and of Israel were bedrock values for the foundation of Canada, and those values from Judaism and from Israel date back over 3,000years, all to say that if you’re going to label Israel as apartheid...L208-1330-25 follows(Mr. Shurman)