Canada – Ontario NDP stands by BDS candidate who called for eliminating Israel

Sarah Jama (left) and Marit Stiles
Sarah Jama (left) and Marit Stiles

Ontario – The Ontario NDP (Ontario New Democratic Party), the province’s official opposition party, is standing by a candidate nominated to run in an upcoming by election who supports BDS, and who was condemned by B’nai Brith Canada for her “vile denunciations of the Jewish State,” according to the Toronto Sun.

NDP leader Marit Stiles described Sarah Jama, who is running in Hamilton Centre, as a leading disability justice advocate.

“Sarah Jama and the NDP have been very clear … we do not condone antisemitism and, in fact, Sarah Jama has been a very strong advocate for human rights and against antisemitism and any form of racism,” Stiles said this week, according to the news outlet. “I’m really excited about her joining us here at Queen’s Park.”

Earlier in the week, B’nai Brith urged Stiles to withdraw Jama’s candidacy, describing her as a “radical activist” associated with anti-Israel groups.

The advocacy organization pointed out that Jama is not only a supporter of the BDS movement but that she “has called for the creation of a Palestinian state from the ‘river to the sea,’ obliterating Israel from the map.”

“Ms. Jama’s views may reflect the party militants in Hamilton Centre who chose her to replace [former party leader Andrea] Horwath, but they certainly do not reflect what the people of Ontario and Canada think. In fact, Ms. Jama does not reflect the NDP’s own position,” B’nai Brith wrote in a letter to Stiles.

B’nai Brith cited a statement in June 2022 by then-ONDP leader Horwath responding to a B’nai Brith election survey with information that the party supported the use of the IHRA definition of antisemitism and recognized Israel’s right to exist.

Besides being a vocal advocate of the BDS movement, Jama has also accused Israel of being an “apartheid state” and called it racist, the Sun reported.

Her candidacy was described as “disturbing” by B’nai Brith whose CEO Michael Mostyn said that “there should be no room in the Legislature for a member whose demonizing of the Jewish state will only lead to more hate aimed at Jews in Ontario.”

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