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BJCA Statement on recent Port Moody Council Resolutions on Gaza.

Updated: Apr 2

On Tuesday, March 28, a delegation of 3 individuals from Free Palestine Tricities presented a petition to Port Moody City Council, asking it to make a statement on Israel and the situation in Gaza. The public input and meeting can be viewed here.

Prior to the council meeting, the group had secured a spot on the agenda and circulated a somewhat balanced petition statement.

During the standard public input procedures before the council meeting, individual attendees were given 2-minute slots to speak. As described by one attendee, "nearly 40 full minutes were dedicated to sharing horrible stories of war from one side. Unchallenged accusations of genocide, rape, summary execution, war crimes, and an enormously complicated history were distilled into a right vs. wrong narrative. Any speaker who may have disagreed with this narrative, having only two minutes to do so, could not possibly have presented a more nuanced view. In light of that, I reminded the council of their obligation to the residents of the city and focused only on the divisiveness of the discussion." Three individuals spoke against the council making a statement. Following public input, the petition itself was presented, asking the council to make a radical statement of condemnation and send a letter to the prime minister. Council adopted a more moderate statement proposed by a councillor in an attempt to steer a more neutral course, by a 5 to 2 vote. The two councillors voting against sending a statement have since been accused of being Islamophobic.

While I was out of town, I sent a letter to the council as a personal statement, which I have reprinted below. Following the meeting, I sent a note to the council formally representing Burquest, asking it to reconsider its action and reprinting my personal letter to them.

On Thursday, March 28, the council met again in a special session to reconsider their decision. By a 4-3 vote, it reversed its action. This was partly motivated by the overreaching 'bait and switch' approach the group had taken in presenting their petition, partly due to submissions by Jewish advocates to the council, and partly due to subsequent posts by the Free Palestine group on social media which were characterized by the mayor as hateful.

This reconsideration meeting can be viewed here.

It remains to be seen how the community will react to the back-and-forth decisions of the council. But I am writing to inform our community of the action I have taken in our names with respect to our local government's actions.

Dov Lank, Acting Chair, BJCA.

Port Moody Gaza letter
Download DOCX • 14KB

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1 Comment

Gideon Stuhler
Gideon Stuhler
Mar 29

Many thanks to Dov for doing this on Burquest's behalf. Honestly, I'm quite confused by the whole thing, so I would ask you to keep us informed on the further development in this matter. Comment on the situation in general: Before the vote at the UN General Assembly in December the city council of Burnaby decided unanimously to send a message to PM Trudeau, requesting that Canada vote in favour of a ceasefire (detrimental to Israel's interests). I sent an email to the mayor and each councilor voicing my objection to their move. I didn't get a single reply. City councils are elected to decide on city politics, not to mingle in international affairs, something that is beyond their exp…

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