Leader of the Green Party of Canada Elizabeth May is participating in the #hungerstrikeforgaza campaign, which calls for a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas and for an arms embargo against the Israeli government.
In a short post on X, May retweeted a video promoting the hunger strike with the caption “I am hunger striking for Gaza.”
May did not provide any additional information as to what her hunger strike will look like.
The video depicts Rachel Smalls, a Toronto-based left-wing activist and self-proclaimed “queer activist” who is an organizer for the anti-war activist group World Beyond War at a launch event for the hunger strike for Gaza campaign giving a speech in which she condemns Israel’s “horrific war crimes” in Gaza and calls for an arms embargo against Israel.
She also demonizes Canadian companies selling arms and parts to the Israeli government, including Apex Industries, Gastops, ASCO Industries, Ben Machine, and Inkas.
While not present in the video, the UN Special Rapporteur on the right to food Michael Fakhri and Tarek Loubani are credited as organizers in launching this campaign.
A few months ago, Loubani, a London, Ont based doctor, was arrested and charged with mischief for vandalizing Liberal MP Peter Fagiskatos’ constituency office with ketchup, meant to mimic blood.
True North reached out to May and the Green Party asking her what goals need to be met for her to cease her hunger strike, how thorough she plans on committing to the hunger strike, and if she supports Israel’s right to defend itself. May and the Green Party did not meet the deadline for comment.
The Green Party’s deputy leader Jonathan Pedneault did not comment on May’s decision to join the pro-Gaza hunger strike.
The Green Party has had issues dealing with antisemitism in the past.
In the 2006, 2008, and 2011 elections, the Green Party ran Monika Schaefer as a candidate in Alberta’s Yellowhead riding.
Schaefer had expressed troubling antisemitic views that included blaming Jewish people for the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, and called the Holocaust the “biggest and most pernicious and persistent lie in all of history.”
Schaefer was later arrested and convicted in Germany on incitement to hatred charges for her Holocaust denial.
In 2015, the Green Party ran Sharon Danley as the Spadina-Fort York candidate who had made multiple disturbing social media posts including one comparing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to Hitler and blamed the “Jewish faction within the party” for her election defeat.
In 2016, the Green Party adopted a Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions resolution at their party’s national convention targeting the Israeli economy.
A year after electing the first Black Canadian and Jewish woman to lead a federal party, Annamie Paul stepped down as the Green Party’s leader in 2021 after a series of internal party disputes over the Israel-Palestine conflict and facing what Paul described as racism and sexism.