Source: Lindsay Shepherd

After weeks of headlines following her comments about Israel being founded on a “crappy piece of land,” Coquitlam MLA Selina Robinson spoke about her past, present, and future in politics at an event in Vancouver on Monday. 

“There’s no perfect party. It doesn’t exist. There’s a party of best fit,” said Robinson, who was elected with the B.C. NDP in 2013 but now sits as an independent. “The New Democrats fit me…. But… the party changed. I didn’t leave the party, the party left me. And so I am a little bit in the wilderness right now.”

Robinson has already announced she will not be running in this year’s provincial election.

When asked at Monday night’s event if she would run for mayor of Coquitlam, she wouldn’t rule it out.

“I never say never,” she said.

At the live podcast recording event hosted by the National Council of Jewish Women Canada, Robinson recounted how she was removed as a cabinet minister, asked to resign from caucus, and accused by Premier David Eby of causing “harm” because of comments she made during an online panel earlier this year with the Jewish organization B’nai Brith.

“We have a whole generation of 18- to 34-year-olds that have no idea about the Holocaust, they don’t even think it happened. They don’t understand that Israel was offered to the Jews who were displaced. They have no connection to how it started,” Robinson said Jan. 30.

“They don’t understand that it was a crappy piece of land with nothing on it. There were several hundred thousand people but other than that it didn’t produce an economy. It couldn’t grow things.”

After video footage of her remarks circulated online, Muslim leaders wrote a letter to Eby saying that no B.C. NDP MLA or candidate would be allowed to set foot in a B.C. mosque unless he fired Robinson, which he subsequently did.

Robinson, who is Jewish, also spoke of how she was targeted online and in-person.

“I already offered two apologies – that wasn’t good enough for these anti-Israel protesters. Then I resigned. And it still wasn’t good enough because it was after I resigned that they defaced my community office,” Robinson said Monday night.

“So what is it that they were fighting for? They were looking to silence the Jewish minister. And my colleagues caved to that.”

“My sense is that some of my colleagues, I don’t think, really understood the impact that Oct. 7 had on the Jewish community,” Robinson added, referring to Hamas’ attack on Israel that claimed nearly 1,200 casualties.

Robinson was asked whether the B.C. Conservatives or B.C. United have invited her to cross the floor.

“Of course,” she said. “They want me to sit with them.”

“Are you going to?” interviewer Rachael Segal asked her.

“No,” Robinson said decisively. “Party of best fit, remember?”

True North asked Robinson whether she believes conservatives have a better track record on understanding Israel and antisemitism than progressives.

“They seem to have more clarity on the issue,” Robinson admitted.

“Progressives have a lot of work to do to help make sure that folks in our world understand what antisemitism is, what it looks like… it’s a blind spot,” she said in her remarks.

Robinson also noted, “I think part of what we are seeing is the disintegration of good journalism. Because people don’t know the history of Israel. They don’t understand antisemitism. And professional communicators aren’t able to deliver that information.”

Because of death threats she’s received from anti-Israel protesters, Robinson said she and her husband now sleep with an axe and a bat in their bedroom. 

“My words were inelegant… I would do it differently again. But I also think that these anti-Israel folks were looking for a way to get me,” she said.

With the next planned election date for B.C. being Oct. 19, Segal asked Robinson what happens for her next.

“I’m going to go to Disneyland,” Robinson laughed. “I did promise my husband that I wouldn’t commit to anything until January 2025… and then I’ll see.”


  • Lindsay Shepherd

    Lindsay holds an M.A. in Cultural Analysis and Social Theory from Wilfrid Laurier University. She has been published in The Post Millennial, Maclean’s, National Post, Ottawa Citizen, and Quillette.