A recent editorial in the Winnipeg Jewish Review could leave the impression that the Brandon and District Labour Council is rethinking its endorsement of the Nov. 26 speaking engagement, in Winnipeg, of George Galloway. This would be the wrong impression. The event, organized by Peace Alliance Winnipeg, drew an audience of more than 400 and was endorsed by 15 organizations, including the BDLC.
On Nov. 17, the BDLC passed a motion saying it would pay for tickets for any members who wished to attend, that it would contribute $100.00 to Peace Alliance Winnipeg, and that it would send a letter with the donation stating the BDLC position on the Israeli – Palestinian conflict. Had something changed?
Because I am a member of PAW and helped organise the event, I was concerned by the implications of the WJR editorial. I asked Peace Alliance Winnipeg chairperson Glenn Michalchuk to clarify the situation. Michalchuk said he spoke with the BDLC about the WJR editorial and was assured that nothing had changed. Said Michalchuk:
“The BDLC reaffirmed, to me, its support for holding the Galloway event. In line with the resolution they passed, they will be sending a cheque for $100 and a letter that outlines their views on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”
Why is this issue worth wrting about? On one level, it’s fairly straightforward: an editorial in an online journal implies something that is not factual and leaves the reader imagining that Peace Alliance Winnipeg misrepresented the views of one of the organizations listed as an endorser of its event — we need to set the record straight.
On another level, it’s because I want to encourage readers to go to the Winnipeg Jewish Review and learn something of its perspective on the world, especially to what appears to be its unconditional support for the actions of the State of Israel against the Palestinian people and its apparent unwillingness to consider alternative viewpoints.
There can be no real progress towards peace anywhere unless we are open to the views of those with whom we disagree, even it it seems that they are closed to information that challenges their world view.
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