Selina Robinson resigns from NDP caucus, citing anti-Semitism in NDP

Robinson said he had met with Prime Minister David Eby to propose the idea of ​​anti-Semitic and anti-Islamophobia training for the caucus, but that idea was rejected.

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Selina Robinson, British Columbia’s most prominent Jewish politician, said Wednesday she is leaving the British Columbia NDP caucus because she is concerned it has not done enough to combat anti-Semitism among her fellow MLAs.

The shock announcement comes a month after Robinson was forced to resign from the cabinet following public backlash over comments that Israel was founded on a “piece of shit land with nothing on top of it.”

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Robinson said he spoke with the NDP caucus and the Prime Minister’s Office about instituting anti-Semitic and anti-Islamophobia training for all MLAs, and opportunities to create dialogue between the Jewish community and the Palestinian and Arab communities amid the division created for the war between Israel and Hamas.

Robinson said she was rejected.

“That’s really the work we should be doing. But right now, the government is not interested in doing that work.”

That’s what led Robinson to decide that “he can no longer be the only voice speaking out against anti-Semitism and hate.” She will sit as an Independent.

Robinson said she was upset by anti-Israel statements made during the BC NDP convention in November and said her fellow NDP MLAs who made anti-Semitic comments did not face the same consequences as she did.

Robinson said she was dissatisfied with Premier David Eby’s response when the University of British Columbia students’ union considered holding a referendum on whether Hillel House, which promotes Jewish life on campus, should be evicted from campus. Although the referendum did not take place and Eby condemned the student union’s actions during question period, Robinson said the student union’s actions were blatant anti-Semitism.

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Eby released a statement Wednesday night that said: “I am saddened to see Selina Robinson make this decision today. “Clearly, she is suffering and enduring a lot of pain.”

She said she has “deep respect and gratitude for all the work she has done as a minister, as an MLA in our group and her advocacy for the Jewish community.”

“I wish he had brought his concerns to me directly so we could resolve them together,” he said.

NDP House Leader Ravi Kahlon rejected accusations that there is anti-Semitism within the group.

“No, I wouldn’t agree with that,” he told reporters at the legislature. “We are always denouncing hatred towards any community.”

Robinson, 60, said that since resigning from cabinet on Feb. 5 he has been “crying every day.”

“Not just for me, but for the voice I brought to the caucus,” he said. “A voice that I brought to the cabinet to do the work that I did for two prime ministers who specifically asked me to collaborate with the Jewish community.”

Robinson said that despite agreeing to anti-Islamophobia training to repair the damage caused by the “piece of land” comment, his conversations with Eby left him no choice but to resign.

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After Eby announced his resignation, he faced the ire of members of British Columbia’s Jewish community who were disappointed that an ally in the fight against anti-Semitism was being treated unfairly.

Robinson, who served as finance minister, post-secondary education minister and municipal affairs and housing minister, had already announced that she will not run for re-election in the Coquitlam-Maillardville district she has held since 2013.

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