Is the Green Party over?

Inside the breakdown of Canada’s Green Party, riven by tensions over Israel. At the center of the storm stands 37-year-old Noah Zatzman. Did he overreact to Israel critics or is the party ‘Corbynized’ and beyond saving?

It wasn’t too long ago that the Green Party of Canada had been gaining notice for what seemed like all the right reasons. 

Newly emboldened by a series of milestone achievements, the party had entered 2021 on unusually strong footing. The Greens, whose influence over federal policy had for years been limited to just one parliamentary seat, now boasted three members in the House of Commons, while their new figurehead, Annamie Paul, had just been elected as the first Black and Jewish party leader in Canadian history.

Heralded as the new face of Canadian politics, Paul, now 49, had won election the previous fall on a platform that would embody something of a new direction for the party long associated with environmental activism. The former civil rights lawyer from Toronto — whose unprecedented victory, she suggested, called for unprecedented change — had emphasized a broad array of progressive social policies that she viewed with as much if not more urgency, it seemed, as climate change. Her perspective contributed to a growing sense of optimism among Green members who believed the party was finally realizing its oft-stated goals of diversity and inclusion.

Then, last spring, everything fell apart when escalating violence between Israel and Hamas lit a fuse on Green Party tensions that had long been festering behind the scenes. The resulting detonation almost immediately gave rise to a fierce, unusually personal and ultimately unresolved war of attrition, replete with allegations of antisemitism and other recriminations that have cropped up with increasing regularity in recent internecine political battles, particularly within left-wing circles, where divisions over Israel have fueled tension.

Now, the party is in shambles as it strains to move on from a dramatic implosion culminating last week in Paul’s high-profile resignation after months of turmoil that dominated Canadian headlines throughout the summer and into the fall. The party breakdown represents an extraordinary reversal of fortune for the Greens, who, until recently, seemed well poised for a banner year. Instead, the ensuing wreckage has left some Green members wondering whether the party will ever recover. 

If so, any proper accounting will need to contend with accusations that the party has become inhospitable to Jewish members whose support for Israel now seems largely unwelcome, at least among an outspoken contingent of anti-Israel critics who have recently gained power. Over the past several months, these critics— whom one Green insider described, with a sense of frustration, as “single-issue” members fixated almost exclusively on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict — have in many ways asserted their dominance over party dynamics, even as Jewish community activists and other political observers allege that their rhetoric has crossed the line into overt antisemitism.

Noah Zatzman, a former senior advisor in Paul’s office who is credited with precipitating the recent party meltdown, argues as much. Zatzman, who is Jewish, believes the Greens are most likely irredeemable now that the “single-issue” members have claimed victory following what he characterizes as a hostile takeover in which Paul was all but forcefully expelled from the party. Among other things, she had refused to condemn Zatzman, a family friend, over his controversial vow to unseat Green members who perpetuated what he viewed as antisemitic tropes when criticizing Israel. 

“We will not accept an apology after you realize what you’ve done,” Zatzman, who identifies as a pro-Israel progressive, wrote last May in a defiant Facebook post, concluding with an emphatically punctuated pledge to “defeat” unnamed Greens and replace them with “progressive climate champions who are antifa and pro-LGBT and pro indigenous sovereignty and Zionists!!!!”

Soon after leveling that threat, Zatzman was expelled from his post when, last June, the Green Party’s executive committee voted against renewing his six-month contract that was set to expire the following month. Zatzman, who is no longer a member of the party, says the feeling was mutual. 

Still, that two formerly high-ranking Green officials, who happen to be Jewish, are now viewed as outcasts within the party is proof enough, Zatzman suggested, that the Greens have a problem with antisemitism. Moreover, he argues, the recent blow-up represents the troubling fulfillment of what many Jews have feared possible elsewhere across the globe but have nevertheless proven capable of repelling, including in the recent U.K. Labour Party scandal where Jeremy Corbyn, the former leader, was suspended amid reports of rampant antisemitism from within his own ranks. 

“In this case,” Zatzman observed in an interview with Jewish Insider, referring to the Greens, “the party looks as if it will be Corbynized.”

Zatzman, 37, is a public relations specialist and former Liberal aide who entered Green politics last year after joining Paul’s historic leadership campaign. His short-lived experience within the party, he said, was animated by a mounting sense of disenchantment with Green activism. “The main issue that I came across as I entered this world,” said Zatzman, who lives in Toronto, “is that it’s very much a community of people who are motivated more by an anti-Israel bias than they are anything related to the climate, anything related to the environment or what you would ostensibly think would be what the Green Party would be about.”

Noah Zatzman with Shimon Peres

Richard Marceau, vice president of the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs, a nonpartisan advocacy arm of the Jewish Federations of Canada, echoed that view. “There is a form of antisemitism in progressive circles that leads to this type of response,” said Marceau, whose organization helped coordinate a national summit on antisemitism this summer following a rise in antisemitic incidents coinciding with the recent Middle East flare-up. “If I were the Green Party, I certainly would want to take a long, hard look in the mirror, because if they want to be the party for diversity and inclusion and equality, treating its Jewish members this way is certainly not the way to go.”

Last Wednesday, Paul formally resigned from her leadership position and turned in her membership card just over a year after she had made history after prevailing through eight rounds of ranked-ballot voting. 

Her departure, while expected, marked the conclusion of an unusually hostile divorce that Paul had previously described as “the worst period” of her life following an abysmal showing in the recent Canadian snap election this past September, where the Greens lost a parliamentary seat as Paul’s long-shot bid for federal office in the liberal redoubt of Toronto Centre proved unsuccessful. The embattled party chief announced her resignation soon after her defeat rather than face an automatic leadership review that would likely have resulted in her ouster.

“When I was elected and put in this role, I was breaking a glass ceiling,” Paul said during an emotionally charged press conference in late September, after months of party infighting in which Green members had conspired, among other things, to remove her as leader, revoke her membership and deprive her of campaign funds in the lead-up to the election. “What I didn’t realize at the time is that I was breaking a glass ceiling that was going to fall on my head.”

Throughout her brief if unusually tormented run as party leader — and even before — Paul endured what she has described as an onslaught of racist and antisemitic harassment, including from fellow party members, one of whom suggested that reporters should follow her into synagogues “to observe her membership drives and fundraising.”

Paul’s experience is part of a broader trend across Canada in which antisemitic incidents have been on the rise, as a recent audit conducted by B’nai Brith Canada reports. In 2020, antisemitic incidents in Canada were up 18% over the previous year, according to the audit, which notes that an average of seven antisemitic incidents occurred every day last year.

Last June, Irwin Cotler, Canada’s former justice minister and current special envoy on preserving Holocaust remembrance and combating antisemitism, said in an interview with the French-language newspaper Le Devoir, in Montreal, that antisemitism in Canada had reached levels not seen “since the end of World War II.”

In recent high-profile incidents this past August, two Liberal candidates in Montreal, both Jewish, found that their campaign signs had been vandalized with swastikas just before the election.

In an interview with JI in September, Paul, who converted to Judaism in 2000, said that antisemitism “is the constant companion of Jewish people in politics.” 

The former party chief had butted heads with Green officials who took issue with what some members have characterized as an unaccommodating leadership style, but she has argued that efforts to remove her from office were largely motivated by systemic discrimination that she believes the party has failed to address.

Paul, a spokesperson for whom did not respond to a request for comment, has eschewed interviews in recent weeks. She is expected to address her experience in a conversation with the Canadian Jewish Political Affairs Committee on Nov. 30.

But while Paul’s saga has been covered exhaustively in recent months, Zatzman’s has largely gone unaddressed, though he has spoken publicly about procedural details behind the controversy. In the interview with JI, however, Zatzman discussed his own personal experience navigating a conflict that, he says, exposed him to a constant barrage of antisemitic attacks, even after leaving the party.

Zatzman, who stands by his comments, said he remains subject to an effluvium of hateful and in some cases violent rhetoric, including a Facebook comment from a Green Party member who called for his beheading, that has lasted for months and continues to this day. But such invective, he believes, only underscores his initial point.

“When they say that Zionists are not welcome in the party, it leads one to think that, for the Green Party of Canada and for the progressive movement in Canada, when it comes to Jews, none is too many,” he charged. “I think one thing that made the major anti-Israel activists in Canada crazy was, in my Facebook post, I’m linking Zionism with all these left-wing causes, and they’re working every day to link Zionism with colonialism.”

His detractors, of course, don’t see it that way. “Zatzman was clearly in violation of the GPC code of conduct attacking Green MPs,” Constantine Kritsonis, a Green member in Toronto who is among the most vocal anti-Israel critics in the party, told JI via email. “In any other party with any other leader a staffer attacking sitting MPs with libelous accusations would be renounced and booted from the party instantly. Politics 101.”

But some Greens remain loyal to Zatzman, thanks in large part to what they describe as his pivotal role in Paul’s leadership bid as well as her strong if unsuccessful showing in a by-election last year, where he put his years of media experience to use.

One Green staffer even speculated, at the time of his Facebook post last spring, that Zatzman was intentionally courting controversy as part of a counterintuitive strategy to ensure that Paul would remain relevant heading into the fall election. “I thought, ‘Oh, my god, did he do this on purpose just to generate media?,’” said the staffer, who spoke with JI on the condition of anonymity to discuss a sensitive matter. “Just because he was such a savvy operator.”

She now sees other factors afoot that were beyond Zatzman’s control. “People’s reaction to that post was more loaded,” the staffer told JI, while acknowledging that the unsanctioned social media missive may not have been worded in the most diplomatic fashion. “It wasn’t proportionate. Who’s to say he wasn’t experiencing antisemitism in a very real way, so why discount what he’s saying?”

Sean Yo, a Green Party operative who worked with Zatzman on Paul’s leadership bid as well as her by-election campaign, agreed. “The reaction seems out of proportion,” he said of the criticism Zatzman received. Over the past year, Yo said he had witnessed harassment campaigns against both Zatzman and Paul that led him to believe antisemitism was at play. “I think there’s something here about who Annamie is and who Noah is that intersects with how this was responded to,” he said. “I think the fact that they’re Jewish plays a role.”

Zatzman sees no way around that explanation. He described a visceral sense of unease that set in as the controversy spun out of control. His parents had been sufficiently spooked that they delisted their address. For his part, Zatzman, who had recently moved into a new apartment around when the conflict took off, was fearful that hanging a mezuzah outside his front door would expose him as a target. So he didn’t put it up. “I told one of my rabbis this and she felt terribly,” he said. “I never thought I would feel that way.”

“We’ve given Noah a lot of support because he’s been battered,” said Baruch Frydman-Kohl, rabbi emeritus of Beth Tzedec Congregation, a Conservative synagogue in Toronto attended by Zatzman. “Politics is a bloodsport, and people have been after him for blood.”

Nevertheless, Frydman-Kohl argues that Zatzman’s critics have yet to address the content of his allegations. “Even now what some of the members of the Green Party are trying to do is shift the responsibility and the problems onto Annamie Paul, saying it was her leadership style, it was her unwillingness to listen, it was her desire for control,” he said. “None of them are willing to address the issues that Noah brought up, which is that there were some really negative things about Israel and about Annamie Paul, as a Jew, that came out during this campaign.”

Steve Wernick, a senior rabbi at Beth Tzedec, and former head of the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, the Conservative Movement’s congregational arm, summed up his view of the controversy more succinctly. “I think that Noah’s experience is indicative of a larger problem,” he told JI, “and that larger problem also relates to Zionism.”

Looking back, Zatzman said he had never anticipated that his short but admittedly combative Facebook post would trigger the party’s eventual unraveling when he pledged to take down fellow Greens in Parliament, including Jenica Atwin and Paul Manly, whose accusations, respectively, of Israeli “apartheid” and “ethnic cleansing,” he viewed as irresponsibly inflammatory. Moreover, he believed, such comments were in clear contravention of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s working definition of antisemitism, which he notes is recognized by the Canadian government.

“You might laugh at me, but when I wrote my post, I thought, ‘Oh, my God, it’s so vanilla,’” he told JI. “I think that I knew it could maybe cause a little bit of a ripple in the party internally. I don’t think anybody could have predicted, like, five or six full months of this.”

The first major indication that he had been woefully misguided came a month or so later, when Atwin, citing tensions over Israel, announced that she was defecting to the Liberals, reducing the Green Party’s record three parliamentary seats to just two. But while Atwin had publicly repudiated an official Green Party statement as “totally inadequate” amid rising tensions in the Middle East last May, she soon softened her stance after crossing the floor in June — expressing “regret” if her “choice of words caused harm to those who are suffering.” 

Zatzman, for his part, said he “did commend Atwin for apologizing and changing her position on Israel,” but questions her motivations, speculating that her statement was written by Liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s “comms folks.” 

Neither Atwin nor her former Green Party chief of staff responded to email inquiries from JI. 

Despite the reversal, some high-ranking Greens still maintain that Zatzman’s comments are to blame for Atwin’s defection from the party. Elizabeth May, the former longtime party leader and elected Green Party member in British Columbia, told JI via email that, but for “Zatzman’s initial Facebook posting” as well as “multiple media interviews” in the following weeks, then “Atwin would still be a Green and our election results would have been far more positive.”

Green Party leader Elizabeth May waves as she walks on stage for the Federal leaders French language debate at the Canadian Museum of History in Gatineau, Quebec on October 10, 2019. (Photo by Adrian Wyld / POOL / AFP)

But Zatzman suggested such arguments are a form of scapegoating that Green officials have used to avoid taking stock of deeper issues now permeating the party. He believes that May, in particular, has been disingenuous because, a week after his post, she appeared to express sympathy for his plight in a group email with high-ranking Green officials. Zatzman, who shared the exchange with JI, had voiced concerns over a blog post by the far-left anti-Israel activist Yves Engler, whose headline, “Crazed anti-Palestinian Green adviser must be removed,” had functioned as a call to action.

Hours later, May replied: “Just to you.. Yves Engler is vile.. but we do need to have Annamie make a clear statement so it does not look like we are divided… do you have a plan?? xo.”

The affectionate sign-off was in stark contrast with an interview just a month later — after Atwin’s departure — in which May had described Zatzman’s Facebook post as “a serious transgression for anyone in any leader’s office in any party in the history of any democracy that I can think of.” May, asked to explain the shift, said the reason was simple. “To your query, what happened between my email and the June 10th loss of one-third of our caucus?” she told JI. “Mr. Zatzman made it worse through his multiple media interviews and the leader did nothing to arrest a growing crisis.”

David Suzuki, the prominent Canadian environmental activist, offered an even harsher assessment in email correspondence with Zatzman this past September. Before the hubbub, Zatzman said he had periodically exchanged courteous emails with Suzuki while working as a publicist for a prominent climate advocacy group in Canada. But two months ago, he came across an interview in which the acclaimed science broadcaster was on the record in arguing that Paul, by not firing Zatzman over his Facebook post, had “totally destroyed” what he characterized as a longstanding ethos encouraging “diversity of opinion” among Green Party members.

Somewhat perplexed, Zatzman reached out to confirm whether the quotes attributed to Suzuki were indeed accurate, mentioning in aside that he would “be organizing for a number of NGOs and a number of provincial governments” ahead of the U.N. climate summit that concluded last weekend in the Scottish city of Glasgow, and “hope it is still OK to contact you for speaking opportunities.”

Suzuki responded later that day. “OK, I finally read the article,” he told Zatzman. “Of course it was fact checked before but he left out what I said that might interest you. I said Anaimie [sic] should have fired you immediately and repudiated your vow to work against party members. She declared Greens aren’t what they claim and that’s when she lost me. Don’t bother contacting me any further.”

In an email to JI, Suzuki stood by his comments, adding, of Zatzman, “What he didn’t tell you is I told him before that that simply supporting Palestinian complaints is not antisemitic.”

But Zatzman had mentioned that detail, which JI neglected to include in the initial email to Suzuki. 

While Zatzman said he couldn’t help but feel some level of respect for Suzuki’s unvarnished response, he believes the exchange speaks more broadly to a growing tendency among progressive climate activists who undercut their own interests in rejecting alliances with otherwise likeminded pro-Israel advocates. “I’m a young person who’s one of the most active political operatives in the country on climate,” Zatzman, whose involvement on such issues includes campaign work with the youth activist network Climate Strike Canada, claimed. “And he said, ‘Don’t talk to me again,’” Zatzman said of Suzuki. “How’s it going to help the climate?”

Meanwhile, Zatzman rejects the notion that pro-Israel sentiment in any way obviates concern for the Palestinians. “I believe in a two-state solution,” said Zatzman, who has family in Israel. “I feel strongly about Palestinian self-determination. I accept partition.” 

Zatzman believes his values align with a progressive mandate that has existed within Israel, he argues, since its foundation. “The Labor Zionists who founded Israel were leftists, the kibbutzniks were socialists,” he said. “Moreover, and I think we have to shout this loud and clear from the rooftops, the Jewish people are the indigenous people of Israel! You cannot colonize land that is yours,” he emphasized. “It is also the Palestinians’, but we recognize two states for two peoples.”

At the height of the controversy, Zatzman said he was frustrated by Israel critics that he came to regard as uninformed about on-the-ground dynamics. “During this time, one of my big lines was, if anybody has any need to know what is what, I encourage you to go to Pride in Tel Aviv and then go to Pride in Ramallah, and you tell me the difference,” said Zatzman, who is gay. “The difference is that at Pride in Ramallah, they  push you off a fucking roof.”

“This is a very complicated thing,” Zatzman sighed. “I believe in a two-state solution and the peace process that has been defined since Oslo. I am a left-wing Jew who is, like, still mourning Yitzhak Rabin. So to be presented in this light just shows you how far we’ve gone.”

In many ways, however, Zatzman’s position within the Green infrastructure had always made for something of an awkward fit, even if his deep involvement with Jewish life was what first drew him to the party. “I grew up in the Jewish community in a way that not many others have,” said Zatzman, who attended Jewish day school in Toronto, where his roots go deep. His mother’s family, for instance, owned Hyman’s bookstore, which is now closed but was once a nexus of cultural activity for Jewish immigrants in the first half of the 20th century. 

Zatzman was vice president of the Canadian Federation of Jewish Students while studying at York University in Toronto and Carleton University in Ottawa, where he established himself as a prominent pro-Israel activist on campus. He has long been involved with the organized Jewish community and currently serves as the LGBTQ co-chair for the UJA Federation of Greater Toronto. He says he has led four Birthright trips to Israel. 

As a special assistant and then a senior advisor for Kathleen Wynne, the former premier of Ontario, between 2015 and 2018, Zatzman helped coordinate a trade mission to Israel and spent a month in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv working with the Canadian mission to Israel. In 2016, he was part of a successful effort in which Ontario’s legislature passed a motion rejecting the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel.

It was all of that work that would lead him to receive a phone call, last July, from his close friend Elise Kayfetz, a gerontologist who runs a “senior prom” for Holocaust survivors in Toronto. Her mother’s best friend is Paul’s mother-in-law, who knows Zatzman and had asked that Kayfetz relay a request: Paul was running for office and needed help. Could he lend a hand? His response was immediate: “Of course.” A few months later, Paul had made history, thanks in part to Zatzman’s counsel. “Was that the best idea?,” he wonders now of his split-second decision. “I don’t know.”

Zatzman said he has not spoken with Paul since he left the party, though he claims to have assisted some campaign staffers behind the scenes during her failed bid for federal office in September.

The Green Party has long struggled with internal tensions over Israel that have occasionally spilled into public view, even as Zatzman’s experience stands out as a particularly high-profile example. In 2014, for instance, Green Party President Paul Estrin, who is Jewish, resigned from his position after members took issue with a blog post in which he expressed pro-Israel sentiments while criticizing Hamas. Five years ago, the party passed a controversial resolution supporting BDS, despite objections from May, who was then the party leader. She had considered resigning in protest before a new resolution was agreed upon. 

This past election, a Green candidate in Nova Scotia was nominated despite a series of social media posts in which she had compared Israel to Nazi Germany — and for which she had previously been blocked from running as a candidate with the left-leaning New Democratic Party. (She has since apologized for the tweets.) Elsewhere, a Green candidate in Ontario likened vaccine passports to “Gestapo” tactics during the Holocaust — echoing far-right protesters across Canada who have used Nazi symbols such as yellow stars in objecting to vaccine mandates.

While other parties have by no means been immune to such incidents, they seem to have worked with more alacrity than the Greens in removing suspect members from their ranks. In September, for example, two NDP candidates were forced to resign over antisemitic social media posts including one that questioned whether Auschwitz was a real place.

A Green staffer familiar with internal dynamics,  who requested anonymity for fear of reprisal, argues that the recent implosion stems from a lack of leadership from the top. The party’s governing body, known as the Federal Council, failed to hold “toxic” members accountable for expressing antisemitic rhetoric, according to the staffer, while simultaneously threatening sanctions against Paul for “failing to openly condemn” Zatzman’s remarks. Behind the scenes, many party members believed the infighting was unproductive, “and should have been resolved” privately, the staffer said. “This council behaved in a way that we have never seen in the history of the Green Party.”

Green Party candidate Paul Manly (L) speaks with local resident Colin Anstey about his concerns, as he campaigns in Nanaimo, British Columbia, September 5, 2021. (Photo by COLE BURSTON/AFP via Getty Images)

The council did not respond to a request for comment, nor did a party spokesperson.

For the most part, the Green staffer said that the rank-and-file members with whom he interacted were prepared to move on from the controversy after two or three weeks, even if some expressed concern over Zatzman’s comments. “They were just exhausted with the whole topic,” he recalled. With the election looming, he said, most Green members viewed the drama as an unwelcome distraction from more pressing environmental issues, including protests against old-growth logging around the Fairy Creek watershed on Vancouver Island, that have long been central to the party’s mission. “That’s our bread and butter.”

But not all members were fully aligned. “Others said, ‘This is my moment and this is the issue I’ve been waiting around for, let’s go,’” the staffer told JI. “There really isn’t any talking down of these people.”

While the Green Party has always existed as something of a loose and anarchic agglomeration of climate activists who have often struggled to unite behind one common goal, the recent tensions have created deep divisions that, as some members have suggested, may be insurmountable. 

The Green staffer familiar with internal dynamics, for his part, wonders if the party will ever again be capable of enticing candidates of Paul’s caliber to join their ranks. “To have a Black Jewish woman speak to these really pressing issues that had really come about in 2020 and 2021 and also be really qualified, I thought, was exceptional, as did many members,” he said. “And I don’t see us being able to attract that kind of leadership because of how Annamie was treated.”

Impartial observers are equally pessimistic. “The party might not recover from this,” Nelson Wiseman, a professor of political science at the University of Toronto, said bluntly in an interview with JI.

It remains to be seen who will next take the helm as the party looks for an interim leader to steer the ship before an official election is held. Manly, a former Green elected official in British Columbia, whose allegation of “ethnic cleansing” during the May conflict between Israel and Hamas had partly motivated Zatzman’s Facebook post, has been named as a possible contender for the interim post following his defeat in the September election.

True to his word, Zatzman said he “actively worked and organized to defeat” Manly, whom he describes as “Parliament’s number one anti-Israel legislator,” this past September, though he did not provide further detail. Manly did not respond to a request for comment from JI.

Atwin, for her part, won reelection as a Liberal in New Brunswick this September. “I hoped to defeat her,” Zatzman said, “but was much more active in the Manly situation.”

As for other leadership candidates, Dimitri Lascaris, who competed in a close race against Paul last cycle, said he is mulling options. “I have not yet made a decision,” Lascaris, a lawyer in Montreal, told JI via email. “I am currently consulting with friends, family and colleagues in the Green Party about the possibility of my mounting another leadership bid. Completing those consolations will take me some time.”

In 2018, Lascaris drew scrutiny when he suggested that two Jewish members of Parliament were more loyal to “apartheid Israel” than their own party — comments that Trudeau criticized as “vile antisemitic smears.”

The next leader will likely help indicate what direction the party is headed. But given his recent experience, Zatzman is cynical that the outcome will be positive for Israel supporters, not least because Manly seems poised for a comeback after losing his seat. 

Either way, Zatzman has no regrets about speaking out last May, despite the blowback. “I’m very proud of what I did,” he told JI. “Whatever I do for the rest of my life, I will be standing with the Jewish people and with Israel, no matter what the consequences are.”

After months of tumult, Zatzman was hired last month as a principal at Aurora Strategy Group, a public relations firm in Toronto whose environment he has found to be much more hospitable than his previous role. Just last week, the firm announced that it would be opening new offices in Israel as well as the United Arab Emirates. 

But while Zatzman — and Paul, whose future outside the party remains an open question — have since moved on, active Green members are still assessing the damage. Yo, the Green operative and former Paul campaign staffer, believes the party now stands at a “consequential and existential crossroads” that will only be rectified with a level of widespread “inclusivity” he isn’t sure all members are capable of mustering at the moment.

In the meantime, he is left wondering who, if anyone, has gained in the equation. Atwin, he notes, left the party only to walk back her previous criticism of Israel after joining the Liberals. Manly lost his seat, he adds, while Paul lost the election, along with her leadership position, and is no longer a member of the party. Zatzman lost his contract, Yo said, and left the party as well.

“It just feels so tragic because for all the energy spent, all the media coverage, all that people have suffered, I don’t think we’ve improved anything for anyone,” Yo told JI. “It’s heartbreaking that this is the outcome.”

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