The president of the Green Party in Canada is stepping down from his position after a controversy over the fact that he expressed support for Israel in a blog post.
On Tuesday, Paul Estrin issued a statement announcing his immediate resignation. “I am proud of all the successes and achievements made during my term as President of the Green Party of Canada,” he wrote. “I never intended to create confusion or have any of my actions negatively impact the Party.”
Last week, Estrin posted a blog entry to the party’s website entitled “Why Gaza makes me sad.” In the post, he defended Israel’s recent actions and placed blame for the current conflict on Hamas, explaining that the group has a “desire to obliterate.”
“Gazan officials tell their people to be killed while they hide in bomb shelters,” he wrote. “This is worse than cowardice. It is vile and ugly and they should be put to shame. Instead, it is Israel who is put to shame.”
The post, which was later removed, marked a departure from the party’s leftist and pro-Palestine stance, and as a result it angered many party members.
“I didn’t know he felt this way about Gaza,” Green leader Elizabeth May said. “He had not raised this before.”
After the backlash against the post, Estrin posted a statement on the party website explaining that he was expressing his personal views, not those of the party.
“I apologize for not including a disclaimer to make it clear that the views expressed are my own and not the official position of the Green Party of Canada,” he wrote.