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NDP delegates gather on the party convention floor in Ottawa, on Feb. 16, 2018.Fred Chartrand/The Canadian Press

The former national director of the federal NDP says Jews are no longer feeling completely comfortable in the party, warning that this is a national problem for the New Democrats.

Nathan Rotman, who was also chief of staff to former Alberta premier Rachel Notley, made his remarks after former B.C. minister of postsecondary education Selina Robinson resigned from the province’s NDP caucus, citing antisemitism by some of her colleagues.

Ms. Robinson, who is Jewish and will now sit as an independent, referred to antisemitism in the NDP caucus in a lengthy resignation letter Wednesday. She left her role as postsecondary education minister last month after an outcry from pro-Palestinian groups over a comment she made that Israel was founded on “a crappy piece of land.”

In a post on the social-media platform X on Friday, Mr. Rotman, who is also Jewish, said “the letter by Robinson reflects the experiences of many in the NDP. This is not a BC problem, it’s a national one. It’s become more uncomfortable to be Jewish in the party and that’s an understatement.”

“I haven’t left the party but it’s certainly leaving me,” he added.

Mr. Rotman declined a request from The Globe and Mail to elaborate on his comments.

The NDP has been vociferous in its support for Palestinians and pushed Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to back a ceasefire in the war between Hamas and Israel. NDP members have called for a halt to the selling of arms to Israel, and have been sharply critical of its bombing of Gaza.

NDP MPs, including Peter Julian, have also vocally condemned antisemitism, the rise of the far right and other forms of hate.

In her letter resigning from caucus, Ms. Robinson said the behaviour of some colleagues after the Hamas attacks on Israel “broke my heart.”

“This is not the party I signed on with,” she wrote. “It has become a party that is afraid to stand with people, people who are hurting. It is with all this in mind that I am leaving caucus to sit as an Independent.”

The national director of the federal NDP, Lucy Watson, said it has been “a very difficult time for the Jewish community and the Palestinian community.“

“We continue to build a Party that respects and values everyone and where democratic debate is welcome. Any time we hear that our members feel like we are falling short of that goal is an opportunity to reflect and resolve to do better,” she said in a statement.

Richard Marceau, a former Bloc Québécois MP and general counsel of The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs, said “many progressive Jews – Jews who care deeply about social justice but are not willing to leave part of their identity at the door to enter the room – feel like the party has left them.“

“What Selina Robinson’s letter has done is shine a light on a problem with the NDP that we have raised alarms about for years,” he said. The party has “been deaf to numerous attempts by people – both inside and outside the party – to seriously address” antisemitism.

B.C. Premier David Eby said Thursday that Ms. Robinson’s resignation from the NDP caucus was “humbling,” but he disagreed with Ms. Robinson’s “characterization” of former colleagues she had accused of antisemitism in her letter, saying they “fight every day to fight racism and discrimination.”

But Mr. Eby told journalists: “I have to accept as a leader, that as a Jewish woman with these unique experiences in our caucus, she didn’t feel safe. She didn’t feel safe with me to bring forward her concerns and she felt she had to resign. So I’ll examine that.”

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