On March 15, 2017 a referendum at King’s University College (University of Western Ontario) in London, Ontario which called for a boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israel failed because it did not meet the required 30% threshold. Had the referendum passed, it would have given a green light to anti-Israel activists to advocate for divestment from Israeli companies.This was the second time in two months that anti-Israel activists attempted to vote on a boycott of Israel at King’s College. On January 9, 2017, in a unanimous 5 to 0 decision, the appeals board for affiliate colleges ruled against a BDS referendum.
Recently, students on campuses across Canada have been pushing back against the insidious movement which many consider to be anti-Semitic because it singles out Israel, and only Israel, for condemnation.
In other BDS news, a student at the University of British Columbia (UBC) is currently petitioning the Supreme Court of Canada to stop the Alma Mater Society from putting forward a referendum question to the members of the student union because it demonizes Israel and marginalize pro-Israel students who oppose the BDS movement.
Western is the latest Canadian university to reject BDS. Both McGill and University of Toronto rejected three attempts by BDS activists to turn their campuses into anti-Israel battlegrounds. The Judicial Board of the McGill Students’ Society ruled that BDS violated the student union’s constitution and therefore could not be endorsed by that body.
The BDS movement was rejected by both the Canadian Parliament and the Ontario Legislature on the basis that it promotes the demonization and delegitimization of the Israel and encourages hatred, hostility, racism and intolerance.
According to NGO Monitor, a leading Israeli watchdog of non-governmental organizations, the ultimate goal of BDS is the elimination of Israel as a Jewish state by means of political, economic, academic and cultural isolation and strangulation and is one of the main vehicles for spreading Jew hatred and the global delegitimization of Israel.
Ilana Shneider is the co-editor of CIJnews and the founding executive director of Canada-Israel Friendship Association, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the mutually beneficial, long-standing diplomatic, economic and cultural ties between Canada and Israel. She can be reached at [email protected]