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Solidarity with McGill students in support of Palestinian human rights

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Solidarity with McGill students in support of human rights and international law

As students, faculty and progressive organizations from across Canada and the world, we congratulate the McGill Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) Action Network for passing a BDS motion on February 22nd, 2016 at McGill’s undergraduate student union. We affirm our solidarity with them and all those who supported the motion, and urge students at McGill to stand on the right side of history.

The passed BDS motion affirms SSMU’s commitment to “demonstrating leadership in matters of human rights [and] social justice” through pledging to support campaigns to “divest from corporations complicit in the occupation of the Palestinian territories.” [1] The motion identifies three companies for divestment, the Mizrahi-Tefahot Bank, L-3 Communications and Re/Max that are complicit in Israel’s on-going occupation of Palestinian land.

This motion confirms the SSMU’s commitment to advancing human rights and international law, in this case as it relates to Israel’s blatant violations of international law. Several Universities across Canada including University of Toronto, York University, McMaster University, Windsor, Carlton, and others have passed similar resolutions at their student and trade unions.

The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement was initiated by Palestinian students, workers and civil society unions in 2005. The BDS movement aims to pressure Israel to abide by its obligations under international law until it (1) ends its occupation (2) grants full equality to Palestinian citizens inside Israel; and (3) upholds the right of return for refugees as per United Nations resolution 194. Until these three rights are met, Palestinians have asked people of conscience around the world to engage in BDS campaigns, similar like those used to pressure South Africa during apartheid.

The BDS movement is a non-violent, Palestinian-led movement that is based on principles of human rights and international law. It rejects all forms of racism, anti-Semitism and Islamophobia, and brings together people of conscience from all walks of life, ethnicities, religions and genders. The BDS movement is proud to have Israeli and many Jewish organizations and prominent Jewish academics as partners in the struggle for Palestinian human rights. Accusations of anti-Semitism made against BDS activists and the movement have become a far too familiar tactic of intimidation, aimed at stifling meaningful debate about Israeli violations of Palestinian rights. We urge you to reject these accusations, and to vote to hold these companies accountable for their involvement in Israel’s occupation.

We affirm our solidarity with students and faculty in support of the BDS resolution, and thank them for their principled work. We urge McGill to continue to stand on the right side of history.




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