theQuestion: Should the federal Liberals vote ‘yes’ on a motion condemning the boycott Israel movement?*
It’s incongruous to declare support for the state of Israel, while at the same time yield to the existence of the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement — a verity the Liberal government appears to have acknowledged.
Following a Conservative motion to reject the BDS movement and “condemn any and all attempts by Canadian organizations, groups or individuals to promote the BDS movement,” Foreign Affairs Minister Stéphane Dion announced the government would support the motion.
The Liberals are making the right call — if not kicking and screaming. It’s clear the Trudeau government is not pleased with the potential heavy-handed nature of the motion. Dion says for those BDS supporters who are “mistaken in good faith … we won’t convince those people of their error by smacking them on the head and hitting them with condemnations.”
Canadian supporters of BDS should be reprimanded. The BDS movement is a repugnant campaign that seeks to co-opt progressive-minded activists to wage economic warfare on the state of Israel. The strategy is to delegitimize Israel as a nation-state through boycotts on Israeli goods, plus sporting, cultural and academic institutions. BDS supporters are encouraged to lead demonstrations and to pressure diplomatic and economic forums to revoke Israeli participation.
Launched in 2005 by Palestinian radicals with alleged links to the Palestinian Authority and Hamas — the movement metastasized by convincing some labour unions, student associations, church groups and celebrity activists to follow in its call for social justice.
Many BDS supporters believe the desired outcome is merely an end to Israel’s occupation of Palestinian territory. I fear this is not the case. Palestinians have refused to recognize Israel’s right to exist and many of its neighbours call for its outright destruction. I hope Canadian BDS supporters are mistaken in good faith, as the alternate explanation is much darker.
The Conservatives call the BDS movement the new face of anti-Semitism. That’s not strong enough. British MP Michael Gove calls BDS the “resurgent, mutating, lethal virus of anti-Semitism.” I agree. History records similar boycotts of Jewish products during the Nazi era. That is, before the mass extermination of six-million Jews.
There are no constitutional issues at play here. If the motion passes, Canadian BDS supporters would remain free to participate in economic warfare against Israel. Only now they would know the Parliament of Canada condemns them for doing so.