Independent Jewish Voices – Canada (IJV) has endorsed the referendum question put forth by undergraduate students at Concordia University supporting the call from the large majority of Palestinian civil society to advocate for boycotts, divestment and sanctions against the State of Israel until it respects Palestinian rights. As a non-violent form of resistance, BDS is the best available means by which the global community can pressure Israel into respecting Palestinian rights by ending its systematic violations of international law.
We join students at Concordia in calling on the university to cut its institutional links to Israel. By continuing to partner with Israeli institutions, Concordia is sending the wrong message to its students. If it cuts ties with these institutions, Concordia will affirm that Israel must be held accountable for its systematic violations of Palestinian rights. Students and teachers alike should not collaborate in Israel’s apartheid system.
IJV continues to affirm the universal values of human rights and social justice, which as Jews of conscience we have carried with us through generations of oppression and struggle. From our own history of being an oppressed group, we choose to stand in solidarity with the oppressed, rather than exploiting the history of Jewish suffering in order to perpetuate the suffering of others. We strongly repudiate the claims of Jewish organizations that try to silence criticism of Israel’s policies, and that misuse the history of Jewish suffering to justify the permanent occupation over Palestinian lands and lives.
Israeli apartheid supporters are once again getting their knickers in a knot over Concordia students running a referendum question in favor of joining the growing movement to boycott, divest and sanction the Israeli apartheid regime. We’ve been down that road before.
On behalf of Palestinian and Jewish Unity (PAJU), we wish to express our strongest solidarity with the students who took it upon themselves to do the work of educating and mobilizing their peers in the fight for justice and human rights.
PAJU, as an organization, is old enough to know that the struggle against injustice and oppression is always controversial and never comes easy. Israeli Apartheid apologists will make many claims in their attempts to bully students of conscious out of their right to vote and to take a stand at Concordia. But students shouldn’t feel scared or worried. In fact, the students who initiated the debate at Concordia University are once again making history in the fight against Israeli apartheid and impunity.
There is no more excuse for standing on the side of apartheid. Times are changing and justice and human rights will prevail as the resolutions in favor of the boycott, divestment and sanctions of Israeli apartheid cumulate all over the world. Boycott apartheid! Free Palestine!
Bruce Katz, President
Palestinian and Jewish Unity (PAJU) Continue reading
Op-ed by GSA BDS Committee member:
(source: Mohammed Shurrab Photography)
On Nov. 25, vote for sanctions against Israeli institutions
We graduate students voted with our conscience in January 2013, voting yes to Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel’s occupation of Palestine. In doing so, we learned that making an educated decision about BDS means not letting a selective history blindside you. Last week’s op-ed “BDS and the CSU: a story of selective outrage” by Bradley Martin was a great example of the selective omissions and common myths propagated by those opposing BDS. These myths need to be debunked so that a more comprehensive history can emerge.
First, Israel’s occupation does relate to us as students. For example, our tuition dollars are complicit with Concordia’s bilateral agreement with the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, which assists in the development of tanks and technologies reinforcing the occupation and wall dividing Israel and Palestine. BDS does not condemn Israeli individuals, but rather such particular institutional relationships that make us complicit with Israel’s violations of international law—just as the boycott campaign against South Africa did not target South Africans, but the institutions supporting apartheid. Continue reading
Concordia undergraduates, from Nov. 25 to Nov. 27 you will be asked to vote on an important referendum question which would end our complicity with human rights abuses against Palestinians, while also sending a strong message to Concordia about our commitment to equality.
Undergraduate students will vote on the following question: “Do you approve of the CSU endorsing the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel’s occupation of Palestine until Israel complies with International Law and Universal Principles of Human Rights?”
Before you vote, let’s unpack that question. Continue reading
Concordia undergraduates: by voting YES to BDS from November 25 to 27, we can end our complicity with human rights abuses against Palestinians and send a strong message to Concordia about our commitment to equality. BDS is not about religion, it’s about human rights.
The BDS movement has its roots in the international boycott movement that helped abolish apartheid in South Africa: It proved to be an effective form of global non-violent resistance and in 2005 inspired Palestinian civil society to initiate its own global call for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) to hold Israel accountable to international law and end its apartheid system. Continue reading