Press Release: After historic win for the BDS movement, Concordia undergraduates invite all students to action

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Montreal, December 8, 2014

Students voted ‘Yes’ to the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign against Israel’s occupation and segregation of Palestinians

BDS-demoConcordia undergraduate students voted ‘Yes’ to the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel’s illegal occupation of the Palestinian people and land, and now invite fellow students to participate in the BDS committee. “By joining this grassroots global movement for Palestinian human rights, students are highlighting the commitment of our campus to social justice and collective moral responsibility,” said Javier Hoyos, Chairperson of the Yes to BDS Committee.

“We thank students for their depth of character and their courage to contest our university’s complicity with violations of international human rights,” added Hoyos. “We’re glad that students were given the opportunity to read the information accompanying the altered question at the voting booth, as this allowed them to make an informed decision in spite of the opposition’s defamation of the BDS and their move to change the question hours before polls opened.”

The initial question proposed by the Yes Committee stated that the BDS stands against Israel’s occupation of Palestine until Israel respects International Law and Universal Principles of Human Rights. Israel violates a number of United Nations Resolutions as well as the Geneva conventions through its occupation and settlements; and the International Court of Justice ruled Israel’s wall to be illegal. Concordia’s successful BDS vote is another step towards effectively and non-violently pressuring Israel to meet its obligations under international law, as exemplified in the global boycott movement to abolish apartheid in South Africa.

The BDS thus calls for the end of Israeli occupation and colonization of Palestinian land and the dismantling of the wall; full equality for Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel; and respect for the right of return of Palestinian refugees as stipulated in UN resolution 194.

The BDS stands fundamentally against all forms of racism and does not target individuals, but rather institutions complicit with Israeli apartheid. “The next step is to invite Concordia students to join the BDS committee and continue in-depth research into Concordia’s ties to institutions complicit with Israel’s occupation,” said Hoyos.

Friday evening’s referendum results mean that Concordia’s two largest accredited student unions now officially support the BDS campaign; the Concordia Student Union (CSU; representing over 30,000 students) now joins the university’s Graduate Students’ Association (GSA), which endorsed the BDS in January 2013.

Javier Hoyos, on behalf of the Yes to BDS Committee
concordiabds [at] gmail [dot] com /

Photo: Demonstration in Solidarity with Gaza, Montreal, August 2014.


Palestinian & Jewish Unity Endorses BDS Campaign at Concordia University


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