FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Montreal, December 8, 2014
Students voted ‘Yes’ to the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign against Israel’s occupation and segregation of Palestinians
Concordia 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 / https://yestobds.wordpress.com
Photo: Demonstration in Solidarity with Gaza, Montreal, August 2014.