Press Release: CIJA–Quebec applauds the victory of reason over hatred at McGill

For Immediate Release 

February 27, 2016

Montreal, QC — Today, after a tense week, McGill university students rejected, for the third time in just 18 months, the hateful, divisive, and ineffective Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign to demonize Israel. The students rejected BDS in an online ratification process that nullified a motion tabled by anti-Israel activists on Monday at the Students’ Society of McGill University’s (SSMU) General Assembly.

Upon learning the result, Reuben Poupko, Co-Chair of the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs–Quebec (CIJA–Quebec), issued the following statement:

“Today’s vote is a victory of reason over hatred and another in a long list of setbacks for the divisive and ineffective BDS campaign. The defeat of the anti-Israel motion demonstrates that McGill students reject BDS and value intellectual freedom and the right to healthy and constructive debate. McGill students have clearly indicated, for the third time in 18 months, that BDS is unwelcome on their campus because it stigmatizes people for holding a different point of view. The hateful nature of BDS was on full display this week in the form of deeply concerning antisemitic rhetoric that emerged in the context of the debate. Enough is enough.

“We appreciate McGill University’s ongoing efforts to forge partnerships with Israeli academic and research institutions which afford McGill students the opportunity to work collaboratively with Israelis on projects of mutual interest and benefit.

“We are encouraged that immediately following the vote, the university issued a statement condemning BDS as ‘contrary to principles of academic freedom, equity, inclusiveness and the exchange of views and ideas in responsible, open discourse’, and clearly stating that ‘the administration of the University will have no part of the BDS movement.’

“We applaud all the students, Jewish and non-Jewish alike, who stood strong in support of reason. They should be given full credit for the result of today’s vote which nullifies the motion tabled by anti-Israel activists on Monday.

“CIJA supports a two-state solution with a Jewish and democratic state living side by side in peace and security with a Palestinian state. BDS does not further that goal, does not contribute in any way to peace, and is not pro-Palestinian. It is discrimination based on nationality, and it harms both Israelis and Palestinians alike by pushing the parties apart. The BDS movement is at odds with genuine peace efforts that emphasize negotiation, fairness, and mutual responsibility.”

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