University of Winnipeg (KrazyTea/Wikicommons)

Yet another student organization in Canada says no to BDS discrimination. 

A motion in favor of the anti-Israel BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) movement was voted down at the University of Winnipeg  Students’ Association’s (UWSA) special general meeting, the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs announced (CIJA) on Wednesday.

Anti-Israel activists were unable to persuade a critical mass of UW students to support this initiative, thanks to students who organized the campaign opposing it.

In voting down this motion, the UWSA has joined the growing list of Canadian student unions that have rejected BDS.

“This would not have happened without the tireless work of students who refused to remain silent in the face of discrimination,” said Arielle Branitsky, Director of Hillel Winnipeg. “Their efforts ensured that this hateful motion failed. Initiatives like these only fuel bigotry and deepen divisions while doing nothing to advance meaningful dialogue on the conflict.”

“We are pleased that UW students voted to reject BDS,” said Judy Zelikovitz, Vice President, University and Local Partner Services at CIJA.

“BDS initiatives are at odds with academic freedom and often violate human rights codes by calling for discrimination on the basis of national origin. They have no place on a campus that welcomes diversity and debate,” she stated.

CIJA, Hillel and StandWithUs will continue to work in partnership to support students combating hate, discrimination and BDS on campus, CIJA stated.

The Canadian Parliament passed a historic motion in February 2016 which formally condemned BDS, overwhelmingly supporting the motion in a vote of 229 for and 51 against.

The motion states that, given that “Canada and Israel share a long history of friendship as well as economic and diplomatic relations, the House rejects the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, which promotes the demonization and delegitimization of the State of Israel, and calsl upon the government to condemn any and all attempts by Canadian organizations, groups or individuals to promote the BDS movement, both here at home and abroad.”

The BDS movement promotes financial, academic and cultural boycotts against Israel, ostensibly as a nonviolent struggle against the so-called “Israeli occupation.” Critics say its activities are a modern form of anti-Semitism and that its true objective is to destroy the State of Israel.