Palestinian civil society coalition urges McGill students to uphold support of divestment
The Palestinian BDS National Committee, the largest coalition of Palestinian student unions, trade unions and other civil society bodies that leads and supports the BDS movement, was deeply heartened to hear of the vote in support for BDS at McGill university. We congratulate and thank all of the organisers involved and each of the 512 people who voted in support of the motion.
As Palestinians we continue our struggle against Israel’s continued efforts to expel us or corner us into ghettos, surrounded by walls, military watchtowers and checkpoints. Joining the BDS movement is one of the most important steps that student unions around the world can take to assist our struggle, as Palestinian students have already written to the McGill community.
At a time when Israel and its supporters in Canada and across the world are launching a coordinated attack on the very concept of showing solidarity with our struggle for our basic rights under international law, it was moving to see that students at McGill are sending a clear message that they believe that Israel should be held accountable for its oppression of Palestinians.
Students across Canada at university campuses including Carleton, Regina, Ryerson, University of Toronto, York University, McMaster, Concordia, Trent and others have now taken a stand in support of BDS and Palestinian rights, as have several Canadian trade unions and community groups.
The vote in support of divestment from companies that are directly involved in war crimes against Palestinians at McGill is a principled decision that stands in stark contrast to the cowardly decision by the Canadian parliament to vote to condemn the BDS movement and protect Israel’s regime of occupation, colonialism and apartheid.
We are therefore troubled to hear of the attacks and smears against the student’s democratic vote currently taking place at McGill, including apparent threats to withdraw donations from the university by those wishing to silence criticism of Israel’s policies..
As a matter of principle, the BDS movement is opposed to all forms of oppression, including anti-semitism and Islamophobia. The BDS movement is part of the broader struggles for a world free from oppression and based on freedom and dignity and we are proud that so many Jewish organisations and people are part of our movement.
Supporters of Israeli apartheid have become accustomed to Palestinian voices and narratives being silenced. For them, the continued growth of solidarity with our struggle and the BDS movement is a deviation from the status quo that must be halted by any means necessary, including by smears, threats and outright attacks on our right to organise bring resolutions to vote in democratic bodies.
We urge students at McGill to uphold the vote in support of our struggle for freedom, justice and equality.
Palestinian BDS National Committee