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February 16, 2016 4:59 am

Pro-Israel Students Launch Coalition to Oppose Latest BDS Motions at McGill

avatar by Eliezer Sherman

Mcgill University Arts Building, in Montreal,Canada. Photo: wiki commons.

Mcgill University Arts Building, in Montreal,Canada. Photo: wiki commons.

A new coalition of students has united to oppose efforts by activists to boycott and divest from Israel at McGill University, The Algemeiner learned on Sunday.

“This year, we intend on launching a broader movement #EnoughisEnough in light of the repeated attempt to pass BDS motions,” Aliza Saskin, the organizer of the Vote NO McGill coalition told The Algemeiner. 

The movement will work toward “creating reforms on campus to prevent the student government from taking stances on contentious political issues that only divide the student body.”

The new coalition was formed in response to the establishment of the McGill BDS Action Network and its promotion of a new BDS motion at the student association — the third in 18 months at the Montreal school — which will be put to a vote at the undergraduate Students’ Society of McGill University General Assembly on February 22.

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“It is shocking that supporters of the McGill BDS Action Network have no shame in exploiting democracy. By repeatedly bringing these motions forward, they refuse to acknowledge the democratic vote from past general assemblies and only detract the student union from dealing with issues pertinent to campus life,” Saskin wrote.

Similar BDS measures were brought to a vote in Fall 2014 and March last year, both of which failed.

“BDS motions silence free speech and dialogue on campus and only create more divides in the student body. We believe that we should be taking advantage of the safe space and diversity present on campus and engage in meaningful conversations that accurately reflect the nuance of the political situation in the Middle East,” wrote Saskin.

She added that her movement “echoes the words of [Canadian Prime Minister Justin] Trudeau who tweeted this last year when the second divestment motion was brought forward, ‘The BDS movement, like Israeli Apartheid Week, has no place on Canadian campuses. As a @McGillU alum, I’m disappointed. #EnoughIsEnough.'”

The coalition was also formed as Israel on Campus decided to “focus on programming initiatives, hosting speakers, discussions, and keeping a positive pro-peace stance,” rather than fighting the repeated boycott measures gripping the Montreal school, similar to ones that have cropped up on campuses across the US.

The McGill BDS Action Network initiative specifically calls on the student association “to recommend to the board that McGill divest entirely of all its holdings in companies that profit from the occupation, as well as implement a screening mechanism that would prevent future investments in similar companies.”

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