Ontario Lawmaker Behind Newly Passed Anti-BDS Motion: Global Movement Should Be Banned on Campus, Like KKK, Other Hate Groups
by Lea Speyer
The Canadian lawmaker behind a newly passed motion opposing the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign said the movement should be barred from operating on college campuses, just like the KKK and other hate groups, CJN News reported, ahead of the vote on Thursday.
According to Progressive Conservative Member of Provincial Parliament (MPP) for Thornhill Gila Martow — who introduced the Standing Firm Against Intolerance motion to the Ontario legislature — college students:
incur hostility and see demonstrations that demonize the Jewish community and Israel. That affects their psychological well-being and makes it difficult for them to continue their studies. We would not be here supporting the Ku Klux Klan on our campuses, so why are we allowing [the] BDS movement and other anti-Jewish and anti-Israel organizations to have demonstrations and use our campuses, which are taxpayer-funded?
The BDS movement, she said, is “actually not just boycotting Israel,” but “boycotting voices. It’s telling people, ‘You can’t support Israel.’ It’s telling people, ‘You cannot do advocacy work on campuses.’”
The anti-BDS motion — which was passed by a vote of 49:5, with some half of the 107 members of the Ontario legislature absent — comes six months after a proposed law calling on the province to cut ties with companies that support BDS was defeated, the report said.
According to the text of the motion:
[T]he Legislative Assembly of Ontario should; stand firmly against any position or movement that promotes or encourages any form of hatred, hostility, prejudice, racism and intolerance in any way; recognize the longstanding, vibrant and mutually beneficial political, economic and cultural ties between Ontario and Israel, built on a foundation of shared liberal democratic values; endorse the Ottawa Protocol on Combating Antisemitism; and reject the differential treatment of Israel, including the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement.
Canadian Jewish and Israel advocacy groups welcomed the passage of the motion.
Joel Reitman, greater Toronto area co-chair of the Center for Israel and Jewish Affairs, called it a “principled declaration that…rejects BDS and other bigoted campaigns against Israelis.”
B’nai Brith Canada CEO Michael Mostyn hailed it as a “tremendous victory in the fight against BDS… mak[ing] clear that anti-Zionism, in the form of BDS, is the new form of antisemitism.”
Robert Walker, national director of campus group Hasbara Fellowships Canada, said, “Every day sees more setbacks for the BDS movement, and we can see its increasingly desperate tactics in an attempt to stay relevant. We congratulate Ontario on this vote and look forward to the BDS movement, not Israel, being a pariah issue.”
The passage of the anti-BDS motion comes amid turbulent times at Canadian college campuses for Jewish and pro-Israel students.
Earlier this week, as The Algemeiner reported, anti-Israel groups at Ryerson University in Toronto staged a walkout during a student union vote on a motion to instate Holocaust Education Week at the campus. One Jewish student present at the meeting told The Algemeiner that she was the target of blatant antisemitism, told aggressively by a leader of an anti-Israel group to “sit down, because there are too many of you.”