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November 21, 2018 12:24 pm

Canadian Jewish Groups Launch Campaign Against National Student Federation’s Endorsement of BDS

avatar by Benjamin Kerstein

A pro-BDS demonstration. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

Canadian Jewish groups have launched a campaign against the Canadian Federation of Students’ (CFS) decision to back the anti-Israel boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement.

The representative of 500,000 students in Canada, CFS approved a resolution on Nov. 15 endorsing BDS, and called for the condemnation of “the ongoing occupation of Palestine.”

It also recommended “a statement be released to our membership condemning the recent atrocities against Palestinians in Gaza,” an apparent reference to this year’s unrest on the Israel-Gaza border.

The CFS backed up its endorsement of BDS with support for financial donations to “different Palestine-solidarity organizations” of up to $500.

In response, Hasbara Fellowships, The International Jewish Fraternity, and B’nai Brith Canada authored a petition calling the CFS resolution a “shameful decision, which in no way reflects the views of the broad majority of Canadian students.”

The petition also condemned “the abuse of funds to support the antisemitic discrimination of Jewish students.”

“We therefore call on the Canadian Federation of Students to immediately rescind this resolution, which should not have been tabled in the first place, as it is inherently antisemitic and discriminatory on the basis of national origin, and also violates the CFS’s own policy on discrimination based on ‘place of origin, ethnicity, or citizenship,'” the petition stated.

The Jewish student organization Hillel also condemned the CFS resolution, saying, “This latest call for a boycott of Israel is anti-academic, fueled by hatred and is counterproductive to peace. The motion is rife with factual inaccuracies and historical distortions.”

“In its obsessive campaign against exclusively one country and one community,” Hillel added, “the CFS has further marginalized the thousands of Jewish students whom it is tasked with representing.”

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