Canadian lawmakers set to condemn BDS movement

A BDS movement protest. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

( Canadian lawmakers are set to pass a bipartisan bill that will “condemn any and all attempts” by entities in Canada to support the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. 

The measure, slated to be voted on this week, rejects “the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, which promotes the demonization and delegitimization of the State of Israel, and call 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.”

“We must fight anti-Semitism in all its forms,” Canadian Foreign Minister Stephane Dion said. “We must oppose the boycott, divest, sanctions campaign in our communities and continue to speak out forcefully against them.”

“This is not a partisan issue,” said Conservative Party lawmaker MP Tony Clement, the Canadian opposition’s leading foreign affairs commentator. Clement called BDS a form of discrimination, “just like boycotts that have targeted Jews throughout history.”

The BDS movement has gained considerable traction in Canada. BDS is supported by the United Church of Canada as well as a major Quebec-based labor union, Confédération des syndicats nationaux (CSN).

Canada’s third-largest party, the far-left New Democratic Party, condemned the anti-BDS measure, saying it stifles freedom of belief. 

Similar bills targeting the BDS movement are under consideration in the United States and the United Kingdom. In the U.S., the bipartisan “Combating BDS Act of 2016” empowers state and local governments to sever ties with entities that support BDS movement, wile the British Parliament is seeking to outlaw BDS entirely. 

Posted on February 19, 2016 .