Forty-five McGill University faculty members have signed a letter endorsing the boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign against Israel.
They say they strongly disagree with principal Suzanne Fortier’s response to the BDS motion that was defeated by members of the Students’ Society of McGill University in late February.
Her statement repudiated BDS saying it is “contrary to the principles of academic freedom, equity, inclusiveness and the exchange of views and ideas in responsible, open discourse.”
The signatories counter that, saying, “For principal Fortier to denounce a movement defending the rights of Palestinians against those who are oppressing them is, in fact, what ‘flies in the face of tolerance and respect’ – not the BDS movement itself.”
They describe the campaign as “a measured, non-violent and principled civil society response to life under occupation and colonialism when a people’s basic rights are violated and denied.”
The McGill administration, as well as the Canadian Parliament which passed a motion condemning BDS and its advocates on Feb. 22, are “on the wrong side of history,” they state.
The faculty members say they will continue to support McGill students promoting BDS.
Among the names on the letter are: Aziz Choudry, Canada Research Chair in social movement learning and knowledge production; Allan Greer, Canada Research Chair in Colonial North America; Thomas Lamarre, James McGill Professor of East Asian studies; and Margaret Lock, Marjorie Bronfman professor emerita in the department of social studies in medicine.