Home News Canada McGill undergrads asked to consider yet another BDS motion

McGill undergrads asked to consider yet another BDS motion

A new campus group at McGill is stepping up its BDS campaign McGILL UNIVERSITY PHOTO
A new campus group at McGill is stepping up its BDS campaign McGILL UNIVERSITY PHOTO

For the third time in less than 1-1/2 years a boycott, divestment and sanctions motion is expected to be considered by the McGill University undergraduates’ association.

A new campus group called the McGill BDS Action Network has submitted a motion for consideration at the Students Society of McGill University (SSMU) winter general assembly to be held Feb. 22.

The motion calls on SSMU to support any BDS campaigns on campus and to pressure the McGill board of governors to divest from corporations “complicit in the occupation of the Palestinian territories.”

Similar motions were brought before SSMU general assemblies in the fall of 2014 and March of last year.

In the first instance, the motion was shelved indefinitely, and students voted that the same motion could not be brought forward again.


At last year’s winter general assembly, a reworded BDS motion was defeated 276-212 by secret ballot.

In both cases the motions were submitted by Solidary for Palestinian Human Rights (SPHR). McGill BDS, which was officially launched on Feb. 4, claims to be a broader-based, “grassroots” campaign.

Among the campus groups it lists as endorsing the motion are the McGill Black Students’ Network, McGill Students for Feminisms, the McGill Syrian Students’ Association, the environmental activist group Divest McGill, and the Union for Gender Empowerment, as well as SPHR.

In contrast to last year, the response from pro-Israel students has been muted.

A spokesperson for Israel on Campus at McGill, which led the coalition of students opposed to the motion at that time, told The CJN Feb. 11 that the group won’t be “leading this campaign’s mobilization,” but some of its members will be involved.

Zina Rakhamilova, a campus co-ordinator with StandWithUs Canada, said that the pro-Israel organization is involved in countering the motion and has “a professional campus person on the ground in Montreal mobilizing the students and planning a strategic campaign with our research staff and campus professionals.”

The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA) is working with Hillel, the main Jewish campus organization, in trying to encourage students to vote against the motion.

“CIJA Quebec and Hillel Montreal are currently supporting the students in their focused and well-reasoned response to the upcoming BDS anti-Israel motion anticipated on Feb. 22 at McGill University,” Eta Yudin, CIJA’s associate director of Quebec public affairs and Jewish community relations, said in a written statement.


“It is completely unfortunate that this type of motion continues to come up, almost wilfully in spite of the ‘no’ response… last year. It is as if the original movers of the motion are ignoring democracy. At this point, the feeling among the students is ‘enough is enough.’”

Yudin said the BDS movement’s “only real success is in getting headlines, but when it comes to their stated purpose, it is a failure. Canadian and Quebec universities are increasing their exchanges with Israeli counterparts and the number of joint projects or initiatives is at an all-time high.”

Mount Royal Liberal MP Anthony Housefather said Feb. 8 he is encouraging Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to denounce the motion. Last year, as Liberal leader, Trudeau tweeted:

As far as Housefather, a McGill law graduate, is concerned, there should be a moratorium on BDS motions for 20 years.

McGill BDS said that it has also submitted a report to the university board of governors’ Committee to Advise on Matters of Social Responsibility on why McGill should relinquish its holdings in four specific corporations said to be profiting from the occupation or the expansion of the settlements.

They are G4S, a British security services company; L-3 Communications, an American surveillance and reconnaissance provider; the Israeli Mizrahi-Tefahot Bank; and the U.S.-based global real estate broker Re/Max.

McGill BDS scheduled several campus events before the Feb. 22 general assembly to raise awareness of its cause, including a talk by Chicago Rabbi Michael Davis of Jewish Voices for Peace.

  • TerrorIsEvil
    • moosehorn

      But you are the one who is displaying ignorance!

      • TerrorIsEvil

        If you think that I am ignorant for pointing out Islamic fascism and the current love affair between genocidal Islamism and the Left then so be it – your damaged and selective conscience will have to suffer.

        • moosehorn

          You are either willfully ignorant or galactically stupid, period.

  • A lot has happened in the short time since the last BDS motions were put… not least the successful BDS resolution at the American Anthropological Association annual conference to put a vote to its members. Students and university faculty are so often at the forefront of human rights movements and it’s heartening to see McGill students not backing down after the first hurdle. There are immense vested interests attacking BDS, but increasingly it is recognized the attacks have no substance.

  • Scaramouche

    BDS is for losers.

    • moosehorn

      BDS supports human rights and denounces oppression.

      • nopeacenow

        What do Palestinians/Arabs/Muslims know about human rights. The Arabs/Muslims who live in Israel enjoy more rights than Arabs/Muslims living in any Muslim country. BDS calls for the destruction of Israel and not for human rights for Palestinians.

        • moosehorn

          So nopeacenow you think that Arab Muslims in general and Palestinians in particular do not deserve their human rights to be protected. That shows what kind a person you are.

          • TerrorIsEvil

            If the “Palestinians” wanted their own human rights protected then they would not oppress and kill their own people (AND OURS) in such huge numbers throughout the region and with respect to land sales to Jews where the PA and Hamas have official rules to murder anyone who dares sell land or do business with Jews.

          • moosehorn

            All I have to say is that there is no reasoning with the likes of you.
            You are out of touch.

          • Zvi Gross

            Unfortunately you have.never been ” in touch”.
            BDS losers.

          • moosehorn

            With the likes of you? Fortunately NO.

  • moosehorn

    The courageous McGill students deserve all due respect for their tireless efforts to stand against apartheid practices and human rights violations. The Palestinians are human too, aren’t they?

  • Jake Bonn

    BDS is a hate mongering political lobbyist group. Nothing more, nothing less.

    The current members of the BNC / BDS are:

    Council of National and Islamic Forces in Palestine

    Palestinian NGO Network (PNGO)

    Palestinian National Institute for NGOs

    Global Palestine Right of Return Coalition

    Palestinian Trade Union Coalition for BDS (PTUC-BDS)

    Federation of Independent Trade Unions

    General Union of Palestinian Workers

    Palestinian General Federation of Trade Unions

    General Union of Palestinian Women

    Union of Palestinian Farmers

    General Union of Palestinian Teachers

    General Union of Palestinian Writers

    Palestinian Federation of Unions of University Professors and Employees (PFUUPE)

    Union of Professional Associations

    General Union of Palestinian Peasants

    Union of Public Employees in Palestine-Civil Sector

    Grassroots Palestinian Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign (Stop the Wall)

    National Committee for Grassroots Resistance

    Popular Struggle Coordination Committee (PSCC)

    Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI)

    National Committee to Commemorate the Nakba

    Civic Coalition for the Defence of Palestinian Rights in Jerusalem

    Coalition for Jerusalem

    Union of Palestinian Charitable Organizations

    Palestinian Economic Monitor

    Union of Youth Activity Centers – Palestine Refugee Camps

    Occupied Palestine and Syrian Golan Heights Initiative

    Check the list above, my guess is you have some “boycotting” of your own to do.