The Green Party of Quebec has formally endorsed the boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign against Israel.
Its council adopted a resolution on Oct. 16 expressing the provincial party’s support for applying BDS against “organs” of the State of Israel and corporations, based in or outside the country, that are “engaged in and complicit in the violation of Palestinians’ human rights,” as well as academic, cultural and sports institutions.
The party says it will lobby the Quebec and Canadian governments to ban the importation of goods produced, in whole or in part, in Israeli settlements beyond the Green Line, and develop a public database of Canadian corporations and private bodies doing business in that territory.
The only exception made is for companies in the fields of medicine, clean technology and computer software, because the party “supports and promotes the global success of Israel’s green technology companies.”
The four-page resolution further states that Canadians should have “the right to endorse, support or engage in BDS-related activities without censure or sanction.”
The party says it will continue to support BDS until Israel permanently ends settlement of the Palestinian territories and “enters into good faith negotiations” with the Palestinians on establishing a “viable, contiguous and truly independent Palestinian state.”
The resolution warns against members engaging in any anti-Semitic or “Judaeophobic” activity in relation to this issue.
However, it accuses Israel of “routinely subject[ing] innocent Palestinians to violence” and discriminating against them on the basis of their ethnicity.
The resolution was authored by party executive member Abraham Weizfeld.
The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA) dismissed any impact the resolution might have on Quebecers.
David Ouellette, CIJA’s associate director of Quebec public affairs, e-mailed: “With less than one per cent of the popular vote in the 2014 Quebec election, the Green Party of Quebec is clearly a fringe party. Its adoption of BDS only confirms both its own irrelevance and the marginality of BDS in the province, where the rejection of BDS continues to be a matter of robust consensus among all major political parties.”
In August, the federal Green party passed a resolution in support of “some principles” of BDS in a controversial majority vote at its national convention. Elizabeth May expressed opposition to the policy, but decided to stay on as leader.
That party will hold an extraordinary congress in December in Calgary to review its BDS position.
Quebec Green Leader Alex Tyrrell called May’s equivocation over whether to continue to head the party due to this issue “blackmail,” in a press release.
“The [Green Party of Quebec] recognizes the legitimacy of BDS and encourages members of the Green Party of Canada not to change their position on this policy,” stated Tyrell, who says he is the only leader of a provincial Green party so far to voice his support for BDS.
“The Green Party of Quebec is a progressive party that will never hesitate to denounce the war crimes, the murder of children or other violations of fundamental rights,” he further stated. “BDS is a non-violent tactic that aims at restricting the military actions of the State of Israel.”
Dmitri Lascaris, who introduced the federal party’s BDS resolution, applauded the Quebec Greens for “leading the way for the eight other provincial Green parties in Canada who have yet to adopt positions in favour of BDS.”