Montreal, September 6, 2017 — Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME) congratulates UNIFOR, Canada’s largest private-sector union, for the passage of a BDS motion at its recent convention. Resolution no. 5, entitled, “Palestinian Self-Determination and the Movement for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions,” was put forth by the Oshawa-based Local 222 and was “easily” adopted at the Unifor Canadian Council, held in Winnipeg from August 18-20th.
Among other things, the resolution calls on UNIFOR to:
- “Support the use of divestment, boycott and sanctions (“BDS”) that are targeted to those sectors of Israel’s economy and society which profit from the ongoing occupation of the OPT.”
- “Support such a form of BDS until such time as Israel implements a permanent ban on further settlement construction in the OPT, and enters into good faith negotiations with representatives of the Palestinian people for the purpose of establishing a viable, contiguous and truly sovereign Palestinian state.”
- “Oppose all efforts to prohibit, punish or otherwise deter expressions of support for BDS.”
“This is a significant development for the Canadian human rights movement,” declared CJPME President Thomas Woodley. “We hope that our government will respect the demands of civil society by adopting similar policies.” CJPME supports UNIFOR’s adoption of non-violent political measures to shed light on the situation of the Palestinians. CJPME points out that many Canadians have grown impatient with Canadian parties which proclaim support for a negotiated two-state solution in Israel-Palestine, but ignore both the fact that no negotiations are taking place, and the fact that Palestinians suffer terribly under the status quo.
The BDS movement calls for 1) and end to Israel’s military occupation of the West Bank, 2) equal rights for Palestinian citizens of Israel, and 3) the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes or receive compensation. The BDS movement is non-violent, grounded in principles of international law, and condemns unjust behaviour. Neutral observers view the BDS movement as a legitimate means of protest and pressure in a democracy – being neither “anti-Israel” nor “anti-Semitic” – in response to a specific 2005 call from Palestinian civil society. CJPME also points out that the goals of BDS actually align with Canada’s official foreign policy positions on Israel-Palestine. Despite backlash from pro-Israel lobbies, the BDS movement continues to grow as Canadian citizens and organizations, including UNIFOR, choose to take a stand for human rights.
About CJPME – Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME) is a non-profit and secular organization bringing together men and women of all backgrounds who labour to see justice and peace take root again in the Middle East. Its mission is to empower decision-makers to view all sides with fairness and to promote the equitable and sustainable development of the region.
For more information, please contact Miranda Gallo, 438-380-5410
Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East www.cjpme.org
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