National Canadian Jewish organization votes to boycott Israel

18 June 2009

The following press release was issued on 16 June 2009:

Independent Jewish Voices (Canada) voted to join the growing international campaign in support of the Palestinian call for boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israel, at its first Annual General Meeting this past weekend. This decision makes IJV the first national Jewish organization in the world to do so. The adopted resolution states that IJV will “Support the Palestinian call for a campaign of boycott, divestment and sanctions until Israel meets its obligation to recognize the Palestinian people’s right to self-determination and complies with the precepts of international law, including the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN resolution 194.”

“Independent Jewish Voices has voted to join the international boycott campaign because we stand in solidarity with the Palestinian people and support their right to self-determination,” says Diana Ralph, co-chair of IJV. “We are calling on the Canadian government and all Members of Parliament to push for immediate sanctions on Israel.”

“The time has come for people around the world to rise to the challenge in Israel/Palestine, as we did for South Africa,” says Fabienne Presentey, Steering Committee member of IJV. “All voices that can be raised against this injustice must be.”

The resolution, which passed with the support of 95 percent of voting delegates, also calls on the Canadian government to “1) cease its one-sided and uncritical support for Israel and 2) insist that Israel abide by international law.”

The international call for BDS originated from 170 Palestinian civil society organizations and has sparked a growing global movement, modeled on the international campaign that successfully ended South African apartheid. Many prominent organizations around the world have joined the BDS campaign, including the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU), UNISON (UK), Transport and General Workers’ Union (UK), Canadian Union of Postal Workers, Canadian Union of Public Employees-Ontario, six Norwegian trade unions, Irish Congress of Trade Unions, Scottish Trades Union Congress, and Intersindical Alternativa de Catallunya.

Independent Jewish Voices is a member-led organization, with chapters in Vancouver, Winnipeg, Toronto, Hamilton, Ottawa, Montreal, and Halifax.

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