20 February 2016

The Conservatives' shameful motion

Late last week, the Conservatives made a motion in the House of Commons that was unworthy of the place. The motion was to "reject the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, which promotes the demonization and delegitimization of the State of Israel, and call upon the government to condemn any and all attempts by Canadian organizations, groups or individuals to promote the BDS movement." Naturally, I immediately emailed my MP instructing him to vote against it.

The motion is objectionable on at least three counts:

First, the claim that the BDS movement "promotes the demonization and delegitimization of the State of Israel" is a slander. What the movement promotes is a boycott against Israel until it ends its occupation of Arab lands, treats Palestinians equally and respects the rights of refugees to return to their homes. It encourages neither demonization nor delegitimization.

Second, calling upon government to condemn its citizens because it disagrees with their ideas is not something that governments do in a free society.

Third, the leaders of the international community have for almost 70 years—three generations—utterly failed to bring justice to the Palestinian people. Indeed, they have worse than failed—the Palestinians' circumstances have deteriorated and their loss of land continues to the point where a two-state solution may no longer be viable. Given this failure, how can world leaders, in good conscience, reject a non-violent initiative by ordinary citizens to encourage a fair settlement for these beleaguered people.

The initiative is in itself thoroughly justified. Israel has ethnically cleansed the Palestinians, collectively punished them, racially discriminated against them, subjected them to military occupation and colonized ever more of their land. Israel has thus made itself deserving of boycott, divestment and sanctions. The entirely peaceful strategy of the movement is similarly justified.

The Conservatives claim to be friends of Israel yet here they are once again dividing Canadians by shamefully exploiting the country as a political wedge issue. With friends like this ...

1 comment:

  1. I agree with your condemnation of the Conservative stand. However, aren't you being unfair since the Liberals also agreed with the Conservatives on this: http://rabble.ca/blogs/bloggers/nora-loreto/2016/02/nine-things-jason-kenney-said-during-bds-debate-should-make-you-r ?

    Even the NDP was disappointing but at least they did not condemn the BDS like the Liberals and Conservatives. Seems only the BQ had supported the BDS, and yet this is the group most often condemned by many Conservatives and Liberals, eh?