Israeli Association Call For Anti-BDS Legislation Joined By Winnipeg Friends Of Israel
A second grassroots advocacy group has swung behind the call of the Israeli Association of Manitoba to have BDS declared causa non grata in Canada.
On Monday, Winnipeg Friends of Israel issued a statement and position paper about their recent meeting with the Jewish Federation of Winnipeg, advancing the concept Ron East and IAM brought forward about BDS to the Federation two weeks ago - that BDS is by definition an antisemitic campaign disguised as a legitimate political tool, and must be denied any standing in our society.
The position paper stated:
"much more needs to done to ensure BDS is not promoted in Canada by having anti-BDS legislation endorsed, making it illegal to boycott, divest, or sanction Israel. There is precedence for such legislation outlawing BDS as antisemitic and as hate propaganda. To date, 27 states have adopted laws that are designed to discourage boycotts against Israel."
The Federation indicated they will carry the Winnipeg Friends of Israel proposal to the national body of Jewish Federations, CIJA, in an attempt to create a coordinated effort at the federal level.
However, East noted that "such a process does not preclude lobbying municipal and provincial officials in the interim to enact policies and laws that repudiate BDS and other antisemitic political movements. I encourage the pro-Israel community to contact the Jewish Federation of Winnipeg at: 204.477.7400 and insist they taking action with the City of Winnipeg and Province of Manitoba to abolish BDS."
Here is the statement distributed by WFI:
This is an update regarding our meeting with the Jewish Federation of Winnipeg on June 5, 2019. The meeting was scheduled as follow up to the Winnipeg Friends of Israel (WFI) gathering called Urgent Meeting Concerning Linda Sarsour. WFI representatives met with Elaine Goldstein and Adam Levy and found the meeting to be constructive on many levels. It appears that the Federation shares many of our concerns about the spread of anti-Israel and antisemitic sentiment in the general population.
During the meeting, we proposed that, the Jewish Federation of Winnipeg in partnership with Canada, Israel Jewish Affairs (CIJA) lobby for anti-BDS legislation. According to the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s (IHRA) definition of antisemitism (which has been endorsed by its 31 member countries, including Canada), BDS is inherently antisemitic as it meets a number of the criteria identified by the IHRA as manifestations of antisemitism.
We presented our proposal, “On the Inherent Link between the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions Campaign and Antisemitism,” written by Penny Jones Square.
Elaine promised to relate our suggestions to CIJA and inform us as to their response. We hope that this recommendation will result in formal legislation in the future. We look forward for CIJA’s response, and we will continue to update you when we hear from them.
Thank you for your continued support and concerns.
Winnipeg Friends of Israel
"For years, boycott promoters have disguised themselves as ‘human rights activists,’ managing to raise tens of millions of euros from Western countries and citizens who thought they were contributing to causes supporting justice and equality.
Over time though, we have revealed that the supposed ‘human rights’ NGOs are in reality, filled with anti-Semitic operatives with deep ties to terrorist groups fixated on destroying the State of Israel.”
Strategic Affairs Minister Gilad Erdan
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