Canadian parliament to formally reject anti-Israel boycotts

The Canadian parliament is set to pass a bipartisan bill that would condemn any efforts to support the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement against Israel.

“We must fight anti-Semitism in all its forms,” said Canadian Foreign Minister Stephane Dion. “We must oppose the boycott, divest, sanctions campaign in our communities and continue to speak out forcefully against them.”

The bill was introduced by two Conservative Party lawmakers, and the Liberal Party majority has indicated that it will support the motion. According to Canadian media reports, the vote will take place on Monday.

The bill states that “given Canada and Israel share a long history of friendship as well as economic and diplomatic relations, the House 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, both here at home and abroad.”

The bill comes following concerns that recently elected Liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau would drastically change the strongly pro-Israel stance supported by his Conservative predecessor Stephen Harper.

The BDS movement has gained significant traction in Canada, with support from, among others, the United Church of Canada, several student unions and a major Quebec-based labor union.