The Dalhousie Student Union is under no obligation to divest in response to the BDS Movement nor does the Students Against Israeli Apartheid speak on behalf of Dalhousie students. The hubris of this anti-Israel group is remarkable. By purporting to represent Dalhousie students, it issues demands that the DSU cave in to its ideological agenda.
A disturbing escalation of anti-Israel rhetoric has been introduced in Canada in recent years. The comparison of Israel to the apartheid regime of South Africa is one example of the demonization of the Jewish state.
The BDS movement does not reflect the openness and transparency that legitimate organizations follow in this country. The BDS movement claims to act locally, but it is not a Canadian organization that conducts its activities in an open and transparent way. In so doing it attempts to pre-empt taking responsibility for escalating rhetoric that bears the hallmarks of illegal speech.
The Parliament of Canada has condemned the BDS anti-Israel movement in this country. Rather than undermining local democracy, as supporters of BDS argue, Parliament has signalled that hate speech will not be accepted in Canada. Justin Trudeau has made his views in this respect clear, he opposes the BDS approach.
Sectarian ideologies should not be accommodated to poison the Canadian approach to measured, respectful dialogue on matters of public interest.
I join the Canadian government in condemnation of BDS ideology and its locally misleading claim to represent Dalhousie students.