Students at Canadian University Vote for BDS

Student union at McMaster University in Hamilton votes to support the global Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.

Ben Ariel ,

Anti-Israel boycott movement (file)
Anti-Israel boycott movement (file)

The student union at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, has voted in support of the global Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, the CBC reported on Tuesday.

Students at the student union’s annual general assembly voted to endorse the BDS campaign, with 622 people voting for the resolution and 28 voting against.

According to a BDS committee press release, some pro-Israel students walked out of the meeting just before the vote to “try to reduce the attendance at the general assembly below the 632-member quorum.”

A similar vote happened in March of last year, but the assembly didn’t have quorum, making it a non-binding vote, noted the CBC.

“We will continue to work such that BDS becomes a way of life at McMaster University, using this non-violent tactic to help end the Occupation and bring about positive changes for the Palestinian people,” the BDS committee said in a press release quoted by the broadcaster.

In an opinion piece in McMaster’s student newspaper The Silhouette, Sean Haber of McMaster Israel on Campus denounced the BDS movement.

“By rejecting BDS, we can move forward with integrity as a community and make McMaster a model for civil discourse; a campus where all students – regardless of their political belief and national origin – are free to learn, debate, discuss and grow,” he wrote.

“Unfortunately, at McMaster and elsewhere, it has become incredibly clear that BDS not only silences opposition, but also shuts down the debate.”

In 2014, the student union at Toronto’s York University voted to join the BDS movement. It was preceded by Windsor University in Ontario.

Also last year, students at the University of Ottawa launched a campaign to have Sabra hummus banned from campus because of its alleged connection with “Israel apartheid."