McGill Students Reject BDS. Again. 4th Vote Coming Up?

Students at Montreal’s McGill University must be really, really tired of hearing about BDS. They have now gone to the polls three times in 18 months in order to try and pass a motion in support of BDS. And all three times, the motions have been rejected. The latest situation began last Monday when students voted 512 to 357 in support of BDS. That vote however, needed to be ratified online by at least 2,200 students. That online ratification period ended Saturday and when the results came in, McGill students delivered another clear loss to the BDS Brigade – “57 per cent (2,819) overturned the BDS motion adopted Monday by the general assembly of the Students’ Society of McGill University (SSMU), while 43 per cent (2,119) supported it.”

McGill Principal Suzanne Fortier said the university “continues to steadfastly oppose the BDS movement, of which this motion is a part.” She further added that the motion “flies in the face of the tolerance and respect we cherish as values fundamental to a university,” and is contrary to “academic freedom, equity, inclusiveness and the exchange of views and ideas in responsible, open discourse.”

So is that it then? Uhm… The McGill Daily reported that “McGill BDS had condemned “active campaigning efforts and tactics used by various students, professors, and student groups in opposition” to the motion. In addition, McGill BDS alleges that “fraudulent Reddit and Instagram accounts have been created with our name and logo.” And that’s not all.

McGill BDS alleges that campus groups opposing the BDS motion have used “exterior organizations, rather than their campus affiliates, to disseminate misinformation regarding the motion’s intent, form, and impact.” … According to evidence shared on McGill BDS’ Facebook page and sent to The Daily, Federation CJA, a Montreal-based Jewish organization, sent an email to its membership during the online ratification period, asking members to “encourage your children, your grandchildren, your friends, indeed any McGill students you may know to make their voices heard by voting ‘NO’ in [the] online ratification against the BDS motion.” … The Quebec branch of the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA) also created a sponsored Facebook post on February 26, with the statement urging students to vote against the BDS motion, in both French and English.

See according to SSMU rules, you’re not supposed to campaign during the online ratification period. McGill BDS claims that the NO side, in order to get around these rules, got the local Federation and the CIJA to campaign on their behalf. These organizations are not subject to SSMU rules and I for one would love to see what evidence they have to support their assertions, other than a well thumbed copy of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion.

Melis Ça?an, an organizer with McGill BDS, said, “We got 43 per cent of the votes in a race where the opposition was campaigning at full force despite it being illegal to campaign during online ratification, evidence of which we have collected throughout voting period. We are proud of our accomplishment despite this uneven playing field.” SSMU President Kareem Ibrahim laid out the blueprint for what may very well be the 4th vote on BDS when he noted that “a petition could be brought to the SSMU Judicial Board (J-Board) regarding these alleged violations of the internal regulations. If the J-Board is convinced that these actions do constitute violations, it could recommend a revote.”

Why am I not surprised? It seems that the BDS movement is trying to exhaust McGill student voters into passing a Pro-BDS vote. The idea that concerned community organizations outside of McGill can’t voice their opinions on an important matter is ludicrous. And the idea of yet another vote? Even more ludicrous. It’s time that the professional agitators behind McGill BDS learn and accept that their noxious ideas have been soundly rejected. People who actually care about a just resolution to the Israel / Palestine conflict reject BDS. Duh.

In the meantime, Canada’s parliament passed a motion condemning BDS in a 229-51 vote. The motion calls on the Canadian government to “condemn any and all attempts by Canadian organizations, groups or individuals to promote the BDS movement, both here at home and abroad.” So there ya have it.

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