Union of 300,000 Canadian students bids to shun Israel

A unanimously adopted resolution will see more than 300,000 students take part in the boycott of Israeli academic institutions

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The Canadian Federation of Students in Ontario, which represents more than 300,000 university students in the province, passed a resolution to boycott Israel, the Ottawa Citizen reported.

In the federation’s annual general meeting held last week, a motion to take part in the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement (BDS) was unanimously adopted, executive member Anna Goldfinch said.

The resolution was presented by the Ryerson Students’ Union (RSU), and it “endorses a number of solidarity tactics that have been called for by Palestinian civil society,” she told the Canadian daily.

President of the RSU Rajean Hoilett said universities and colleges in Ontario would be “complicit” if they retain investments and ties with academic institution that support or profit from “Israeli war crimes.”

With respect to opinions disagreeing with the resolution, Hoilett said the RSU has scheduled panel discussions in which Ryerson students can voice their views

There will be “no room for anti-Semitism or Islamophobia” at these events, he added.

This resolution follows a protest earlier in August, where thousands gathered in the Canadian city of Toronto to protest Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s stance towards the conflict in Gaza.

Protestors chanted asking Harper how he could “sleep at night with the images of Palestinian children ... blown to pieces.”

Harper’s conservative government has staunchly supported its ally Israel in its conflict against Hamas, the Islamic movement in charge of the Gaza Strip.

In late July, Harper reiterated his government’s hardline against Hamas, blaming it for the deaths in Gaza.