February 23 2016

Canada’s Motion Against the BDS , a Fatal Attack on Democracy

All social media portals are discussing yesterday’s vote, mostly praising it, describing it as a “positively” historic day… a day I would only refer to as an epic democracy fail.
To those of you who have no clue what I’m talking about, yesterday Canada’s parliament officially passed an anti-BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement) motion, formally condemning “any and all attempts by Canadian organizations, groups or individuals to promote the BDS movement, both here at home and abroad“, noting the “long history of friendship as well as economic and diplomatic relations” Canada and Israel have.

Needless to say that many Canadians are unfortunately happy with this motion, calling it “fair”, “just” and the “right thing to do”. Many are actually threatening those who voted against this motion, calling them names and bullying them on social media portals as well as in mainstream media.

Was that a shock to people who are pro the BDS movement? not at all, even Canadians who voted for Trudeau knew in advance where the Liberals stand with regards to this bill… which is exactly where the Conservatives stand. But during his pre-election debates, Trudeau showed a great tendency to stand out, make strong just statements regardless of  pressures around him, he continuously reflected a humane free democratic approach which gave a spark of hope to many people, that maybe, just maybe, he would do the really right thing and lead by example in protecting the rights of his citizens in speaking up their minds freely, and not standing in their way of expressing their views nonviolently, and even encouraging them to peacefully share what they think. But no, yesterday’s vote was a letdown to many Canadians, a huge disappointment, and no matter how they put it, it’s just wrong.

Even if you’re pro-Israel, that doesn’t mean you could just go on bullying people into shutting their mouths up and take away their right to speak up as long as it’s in a peaceful civilized and nonviolent way. This is a right Canada gives to its citizens, and no one should take away this right.  The right of dissent is enshrined in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. What a shame, what a waste it was for those who gave their lives to create this Charter.
As NDP Leader Tom Mulcair beautifully puts it: “one can disagree with the boycott movement and debate it. But to call upon the government to condemn someone for having that opinion, that’s unheard of”, explaining that “This goes against the freedom of expression we hold so dear in our society. … makes it a thought crime to express an opinion.” Adding: “Since when do we allow that in a free and democratic society?”. [Source: Huff Post Canada]
Mulcair, who proved again to be a man of unbiased justice, standing by what’s right, not fearing pressure or attacks, has won the respect, loyalty and appreciation of many many Canadians when he voted against the passing of this ridiculous bill.

It is worth mentioning that the Canadian government’s vote follows  UK  government’s passing of the very same bill earlier in Feb. 14th, 2016, and I’m expecting that many more governments will amuse us with their support for this bill.

A big thank you, and hats off, to all those who voted against, starting with Mulcair, to the inspiring McGill undergraduates who voted in favor of the BDS movement.

Hoping that the decision will be somehow miraculously reversed.

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Posted February 23, 2016 by Eman in category "Canada", "Media, International


  1. By Haitham Al-Sheeshany on

    Thank you for this post. To be very honest I never knew there was such a vote (I have not been following news much for some time now). I have no words to add other than to echo you in one’s right to voice their opinion. Also, one’s right (which ought to be a for-granted-issue) to be protected from being hustled (to say the least) for voicing it.

    * Thanks to McGill’s students. A university that I always admired academically and now added one more reason to my reasons for such fondness.

    ** I learnt a new word today; enshrined. Thanks!

  2. Pingback: AquaCool » نواب برلمان كندا العرب ومهزلة التصويت ضد حركة البي دي إس

  3. By Eman (Post author) on

    Thanks for your comments Haitham, I’m very glad you found the article interesting, and flattered to have added a new word to your impressive lexicon 🙂

    There’s always room for hope…

  4. By Stephen Ames Berry on

    Very reasoned, very eloquent, Eman. As always. 🙂

    A citizen of a free state should be free, to include free to organize and join a boycott of any entitiy. My Israeli informant says Canada has a long history of unblushingly backing Israel, so your chances of winning were slight. Hats off to a gallant try. Yes, it’s outrageous, but does this condemnation have any teeth behind it? What can be done to you if you should organize or join a boycott of Israel?

    I think I owe you a letter.

    Trust you’re all well and enjoying our shared winter weather.


  5. By Eman (Post author) on

    Thank you for your comment Steve…
    We’re aware of the long history of support and collaboration, but we never expected bias that would actually reach this level of oppression.
    Up until now, all we know is that “any and all attempts” of this kind will be condemned and punishable by law, but nothing’s really explained or outlined in detail as to what these legal consequences would be. The law is still in its first stages.

    I’m still very very disappointed, very let down.

    Weather’s beautiful nowadays, hope it’s the same at your end 🙂


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