June 16, 2009
Ottawa – Independent Jewish Voices (Canada) voted to join the growing international campaign in support of the Palestinian call for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel, at its first Annual General Meeting this past weekend. This decision makes IJV the first national Jewish organization in the world to do so. The adopted resolution states that IJV will “Support the Palestinian call for a campaign of boycott, divestment and sanctions until Israel meets its obligation to recognize the Palestinian people”s right to self-determination and complies with the precepts of international law, including the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN resolution 194.”
“Independent Jewish Voices has voted to join the international boycott campaign because we stand in solidarity with the Palestinian people and support their right to self-determination,” says Diana Ralph, Co-Chair of IJV. “We are calling on the Canadian government and all Members of Parliament to push for immediate sanctions on Israel.”
“The time has come for people around the world to rise to the challenge in Israel/Palestine, as we did for South Africa,” says Fabienne Presentey, Steering Committee member of IJV. “All voices that can be raised against this injustice must be.”
The resolution, which passed with the support of 95% of voting delegates, also calls on the Canadian government to “1) cease its one-sided and uncritical support for Israel and 2) insist that Israel abide by international law”.
The international call for boycott, divestment, and sanctions originated from 170 Palestinian civil society organizations and has sparked a growing global movement, modeled on the international campaign that successfully ended South African Apartheid. Many prominent organizations around the world have joined the BDS campaign, including the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU), UNISON (UK), Transport and General Workers’ Union (UK), Canadian Union of Postal Workers, Canadian Union of Public Employees-Ontario, six Norwegian trade unions, Irish Congress of Trade Unions, Scottish Trades Union Congress, and Intersindical Alternativa de Catallunya.
Independent Jewish Voices is a member-led organization, with chapters in Vancouver, Winnipeg, Toronto, Hamilton, Ottawa, Montreal, and Halifax.
For More Information:
Diana Ralph, IJV Co-Chair, 613-321-2765, cell 623-314-2805
Sid Shniad, IJV Co-Chair, 604-314-5589
Fabienne Presentey, IJV Steering Committee member (for french interviews), 514-825-4610
Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Resolution
Adopted at the Annual General Meeting of Independent Jewish Voices (Canada) on June 14, 2009.
Whereas there will be no lasting peace without implementation of international law, United Nations resolutions and respect for the human rights of both Palestinians and Jewish-Israelis, and
Whereas the United Nations Security Council unanimously passed resolution 242 in November 1967, calling on Israel to withdraw from the West Bank, Gaza, East Jerusalem, which it had invaded and occupied in June 1967, and
Whereas Israel has refused to implement resolution 242 and instead has illegally established Jewish-only settlements in these areas in violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention, and
Whereas Independent Jewish Voices is based on a strong commitment to social justice and universal human rights, and
Whereas it is our view that the grave situation in the Middle East threatens the future of both Israelis and Palestinians as well as the stability of the whole region, and
Whereas we support a negotiated peace between the Israeli and Palestinian peoples and oppose attempts by the Israeli government to impose its own solutions on the Palestinians,
Therefore be it resolved that Independent Jewish Voices will:
1. Support the Palestinian call for a campaign of boycott, divestment and sanctions until Israel meets its obligation to recognize the Palestinian people”s right to self-determination and complies with the precepts of international law, including the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN resolution 194.
2. Work towards an end to military assaults and other acts of violence that target civilians.
3. Demand that the Israeli Government immediately and permanently withdraw from the West Bank, Gaza Strip and Golan Heights and cease all discrimination against Palestinian citizens of Israel.
4. Call on the Canadian government to 1) cease its one-sided and uncritical support for Israel and 2) insist that Israel abide by international law.