A Canadian advocacy organization has defied the Ottawa government’s warning not to promote boycotts against the Israeli regime.
On Monday, members of the Canadian Friends Service Committee, known as the Canadian Quakers, reaffirmed their support for the pro-Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign against Tel Aviv over its aggressive policies.
The rights organization said it would ignore the government’s threat to the Canadian rights groups who call for boycotts of the Tel Aviv regime.
On May 11, Canadian Broadcaster CBC News reported that the government was “signaling its intention to use hate crime laws against Canadian advocacy groups that encourage boycotts of Israel.”
Canadian civil liberty groups criticized the government plans, saying it would almost certainly be challenged under the country’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
This was the latest attempt by the Canadian government to silence the BDS movement and supporters of the cause.
In January, Canada signed a memorandum with the Israeli regime to fight BDS, a pro-Palestinian movement which is gaining momentum worldwide.
The BDS is a global campaign which uses economic and political pressure on Israel to comply with the goals of the movement - the end of Israeli occupation and colonization of Palestinian land, full equality for Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel, and respect for the right of return of Palestinian refugees.
The BDS movement against Israel began in July 2005 by 171 Palestinian organizations, calling for “various forms of boycott against Israel until it meets its obligations under international law.”
The campaign has also influenced the laws of European Union member states, which are now barred from cooperating with the Israeli companies that are linked to the occupied territories.
The EU has also blocked all grants and funding to any Israeli entity based in the illegal Israeli settlements.
More than half a million Israelis live in over 120 illegal settlements built since Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and East al-Quds (Jerusalem) in 1967.