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Canadian students join BDS against Israeli apartheid! PDF Print E-mail
Oct 28, 2007 at 12:00 AM

October 28th, 2007

Worldwide Activism, Palestinian grassroots Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign

In early October the Association pour une Solidarité Syndicale Étudiante (ASSÉ) passed an important motion joining in the global movement for BDS. In their motion they commit to an education campaign on Israeli apartheid and support for BDS, joining efforts with other Canadian organizations to stop their country’s cooperation and support to Israel.

The ASSE represents around 60,000 CEGEP students in Quebec. CEGEP is a network of colleges in Quebec and ASSE is the union of their student councils.

This motion follows other boycott resolution in Canada, notably the resolution of CUPE (Canadian Union of Public Employees), Ontario that has helped to spearhead wider trade union boycott motions.

Full text of the Resolution:

In light of ASSÉ’s commitment to social justice locally and internationally and previous ASSÉ resolutions in support of Palestinian human rights;

In the context of a growing international campaign rooted in a 2005 appeal from over 170 Palestinian civil society organizations to launch an international Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign against Israeli apartheid;

  1. ASSÉ in collaboration with Palestine solidarity and human rights organizations, develop an education campaign focused on the student movement about the apartheid nature of the Israeli state and the political and economic support of Canada for these practices.
  2. ASSÉ will support the international campaign of boycott, divestment and sanctions until Israel meets its obligation to recognize the Palestinian people's inalienable right to self-determination and fully complies with the precepts of international law including the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN resolution194.
  3. ASSÉ will commit to supporting popular actions and education efforts focused on the Canadian and Quebec government’s involvement in the Israeli occupation and call on other Quebec and Canadian student unions to join us in lobbying against the apartheid-like practices of the Israeli state and call for the immediate dismantling of the wall.

ASSÉ is supporting this resolution for the following reasons:

  • The Israeli Apartheid Wall has been condemned and determined illegal under international law, according to the International Court of Justice (IJC);
  • Over 170 Palestinian political parties, unions and other organizations including the Palestinian General Federation of Trade Unions issued a call in July 2005 for a global campaign of boycotts and divestment against Israel similar to those imposed against South African Apartheid;
  • Other labor unions such as CUPE Ontario, the Congress of South African Unions (COSATU), the Services, Industrial, Professional and Technical Union (SIPTU) in Ireland, the Norwegian Electrician and IT workers' union, the Irish Congress of Trade Unions, the Transport and General Workers Union (UK), UNISON (UK), have firmly supported the international boycott campaign and answered the Palestinian call for solidarity.
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In Rachel Corrie verdict, Israel deals new blow to international law
The verdict on the 2003 killing of Rachel Corrie absolved Israel of any wrongdoing, essentially blaming the victim for her death. The trial revealed Israel’s approach to the most fundamental principles of international law, and especially to the duty to protect non-combatants.

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For those who hoped for a just verdict on the death of Rachel Corrie, the American student and ISM activist killed by an Israeli bulldozer in Gaza in 2003 as she was defending a Palestinian home about to be demolished, this is a sad day. Not surprising, but still sad and bitter. The judge who decided the case, Oded Gershon, absolved the army of all blame, despite massive and internally contradictory testimony to the contrary. Moreover, he essentially blamed Rachel for her own death, commenting that a “normal person” would have run away from the bulldozer rather than confront it.

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