Sunday, February 22, 2009

Oh, come on.

So, CUPE Ontario passed a motion calling for various kinds of "sanctions" against Israel (see here). Here's what the Toronto Star reports the motion says:
It calls on the union to develop an education campaign on what it calls Israel's "apartheid" practices, such as building a wall around Palestinian territory and invading the Gaza Strip in December; asks the union to back an international campaign of sanctions and boycotts against the country and asks the national union to start researching Canadian connections to Israel's occupation of the Palestinian territories.

So, basically, advertising, a boycott, and some further research. Pretty innocuous, really. But, then there's this:
"Our fear and our concern is that there could be violence against Jewish workers," said Meir Weinstein, national director of the Jewish Defence League of Canada. "Wherever there are calls for a boycott of Israel and the Jewish state, there is violence against Jews."
Seriously. Advertising, a boycott, and research will lead to violence against Jews, says the JDL national director.

I wonder if, in his view, there is any such thing as legitimate criticism or action against Israel. If he's not okay with advertising, a boycott, and research, what would he be okay with?

(Oh, and, before anyone brings it up: the part of the motion CUPE Ontario prez Sid Ryan was calling for, i.e., a ban on Israeli academics from Canadian university campuses, either didn't pass or wasn't even debated. In either case, it's no part of this motion.)


Skinny Dipper said...

I believe CUPE's U of T group passed a motion that includes boycotting Israeli universities. Essentially, an Israeli academic who is independent of any Israeli university won't be boycotted by CUPE. An academic who wants to come on an exchange trip or present a lecture will by boycotted by CUPE.

Adam, you are right in that groups such as the JDL do not want any criticism of Israel. Any criticism is an attack against Jews in their view.

ADHR said...

Which CUPE local was it? 3902 is TAs, and they've clearly refused to endorse any resolution on the Middle East that CUPE Ontario passes; see here.

It's a little sad that a group which supposedly exists to protect against anti-semitism has been reduced to running flak for a particular set of governmental policies. Although, I see the usual Israel/Judaism conflation is starting to spread -- Kinsella has proclaimed that the CUPE Ontario resolution is anti-semitic, and I'm sure I could find the same sentiment littering the BT blogroll.