Students Vote to Endorse BDS at the University of Toronto

The Graduate Student Union at the University of Toronto votes overwhelmingly to accept the BDS campaign against Israel.

By Elad Benari, Canada


The Graduate Student Union (GSU) at the University of Toronto has decided to endorse the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel.


Canada- file photo

A statement by a group calling itself “Students against Israeli Apartheid, University of Toronto” said that the GSU overwhelmingly voted in favor of a resolution to endorse the global campaign for BDS at their annual general meeting on December 10.

Over 150 graduate students were present at the meeting, of which approximately 97 percent voted in favor of the motion, with only a few students opposed, said the group’s statement.

The resolution states that “the Graduate Students Union endorse Palestinian civil society’s 2005 call for boycotts, divestment and sanctions by calling on the University of Toronto to refrain from investing in all companies complicit in violations of international law. This includes any company that: profits from the illegal occupation of Palestinian land, directly benefits from the construction of the Wall and Israeli settlements, is economically active in settlements, and profits from the collective punishment of Palestinians. This would include the companies BAE Systems, Northrop Grumman, Lockheed Martin and Hewlett Packard.”

According to Students against Israeli Apartheid, the resolution was adopted “in support of Palestinian rights and opposition to Israel’s illegal military occupation of Palestine and its violations of international law under the Geneva Conventions, as affirmed by the International Court of Justice in 2004.”

“The passage of this resolution is a milestone in divestment activities in North America and will hopefully pave the way for a broader campaign which demands that the University of Toronto divest from any and all companies profiting from Israel’s illegal occupation,” said the group.

Similar resolutions against Israel have also been adopted in the past year by graduate student associations at other Canadian universities such as York University, University of Regina and Carleton University in Ottawa.


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