(JTA) – The House of Commons passed a motion condemning the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel.
The motion passed Monday in a 229-51 vote. Introduced last week by Conservative opposition MPs Tony Clement and Michelle Rempel, the motion was also supported by the governing Liberals.
It calls on the Canadian government to “condemn any and all attempts by Canadian organizations, groups or individuals to promote the BDS movement, both here at home and abroad.”
In addition, the motion notes Canada and Israel’s “long history of friendship as well as economic and diplomatic relations.” The motion says the BDS movement “promotes the demonization and delegitimization of the State of Israel.”
Speaking in favor of the motion last week, Foreign Affairs Minister Stéphane Dion said “the world will win nothing for boycotting Israel but depriving itself of the talents of its inventiveness.”
Canadian Jewish groups have praised the motion. In a statement last week, Shimon Koffler Fogel, CEO of the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs, said, “The boycott movement does not contribute to peace and is not pro-Palestinian. It is discrimination based on nationality, and it harms both Israelis and Palestinians alike by driving the two sides further apart. The BDS movement is a fringe movement and is outside genuine peace efforts.”
Responding to the vote in a news release, the National Council on Canada Arab-Relations said the anti-BDS motion goes “against the spirit of the Freedom of Speech, a right enshrined in Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms.”
The group described BDS as a “non-violent campaign that supports proven methods of conscientious objection to encourage Israel to respect international law.”
With files from the Ottawa Jewish Bulletin.