Canada's largest private union, Unifor National, passed on Sunday a motion to join the Boycott, Divestment and Sanction movement (BDS), which looks to exert economic, academic and cultural pressure on Israel over the occupation and its role in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
The union, which has 310,000 members, wrote that “sectors of Israel’s economy and society profit from the ongoing occupation of the OPT (occupied Palestinian territories—ed),” adding that “Unifor will support such a form of BDS until such time as Israel implements a permanent ban on further settlement construction in the OPT, and enters into good faith negotiations with representatives of the Palestinian people for the purpose of establishing a viable, contiguous and truly sovereign Palestinian state.”
Friends of Simon Weisenthal Center for Holocaust Studies President Avi Benlolo voiced his criticism of the decision, saying that “Unifor has proven that it supports an anti-Semitic movement of which no Canadian or member of Unifor will stand to profit.”
Members of the Canadian Jewish community also rejected the decision, stating that joining the BDS movement first and foremost hurts Palestinian workers.
Israel's Strategic Affairs Ministry came out againt the Unifor move, saying that “at best, the decision reflects ignorance in regard to the conflict. and at it worst, it reflects blatant anti-Semitism.”