Lana Payne speaking at the Unifor Canadian Council in Winnipeg, Manitoba [Image Source: Facebook]
One of the outcomes of the recent Unifor Canadian Council in Winnipeg, Manitoba was Unifor’s resolution to adopt the philosophy of Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) and incorporate the BDS mandate into their organization. Unifor is Canada’s largest private sector union, with more than 310,000 members across the country, working in every major sector of the Canadian economy. Some of the language used in Unifor’s Canadian Council resolution (see page 7 for the resolution) include:
Unifor supports the use of divestment, boycott and sanctions (“BDS”) that are targeted to those sectors of Israel’s economy and society […]
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 […]
Unifor opposes all efforts to prohibit, punish or otherwise deter expressions of support for BDS.
Its not surprising that there is no mention of the reason for the “Israeli occupation” in the resolution. Of course, there is no mention of Israel’s security concerns and there certainly is no mention of the numerous concessions that Israel has bent over backwards to give the Arabs living in Israel (e.g. work visas and permits for Arab Israeli’s to work in Israel, the Oslo Accords, the Disengagement, security cooperation with the PA etc…).
After the convention, Unifor published a press release saying that it was following in the footsteps of the Palestinian trade union movement. In response to the resolution, Shimon Koffler Fogel, the CEO of Canada’s Centre for Israel Affairs said, “It is appalling that Unifor has allowed itself to be drawn into the anti-Semitic, divisive and counter-productive BDS campaign against Israel. The resolution that passed last week at Unifor’s Canadian Council is misguided and shameful, and it suggests that Unifor has a complete lack of understanding of the complexities of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”
He continued, saying that “BDS has been roundly rejected by all major federal political parties,” referring to the 2016 condemnation of BDS supporters by both the Liberal and Conservative parties in Canada.
In a move later rescinded, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) prohibited vendors from selling wines produced in Judea and Samaria because they were labelled as products of Israel.
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