Ontario becomes first province to reject BDS

Ontario has become the first Canadian province to reject the boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign against Israel.

In a 49-5 vote on Dec. 1, Ontario’s legislature passed a largely symbolic motion rejecting “the differential treatment of Israel, including the [BDS] movement.” All five opposing votes came from the left-leaning New Democratic Party.

The vote came six months after the province voted down a proposed bill that called on the province to stop doing business with companies, pension funds, foundations and colleges and universities that support BDS. That measure, which was a proposed law, was defeated 39-18.

Lawmakers speaking for the Ontario motion described BDS as thinly veiled anti-Semitism that has silenced debate and intimidated Jewish students at universities. — jta