In a landmark decision for Canada, issued Tuesday of this week, the Judicial Board of the Students’ Society of McGill University (SSMU) ruled against the anti-Israel Boycott and Sanctions Movement, finding that it violates the student union’s constitution.
This decision followed three attempts within the past 18 months to impose the discriminatory campaign on McGill students, who rejected it on each occasion. The most recent vote on the issue, which occurred in February, was accompanied by antisemitic harassment aimed at students opposing the movement.
According to the unanimous panel of McGill Law students who heard the case, “the inescapable conclusion is that motions similar to the BDS motion, which target one specific nation, breach values inherent in [SSMU’s] Constitution and the Equity Policy”. Pending ratification by the SSMU Board of Directors, this judicial decision will halt the stream of anti-Israel motions put before the student body during the past few years. Moreover, given the extreme similarity among the constitutions of various Canadian student unions, boycott motions may now be invalidated within those bodies, as well.
Last week, 155 McGill professors signed an open letter condemning the boycott and sanctions movement. In the letter’s preamble, widely respected history professor Gil Troy outlined an alarming rise in antisemitism on Canadian university campuses, quoting explicitly from B’nai Brith Canada’s expose last April on Holocaust denier Ken O’Keefe’s speech at the University of Toronto.