April 9, 2017
By Aidan Fishman
Campus Advocacy Coordinator
B’nai Brith Canada
VANCOUVER – After a week-long referendum, students at the University of British Columbia voted against endorsing the anti-Israel boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement, with 48 per cent for and 52 per cent against. Turnout in the referendum also fell well short of the eight per cent quorum required in order for it to be binding.
These results marked a substantial improvement over 2015, when an identical referendum question received a majority of votes in favour, but failed due to a lack of quorum.
“These results, particularly when compared to 2015, show that students are finally waking up to the bigoted, divisive nature of the BDS agenda,” said Michael Mostyn, Chief Executive Officer of B’nai Brith Canada. “We congratulate Jewish and pro-Israel students at UBC, who worked around the clock and were justly rewarded with this outstanding victory.”
On April 2, B’nai Brith revealed that scarves with slogans linked to the Hamas terrorist group were sold at an event hosted by Solidarity for Palestinian Human Rights (SPHR), the same group that initiated the referendum. Campaign posters for the anti-BDS side were also systematically destroyed or defaced, further contributing to a hostile atmosphere on campus.
“I’m relieved that this is over, and happy to see the UBC community reject the toxic climate engendered by this referendum,” said Jake Reznik, a Jewish student at UBC. “There’s no need to have repeated referenda on behalf of one group, especially when that group facilitates the sale of scarves linked to terrorists. Enough is enough.”