Humiliating Setback for Anti-Israel Forces at Western University Affiliate

Naomi Klein poses for a photo with a KUCSC student (Photo Credit: Facebook)

March 16, 2017

By Aidan Fishman
Campus Advocacy Coordinator

B’nai Brith Canada

A referendum has failed at King’s University College, an affiliate of the University of Western Ontario, despite a massive push by Canada’s anti-Israel forces.
The King’s University College Students’ Council (KUCSC) held a referendum this week asking students to boycott and divest from “the Israeli occupation.” The “Vote Yes” campaign received high-profile support from filmmaker Naomi Klein (page doesn’t exist) and Dimitri Lascaris, (page doesn’t exist) an alumnus of Western.

Lascaris, the former Justice Critic of the Green Party of Canada, lost his position after B’nai Brith Canada exposed his advocacy on behalf of a slain Palestinian terrorist. Anti-Israel campaigners were also supplied with pamphlets by Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME), Canada’s leading anti-Israel lobby group.

Dimitri Lascaris (Photo Credit: Green Party of Canada)

The referendum took place after the Affiliate Appeals Board had barred the KUCSC from conducting a vote on the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel. Nevertheless, the KUCSC chose to ignore the spirit of this ruling and held a referendum targeting Israel anyways.

“This is a slap in the face to anti-Israel groups on campuses across Canada,” said Amanda Hohmann, National Director of B’nai Brith Canada’s League for Human Rights. “Just as extremists hold their annual week to demonize Israel, they have managed to lose a vote in the most favourable of conditions, with a student government that illegitimately advanced their agenda and at an institution with hardly any Jewish students.

“The fact that the anti-Israel camp cannot succeed in a referendum even under these conditions sends a strong signal that its movement is losing steam, as Canadians of all backgrounds reject its flawed and bigoted endeavour.”

A majority of students who voted opted to support the referendum in question, but turnout fell well below the 30 per cent quorum required by KUCSC regulations. The “Vote Yes” campaign was also censured by the Election Committee for “gross misrepresentation of facts” and for “breaching generally accepted community standards.”