I would like to express how impressed I am by the democratic atmosphere at Concordia University, which continues to be fostered by the CSU team.
This invaluable trait seems to be a natural outcome of the Quebec student movement, which taught students how important their role is in shaping history.
In this spirit, I would like to urge the undergraduate students at Concordia University to vote YES to the BDS referendum question from Nov. 25 to 27, due to the following reasons:
1) First and foremost, one of the most important objectives of education is to promote human respect and dignity, which can happen only when we stop wars and promote peace.
BDS aims to stop Concordia’s relationship with Technion-Israel Institute of Technology and all other institutions that directly support the Israeli war machine against civilian Palestinians as a way to achieve peace.
Peace will only be possible once equality is achieved in that region and the current Israeli state policies, which systematically discriminate against citizens and non-citizens based on their religion, are at odds with this goal.
2) Adopting BDS on campus will send a strong message to Stephen Harper to dissuade him from his continuous and unconditional support of Israeli apartheid.
Canada should have a political position promoting peace, not a biased position that favours one side over another.
3) As Concordia students we are fortunate to have access to education, but many Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza have lost that right.
This is due to oppressive Israeli measures such as arbitrary attacks on Palestinian university campuses, arrests of Palestinian students at checkpoints and the bombardment of Palestinian schools (most notably the Israeli shelling of the al-Fakhura school in Gaza).
As students, we have the moral obligation to support other students’ access to education globally.
4) By saying yes to BDS, we are helping to end systematic apartheid policies that create injustice for Jews, Christians and Muslims in the Middle East.
BDS is not about religion, ethnicity, colour or gender; it is about creating equality for everyone.
Therefore, as critically minded students and good citizens, I urge Concordia undergraduates to vote with their conscience: YES for BDS. Let’s stop our complicity with injustice!