Twitter up in arms after Trudeau says he’ll ‘continue to condemn BDS’
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has doubled down on his condemnation of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel in comments that have drawn the ire of Twitter users.
Speaking at a town hall meeting at Brock University in St. Catharines on Tuesday,
Trudeau fielded a question about his previous comments about BDS, with strong confirmation of his support for Israel.
Tonight at Brock University @JustinTrudeau was asked to apologize for his condemnation of the #BDS movement. His response, “I will continue to condemn the BDS movement.” Thank you Prime Minister for standing against BDS.🙏 pic.twitter.com/1ntzXvCDnH— Michael Levitt, MP 🇨🇦 (@LevittMichael) January 16, 2019
Trudeau was thanked by a member of the audience for his recent apology for Canada’s decision to send a boat full of 900 German Jewish refugees away in 1939. The man then asked the Canadian leader about “equating the BDS movement with anti-Semitism.”
During his November apology, Trudeau spoke sternly about the scourge of anti-Semitism, and referenced Jewish students who “still feel unwelcome and uncomfortable in some of our college and university campuses because of BDS-related intimidation.” His comments were harshly denounced by over 230 academics at the time.
“Will you take this opportunity today to retract your condemnation of the BDS movement?” Trudeau was asked on Tuesday during the St Catharines event.
The Canadian PM responded by repeating much of his previous statements about BDS being anti-Semitic, and said BDS “singles out Israel” and seeks to “delegitimize and in some cases demonize” the country.
I call BS on you Trudeau. The BDS movement is about supporting the rights of Palestinians, and speaking out against the apartheid policies of Israel. For shame that you say otherwise.— Terry Bridges (@terry_tjb) January 16, 2019
BDS singles out Israel. I don’t know what other countries are occupying Palestinian land and killing Palestinians. I’m sure if Trudeau would point out these countries than BDS would not have to single out Israel. What a friggin stupid statement by the leader of our country.— Chirvan Edross 🔥 (@cedross) January 16, 2019
In a town hall addressing anti-Semitism, Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau promises to "always condemn BDS."But this is anti-Semitism! Tying Israel's policies to the Jewish people is a form of anti-Semitism. Criticizing Israel's policies is not! pic.twitter.com/05Zk3aEL6W— CJ Werleman (@cjwerleman) January 17, 2019
He went on to reference college students “dealing with things like ‘apartheid week’ that makes them fearful of actually attending campus events because of their religion in Canada.”
READ MORE: Pro-Palestinian students cry censorship over Israel Apartheid Week cancelations week
BDS is a peaceful global grassroots movement which seeks to pressurize Israel into complying with “international law and Palestinian rights,” through boycotting products and companies that profit from violating Palestinian rights, as well as cultural and academic institutions.
Inspired by the successful South African apartheid BDS movement, BDS does not criticize the Jewish religion and many Jewish groups support BDS and peace between Israel and Palestinians.
Other Jews and I support #BDS 100% and oppose antisemitism 100%. #BDS is about freedom, justice and equality for Palestinians. @JustinTrudeau doesn't know what he's talking about. @IndJewishVoices@CJPME@dimitrilascaris— Rabbi David Mivasair 🔥 (@Mivasair) January 16, 2019
-Name the incidents where #BDS discriminated against anyone because of their relegious affiliations.-#Israel have a more than 70 years of killing, maiming and imprisoning non-Jewish #Palestinians.— Eventually (@SouheiLLLL) January 17, 2019
Trudeau explained that he views BDS as unacceptable, and “not because of foreign policy concerns but because of Canadian values.”
Watch @JustinTrudeau expose the anti-Semitic nature of the #BDS movement + its devastating impact on the local Jewish community. He condemns it as incompatible with Western values. Eloquent words I'd love to hear from EU leaders. @eu_eeas@EUinIsraelhttps://t.co/9aJXwZlFET— Daniel Schwammenthal (@DSchwammenthal) January 16, 2019
Justin Trudeau is so strongly opposed to BDS because he says it opposes Canadian values. Which is accurate, because genocide, land dispossession, white supremacy and violence are all at the centre of our so-called values. Settler states stick together. https://t.co/eEEaYtrCuP— Nora Loreto (@NoLore) January 16, 2019
The prime minister’s comments were welcomed by Israeli interest groups, but slammed by many, including Independent Jewish Voices Canada, which accused Trudeau of “using our identities as Jews to go after support for Palestinian human rights.”
Justin Trudeau isn’t “standing with us”. He’s using our identities as Jews to go after support for Palestinian human rights. Also calling #BDS divisive is a bit ironic seeing as it aims to push back against, you know, Israel’s system of actual codified apartheid. https://t.co/n9plzbKDmj— IJV-VJI Canada 🔥 (@IndJewishVoices) January 16, 2019
Trudeau is a staunch supporter of Israel and in 2015 Canada passed a motion condemning “any and all attempts” to promote BDS. During the 2014 war on Gaza, Operation Protective Edge,Trudeau supported Israel’s right to defend itself and commended its commitment to peace, despite 2,200 Palestinians being killed in the 50 day conflict which is being investigated by the International Criminal Court in The Hague for potential war crimes.
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