Montreal

Don't condemn Israel boycotters, says Quebec coalition

A group of Quebec unions is calling on the federal Liberals to reconsider their stance on the boycott of Israeli goods and services.

Liberal MPs expected to vote to support Conservative motion to condemn BDS movement

"You can't sit on the fence on a question of fundamental human rights," says Bruce Katz, with the Independent Jewish Voices Canada. (CBC)

A coalition of Quebec organizations including some unions is calling on the federal Liberals to reconsider their stance on the boycott of Israeli goods and services.

Liberal MPs are expected to vote Monday to support a Conservative motion that condemns organizations and individuals supporting the Boycott, Divest and Sanctions movement, or BDS. 

But several organizations, including BDS Quebec, Independent Jewish Voices Canada, the FTQ and CSN want the Liberal government to reject the motion.

At a news conference on Sunday, the group said the BDS movement is a response to human rights abuses by the Israeli government.

Bruce Katz, with Independent Jewish Voices Canada, criticized the Canadian government for giving Israel "carte-blanche" when it comes to the expansion of settlements. 

"You can't sit on the fence on a question of fundamental human rights and the defence of freedom of expression," he said. "This is an unacceptable position on the part of the Liberal government."

Katz accused the Liberal government of letting the Conservative Opposition call the shots. 

The coalition is challenging the Liberals to make use of their majority in the House of Commons and reject the motion.

If the Liberals go ahead and support the motion, the group says it will only strengthen its resolve.

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