FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 26, 2018
Ottawa, ON – Yesterday, a motion to advance Boycott-Divestment-Sanctions (BDS) against Israelis was defeated at a Student Federation of the University of Ottawa (SFUO) Board of Administration (BOA) meeting. This is the third defeat for BDS at uOttawa within six months.
In response, Dovi Chein, Director of Hillel Ottawa, issued the following:
“We are incredibly grateful to the students who took time away from their studies for the third time this year to fight this discriminatory initiative. Boycotting Israel denigrates the very identity of Jewish students. On this basis alone, no responsible student government should ever endorse BDS and we are hopeful this third rejection settles the matter at uOttawa once and for all.”
Andrea Freedman, CEO and President of the Jewish Federation of Ottawa, said:
“We applaud Hillel and the students who were once again successful in defeating BDS at uOttawa. Every student should feel welcome and safe on campus. That’s why we will continue engaging the University at the highest levels to express our concerns about the damaging effect of this bigoted campaign against Israelis that festers on campus.”
Hillel Ottawa, the Jewish Federation of Ottawa and the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA) welcome today’s strong rejection of BDS by the Jacques Frémont, President and Vice-Chancellor of the University, who stated:
“By definition, boycotts limit the free exchange of ideas and perspectives and, therefore, run contrary to the core values that guide our University’s core academic mission. Moreover, boycotts create an environment where some members of our community may feel insecure and ostracized. I encourage members of our University community to work together to ensure we have a campus where mutual respect and freedom of expression flourish.
The University of Ottawa will have no part of the BDS movement nor any movement that boycotts academic institutions. We have actively pursued mutually beneficial relationships with leading institutions around the world and will continue to do so to further the advancement of knowledge and the free circulation of ideas, students and faculty members.”
The motion calling for the SFUO to endorse and implement BDS failed to receive a required two-thirds majority vote by BOA members. It follows two similar failed attempts this school year, all defeated thanks to the successful intervention of student activists and Hillel Ottawa with the support of the Jewish Federation of Ottawa, the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs and their campus partners.
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