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Anti-Israel Academic Boycott Resource Centre
The CUPE Canadian Academic Boycott of Israel

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The CUPE Canadian Academic Boycott of Israel

Table of contents

In quotes...
Intro to the 2009 CUPE boycott proposal
Index of articles and documents on this boycott
Take action: Petitions etc.

In quotes...

"Israeli academics should not be on our campuses unless they explicitly condemn the university bombing and the assault on Gaza in general," Sid Ryan, president of CUPE Ontario. Source

"Academic boycotts are anathema to free and fair academic discourse and serve to stifle the free exchange of ideas which is so essential to academic life. Notwithstanding any of our own views on the Arab-Israeli conflict or the current situation in Gaza, stifling debate is not the way forward." Samuel Konig, Graduate Student Chair for the Canadian Federation of Jewish Students Source

"I believe such a resolution [to boycott] is wrong and would violate the anti-discrimination standards set out in the CUPE Constitution", Paul Moist, CUPE's national president Source

"It's just wrong... he shouldn't have come out with that position without coming to the membership first." - Aldo DiCarlo, president of CUPE Local 1393. Source

"[Mr. Ryan's comments are] outrageous, sensational rhetoric that only creates conflict within our schools and our country." - school board trustee Josh Matlow Source

"What they're trying to do is a breach of the fundamental rights guaranteed to all citizens and all peoples of Canada in accordance with the Charter of Rights and Freedoms," - Steve Shafir, spokesman for the Edmonton Jewish Federation Source

"This blatant and openly discriminatory resolution by CUPE-Ontario against Israeli nationals is in contravention of Canadian Human Rights Law" - Frank Dimant, National Vice-President of B’nai Brith Canada. Source.

"I'm very dismayed at the suggestion by CUPE that universities should boycott faculty from Israel" - Paul Davenport, President of the University of Western Ontario. Source.

The 2009 CUPE boycott proposal

By Dr Andre Oboler, Zionism On The Web Special Report, January 22, 2009

At the start of 2009, following the war between Hamas terrorists (firing rockets at Israeli civilians) and the Israel Defense Force (who re-entered Gaza to stop these rockets and prevent Hamas re-arming), the president of the Ontario section of CUPE called for a boycott of Israeli academics. The CUPE is the Canadian Union of Public Employees - a union of about half a million members. The Ontario section president is a man by the name of Sid Ryan. The original motion was promoted by Ryan on January 5th 2009. On January 13, after the CUPE National President spoke out against the boycott proposal, calling it "wrong" and saying it would "violate the anti-discrimination standards set out in the CUPE Constitution", a new version of the proposal appeared. This verions attacks institutions rather than individuals. Both proposals claim to be based on policy passed by the union in 2006.

The attempt to find a loop hole that allows discrimination in the form of a boycott, without falling foul of rules aimed at stopping discrimination, is the same dance boycotters went through in the UK with numerous different propoals being tried by AUT, NATFHE and UCU. All have been found to be illegal. The fact is, a bocyott called for political reasons is bound to fall foul of anti-descrimination rules within any reasonable union, and anti-discrimination laws in most developed countries. The only valid ground for an academic boycott is at the request of those being boycotted. This is what occured with the South African academic boycott, and more generally this is what occurs when local unions ask their colleages to boycott them due to a complete break down in negotiations with university management (over issues such as pay and conditions). The boycott is a tool uniting those being boycotted and those applyign the boycott against the system. Unless it has the support of academics on both sides it is bound to be discriminator, whether it targets individuals (by nationality) or "institutions" (individuals by place of employment).

See the full text of the proposals.

Take action

Sid Ryan MUST Resign for the Good of CUPE and its Members - Open to all

Petition to Protest Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Proposed Boycott of Israeli Academics - Open to all academics

Canadian Graduate Students Petition Against the Proposed CUPE Ontario Boycott of Israeli Academics and Institutions - Open to graduate students (e.g. Masters, PhD, etc) in Canada.

Commentary (c) 2009,Zionism On The Web. Other documents and excepts reproduced for educational purposes only, please cite the initial source as provided.