The CUPE Canadian Academic Boycott of Israel
Table of contentsIn quotes...
Intro to the 2009 CUPE boycott proposal
Index of articles and documents on this boycott
Take action: Petitions etc.
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.
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.