Tell the Ontario government that boycotting Israel is our right

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Canadian BDS Coalition member group Independent Jewish Voices has launched a petition calling on the Ontario government of Kathleen Wynne to “support the right of Ontarians to engage in peaceful advocacy for human rights in Israel/Palestine, free from defamation or condemnation from our provincial government”:

As you may have heard, Bill 202 – put forward by the pro-Israel lobby group Friends of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, and MPPs Tim Hudak and Michael Colle – failed to pass its second reading in the Ontario legislature. If passed, this bill would have blacklisted and boycotted any individual resident of Ontario or organization active in Ontario that supports the Palestinian civil society-led Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel’s regime of occupation and apartheid.

This enormous victory was due in part to the thousands of Ontarians and Canadians across the country who took action in defence of free speech and the rights of Palestinians.

Independent Jewish Voices (IJV) is now calling on all those who believe that BDS is a just and legitimate tool to peacefully apply pressure on the Israeli regime to respect Palestinians’ rights to sign this petition to all Ontario MPPs and leading bureaucrats.

The petition calls on the Ontario legislature to “support the right of Ontarians to engage in peaceful advocacy for human rights in Israel/Palestine, free from defamation or condemnation from our provincial government.”

Despite the failure of Bill 202 to pass through second reading, Premier Wynne publicly stated in the aftermath of this pro-Israel lobby failure that she plans on working with opposition parties “in the coming weeks” to overcome Bill 202’s divisive language by devising another initiative to combat BDS.

Join us in telling Premier Wynne, all Ontario MPPs and leading bureaucrats that BDS is a perfectly legitimate tactic based on principles of international law and reflected in Canada’s official policy on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

BDS is a human rights-based movement. Wynne, however, says she is opposed to it, and insinuates that it promotes or encourages anti-Semitism. I don’t know about you, but I’m getting awfully tired of hearing this false equation of Palestinian rights advocacy with a hatred of Jews.

Please take a moment to sign this petition to all Ontario MPPs and leading bureaucrats, and please share the petition link on your Facebook and Twitter pages.

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