CUPE Ontario restates position on boycott of academic institutions



    TORONTO, Jan. 13 /CNW Telbec/ - Welcoming a statement issued earlier
today by the national officers of the Canadian Union of Public Employees, CUPE
Ontario President Sid Ryan said his division has been saying for over a week
now that the proposed international boycott will focus on Israeli academic
institutions, not individuals
    On the Michael Coren Show, Jan. 9, in a letter to the editor in the
Toronto Star, Jan. 10, in postings on cupe.on.ca. as well as in media
interviews, Ryan has stated that CUPE Ontario will not support a boycott of
individuals. "We also fully agree with the national union's policy on UN
resolutions 242 and 338," he said.
    CUPE Ontario's university workers committee is examining bringing forward
a motion for its upcoming conference that will support a boycott of Israeli
academic institutions, not individuals, as part of the international boycott,
divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaign.
    "In the process of examining academic boycott initiatives by other
organizations around the world, and similar actions that helped end apartheid
in South Africa, it has become clear that the position is not banning
individuals. Rather an academic boycott should focus on issues of investment,
partnership, fundraising and joint projects," said Ryan. "That will also be
our approach."
    The proposal builds on existing CUPE Ontario policy supporting the BDS
campaign adopted more than two years ago in response to the 40-year occupation
of Palestinian territory as well as human rights violations by Israel. "Our
national union's policy calling for the immediate withdrawal of Israel from
the occupied territories was adopted more than five years ago and was
reaffirmed in 2007."
    Ryan said, "We too have condemned the Hamas rocket attacks on Israel.
However, these and Israel's disproportionate response - the loss of innocent
lives that has horrified the entire world - are only the latest developments
in a decades-long conflict that will not end without sustained international
pressure to end the occupation and work for a negotiated peace.




For further information:

For further information: Sid Ryan, President, CUPE Ontario, (416)
209-0066; Pat Daley, CUPE Communications, (416) 292-3999 ext 240

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Canadian Union of Public Employees - Ontario Regional Office

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