The TSSU is asking you to vote May 15-19, 2017 on whether to entrench anti-Israel policies (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions – BDS) in the TSSU bylaws.
BDS is harmful to the TSSU and bad for SFU as a whole.
BDS violates the TSSU’s bylaws by institutionalizing discrimination
What do the current bylaws have to say?
On objective of the TSSU is to “bring about improvements in working conditions, fair wage standards and to assure uniform job classification with equal pay for work of equal value for all employees, regardless of sex, sexual orientation, psychiatric or psychotherapeutic treatment, skin colour, race, religious or political beliefs, national origin, whether she/he is part-time or a full-time worker, whether or not she/he is a part-time or full-time student, and whether or not she/he has children and/or dependents.”
Currently the bylaws contain information that is directly relevant to members – information about elections, meetings, membership dues and so on. Nothing is mentioned about specific nations or groups. If the referendum is successful then the bylaws will suddenly include policies that are specifically designed to single out Israel for condemnation. Why the sudden push to enshrine THIS motion into the bylaws?
By adopting BDS principles, the TSSU is discriminating against Israel and, in particular, Israeli members of the TSSU.
Similar resolutions are being debated around North America. Last year, at McGill University, a resolution similar to the TSSU motion was ruled unconstitutional and discriminatory. Specifically, the Judicial Board of the Student’s Society wrote a detailed legal argument explaining that while criticizing particular actions of a government was acceptable, boycotting an entire country was unconstitutional and violated their equity policy. This ruling is directly relevant to the TSSU motion at hand.
“…all motions [including BDS] which compel SSMU to actively campaign against specific countries are unconstitutional. Doing so would place one group (nationals of that country) at a structural disadvantage vis-à-vis the majority and is thus discriminatory.” Full decision HERE
The resolution is ambiguous and gives enormous power to the TSSU Executive
Ambiguity is one of the biggest issues with the TSSU BDS motion – the motion doesn’t actually say what will be boycotted. It asks for a “blank cheque” to boycott whatever products, companies, academics and academic institutions “support occupation”. This is ambiguous and gives the TSSU immense power to boycott nearly anything they deem as having Israeli ties.
BDS exposes the TSSU to legal challenges
Discrimination comes with consequences and the TSSU could be exposed to costly legal challenges.
BDS brings hatred and toxicity to campus
By institutionalizing discrimination, BDS has brought acts of hatred to hundreds of campuses across North America. Here are some examples: