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Ontario university students unions vote to join boycott against Israel

An Israeli boy holds a flag during a protest in Tel Aviv, in support of Israel's offensive in the Gaza Strip July 21, 2014. The Ontario branch of the Canadian Federation of Students, representing more than 300,000 university students in the province, has unanimously passed a motion to boycott Israel.

STRINGER/REUTERS

The Ontario branch of the Canadian Federation of Students, representing more than 300,000 university students in the province, has unanimously passed a motion to boycott Israel.

Executive member Anna Goldfinch says the motion to join the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (or BDS) Movement in support of Palestine received no opposition at its annual general meeting last weekend.

She says the resolution — put forward by the Ryerson Students' Union — "endorses a number of solidarity tactics that have been called for by Palestinian civil society."

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RSU president Rajean Hoilett says he is calling for university and colleges in Ontario to not "remain complicit" through investments and ties with academic institutions that support or profit from what he terms "Israeli war crimes."

When asked how the students' union will accommodate dissenting opinions, Hoilett said the union has planned several panel discussions in which Ryerson students will be able to voice their views on the conflict.

He said that, at these events, it will be made clear that there "is no room for anti-Semitism or Islamophobia."

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