rabble blogs are the personal pages of some of Canada's most insightful progressive activists and commentators. All opinions belong to the writer; however, writers are expected to adhere to our guidelines. We welcome new bloggers -- contact us for details.

Scott Vrooman's blog

Scott Vrooman's picture
Scott has written and performed comedy for TV (Conan, Picnicface, This Hour Has 22 Minutes), radio (This is That), and the web (Vice, Funny or Die, College Humor, The Toronto Star, The Huffington Post, iPolitics). His sketch group Picnicface broadcast 13 episodes of a sketch show, executive produced by Kid In The Hall Mark McKinney, on Canada’s Comedy Network. Scott co-wrote and co-starred in the feature film Roller Town, which is now streaming on Netflix, and he took a lead role in writing the book Picnicface’s Canada. He was a professional economist at Finance Canada and the Atlantic Provinces Economic Council before pursuing comedy full time. Follow him on Twitter: @mescottvrooman.

Parliamentary debate on BDS missed the point

| February 24, 2016
Parliamentary debate on BDS missed the point

Like this article? rabble is reader-supported journalism. Chip in to keep stories like these coming.

Tony Clement, who somehow missed his calling as a high school Vice Principal, introduced a motion in parliament calling on the government to condemn the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement against Israel, also known as "BDS." He and others characterized it as an anti-Semitic movement, one supported by thousands of apparently anti-Semitic Jewish people. But support for BDS isn't anti-Semitic any more than support for Saudi Arabian women is anti-Muslim, or support for First Nations is anti-hockey.

BDS is a non-violent movement (don't confuse it with the punk band Break Destroy Smash, that's the violent BDS). And what's amazing is that a lot of official Canadian policy, even under Harper, is in total harmony with the demands of BDS. They both believe the occupation of Gaza and the West Bank, and settlements there, are illegal, and both want rights and a state for Palestinians.

The difference is the Canadian government thinks the best way to change Israel's criminal behaviour is to ignore it, while the BDS movement is trying something that might actually work: punishing it.

The narrow debate in the House of Commons treated it as a given that Israel is a peaceful democracy. But a democracy doesn't rule over a group of people who aren't allowed to vote. And a peaceful democracy doesn't use cluster bombs against civilians, or repeatedly kill UN peacekeepers. And that points to the real danger of the BDS movement. It threatens to change the story of Israel from a poor little nuclear power that just wants peace, to a story that actually reflects reality. 

This video originally appeared in The Toronto Star

Like this article? rabble is reader-supported journalism. Chip in to keep stories like these coming.

embedded_video

Comments

We welcome your comments! rabble.ca embraces a pro-human rights, pro-feminist, anti-racist, queer-positive, anti-imperialist and pro-labour stance, and encourages discussions which develop progressive thought. Our full comment policy can be found here. Learn more about Disqus on rabble.ca and your privacy here. Please keep in mind:

Do

  • Tell the truth and avoid rumours.
  • Add context and background.
  • Report typos and logical fallacies.
  • Be respectful.
  • Respect copyright - link to articles.
  • Stay focused. Bring in-depth commentary to our discussion forum, babble.

Don't

  • Use oppressive/offensive language.
  • Libel or defame.
  • Bully or troll.
  • Post spam.
  • Engage trolls. Flag suspect activity instead.