The Queen's Journal, Queen's University's student newspaper since 1873, announced its support of BDS yesterday.
"The Journal stands in solidarity with those students and faculty affected by the ongoing occupation of Palestine. Palestinian peoples deserve, and have always deserved, the rights to freedom and equality. This month, we’ll be donating to the BDS movement, and we encourage you to consider donating to this or any other organisations working to provide relief to those being driven out of their homes in Palestine."
"We condemn the ongoing violence against Palestinians in East Jerusalem by the IDF and, while Palestine is home to folks of all religions, we would like to extend our sympathy to our Muslim brothers and sisters in Sheikh Jarrah who have had to pass another Ramadan in violence and unrest."
"We would also like to remind the Queen’s community that this occupation is not an excuse to spread islamophobia or antisemitism. This occupation is a result of the settler colonial state enforced by the IDF and backed by western powers. It’s not about religion, it’s about human rights. It is an act of hatred to use this matter to harass or force activism from Muslim or Jewish individuals and organizations."
HonestReporting Canada, a non-governmental organization that monitors the media for unfair bias against Israel, quickly responded:
"We condemn The Queen's Journal’s misinformed statement on the #Israel-#Palestine conflict. Why is a student paper taking sides instead of being politically neutral so as to ostracize a portion of their student population? Why won’t the Queen’s Journal stand with #Israelis living under constant threat of #Hamas rocket fire? And why is a student newspaper donating money to the #antisemiticBoycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) Movement?"
Critics, including the ADL, label the Boycott movement as antisemitic, claiming it delegitimizes Israel and resembles historical discrimination against Jews
Queen Hillel, the Jewish advocacy group on campus, also responded:
"We write on behalf of Queen’s Hillel, the campus club that represents Jewish students at Queen’s University. We are deeply concerned about your statement on the situation in Israel/Palestine. While we, like almost every Israeli and Palestinian, wish for peace for all in the region, we are alarmed about your statement for several reasons, both regarding its content and its context."
"We would also like to note our objections to the content of your statement, which demonstrates both ignorance and a distinct lack of empathy. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is centuries-old and involves two peoples both claiming indigeneity of the same piece of land. By recognising one people’s right to the land over the other you have played right into the hands of the extremists in both communities that would rather this conflict be positioned as a false binary, where one must choose between supporting one side or the other. Both Palestinians and Israelis deserve to live in peace and harmony, in their own safe and secure internationally-recognised states. The only way this will happen is by amplifying the voices of those who want peace and marginalising those who want continued conflict.
Your statement does the exact opposite of this; by ignoring the actions of Hamas and failing to call out the thousands of rockets they have indiscriminately fired at Israeli cities this past week killing multiple civilians, including children. Furthermore, the lip service you pay to antisemitism as part of a statement that completely ignores 4000 years of Jewish connection to the Levant adds a pernicious cheap-ness to your entire position. In essence your treatment of anti-Jewish hatred as an afterthought only serves to perpetuate the antisemitism you say that you are against."