I write to counter the premise of the article “No plan to change party name over Israel rift,” The Leader Sept. 23.
The article quotes Andrew Weaver, BC Green Party leader as saying the party has been hijacked by BDS activists, painting a picture of a negative force.
In fact, today’s BDS movement is a world-wide, non-violent social movement of conscience, which is attempting to raise awareness of the 70-year-long mistreatment of the Palestinian people.
The goals of the BDS movement are not extreme. They include:
• Ending Israel’s occupation and colonization of all Arab lands and dismantling the wall;
• Recognizing the fundamental rights of the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality; and
• Respecting, protecting and promoting the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN Resolution 194.
In 1948, between 700,000 and 1 million Palestinians were displaced and forced into refugee camps in Lebanon, Jordan and Syria. Seventy years later their descendants are still there, now numbering close to 5 million. They just want to go home and the UN has said they should.
Opponents of the BDS movement say it is anti-semitic. That is just not true. To object to mistreatment of our fellow humans is not to decry hatred against all Jewish people. It is simply voicing disagreement with the Zionist-driven policies of the Israeli government.
Churches, trade unions and ordinary people are divesting their portfolios of stock in companies that do business in Israel. People are boycotting goods coming from Israel.
In 2015, the Canadian people voted for change. We want bold, new policies to take us into the future, not more of the same from our politicians. I believe Ms. May and Mr. Weaver are on the wrong side of history on the issue of the BDS movement.
C.A. Archibald, Surrey