Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center (FSWC) welcomes news from Concordia University that its student union has dramatically reversed course on its boycott of Israel. The Concordia Student Union (CSU), which has long been an active and outspoken promoter of the antisemitic Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, confirmed to FSWC last night that it no longer supports BDS. The CSU has since also stated it no longer practices any kind of BDS campaign that targets Israeli companies or products.
This revelation follows an apology to Jewish students issued by the CSU in early April in which the student union admitted it had “assisted in fostering a campus culture where Jewish students are afraid to openly identify as Jewish” and vowed to prioritize the battle against antisemitism on campus moving forward.
The CSU officially adopted a position of support for BDS in 2014, and in 2016 it withdrew $5.3 million in investments tied to Israeli companies, according to The Link, Concordia's independent student publication. Not only did the CSU boycott Israeli products and investments, it also announced it was boycotting Canadian Tire for selling Israeli products as well as Home Depot, which was founded by Bernard Marcus, a Jew who supports Israel.
FSWC has reached out to the CSU to commend them for their apology and turnaround, and has offered workshops on antisemitism to its executive and council.