Editorial: Apartheid can never be justified and the CSU’s vote must reflect that

Wednesday’s vote should not be a difficult one to make. Graphic Carl Bindman

“Massive seizures of Palestinian land and property, unlawful killings, forcible transfer, drastic movement restrictions, and the denial of nationality and citizenship to Palestinians are all components of a system which amounts to apartheid under international law.”

That is how Amnesty International summarized its nearly 300-word report published on Feb. 1 analyzing the Israeli government's handling of the Palestinian people and the occupation of their territory.

This report was compiled thanks to the work from Israeli human rights organizations Yesh Din and B’Tselem, Human Rights Watch, and countless other organizations across the world. 

During the Concordia Student Union council meeting this Feb. 9, a motion will be presented as follows:

“Do you support the CSU to adopt a position against the practice of apartheid (as defined by leading human rights organizations such as Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International) and to divest from any investments and withdraw any financial or vocal support from states or businesses that are involved in apartheid?”

If the motion passes, it will be presented as a referendum question in this year’s election.

The Amnesty International report was also heavily criticized by pro-Israel and Zionist politicians in the United States despite South African anti-apartheid activists like the Archbishop Desmond Tutu going on record comparing the two regimes. 

This is more of the same trope used to dismiss most instances of legitimate criticism against the Israeli government. Shouting anti-Semitism is just to distract from the fact that there are literal crimes against humanity being purpotrated in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

Furthermore, this motion is not inherently based on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It is instead taking a stance against apartheid and any governments perpetrating or profiting from it.

It is in no way anti-Semitic and its very language must be unanimously agreed upon by every member of council. Should the motion not pass, then the CSU is saying that apartheid can be either justified or supported in certain scenarios, which will be a permanent stain on Concordia and its student body. 

This is no longer a statement of opinion or debate, but of exhaustively researched fact.