What is the CUPE Academic Boycott?

These are just facts that anyone can easily access. I found this source in two minutes using google:

It is important to understand that this is not a call to boycott individual Israeli academics. Rather, the boycott call is aimed at academic institutions and the institutional connections that exist between universities here and those in Israel.

This could include calling on Ontario universities and university workers to:

Refuse to participate in academic cooperation, collaboration or joint projects with Israeli universities, such as participating in conferences in Israel, refereeing or editing articles for Israeli journals, or evaluating research proposals for Israeli institutions.

Advocate a boycott of Israeli universities, including suspension of all forms of funding and subsidies.

Promote divestment from Israel by Ontario academic institutions.

Work toward the condemnation of Israeli policies and actions in the occupied territories by pressing for resolutions to be adopted by academic and professional organizations and associations.

CUPE Ontario is taking this action in response to an appeal from the Palestinian Federation of Unions of University Professors and Employees.

Furthermore, since no one actually is “in” any CUPE unions, because of the way labour unions are structured in Canada (virtually no one is technically a member of a union in Canada), nothing CUPE ever says is institutionally obligated onto anyone it represents.

In Canada, the “Rand Formula“, obligates all members represented by a collective agreement to pay dues, but there is no obligation to participate in union programs or governance, and one can even apply for special consideration to have ones dues directed towards a charity and yet remain represented by the union.

So, any employee represented by CUPE who supported the massacre in Gaza, or thought it was proportional, or think it’s racist to criticize Israel just because Canada support’s Israel is free to boycott the boycott, and actually try to hurt CUPE financially by redirecting his or her dues in another direction, perhaps a pro-IDF charity.

As, for Sid Ryan, he has also pre-emptive response to that tired criticism levelled by pro-Israeli Zionists, “Why aren’t you critical of this other thing instead of the thing I want you to stop paying attention to”:

We too have condemned the Hamas rocket attacks on Israel. However, these and Israel’s disproportionate response – the loss of innocent lives that has horrified the entire world – are only the latest developments in a decades-long conflict that will not end without sustained international pressure to end the occupation and work for a negotiated peace.

Yes, there are many powers in the world that do things we should oppose. But even more important than opposition is robbing them of support. In other words, I personally think it’s worse to actively apologize for and support a criminal regime, than remain neutral. Moreover, since you can remain neutral to a regime, or even support it, while denouncing specific actions and policies, there is simply no excuse for defending Israel against charges of war crimes because of personal identity.

Anyone prepared to give reasons should feel free do disagree with anything or everything I say. Anyone unwilling to give reasons, or who would attack me personally rather than criticize the content of my writing, rejects the fundamental norms of dialogue, and thus can’t be responded to.


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