Washington D.C. — In Canada, it is apparently free speech to speak out against Islam or to mock the prophet Mohammed (based on statements by Canada’s Prime Minister following the Charlie Hebdo attacks), but it is a hate crime to speak out against the nation of Israel.
It seems to be the direction that the Canadian government is going. According to the CBC, Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s government is threatening to use hate crime laws against groups that call for a boycott of Israel.
Specifically, the Harper government is attempting to end the BDS—the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement—which is growing in Canada and globally, calling for a boycott and divestment in companies that support Israeli occupation.
According to the CBC, “Such a move could target a range of civil society organizations, from the United Church of Canada and the Canadian Quakers to campus protest groups and labour unions.
If carried out, it would be a remarkably aggressive tactic, and another measure of the Conservative government’s lockstep support for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. . . .”
This is again the same government that called the Charlie Hebdo attacks an assault on freedom and free speech.
So what exactly is the BDS movement? Ben Swann talks with Yara Shoufani in the video above as she explains what the movement is all about and why it is becoming such a threat to governments around the world.