First it was CUPE Ontario president Sid Ryan trying to boycott Israeli academics from our university campuses. Now there's a movement afoot on the left coast, apparently with the involvement of "BC Teachers for Peace and Global Education" to push Mountain Equipment Co-op to boycott, among other things, Israeli underwear:
Mountain Equipment Co-op -- best known for supplying Canadians with tents and sleeping bags -- is the subject of a political dispute between local opponents in the continuing Israeli-Palestinian conflict.According to its website, BC Teachers for Peace and Global Education is a "provincial specialists association" of the BC Teachers Federation (BCTF), the union for public school teachers in British Columbia. It talks more about the issue in this press release.
A motion is expected to be presented next week at the organization's annual general meeting, calling for a boycott of all products produced in Israel.
"We just don't think [Mountain Equipment Co-op] should be doing business with Israel until it changes its behaviour," said Patrik Parkes, a spokesman for BC Teachers for Peace and Global Education.
MEC partners with two Israeli companies to produce two products. One company produces seamless underwear; the other produces a hydration system intended for hikers and bikers.
What is it about unions of educators and boycotts of Israel? It seems kind of secondary to their primary raison d'être. But their human rights-driven action would seem stronger were they also raising similar issues in the many other countries around the world that have serious human rights issues. More often than not, though, it seems to be one country these groups target.
I'd check where my underwear was made, but it would be a bit awkward at the moment. Recommend this Post on Progressive Bloggers