Canada: Community radio broadcasters back Israel boycott

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Independent and community media makers in Canada have passed a groundbreaking national motion to join the Palestinian-led call for boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israel. 

In June, the National Campus and Community Radio Association of Canada (NCRA) ― an umbrella organisation representing more than 80 radio stations across Canada ― adopted the motion at its annual meeting.

NCRA said: “In doing so, the NCRA is proudly the first national media organization in Canada to join the global movement for BDS.”

Radio broadcasters with the NCRA pledged “to refuse to cooperate with Israeli media institutions, which are heavily controlled by the Israeli apartheid regime, as well as to support the development of community radio stations in Israel/Palestine”.

The press release added:

“Importantly, the  NCRA is also the most recent of a growing list of Canadian civil-society organizations who have supported the global BDS campaign, including labor unions, feminist, and student  groups.”

In recent years, Canadian broadcasters have been instrumental in highlighting the BDS movement and giving Palestine a platform.

In Montreal, CKUT radio has aired portions of the local BDS conference and CKUT’s programmer Gretchen King has produced day-long, international radio broadcasts dedicated to Palestinian political, cultural and resistance history.

Facing expected objections from some member radio stations about the BDS resolution, the board of directors of the NCRA are planning to meet in late August to review a committee recommendation that suggest the organisation “put limits” on political and international solidarity work.

In response, members of the organization who have advocated for the BDS resolution are appealing to journalists and community radio advocates across the world to email the board of directors with their support. 
In its resolution, the NCRA voted for its representatives to:
1. Refrain from participation in any form of cooperation, collaboration or joint projects with Israeli media institutions;
2. Advocate a comprehensive boycott of Israeli media institutions at the national and international levels, including suspension of all forms of funding and subsidies to these institutions;
3. Promote divestment and disinvestment from Israel by international media institutions;
4. Support Palestinian media institutions directly without requiring them to partner with Israeli counterparts as an explicit or implicit condition for such support;
5. Work toward the condemnation of Israeli policies by encouraging that resolutions be adopted by our respective radio stations, associations, and organisations.
[Abridged from www.electronicintifada.net .]

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