February 23, 2011
Montreal city council condemns boycott of Israeli shoes
Montreal’s city council has condemned the boycott campaign against a local shoe store that sells footwear made in Israel.
A council motion deploring the campaign, proposed and supported by Mayor Gerard Tremblay, passed Tuesday by a vote of 38 to 16.
Those voting against the resolution said they would not support a motion denying protesters the right of free speech and expression.
The boycott of the le Marcheur store, which sells the Israeli-made Beautifeel line of women’s shoes, was launched last fall by the group Palestinian and Jewish Unity and supported by other activists as part of a worldwide boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign against Israel.
Amir Khadir, an Iranian-born member of the provincial National Assembly, joined calls for a boycott of the store in December.
Since Khadir’s appearance, federal politicians have spoken out to defend the shop’s owner. One lawmaker even bought a pair of Beautifeel shoes.
Meanwhile, members of Montreal’s Jewish community have launched a “buycott” campaign encouraging shoppers to patronize le Marcheur.