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Montreal city council condemns boycott of Israeli shoes

February 23, 2011 | 11:02 am

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.

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