Jewish Voice for Peace-Chicago disrupts Anti-BDS event
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
February 28, 2016
Contact: Michael Deheeger | firstname.lastname@example.org
Progressive Jews to Rep. Bob Dold: Why are you fighting advocacy for Palestinian Human Rights?
Jewish Voice for Peace-Chicago disrupts event, calls for human rights and equality for Palestinians, opposes legislation meant to quell criticism of Israeli policy
Northbrook, IL (2/28/2016) – Members of Jewish Voice for Peace – Chicago confronted representatives of politically conservative Jewish organizations and federal and state legislators at a Northbrook synagogue over their opposition to justice and equality for Palestinians. Rep. Bob Dold (R-IL-10), a speaker at the event, is the primary sponsor of the Combating BDS Act of 2016 (S. 2531/H.R. 4514), legislation that seeks to intimidate a growing movement for Palestinian human rights.
“As young Jewish progressives we support the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement in bringing about human rights and equality for Palestinians,” said Eli Massey, a 22-year-old member of JVP-Chicago. “We are here to say that organizations like the Jewish United Fund and StandWithUS do not speak for all Jews, and on this issue are on the wrong side of history.”
The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS) originated in 2005 with a call for solidarity from Palestinian civil society organizations asking the international community to use the tools of economic pressure to hold Israel accountable for its obligations under international law, namely: an end to the nearly 50-year military occupation, full equality for Palestinian citizens of Israel and the right of return for refugees. Modeled on the global solidarity movement to end apartheid in South Africa, BDS’s intent is to leverage grassroots power to put pressure on governments and corporations that uphold an unjust political system.
The Jewish United Fund of Metropolitan Chicago (JUF) and the American Jewish Committee (AJC) have actively supported legislation in Illinois and at the federal level to oppose efforts to leverage economic pressure to bring about change in Israeli policies towards Palestinians. “This bill is a sign of desperation in the face of shifting public opinion, as more and more people realize that support for Israel’s repressive policies toward Palestinians is completely inconsistent with values of human rights and equality,” said Massey.
A Brookings Institute poll released in December 2015 found that 49% of Democrats (and over ⅓ of all Americans) support imposing economic sanctions or more serious action against Israel over settlement construction. According to Republican pollster Frank Luntz, only 31% of American Jewish students believe that Israel is a democracy.
American Jews are increasingly critical of Israeli policies and increasingly willing to take action to demand change. Jewish Voice for Peace proudly endorses the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement as a means to put pressure on the Israeli government, US policymakers, and international corporations that profit from human rights abuses.
JVP-Chicago is the local branch of Jewish Voice for Peace (www.jvp.org), a national, grassroots organization inspired by Jewish tradition to work for a just and lasting peace according to principles of human rights, equality, and international law for all the people of Israel and Palestine. Jewish Voice for Peace has over 200,000 online supporters, over 60 chapters, a youth wing, a Rabbinic Council, an Artist Council, an Academic Advisory Council, and an Advisory Board made up of leading U.S. intellectuals and artists.