Jewish Voice for Peace Statement on Pro-Settlement Legislation Pending in Congress

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Naomi Dann | 845-377-5745 | media@jvp.org

Jewish Voice for Peace Statement on Pro-Settlement Legislation Pending in Congress

Jewish Voice for Peace strongly opposes proposed amendments to trade legislation intended to institutionalize support for the Israeli occupation and attempt to criminalize non-violent boycotts of Israel. Yesterday the Senate Finance Committee approved amended language to S.995, while a related bill (HR. 825) is pending in the House. This added language regarding boycotts of Israel, backed by AIPAC, comes in response to growing grassroots support in the United States and across the globe for using boycotts, divestment and sanctions tactics as tools to further justice, equality, and human rights for Palestinians.

If passed, the legislation would reverse the long standing US policy of opposing the illegal Israeli settlements in the Occupied Territories by de facto recognizing all settlements as part of a Š__greater Israel.Š__ The proposed legislation would also mandate US government actions to track and penalize commercial boycotts, a violation of constitutionally protected political speech.

From South Africa to the grape boycott to the Montgomery Bus Boycott, boycotts, divestment and sanctions (BDS) tactics have been essential tools used to create a more just society.  Rabbi Joseph Berman, JVPŠ__s Federal Policy Organizer noted that, Š__This legislation, which actually encourages illegal settlement building while strengthening the far right in Israel, shows that BDS is an increasingly powerful means to challenge Israel’s impunity when it comes to Palestinian rights. We urge Congress to reject this legislation.”

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Jewish Voice for Peace (www.jewishvoiceforpeace.org) is 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 65 chapters, a youth wing, a Rabbinic Council, and an Advisory Board made up of leading U.S. intellectuals and artists.

***UPDATE: On Thursday April 23, the House Ways and Means Committee incorporated similar language based on the bill H.R. 825

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