Jewish Voice for Peace congratulates the UC Berkeley Senate for their historic divestment vote

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Vincent, Arthur Pierre

Mar 25, 2010, 3:12:21 PM3/25/10
Jewish Voice for Peace congratulates the UC Berkeley Senate for their historic divestment vote

(March 19, 2010) Jewish Voice for Peace congratulates the UC Berkeley student Senate for the historic vote to divest from companies that profit from Israel's Occupation of Palestinian Territories.  JVP supports the right of individuals and communities to use the divestment tool in order to bring their financial portfolios in line with their values and applauds the use of nonviolent strategies in order to bring about a change in US policy towards the Israeli/Palestinian conflict.

What's more, the resolution is very much in line with Jewish Voice for Peace's current campaigns to support divestment from companies that profit from the Israeli Occupation. This includes companies operating in or from occupied Palestinian territory, exploiting Palestinian labor and scarce environmental resources, providing materials or labor for settlements, or producing military or other equipment or materials used to violate human rights or to profit from the Occupation.

We draw inspiration from this victory and think that many people around the world, including Israelis and Palestinians who struggle every day to make democracy and equality a reality, will also take heart and redouble their efforts.

In a week during which the Israeli government continued to build on Occupied Palestinian land under the nose of the Vice President of the United States and declared Palestinian villages "closed military zones" for their unarmed protest against the Wall, the vote at UC Berkeley is a much needed victory. The authors of the resolution mentioned other human rights violators such as Congo and Morocco, demonstrating that holding Israel accountable can only advance the cause of human rights globally.

"I have been horrified by Israel's increasing desperation to defend both the indefensible and the self-defeating. At the same time, I am greatly inspired by the work of Palestinians protesting for democracy on the ground, with the support of Israelis and internationals. This vote shows there is so much we can do here in the United States to follow their example."
-- Jesse Bacon, JVP Board member and co-editor of The Only Democracy blog.

The UC Berkeley vote also comes at a time of growing discussion around the Boycott Divestment Sanctions movement. There is nothing Jewish about a multinational corporation making money off of the Israeli Occupation. What's more, given the violent nature of the occupation and the growing backlash from the Israeli government and the defenders of its policies in the United States against any criticism, all nonviolent methods should be openly discussed and considered.

About JVP:
Jewish Voice for Peace is the only national Jewish organization that provides a voice for Jews and allies who believe that peace in the Middle East will be achieved through justice and full equality for both Palestinians and Israelis. With offices in New York and California, 100,000 online activists, chapters across the country and an Advisory Board comprised of numerous prominent Jewish thinkers and artists, JVP supports nonviolent efforts here and in Israel-Palestine to end Israel’s Occupation, expand human and civil rights, and implement a US policy based on international law and democracy. JVP opposes anti-Jewish, anti-Muslim, and anti-Arab bigotry and oppression and seeks an end to the Israeli occupation of the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and East Jerusalem.
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