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For Immediate Release

Contact

Naomi Dann | 845-377-5745 | naomi@jvp.org

Press Release

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

WASHINGTON -

Jewish Voice for Peace strongly opposes proposed trade legislation intended to institutionalize support for the Israeli occupation and attempt to criminalize non-violent human rights 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 “greater Israel.” 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, JVP’s Federal Policy Organizer noted that, “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 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. JVP has over 200,000 online supporters, over 70 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.

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