Archive for November, 2010

Jewish Perspectives on BDS Nov 11 Brooklyn

November 16, 2010

Panel discussion Thursday November 11 at 7:30

November 4, 2010


Thursday, November 11, 2010 at 7:30 PM

1012 Eighth Avenue (between 10th St. & 11th St.), Park Slope,

Church of Gethsemane (F or G train to 7th Avenue)

Seating is limited.

Many Jews wish to see Israel end the occupation; abide by international humanitarian law, human rights laws and precepts; and meet its obligation to recognize the Palestinian people’s right to self-determination.

Some believe that an effective way to do so is to adopt and to maintain nonviolent and punitive measures through participating in a campaign to boycott, divest from, and sanction (BDS) Israel.  The movement has grown rapidly since 2005, when a broad coalition of Palestinian civil society groups called on people around the world to join a movement that involves academic, cultural, consumer, and sports boycotts; encouragement of and pressure on individuals, financial institutions and companies to shed their investments in Israel; and sanctions—ending preferential trade, joint research, and other agreements, local and regional governments ties between municipalities or regional councils and Israel, and military links and support to Israel.

Others, whose goal is a two-state solution–where Israel and Palestine live side by side in peace and security—believe that this goal is ill- or ineffectively served by the global BDS movement and many of its allies, because they deploy BDS tools  in ways that are  more blunt than smart, the movement diverts resources from more effective         advocacy and action, and BDS tends to alienate stakeholders from each other rather than encouraging their engagement and collaboration to achieve the goal.

We invite you to a respectful dialogue on BDS—whether you already have a position on it or you want to clarify for yourself the complex issues it raises.  This event will provide an opportunity to hear from people who disagree about whether BDS is an appropriate and effective strategy. We are fortunate to have speakers who have thought deeply about–and been involved–in issues of peace and justice, who have spent a lot of time in Israel/Palestine, and who disagree with each other about BDS. We also have a moderator/respondent who will encourage the speakers and audience to probe more deeply into these issues.  We hope you will join us.


Gil Kulick—co-chair of the J Street-NYC Communications/Media Committee; a founder of Brit Tzedek v’Shalom; former Communications Director of the New         Israel Fund and deputy political counselor at the U.S. Embassy in Israel and—will speak in opposition to the Global Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement.



Hannah Mermelstein—active member, Adalah-NY: The New York Campaign for the Boycott of Israel; co-founder, Birthright Unplugged; co-founder, Students Boycott Apartheid—will speak in support of the Global BDS movement.


Kathleen Peratis—board member of J Street, The Forward, Human Rights Watch; former vice president New Israel Fund; former president NYCLU; occasional columnist for The Forward; partner New York law firm Outten & Golden LLP—will speak in opposition to the Global BDS movement.


Rebecca Vilkomerson—National Director of Jewish Voice for Peace; lived in Israel, 2006-2009; worked for a Palestinian-Israeli public policy center and a Bedouin-Jewish environmental rights organization—will speak in support of the Global BDS movement.


Moderator and respondent:   Adam Horowitz— writer and co-editor of Mondoweiss, a news website devoted to covering American foreign policy in the Middle East, chiefly from a progressive Jewish perspective; co-editor of the upcoming book The Goldstone Report: The Legacy of the Landmark Investigation of the Gaza Conflict (Nation Books).

This event is co-sponsored by members of the Jewish community with different views on this issue:  Naomi Allen, Anita Altman, Renate Bridenthal, Carol Horwitz, Melanie Kaye/Kantrowitz, Marilyn Neimark, Letty Cottin Pogrebin, Alisa Solomon, Meredith Tax, Ray Wofsy.

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