March  4,  2013     To  the  attention  of  the  Stanford  University  ASSU  Undergraduate  Senate,     We  are  writing  to  you

 from  Jewish  Voice  to  Peace  to  urge  you  to  pass  the  Undergraduate  Senate  Resolution   calling  on  the  Stanford  University  Board  of  Trustees  to  divest  from  companies  profiting  from  the  Israeli   occupation  and  related  human  rights  violations  against  Palestinians.   We  believe  that  the  resolution  in  front  of  you  follows  our  core  Jewish  ethical  values,  shared  with  all  cultures   that  make  part  of  the  human  family.  The  Torah  instructs  us  “Love  thy  neighbor  as  thyself.”   Rabbi  Lynn  Gottlieb,  one  of  the  first  ten  women  rabbis  in  this  country  and  a  member  of  JVP’s  Rabbinical   Council,  explains  further,   Home  demolition  to  steal  land  is  unethical.  What  would  you  do  to  stop  your  house  from  being   demolished?  If  you’re  among  tens  of  thousands  of  Palestinians,  you  can  put  your  body  in  front  of  the   Caterpillar  bulldozer.  You  and  your  children  will  be  beaten,  arrested  and  then  Israel  will  force  you  to   pay  for  destruction  of  your  own  home.  The  Talmud  teaches,  “You  shall  not  derive  profit  nor  benefit   from  products  used  to  promote  violence.  You  shall  not  buy  them,  nor  sell  them.” Liza  Behrendt,  a  member  of  Young,  Jewish,  and  Proud—the  youth  wing  of  JVP—adds, I  recently  joined  Christians,  Muslims,  and  fellow  Jews  in  Jerusalem  to  rebuild  a  Palestinian  family’s   home  destroyed  by  Caterpillar  bulldozers.    As  we  labored  side  by  side,  learning  the  Arabic  words  for   “brick”  and  “mortar”,  we  knew  the  military  could  demolish  our  hard  work  at  any  moment.    As  an  act   of  population  control,  Israel  systematically  targets  Palestinian  schools,  hospitals,  churches,  businesses,   and  playgrounds,  including  billions  worth  of  infrastructure  built  through  European   investments.    Palestinians  are  asking  us  for  divestment.  Join  Jews  like  me  in  our  movement  for   freedom  and  justice.    Thank  you.   These  are  just  two  of  the  many  Jewish  voices  asking  you  to  follow  your  conscience  and  vote  for  divestment.   While  both  quotes  address  one  company—Caterpillar—the  same  logic  applies  to  other  companies  profiting   from  human  rights  violations  committed  against  Palestinians.   We  call  on  you  to  support  divestment  as  a  nonviolent  response  to  the  daily  violence  of  the  Israeli  occupation.   You  may  be  hearing  from  others  suggesting  that  divestment  may  be  divisive  or  may  hurt  the  feelings  of  some   students  on  campus.   We  believe  that  many  matters  of  social  justice  start  by  being  divisive,  but  eventually  end  up  unifying  people   around  common  principles  of  freedom,  justice,  and  equality.  Slavery  in  this  country  was  divisive;  it  nearly  tore  
Jewish  Voice  for  Peace  •  1611  Telegraph  Avenue,  Ste.  550  •  Oakland,  CA  94612   510-­‐465-­‐1777  •  www.jewishvoiceforpeace.org  •  info@jewishvoiceforpeace.org  
Page  1  of  2  

 

 

our  country  apart.  The  right  of  women  to  vote  was  divisive  too;  it  took  decades  of  controversy  to  pass  the  XIX   amendment  to  the  US  Constitution.  In  fact  the  last  vote  before  the  amendment  was  ratified  was  in  Tennessee   passed  with  a  single  vote  margin.  These  and  other  issues  that  seemed  controversial  in  their  time  seem  morally   and  ethically  clear  to  us  today.   Your  task  is  by  far  less  daunting,  but  no  less  important.  We  call  on  you  to  join  us  and  be  on  the  right  side  of   history.   Thanks.   Sydney  Levy Advocacy  Director Jewish  Voice  for  Peace   Jewish  Voice  for  Peace  is  a  national  grassroots  peace  organization,  inspired  by  Jewish  tradition  to  promoting  a   U.S.  foreign  policy  in  the  Middle  East  based  on  equality,  human  rights  and  respect  for  international  law.  JVP  has   offices  in  NY  and  CA,  over  125,000  supporters,  35  chapters,  a  Rabbi's  Council,  a  youth  wing,  and  an  Advisory   Board  that  includes  Judith  Butler,  Tony  Kushner,  Ed  Asner,  Naomi  Klein,  Noam  Chomsky,  Eve  Ensler  and  others.

 

Jewish  Voice  for  Peace  •  1611  Telegraph  Avenue,  Ste.  550  •  Oakland,  CA  94612   510-­‐465-­‐1777  •  www.jewishvoiceforpeace.org  •  info@jewishvoiceforpeace.org  
Page  2  of  2