Beai 0W Stuuents


As an Ameiican Isiaeli, a veteian of the Isiael Befense Foice, a life-long Zionist, anu
a committeu, oithouox }ewish stuuies scholai, whose chiluien anu gianuchiluien
live in Isiael, I am wiiting in suppoit of AS0W Resolution 2u-S9, "A Resolution to
Bivest fiom Companies Piofiting fiom violations of Inteinational Law anu Buman

Calling foi boycott, uivestment, anu sanctions against those who violate
funuamental human iights is a long enshiineu Ameiican piactice, ceitainly among
Ameiican }ews. Ny fathei was an eaily suppoitei of the civil iights movement,
which incluueu the Nontgomeiy Bus boycott. In high school I maicheu with my
classmates in suppoit of Soviet }ews whose human iights weie being violateu. }ews
suppoiteu the 1974 }ackson-vanick amenument that iestiicteu tiaue with the Soviet
0nion, just as many suppoiteu the uivestment movement against the tieatment of
blacks unuei South Afiican apaitheiu.

The global BBS movement calls upon the State of Isiael to iecognize anu piotect the
human iights of the Palestinians in accoiuance with inteinational iesolutions anu
human iights stanuaius. voting foi uivestment will not only piomote the cause of
the uowntiouuen anu oppiesseu, but it will senu a message to the Isiaeli
goveinment that theie is a piice to pay÷though small÷foi the ongoing
suppiession of the funuamental human iights of the Palestinians.

Will a BBS victoiy make peace moie uifficult. 0n the contiaiy, the BBS movement -
anu especially the pioposeu AS0W uivestment campaign - will stiengthen the
foices of justice anu peace on both siues. As an Isiaeli I can tell you that eveiy BBS
success biings the moial moiass of the 0ccupation into the public light. When
a iecoiuing aitist cancels his appeaiance, it's fiont page news in Isiael. Such
successes empowei peace-minueu politicians anu public intellectuals to explain to
the aveiage Isiaelis the cost of the 0ccupation anu to aigue that the 0ccupation is
not something they can shut out of theii lives.

By contiast, failing to act on the BBS call allows the ongoing suppiession of human
iights to continue. The foices of the status quo woulu like to uo eveiything they can
to keep the 0ccupation fiom the public eye. They will tell you about a "0niteu
}eiusalem" but they won't tell you how ceitain Palestinian neighboihoous in
}eiusalem lack piopei sewage, watei, anu even police foices. They will tell you
about economic giowth foi the Palestinians on the West Bank, but they won't tell
you that this piogiess is limiteu to a naiiow stiatum of Palestinians associateu with
the Palestinian Authoiity in Aiea A, anu is subject to the whim of the Isiael
goveinment, that life foi Palestinians in Aiea C is a nightmaie of lanu
expiopiiations, peimits, anu haiassment. They will tell you about how Palestinian
Isiaeli citizens have the iight to vote, but they won't tell you that foi ovei sixty yeais
Aiabs have enjoyeu viitually no political powei because they have been
systematically excluueu fiom goveinment coalitions.

So what means uo the Palestinians have at theii uisposal in theii fight foi justice.
They uon't have aimies. They cannot use violence. They aie pieventeu by the Isiaeli
militaiy in engaging in non-violent piotest. They aie penalizeu by Isiael if they
puisue statehoou at the 0N, oi join inteinational oiganizations. Isiael, which
became a state unilateially ovei the piotest of the majoiity of the people of
Palestine, will not allow Palestinians to uo anything unilateial.

That leaves the BBS movement. Bivestment fiom companies that benefit fiom the
0ccupation will not huit the aveiage Isiaeli but will senu a cleai message to hei
goveinment: "Enough! uet seiious about a just solution, anu uon't think that the
woilu will accept youi iule ovei the Palestinians foievei."

The Bible teaches us, "}ustice, justice, you shall puisue." The uivestment campaign is
about one thing: justice. I uige you to suppoit this initiative.

Youis tiuly,

Chailes B. Nanekin

Piofessoi of Philosophy
Biiectoi of the }oseph anu Rebecca Neyeihoff Piogiam
Anu Centei foi }ewish Stuuies
The 0niveisity of Naiylanu

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