Friday, March 31, 2017

Letter to Westchester Legislators

Subject: Supporting human rights: withdraw Act 9190

Dear Ken Jenkins, Virginia Perez, Benjamin Boykin, Michael Kaplowitz, and Alfreda Williams,

I am very concerned to hear about the proposed Act 9190 which would discriminate against supporters of BDS.

I am the granddaughter of an orthodox rabbi born in Jerusalem. I fully understand the current concern about the upsurge in anti-Semitism. But this is a time when we should all be working together to address both anti-Semitism and Islamophobia.

BDS is supported by socially-conscious Jews both in Israel and around the world, as well as by Palestinians and many other non-Jews. It is a nonviolent means of pressuring the Israeli government to establish justice. It is a way to demand human rights for the Palestinian population—those who have been caged behind barbed wire for 60 years as well as those who live in Israel as second-class citizens. BDS is pro-human rights, not anti-Semitic.

Passing this or other discriminatory bills is simply capitulating to the extreme Jewish lobby. They do not represent the majority of the Jewish population in this country.

As you know, boycotts are a constitutionally protected form of free speech. In the past, boycotts have been effectively used to end injustice, for example in South Africa and the American South. Surely you want justice to prevail in Israel and Palestine, as it eventually did in South Africa and the US.

Please withdraw Act 9190 and any other proposed acts that discriminate against supporters of BDS.

Jo Salas

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