For the last week an intensive effort has been underway to consult with members of the Cambridge City Council about a resolution that invites a boycott of Hewlett Packard (HP) because of business done with Israel. The initiative is being proposed by Mass Against HP (MAHP), a working group of “Jewish Voice for Peace,” an organization that is part of the international BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) movement, which, in the words of its leaders, is dedicated to Israel’s destruction.
Hundreds of people have responded by reaching out to Cambridge City Councilors to explain why the proposed resolution is morally and politically bankrupt. We have been gratified to learn that some of the City Councilors have heard us, and the resolution to boycott HP will not be put to vote on April 23rd. An effort is now underway to fashion an alternative resolution that affirms a commitment to the protection of human rights, but steers clear of bigoted attempts to single out Israel or any other country. We are hopeful that the result will be legislation that we can support. However, we are not there yet. It is important that we RESPECTFULLY continue to press our case and encourage a responsible resolution.
Please note: We will not be attending the meeting on Monday April 23rd, and testifying on this matter will not be possible since it is not included on the agenda. We will keep you informed in the days to come as the new hearing date — likely to be in the next two weeks — is finalized. Notification will be on a Thursday afternoon in advance of the regular Monday Cambridge City Council meeting.
Until then, it is important to keep up your respectful outreach and advocacy:
- Inform ourselves by reviewing this fact sheet and these more detailed talking points.
- Contact all 9 city council members to send our letter, or create your own and contact the council members individually to RESPECTFULLY share your concern about this resolution. Remember that many council members have been working hard on this issue for the past week or more.
- Reach out to friends and neighbors. Forward this email and urge them to join you.
- Contact your Rabbi or other organizational leaders and ask them to mobilize their membership.
- Attend the hearing on April 30th and bring concerned friends whether or not you choose to speak.
- For information on signing up to speak at the April 30th hearing (non-residents eligible), please contact the Cambridge City Council at 617-349-4280. We will provide additional information regarding online registration when it becomes available (likely next Thursday afternoon).