Community Alert: Cambridge City Council Hearing on Israel Boycott – Monday, April 23rd

    

 

 

On April 23rd, the Cambridge Massachusetts City Council is expected to consider a resolution that calls for the City “to end its contracts” with Hewlett-Packard (HP) until, according to the organizers, HP “ends their support for violence against and oppression of Palestinians, deportations and surveillance of immigrants in the U.S., and oppression and surveillance of those currently and formerly incarcerated in the U.S.”

This initiative is part of a larger global BDS (boycotts, divestment and sanctions) movement that is, in significant part, dedicated to Israel’s delegitimization as the Jewish state. Groups backing this resolution have offered other justifications for the HP boycott, but it remains clear that this effort is designed primarily to target and delegitimize Israel.

As of today we have not seen a copy of the resolution. The rules of the Cambridge City Council do not require them to publish the resolution until 3pm Thursday, April 19th. While some members of the Council have seen a draft resolution, the proponent organizers have – we are told – shared it with them on the condition that it not be made public. This seems to us to be a cynical effort to prevent an honest and open public debate prior to a significant action by a public body.

We call upon our community to mobilize and take action.

For both residents and non-residents of Cambridge:

  • Mark your calendar: Make a commitment to be at Cambridge City Hall on Monday, April 23rd at 5:30pm to demonstrate your opposition to this resolution and to testify against it before the City Council. Your presence is important, even if you do not testify.

  • Anyone can testify; advance online registration is recommended. To receive notification (from us) when the Council’s online sign-up is live, and for other updates in the week ahead, let us know here.

  • Contact your friends – especially those in Cambridge. Share this alert and ask them to take action as well.

If you are a resident of Cambridge:

  • Contact the City Council and urge them to reject this effort to single out Israel for demonization. Please communicate to them respectfully but firmly and let them know that as someone who is concerned about the city you live in and its public image, this resolution will have implications beyond Hewlett-Packard and, if adopted, would tarnish the reputation of your city. You can find a comprehensive list of talking points here.

Now is the time to make your voice heard. We cannot underscore how important it is the members of the Cambridge City Council hear from our community about this. Together we can send the message: This action would be wrong for Cambridge and does not advance the prospects for achieving a lasting peace.