New Israel/Palestine Principles

 
After more than three years of thoughtful and difficult dialogue across generations and ideologies, we officially have new guiding principles for our Israel/Palestine social justice work. 
 
These principles are a product of over 100 hours of meetings and one-on-one discussions by our Israel/Palestine Principles committee. This committee included long-standing BWC activists, Board members, and young adults, reflecting the range of opinions and perspectives on Palestine and Israel found in BWC. On June 30, 2021, the new principles were presented to the BWC Board at an open meeting and unanimously approved.
 
The Preamble begins: “Over the past few decades we have witnessed with growing dismay the dishonoring of our ideals by the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and systematic violation of Palestinian rights. We believe only the complete and equal respect of all Jewish and Palestinian rights is compatible with our social values and Jewish traditions.”
This work has been largely internal for the past several years, and we are excited now to shift outwards -- to call in more members of our community to take action, and to communicate with our partners and the public about where we stand.
 
We know that by standing firmly in our values together, we will only grow stronger. We have already put these principles to use by publicly supporting Ben & Jerry’s decision to refuse to do business as usual in the West Bank.
 
The principles are here to provide BWC activists with a clear frame of reference and organizational support to pursue justice in Palestine and Israel. While the principles likely do not represent any single person’s precise ideal, they enable BWC, as a Jewish organization devoted to equality and justice, to work as a united community on issues related to Palestine and Israel.
 
This entire process has been an incredible testament to how our members engage and discuss issues together. In this spirit, we hope that the next stage of our Israel/Palestine work is deeply rooted in respect, an openness to working and moving through disagreement, and a commitment to making the world more just.
 
If you are feeling energized, invigorated, or curious about what the next action steps will look like, we invite you to join our Israel/Palestine Community Meeting on October 4 from 7-8:30 pm on Zoom. We can’t wait to collaborate on this important work with you.
 
In community,
Anne Greenwald, Board President
 
Israel/Palestine Community Meeting
Monday, October 4, 7:00 - 8:30 pm (ET)
 
All are welcome, whether this is the very first step you are taking in Israel/Palestine work or it’s something you have been organizing around for decades.
 
Deep gratitude to our longtime BWC Israel/Palestine activists and the BWC Middle East Working Group who moved this work forward for many years.
 
Thank you to the BWC members who worked on drafting the principles in their first and/or second rounds: (alphabetically, by last name)
 
Liza Behrendt, Norm Berman, Rosa Blumenfeld, Michael Felsen, Miriam Habib, Karen Klein, Haley Kossek, Sarah O’Connor, Helen Raizen, Alice Rothchild, Ellen Shachter, Mitchell Silver, Marjorie Suisman, and Liz Zoob