JVP urges companies to stop supporting illegal settlements
Jewish Voice for Peace identifies four top companies that are instrumental in supporting the racist, illegal all-Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank on lands stolen from Palestinian Christian and Muslim owners. Those companies are shameful and include: Caterpillar, Priceline.com, TripAdvisor and Airbnb. These companies are contributing to the oppression of human beings in the West Bank and are undermining human rights.
By Ray Hanania
Several Jewish American organizations are instrumental in fighting against the racist and illegal Jewish settlements and the oppression of Christians and Muslims in the Israeli Occupied West Bank and Arab Americans should be supporting those organizations.
These Jewish groups support the State of Israel, but they support Palestinian rights, too. We should be working with them to strengthen our efforts to undermine the extremists in Israel, led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Some groups stop short of openly opposing the BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions) movement, but that’s because the BDS movement is unfocussed and its activists support broad boycotts that go beyond standing up for civil rights but also include boycotting Israel as a State.
I get that Palestinians are angry. The PLO is considering voiding its recognition of Israel, not because they “hate Jews” as Netanyahu and his band of war criminals assert. The PLO is taking this stand because Israel’s government has refused to abide by the Oslo and Camp David Peace Accords, and instead of supporting the building of a Palestinian State as Israel’s leaders claimed, are doing everything to undermine it, starting first and foremost with the building of Israeli settlements.
The settlements are racist and discriminatory and the face of Israel’s growing Apartheid nature. Have you ever heard of Israel building a Christian Settlement or a Muslim Settlement in the West Bank? Have you ever heard of Israel stealing Jewish-owned lands and giving it to Christians and Muslims?
The issue is one of justice, fairness, the Rule of Law, and human rights, principles Israel’s government is violating everyday.
Sadly, the Arab World is compromised. Many of its leaders openly criticize Israel while helping Israel behind-the-scenes. And many of the Arab activist groups are simply dysfunctional, driven by a lack of strategic leadership and by emotion and anger.
Emotion is not a strategy to build a Palestinian State.
Yes, Israel has committed many atrocities that should make you angry. Israel’s killings, bombings and targeting of Christians and Muslims inside Israel and in the Occupied West Bank should make you angry. It is emotional. But emotion should not be the foundation of our response to confront Israel’s government’s atrocities and violations of International Laws.
This is a letter issued by Jewish Voice for Peace that succinctly explains one strategy to fight back against racism and discrimination. Caterpillar, Priceline.com, TripAdvis
er and Airbnb need to be boycotted if they do not withdraw their support of the illegal Israeli settlements.
This isn’t about Israel. It is about Israeli government policy that is wrong, racist and discriminatory. Standing up to injustice is not only the right thing to do it is a Jewish, Christian and Muslim thing to do.
Support this effort vocally, actively and by donating.
Letter from Jewish Voice for Peace:
Last Wednesday, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights released a report announcing a historic database of companies doing business with illegal Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.
But they didn’t name any of the 206 companies on it.
Luckily, we already know at least some of them.
The Washington Post reported in August that among the American companies that received letters informing them that they’d be on the UN list were Caterpillar, Priceline.com, TripAdvisor, and Airbnb.
We don’t have to wait for the database to be made public. It’s time for these four corporations to realize their actions have consequences. Click here to tell them: get out of the settlement business.
We aren’t waiting, we aren’t wringing our hands, and we aren’t discouraged: we’re calling out the corporations that profit off of the oppression of Palestinians.
The decision not to name names at this stage shows just what an uphill battle it is to bring Israel into compliance with international law and respect for human rights.
According to the same Post story, the U.S. and Israeli governments are trying to prevent the list’s publication1— one area among many where Netanyahu and Trump’s interests and tactics overlap.
But their tactics won’t work.
Take action now. Tell the CEOs of Caterpillar, Priceline, TripAdvisor and Airbnb:
Get. Out. Of. The. Settlements.
It’s time to pressure the CEOs of these four corporations. There’s no reason, or excuse, to wait:
Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky hasn’t heard from you in a while, but the Stolen Homes campaign garnered over 120,000 signature and staged actions all across the U.S. and Europe demanding the home-rental giant get out of settlements.
Caterpillar has a dirty and sordid history in Palestine. Their machinery has bulldozed and destroyed Palestinian homes for decades.
And now we’re taking on Priceline.com and TripAdvisor— their CEOs need to know that we have choices, and we choose not to line their pockets while they break international law and dismiss the value of Palestinian lives.
The UN has spoken:
“The violations of human rights associated with the settlements are pervasive and devastating, reaching every facet of Palestinian life. Owing to settlement development and infrastructure, Palestinians suffer from restrictions on freedom of religion, movement and education; their rights to land and water; access to livelihoods and their right to an adequate standard of living; their rights to family life; and many other fundamental human rights.”
And that’s not acceptable.
Take a stand with us by taking action today, and we’ll add all the other named businesses to our action when the list comes through.
Go online by clicking this link and send a message of protest against Caterpillar, Priceline.com, TripAdvisor and Airbnb. Click here.
(Ray Hanania is an award-winning columnist, author and former Chicago City Hall reporter. Email him at email@example.com.)
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"I write about three topics, the Middle East, politics and life in general. I often take my life experiences and offer them in an entertaining way to readers, and I take on the toughest topics like the Israel-Palestine conflict and don't pull any punches about what I feel is fair. But, my priority is always about writing the good story."
Hanania covered Chicago Politics and Chicago City Hall from 1976 through 1992. Hanania began writing in 1975 when he published The Middle Eastern Voice newspaper in Chicago (1975-1977). He later published “The National Arab American Times” newspaper which was distributed through 12,500 Middle East food stores in 48 American States (2004-2007).
Hanania writes weekly columns on Middle East and American Arab issues for the Arab News in Saudi Arabia at www.ArabNews.com, and at www.TheArabDailyNews.com, www.TheDailyHookah.com and at SuburbanChicagoland.com. He has also published weekly columns in the Jerusalem Post newspaper, YNetNews.com, Newsday Newspaper in New York, the Orlando Sentinel Newspapers, and the Arlington Heights Daily Herald.
Palestinian, American Arab and Christian, Hanania’s parents originate from Jerusalem and Bethlehem.
Hanania is the recipient of four (4) Chicago Headline Club “Peter Lisagor Awards” for Column writing. In November 2006, he was named “Best Ethnic American Columnist” by the New American Media. In 2009, Hanania received the prestigious Sigma Delta Chi Award for Writing from the Society of Professional Journalists. He is the recipient of the MT Mehdi Courage in Journalism Award. He was honored for his writing skills with two (2) Chicago Stick-o-Type awards from the Chicago Newspaper Guild. In 1990, Hanania was nominated by the Chicago Sun-Times editors for a Pulitzer Prize for his four-part series on the Palestinian Intifada.
His writings have also been honored by two national Awards from ADC for his writing, and from the National Arab American Journalists Association.
The managing editor of Suburban Chicagoland Online News website www.SuburbanChicagoland.com, Hanania's columns also appear in the Southwest News Newspaper Group of 8 newspapers.
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