Thursday, October 22, 2015

Berkeley Human Welfare Commission rejects BDS bill

On Wednesday, October 21, the Berkeley Human Welfare Commission rejected a resolution advocating divestment from companies that did business in  Israel.   Hundreds gathered in the South Berkeley Senior Center  to participate in  the public comment period.   Legendary UC Berkeley professor Ron Hassner , Rabbi Menachem Creditor,  Rabbi James Brandt,  community leaders and  grass root community members joined together to ask  the Commission to reject this hateful and divisive resolution.

The resolution was defeated, with 5 voting against it,  2 for it, and 1 abstaining.

An open letter to the commission, signed by  Rabbi James Brandt of the Jewish Federation, Rabbi Yonatan Cohen of Beth Israel, Rabbi Menachem Creditor of Netivot Shalom and Rabbi Yoel Kahn of Beth El  in the Berkeley, as well as many others expressed dissatisfaction with both the content of the resolution and the process involved in bringing it to the Commission.

From the letter:

We were deeply troubled, however to learn about the resolution before the Human Welfare and Community Action Commission recommending that the Berkeley City Council list Israel under the Oppressive States Business Policy” Not only is this resolution completely unbalanced in its representation of the heartbreaking and complex conflict between Israelis and Palestinians, it is also a major distraction from the vitally important work of the HWCAC. It is disturbing that so much time and resources are being spent by the HWCAC on a divisive international issue unrelated to its mission, at a time when we all need to work together to improve our beloved city….

Additionally, we were shocked to learn that the HWCAC has been discussing this issue for a year without consulting anyone outside the small circle of supporters of divestment. This represents a grave breach of process and diligence that should have been undertaken when considering such a sensitive  and controversial issue…”

From StandWithUs:

"BDS activists attempted to hijack the commission to further their narrow, political, extremist agenda but the commissioners refused to succumb to this pressure and defeated the resolution," said Johanna Wilder, StandWithUs Northern California Associate Director, who spoke at the Commission meeting. 

The HWCAC discussed this issue despite the Berkeley City Attorney's clear stance that divestment is outside the scope of the commission, which is charged with tackling local poverty issues. Fortunately, numerous commissioners recognized this and rejected divestment so that the HWCAC could go back to fulfilling its crucial mission. 

Divestment supporters engaged in racist slander against Israel accusing it of committing a "Holocaust" against Palestinians. In addition to this trivialization of genocide they employed more typical propaganda, smearing Israelis as colonizers and erasing the indigenous rights of the Jewish people in their homeland. 

For more information on Berkeley's defeat of the divestment resolution see

1 comment:

Shlomo Ben Hungstien said...

well how about that there's hope for Berkeley yet. please every body who reads this posting make sure to rub it in the ugly faces any and all leftist anti-Semites you know of. also, you might want to follow up with this video of CNN's Jake Tapper calling out a PLO spokesman for being the stinking liar that he is

good job to every body out there on the side of the truth.