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Forum on targetted divestment

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  • Dean Blobaum
    Americans and the Israeli Occupation: Economic Morality and Targeted Divestment Monday, Feb. 7, 2005 at 7:30pm Oak Park Public Library Veterans Room 834 Lake
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 1, 2005
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      Americans and the Israeli Occupation:
      Economic Morality and Targeted Divestment

      Monday, Feb. 7, 2005 at 7:30pm
      Oak Park Public Library Veterans Room
      834 Lake Street, Oak Park
      For event information, call: 312/427-2533x18

      This event is co-sponsored by:

      Not In My Name

      Committee for a Just Peace in Israel and Palestine

      The Presbyterian Church [PCUSA] voted at last summer's General Assembly
      meeting to begin a process of shareholder activism and possible divestment
      from corporations doing business in Israel and Palestine in ways that
      violate church standards for socially responsible conduct. Other mainline
      Protestant denominations are reported to be considering similar actions.

      Over 40 college campuses have had divestment campaigns and municipal
      divestment efforts have been mobilized in Berkeley, California, Ann Arbor,
      Michigan, and Somerville, Massachusetts. An ongoing shareholder activism
      campaign seeks an end to the sale of Caterpillar bulldozers for use in the
      demolition of Palestinian homes and agricultural plots. In October, 2004,
      the National Lawyers Guild voted to support national and international
      divestment campaigns.

      Opposition to divestment has been sustained and forceful. Divestment
      initiatives have been widely characterized as anti-Semitic and unfairly
      biased against Israel. Some Jewish organizations have issued statements
      opposing the activist strategy; high-profile individuals including Harvard
      law professor Alan Dershowitz, Chicago Tribune reporter Ron Grossman, and
      Harvard University President Lawrence Summers have leveled the charge of

      And yet, many of the authors of divestment initiatives and signers of
      pro-divestment petitions are American Jews. Several Jewish peace
      organizations have issued statements in support of some form of shareholder
      activism or divestment.

      Is divestment an expression of anti-Semitic bias? Does it unfairly single
      out Israel for condemnation and punishment? What are the economic,
      political, and moral rationales for targeted disinvestment? What motivates
      some American Jews to support actions that others reject as anti-Jewish and
      anti-Israel? What does the US divestment movement look like to Israelis who
      see it as a necessary tool for ending the occupation?

      This public forum will offer a valuable opportunity to hear the rationale
      for divestment as a form of economic morality in the pursuit of social
      justice. In addition, panelists will address some of the most common
      questions about and objections to divestment.


      Liat Weingart, born in Netanya, Israel, is Co-Director of Jewish Voice for
      Peace (http://jewishvoiceforpeace.org), the largest Jewish peace
      organization in the United States. Weingart was formerly National
      Coordinator for the Tikkun Community. Weingart holds an honors degree in
      Political Science from the University of Michigan and a masters degree from
      the London School of Economics and Political Science.

      Shamai Leibowitz, an Orthodox Jew, is a human rights lawyer in Tel Aviv who
      has represented asylum seekers, migrant workers, and Palestinians in the
      Israeli courts. He is a former tank gunner with the rank of staff sergeant
      in the Israel Defense Forces, and one of over 1,300 soldiers who have
      refused to serve in the occupied territories (http://seruv.org;
      http://refusersolidarity.net). Leibowitz opinion pieces have appeared in
      the Israeli and American press.


      The Oak Park Public Library has a small parking garage--enter from Lake
      Street. Street parking is often available. Or park in the Oak Park Avenue
      garage--enter off North Blvd, just east of Oak Park Avenue. Via public
      transportation, take the Green Line to the Oak Park Avenue stop, walk one
      block north to Lake Street and then one block west to the library. The
      #311 PACE bus runs along Oak Park Avenue; the #309 and #313 PACE buses run
      along Lake Street.


      Committee for a Just Peace in Israel and Palestine
      P.O. Box 3667, Oak Park, Illinois 60303
      E-mail: JustPeace1@...
      Phone: 312/427-2533x18

      Thank you for your support. This message was sent to the mailing list of
      the Committee for a Just Peace in Israel and Palestine. Please pass on.
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