Witness for Peace addresses Ann Arbor District Library
What good is BDS if not implemented? Quoting from the original Palestinian Civil Society Call for BDS, “We, representatives of Palestinian civil society, call upon international civil society organizations and people of conscience all over the world to impose broad boycotts and implement divestment initiatives against Israel similar to those applied to South Africa in the apartheid era.”
Now, we feel that “broad boycotts” means exposing and challenging any and all attempts to normalize, or legitimize a state that practices Apartheid. At the local level a major contributor to this normalizing process is the Washtenaw Jewish News, which openly promotes communications, business dealings and travel to the Jewish Apartheid State (aka “Israel”).
When we found that our own publicly funded Ann Arbor District Library (AADL) was among the advertisers in this openly pro-Israel publication, we addressed the board of directors at their monthly meeting March 20. Here’s what we said:
I’m here tonight to address an issue I find disturbing
The AADL has used its resources – including my tax dollars – to place an ad in a magazine that supports an Apartheid foreign government.
I’m referring to page 15 of this month’s issue of the Washtenaw Jewish News. There are two points I’d like to make.
First, that this newspaper, in addition to printing articles about the local Jewish community, also contains articles supportive of the state of Israel.
In this issue, there are articles discussing the Michigan-Israel Business Bridge, prominent men and women who study in Israel, and articles that encourage – and pay for – Jewish teens to travel to Israel.
Indeed, this ad, from a year ago, acknowledges the ties between Israel and Ann Arbor Jews. This lady is telling us that Israel exists in the marrow of Jews in this community.
Secondly, to support our claim that Israel is an Apartheid state I’ve printed for each of you the Executive Summary of a paper – authored by Richard Falk and Virginia Tilley – from the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia. I’d like to read its opening paragraph:
This report concludes that Israel has established an apartheid regime that dominates the Palestinian people as a whole. Aware of the seriousness of this allegation, the authors of the report conclude that available evidence establishes beyond a reasonable doubt that Israel is guilty of policies and practices that constitute the crime of apartheid as legally defined in instruments of international law.
So, as a member of the AADL, and a taxpaying supporter of the Library, I ask that WE cease purchasing ads in a paper that openly supports Apartheid.
Here is a list of some the advertisers found in the March issue of the Washtenaw Jewish News. For the complete list, click here.
Ann Arbor City Club
Ann Arbor District Library
Ann Arbor Film Festival
Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra
Chelsea Flower Shop
Mighty Good Coffee
People’s Food Coop
Purple Rose Theater
Witness for Peace
America First Not Israel
Mar. 18: Three vigilers
Mar. 25: Four vigilers