Jewish Voice for Peace Supports the Movement for Black Lives

From JVP-PDX Core Group:
JVP press release – for wide distribution!

For Immediate Release                                                                  August 7, 2016

Contact:  Ned Rosch, rosch.ned@gmail.com

Jewish Voice for Peace Supports the Movement for Black Lives and is Appalled that the Jewish Federation Disassociates Itself from the Black Lives Matter Movement.

Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP)–Portland and JVP–national both fully endorse the demands and vision boldly and inspiringly laid out in the recently released Movement for Black Lives platform.  The platform, a collective effort of more than 50 organizations representing thousands of Black people from across the country, articulates a common vision and agenda and recognizes the shared struggle of Black people with all oppressed people. With the release of this powerful, transformative policy statement, the Black Lives Matter movement has just taken a huge and important step towards the creation of a real movement for social and political change in our country.

Portland JVP endorses the Movement for Black Lives platform in its entirety, without reservation.  However, we are deeply disappointed by the statement released August 4th by the Jewish Community Relations Council of the Jewish Federation of Greater Portland stating their opposition to the Movement for Black Lives platform due to its call for Black-Palestinian solidarity and support for boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israel. The Federation says it will disassociate itself “from the Black Lives Matter platform and all Black Lives Matter organizations that embrace it.”

It is terribly unfortunate that the Jewish Federation is rejecting thorough and inspiring transformational policy ideas developed by a broad coalition of Black leaders simply because these Black leaders have linked the experiences and struggles of Palestinians with their own.  JVP honors those linkages and the non-violent struggle of the Palestinian people, like that of African-Americans, for freedom, justice and equality.

Rather than hear the message, the Jewish Federation chooses instead to kill the messenger. If the Federation wonders why JVP is the fastest growing Jewish organization in the country or why increasing numbers of especially young Jews not only support the Palestinian struggle for freedom, equality and justice, but also feel the Jewish Federation does not speak for them, the Federation need look no further than their deplorable stand on this Movement for Black Lives platform.
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