Dear Durham City Council Members, Date - ??
We are active Rabbis in the greater Triangle (most in Durham).
Our purpose in writing has its origin in the reports that a small
organization, Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP), has submitted or plans to
submit, a petition that is intended to influence city ordinances
concerning Durham and Israel. This petition “demands” that the City
boycott any future exchange programs associated with Israel and Durham
police. The petition is biased and bad policy for Durham and its police
department. The rationale for the “demand” surrounds false and
inflammatory claims that Israel international expertise in
counter-terrorism is directly linked to bias and racism in the Durham
police department. To link Israel to White Supremacy and other forms of
hate speech in the U.S, to insinuate that Israel teaches American police
to attack minorities in our country, or that problems in U.S. policing
are due to the Israel/Palestinian conflict are insulting and will only
serve to demonize Israel and the Jewish people. Efforts to delegitimize
Israel are a purposeful strategy by some organizations, part of a
broader strategy to promote Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS)
against Israel, and one that is purposefully targeting Durham to accept
terrible lies. No evidence exists that sharing best practices on
counter-terrorism in society cannot be beneficial to those that listen,
reflect and make decisions for their own communities. The events that
unfolded in Austin Texas, Parkland, Florida, and many more communities
are great reminders that domestic terrorism does exist in the U.S. and
can affect anyone and any community.
As Rabbis who serve the majority of Jewish families across the region,
and who strive for social justice each and every day, we pray that you
will take the time for due diligence before acting. We believe that
once you examine the matter carefully, including listening to experts in
security, you will reject the petition and instead, embrace the myriad
of proven activities that can be done in the City that promote less bias
at home without singling out one of the World’s strongest democracies
for unfair and false charges.
Eight Triangle rabbis, with two more joining later, signed a letter
urging the Durham City Council to reject the “Demilitarize!
The signatories included the new rabbi of the Judea Reform Congregation
and also Rabbi Eric Solomon of Beth Meyer Synagogue. Rabbi Solomon is
also affiliated with the left-wing Jewish organization Truah (the
leader of Truah, Rabbi Jill Jacobs, slammed JVP’s “Deadly Exchange”
campaign as antisemitic last year).