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June 2015

JVP joins progressive organizations asking Congress to support nuclear deal with Iran

Jewish Voice for Peace joined progressive organizations in sending the following letter to members of the U.S. Congress today, asking elected officials to support the diplomatic process and the nuclear deal negotiated with Iran. Read more in NIAC Action’s press release. 
 
June 30, 2015
To: Members of the U.S. Congress:
 
The following organizations, representing millions of Americans, urge you to support the strong nuclear deal being negotiated currently between world powers and Iran, to vote in favor of an agreement when it comes before Congress and to commit to vote to uphold a Presidential veto should Congress vote against the agreement.
 
The United States and its partners in the P5+1 expect to secure a final deal with Iran to limit its nuclear program in the coming weeks. Congress may vote on a deal as soon as next month. Your vote will determine whether the U.S. secures peace and cuts off Iran’s pathways to a nuclear weapon, or rejects diplomacy in favor of an unconstrained Iranian nuclear program and a new push for war.
 
This will be among the most consequential national security votes taken by Congress since the decision to authorize the invasion of Iraq. 
 
The American public overwhelmingly supports a diplomatic resolution to the nuclear standoff with Iran and does not want another war. We do not want to see the critical progress that American diplomacy has achieved over the past two years be derailed by some in Congress who prefer military adventurism over diplomatic solutions. 
 
Our organizations will be working in states and Congressional districts across the country to ensure that you and your colleagues hear from your constituents on this critical issue and will hold you accountable for your vote. We hope you will consider this matter carefully and vote for peace. 
 
Sincerely,
 
American Family Voices
American Friends Service Committee
American Values Network
Americans for Democratic Action
Americans for Peace Now
Avaaz
Church of the Brethren, Office of Public Witness
Citizens for Global Solutions
CODEPINK
Conference of Major Superiors of Men
Council for a Livable World
CREDO
Daily Kos
Democracy for America
Friends Committee on National Legislation

Global Ministries of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and United Church of Christ
Global Zero
Historians Against the War
Institute for Policy Studies
Jewish Voice for Peace
Just Foreign Policy
Mennonite Central Committee U.S.
MoveOn.Org
National Iranian American Council
National Priorities Project
Nuclear Age Peace Foundation
Pax Christi International
Peace Action
Peace Action West
Physicians for Social Responsibility
Presbyterian Church (USA)
Progressive Democrats of America
Sojourners
U.S. Labor Against the War
United Church of Christ, Justice and Witness Ministries
United for Peace and Justice
United Methodist Church, General Board of Church and Society
USAction
Win Without War

Jewish Voice for Peace congratulates United Church of Christ on taking a strong stand for a just peace in Israel/Palestine

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Naomi Dann | naomi@jvp.org | 845-377-5745

Jewish Voice for Peace congratulates United Church of Christ on taking a strong stand for a just peace in Israel/Palestine

UCC votes to withdraw financial complicity with Israeli occupation
Thousands of JVP supporters thank UCC in sign-on letter.

June 29, 2015 (Cleveland OH)—The United Church of Christ voted overwhelmingly today to approve a resolution calling for concrete action towards a just peace in Israel/Palestine. The vote, which was 508 in favor, 124 against, with 38 abstentions, was the culmination of a process that began in 2005 to end the Church’s complicity in Israel’s nearly half-century-old occupation and other abuses of Palestinian human rights. The resolution included divestment from specific companies that profit from the occupation, a boycott of products produced in illegal Israeli settlements, and advocacy to ensure that foreign aid to Israel does not violate US law regarding countries that engage in human rights abuses. The following are quotes for publication from Jewish Voice for Peace activists present at the UCC General Synod in Cleveland Ohio. For more details see the United Church of Christ Palestine/Israel Network’s press release.  

Laila Berstein, Jewish Voice for Peace-Boston member: “I heard a clarity here of the need to take concrete action, and I have a deep faith that the UCC will be our partner in moving forward towards justice. A groundswell of frustration with the status quo and principled moral clarity has led many members of the United Church of Christ to declare they are no longer satisfied to pray for peace while paying for occupation.

Lev Hirschhorn, Jewish Voice for Peace board member: “I’m honored to be here as the UCC took a courageous step to put their words into action and divest from occupation. My conversations at the General Synod have shown me that we’re on the precipice of a new political moment. Progressives are speaking up, and it’s only a matter of time until Israel is held accountable for its human rights abuses and violations of international law.”

Carolyn Klaasen, Jewish Voice for Peace-New York member: “In the UCC I’ve found a partner not only in ending the Israeli occupation, but in all of our shared work for justice. This is just the beginning of our multi-faith work.”

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Jewish Voice for Peace (www.jewishvoiceforpeace.org) is a national, grassroots organization inspired by Jewish tradition to work for a just and lasting peace according to principles of human rights, equality, and international law for all the people of Israel and Palestine. Jewish Voice for Peace has over 200,000 online supporters, over 65 chapters, a youth wing, a Rabbinic Council, and an Advisory Board made up of leading U.S. intellectuals and artists.

How I Would Vote In the Greek Referendum






A yes vote would mean depression almost without end – by contrast, a no vote would at least open the possibility that Greece, with its strong democratic tradition, might grasp its destiny in its own hands.

$15 an Hour NOW – Not 5 to 7 Years from Now






Fight for $15, $15 minimum wage, bank bailouts, corporate subsidies,

Municipal leaders should be commended for acknowledging the current wage is too low – but phasing in a higher wage over many years is unacceptable in an economy where costs of living are rising and wages are falling.

Jewish Support for Growing Movement in US Churches to Divest from Israeli Occupation

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Naomi Dann | naomi@jvp.org | 845-377-5745

Jewish Support for Growing Movement in US Churches to Divest from Israeli Occupation 

Jewish Voice for Peace supports churches taking action towards a just peace in Israel-Palestine

June 29, 2015–This week, three prominent churches are debating questions around their moral responsibility in the face of the decades-long Israeli occupation of Palestinians. These churches, the United Church of Christ, the Episcopal Church and the Mennonite Church, are considering resolutions that call on their communities to end their financial complicity with Israel’s occupation of the West Bank and Gaza and other human rights abuses. A vote on a resolution under consideration by the United Church of Christ in Cleveland may take place as early as this afternoon (Monday, 6/29).

Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) is proud to support our Christian partners in making an ethical decision to withdraw their investments from companies complicit in military occupation and human rights abuses against Palestinians.

There is no contradiction between choosing to divest from companies complicit in human rights abuses and maintaining good interfaith relations with Jews.” stated JVP board member Lev Hirschhorn. “Jews are divided on the issue of divestment, many of us are joining the BDS movement because of our conviction that change in Israel will not come on its own. A growing number of Jews oppose the building of illegal settlements and increasingly support putting pressure on Israel to end its occupation of Palestinian territories.” Hirschhorn and other JVP members are in attendance in both Salt Lake City, where the Episcopal vote is taking place, and in Cleveland, where the UCC vote is taking place, to support the church activists who are calling on their communities to take a powerful stand for justice and human rights.

Given the recent election of an extreme right-wing and anti-peace Israeli government, it is more apparent than ever that it will take outside pressure to move towards justice and peace in the region. Each of these churches has long opposed the occupation and taken a principled stand to advance peace with justice. Divestment from companies that are complicit in human rights abuses being committed in Israel/Palestine is the next step in this process.  

Last summer the Presbyterian Church voted to divest from specific companies that support Israel’s occupation and to boycott settlement goods. At the Methodist Church’s 2012 General Conference, delegates voted to boycott settlement products and last year, their pension board divested from G4S, a global security company involved in Israeli prisons and checkpoints. 

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Jewish Voice for Peace (www.jewishvoiceforpeace.org) is a national, grassroots organization inspired by Jewish tradition to work for a just and lasting peace according to principles of human rights, equality, and international law for all the people of Israel and Palestine. Jewish Voice for Peace has over 200,000 online supporters, over 65 chapters, a youth wing, a Rabbinic Council, and an Advisory Board made up of leading U.S. intellectuals and artists.

JVP supports UCC Church Taking Action towards a Just Peace in Israel/Palestine

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Naomi Dann | naomi@jvp.org | 845-377-5745

Jewish support for UCC Church Taking Action towards a Just Peace in Israel/Palestine

Growing support for divestment from occupation in US churches

June 29, 2015 (Cleveland, OH)–Jewish peace activists in attendance at the United Church of Christ General Synod this week in Cleveland express support for the church’s deliberations regarding divestment from the Israeli occupation. Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) is proud to support its partners in the UCC Palestine/Israel Network as they call on their community to make the ethical decision to withdraw their investments from companies complicit in military occupation and human rights abuses against Palestinians. The General Synod plenary body will vote on a resolution recommending specific actions towards a just peace in Israel/Palestine as early as this afternoon (Monday, 6/29). 

“There is no contradiction between choosing to divest from companies complicit in human rights abuses and maintaining good interfaith relations with Jews,” stated JVP board member Lev Hirschhorn from the Cleveland gathering. “The church should follow its conscience in speaking up for justice, and divestment is an effective means to align the church’s investments with its values.”

The United Church of Christ is considering taking concrete actions towards a just peace in Israel-Palestine during its General Synod in Cleveland June 26-30. The resolutions discussed call for targeted divestment from companies that profit from the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza, specifically Motorola, Hewlett Packard (HP), Caterpillar, Veolia and G4S. They also call for the boycott of companies whose products are made in Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories, and for the Church to petition Congress to ensure that foreign aid to Israel does not violate US law regarding countries that engage in human rights abuses, as well as for study of the Kairos Palestine document, a call for solidarity from Palestinian Christians.

A growing number of Jews oppose the building of illegal settlements and increasingly support putting pressure on Israel to end its occupation of Palestinian territories. Given the recent election of an extreme right-wing and anti-peace Israeli government, it is more apparent than ever that it will take outside pressure to move towards justice and peace in the region. 

The United Church of Christ has long opposed the occupation and taken a principled stand to advance peace with justice. Divestment from companies that are complicit in human rights abuses being committed in Israel/Palestine is the next step in this process.  

Concurrently, the Episcopal Church and Mennonite Church are also considering similar resolutions to take action towards bringing about a just peace in Israel/Palestine. 

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Jewish Voice for Peace (www.jewishvoiceforpeace.org) is a national, grassroots organization inspired by Jewish tradition to work for a just and lasting peace according to principles of human rights, equality, and international law for all the people of Israel and Palestine. Jewish Voice for Peace has over 200,000 online supporters, over 65 chapters, a youth wing, a Rabbinic Council, and an Advisory Board made up of leading U.S. intellectuals and artists.