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Jewish Voice for Peace

An Israeli bulldozer drives past a pile of uprooted Palestinian olive trees.

Sign our open letter to Mitt Romney and we'll deliver it by the end of the week!


Dear Supporter,

We're making progress: From The New York Times to The Washington Post, the media is criticizing Mitt Romney's offensive claim that "cultural differences" -- not the Occupation -- are why the Palestinian economy struggles as Israel's flourishes. [1]

JVP launched an open letter asking Romney to apologize to the Palestinian people. Already, over 10,000 of us have signed on!

If we can get enough signatures, our open letter to Romney could become part of the national political news story about Romney's remarks and focus American voters on the terrible realities of the Occupation.

Can you help get 20,000 signatures on our open letter? Just click here.

I'm one of the JVP members here in Boston who will print and physically deliver the petition signatures to Romney's campaign headquarters. I hope we can deliver a massive stack of signatures calling on Romney to apologize!

Moments like this make me proud to be a JVP member -- we're a national network with local chapters all over the country, ready to respond rapidly to fight anti-Arab racism and change the national debate about Israel-Palestine.

This is a unique moment to raise the issue of the Occupation in the presidential election. We all know the Occupation is what's holding back the Palestinian economy. After all, here are the facts on the ground:

  • Resources: Only 6 per cent of the land in the Jordan Valley is currently available for Palestinian use and development. Palestinian farmers and communities in the Jordan Valley are largely dependent on tankered water, which they have to pay for at up to five times more than regular water available to illegal Israeli settlements. [2]
  • Labor: While the minimum wage in Israel is currently $6.00 per hour, Palestinians working on Israeli settlements in the Jordan Valley are paid only an average of $2.00–$4.80 per hour. Palestinian workers do not receive the benefits that Israeli workers are entitled to by law, including holidays, overtime pay, transportation costs, health insurance, sick pay, or payments from a provident fund. [2]
  • Imports: The Palestinian pharmaceutical manufacturers must receive an import license from the Israeli authorities for all raw materials imported from abroad, regardless of their origin or possible usage. This demand is unique to Palestinian manufacturers, whereas Israeli producers are exempt from it. [3]
  • Exports: With the exception of two shipments of date bar snacks, for the past five years there has been a complete ban on the sale of Gaza-made products in the West Bank and Israel. [4]

Help focus attention on the Occupation in this presidential debate. Join our open letter calling on Romney to apologize to the Palestinian people. Click here.

L'shalom,


Rabbi Joseph Berman
Chair of JVP Boston and Member of the JVP Rabbinical Council

PS. Our petition made it to an article in Haaretz! Check it out here: Obama campaign: Romney failed the first rule of overseas trips – do no harm. Haaretz, August 1, 2012

Sources:

[1] Mr. Romney Stumps in Israel, New York Times, July 30, 2012
Romney Exposed His Ignorance in the Land of the Prophets. Washington Post, July 31, 2012
[2] On the Brink: Israeli Settlements and Their Impact on Palestinians in the Jordan Valley. Oxfam, July 5, 2012.
[3] Captive Economy: The Pharmaceutical Industry and the Israeli Occupation. WhoProfits, July, 2012.
[4] Gisha Presents: Strawberries for Sale. Gisha, July 19, 2012