Walking Down J Street
By Barbara Taft, co-chair
WILPF Middle East Committee
WILPF’s Middle East Committee supports the Goldstone Report and also calls for a credible, independent investigation into Israel’s conduct in “Operation Cast Lead.” The truth must be exposed, and those who have committed war crimes must be punished. Let your political representatives in Washington, D.C. know how you feel.
When Odile Hugonot-Haber and I recently attended the J Street conference in D.C. we found many engaged Americans who wanted to talk about peace. J Street (http://www.jstreet.org/) is the political arm of the pro-Israel, pro-peace movement. The organizers of the conference were expecting about 500 people to attend, and were happily surprised to find themselves hosting 1,500 people, all enthusiastic about a group that proclaims itself to be “Pro Israel/Pro Peace” and to speak for what they believe to be the majority of Jews in both the U.S. and Israel: people who believe that making peace is good for Israel, the Palestinians, the region, and the world, and that doing so is a moral imperative.
One of the speakers at the J Street conference, discussing the Goldstone report and future inquiries, said “Only the guilty are afraid of such an investigation.” Watch for more details about J Street’s momentous conference and what came out of it, as well as where things may be able to go from here.
Finally, we are looking into the possibility that U.S. WILPF will launch its own campaign under the international BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) Campaign. Several American companies are involved in furthering the occupation of the West Bank through maintaining the illegal settlements, building access roads, or supplying military or other equipment used to disrupt normal life for the Palestinian residents of the area. We would like to have our own target for such a campaign, but urge you to support other BDS campaigns against such targets as Ahava cosmetics, Caterpillar tractor, and Motorola until we have determined which company will be the best for us to focus on. If occupation is not profitable, there may be hope of some change. We are supported in this goal by our sections in Lebanon, Israel, and Palestine.
Thank you for all you do.