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September 3, 2015 | 19th Elul 5775

Partnership Not Divestment

Statement in response to the proposed overtures (resolutions) at the PC(USA) General Assembly

Partnership Not Divestment - AS PREPARED
PC USA June 19, 2014
Rabbi Rick Jacobs

Mr. Moderator. As the leader of millions of North American Jews, I can say that the overwhelming majority of American Jews support two states for two peoples. This is the only way for the conflict between Palestinians and Israelis to end. And I am proud to say that our Reform Movement has a long-standing policy of opposition to the Israeli settlements.  We see how the occupation causes pain and hardship to Palestinians every single day.

However we oppose divestment and BDS because it undermines the two-state solution we so desperately need.   Even more importantly to Jews, BDS is an effort to delegitimize the very existence of Israel.  Though we may disagree with specific policies of the Israeli government, we are deeply committed to Israel as the homeland of the Jewish people.

Overture 0404 tries to separate divestment from Boycott Divestment Sanctions, but it can't be done, especially in the climate of opinion created by  Zionism Unsettled. The document, which is being sold through your online church store, is a vicious attack on Judaism, the Jewish people and the State of Israel. A vote for divestment will cause a painful rift with the great majority of the Jewish community.  

But there is another option. I am flying to Israel tonight. I would like to invite Moderator Heath Rada and Stated Clerk Gradye Parsons to join me for a meeting I will arrange next week in Jerusalem with Prime Minister Netanyahu to express our deeply shared concerns. If we are truly partners and you disapprove this divestment overture I look forward to sitting with your leadership in the Prime Minister's office in Jerusalem.  You can chose partnership and engagement or you can choose separation and divestment. 

We should be partners in leading the interfaith world. These high level meetings are only the beginning of our faith communities working together for a two state solution.

We are against settlements.  

We are for a two-state solution, but we can't fight alone.  

We need each other,

and if you choose partnership over divestment and BDS, together we can change the world. 

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