The Jewish community knows something is breaking loose. Thus J Street’s recent statement on BDS that begins to crack open the door on the idea of targeted divestment. Now here is Donna Nevel of Jews Say No! with a piece in the Baltimore Jewish Times that calls upon the Jewish community to engage on the BDS issue. Nevel played a role in the forum on BDS that was held at a Lutheran church two weeks back in NYC.
[U]ntil now, despite the continued devastation of Palestinian society by the Israeli government, the primary response of the Jewish establishment and many Jewish organizations has been to try to discredit, rather than engage with, this call of conscience and those associated with it.
What can we do? Like the group I stand with, many Jewish voices are speaking out and taking action, trying, among other things, to disrupt the normalization of acquiescence and silence of the mainstream Jewish community and of those who claim to speak in our name. As part of this effort, we can join others who are insisting that the Jewish community engage directly and honestly with the BDS campaign. We can challenge Jewish institutions that have consistently blocked this issue from being addressed and insist that BDS, a powerful form of nonviolent resistance, be given the attention it deserves. We can insist that it—and the conditions it is a response to—be pushed to the forefront of the Jewish community for open discussion and serious consideration.
Good, important. Will Jews wake up? I was reading Norman Finkelstein’s book Beyond Chutzpah and seeing the sketches in there of the various tortures used on Palestinian prisoners. Well that didn’t wake anyone up, years ago. I think we’re dealing with one of the most conservative, stiffnecked communities in recent history. Still, I celebrate Nevel’s hopefulness, hard work, and engagement.