Jewish Voice for Peace Statement on United Auto Workers Local 2865 BDS Vote

On December 4, United Auto Workers (UAW) 2865, representing over 13,000 graduate students, readers, and tutors across the University of California system, will be casting a vote for or against boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS.)

The ballot measure calls on the University of California (UC) and the UAW International to divest from Israeli state institutions and multinationals complicit in severe and ongoing human rights violations against the Palestinians.

The ballot measure also calls on the U.S. government to end military aid to Israel. Additionally, the ballot measure offers the opportunity to make a voluntary and non-binding individual commitment to participate in an academic boycott.

UAWŠ__s ballot language clearly opposes discrimination based on religion or national origin, and calls upon union members to collaborate with Israeli and Palestinian individual academics working against the occupation. The full language of the ballot measure can be found here.

Jewish Voice for Peace approves the use of BDS tactics to achieve peace with justice. While Jewish Voice for Peace takes no position on this vote, we reaffirm our support for divestment from multinational corporations complicit in the occupation and our call to end to US military aid to Israel. This graduate student vote builds upon the majority of University of California undergraduate student governments, which have called upon the UC Regents to divest.

As the largest Jewish organization organizing for boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) JVP applauds UAW 2865 for following a long history of labor unions taking action in solidarity with oppressed groups around the world, most notably labor unions who participated in boycotts against South African apartheid. Participating in boycotts is directly relevant to the unionŠ__s purpose as a collective unit working for social justice, locally and globally.

We strongly condemn those who would portray divestment from Israeli institutions or academic boycott of Israeli universities as inherently anti-Semitic. Boycott and divestment are time tested non-violent tactics towards collective liberation and justice.

Jewish Voice for Peace is a national human rights group with nearly 60 chapters, a rabbinic cabinet and over 150,000 online supporters. We are the largest organization of Jews and allies in the US advocating for an end to the Israeli occupation and working for peace with justice in the Middle East. Our active Advisory Board includes academics Noam Chomsky, Judith Butler and Daniel Boyarin.


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