Federal Policy

Congressional Hearing on BDS Misrepresents the Movement for Palestinian Rights

Contact: Naomi Dann | media@jvp.org | 845-377-5745

Subcommittee Hearing on the impact of the BDS movement omits voices of support for the movement for Palestinian rights and focused on impact of the movement on business and rather than the impact of Israeli policies on Palestinian lives.

Washington, DC (July 28, 2015)–In a hearing held Tuesday July 28, 2015 by the House Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee on National Security with the stated purpose of better understanding the Palestinian-led Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, Congressional representatives heard only from witnesses opposed to the movement. No Palestinians, nor any supporters of the BDS movement were invited to testify before the Subcommittee.

It is disturbing that the hearing failed to discuss the BDS movement within the context of the daily abuses and degradations that Palestinians living under Israeli occupation have to contend with. We should be talking about how to put pressure on Israel to respect Palestinian human rights, not demonizing the Palestinian-led movement for justice and equality,”

stated Rabbi Joseph Berman, Jewish Voice for Peace’s Government Affairs Liaison.

The hearing demonstrated the deep disconnect between US policymakers and realities of Israel’s conduct towards Palestinians that have led many Americans, including American Jews, to support the tactics of boycott and divestment to demand change. Of the three members of the subcommittee who were present for the duration of the hearing, the Chair Representative DeSantis (FL-6) referred to the West Bank as “Judea and Samaria,” and Representative Russell (OK-5) made inappropriate ad hominem attacks against family members of Foundation for Middle East Peace’s Matt Duss. “It was shocking to hear members of Congress parroting the language of far-right Israeli settlers and engage in outrageous McCarthyite slanders towards the one witness who spoke about working for peace between Israelis and Palestinians,” said Naomi Dann, JVP media coordinator.


Jewish Voice for Peace (www.jewishvoiceforpeace.org) is a national, grassroots organization inspired by Jewish tradition to work for a just and lasting peace according to principles of human rights, equality, and international law for all the people of Israel and Palestine. Jewish Voice for Peace has over 200,000 online supporters, over 60 chapters, a youth wing, a Rabbinic Council, an Artist Council, an Academic Advisory Council, and an Advisory Board made up of leading U.S. intellectuals and artists.


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