After successfully lobbying township councils and committees in Millburn, Livingston, Caldwell and West Caldwell, members of Hadassah and the Simon Wiesenthal Center are asking the Maplewood Township Committee to consider a resolution in opposition to the global Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement against the State of Israel.
BDS, according to its website, is “A Palestinian-led movement for freedom, justice, and equality. BDS upholds the simple principle that Palestinians are entitled to the same rights as the rest of humanity.”
However, Stephanie Bonder, immediate past president of Hadassah Northern New Jersey and a teacher at Golda Och Academy, said that BDS’s “only goal is to isolate Israel.” Bonder said that “no state is perfect,” but that the “BDS movement is hateful and divisive” and ultimately would reduce the chance for peace in the Middle East.
Bonder was joined by Gail Black, President of Hadassah Northern New Jersey, and David Blechman of the Simon Wiesenthal Center.
Bonder said she had been asked to approach the Maplewood Township Committee by former Committee member Noel Siegel, who had read about the passage of the Millburn resolution in October. (Read Jaleh Teymourian’s report on the Millburn Township Committee’s anti-BDS discussion and resolution here.)
Mayor Vic DeLuca aid that he had a copy of a sample resolution and would distribute it to all Township Committee members electronically for discussion.
New Jersey is one of three states that have laws opposing the BDS movement. In August 2016, Governor Christie signed a bill prohibiting the investment of state pension funds in businesses that boycott Israel.
See the full presentation and discussion in this video beginning at the 1:34:00 mark: