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As members and officers of UAW 2865—current and former; Jewish and non-Jewish—we write to oppose the Joint Council’s decision to endorse the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel. Furthermore, we strongly oppose the proposal calling for divestment and an academic boycott.

The BDS movement is not progressive; it is unjust. It rejects the international consensus position on peace and pushes the most strident demands of the rejectionist camp. [1] [2] It collectively punishes Israelis and Palestinians, and stymies efforts to reach across divides, engage in dialogue, and build mutual trust. [3] Moreover, it rejects basic academic values by opposing cooperation and the free exchange of ideas within the academy. [4] Finally, it manipulates and selectively presents facts to delegitimize Israel, and, in essence, calls for the end of the Jewish State. [5] Support for BDS is unworthy of our union.

Our union leadership has also violated the union’s fundamental principles of democracy, transparency, and solidarity in its efforts to promote BDS. It has announced a membership vote, but stacked the deck in favor of BDS. Our leadership has publicized numerous pro-BDS documents and events, spending thousands of dollars in the process. It has refused to send even a single paragraph representing an anti-BDS viewpoint to its mailing list. [6] Moreover, by promoting an academic boycott against Israel, our leadership stigmatizes and isolates those of us who are Israeli, who do research on Israel, or who have Israeli collaborators. We are saddened that our union leadership would injure its own members to pursue a political goal unrelated to the union’s core mission.

We are proud of the UAW International and the University of California (UC) for taking principled stands against BDS, and urge them to continue rejecting calls for divestment from Israel. The president of the UAW International expressed our sentiments by signing a letter declaring that, “[r]ather than divestment from Israel, we believe that investment of time, energy and material aid is the best means to alleviate the ongoing suffering of Palestinians and Israelis.” [7] The UC also expressed our sentiments by issuing a statement that “isolation of Israel among all of the countries of the world greatly disturbs us and is of grave concern to members of the Jewish community.” [8]

We urge all members of UAW 2865 to join us—as well as the leadership of the nine UC campuses, the president of the UC system, over 250 university presidents, the Association of American Universities, the Association of Public and Land Grant Universities, the American Council on Education and the American Association of University Professors—in categorically rejecting proposals to support BDS and academic and cultural boycotts of Israel. [9] [10] [11] [12] [13]

We ask everyone to make their voices heard by voting NO in the statewide vote December 4.

SIGNATORIES (LAST UPDATED NOVEMBER 28, 2014)

Adar Eisenbruch, UC Santa Barbara, Current union member

Alex Anderson, UC Berkeley, Current union member

Allison Rotstein, UC Irvine, Current union member

Andres Schneider, UCLA, Current union member

Anton Sobolev, UCLA, Current union member

Arielle Leitner, UC Santa Barbara, Current union member

Armando Guerrero, UCLA, Current union member

Avner Shlain, UC Berkeley, Current union member

Bren Ghan, UC Davis, Current union member

Brian Satzinger, UC Santa Barbara, Current union member

Cassandra Callmann, UC San Diego, Current union member

Chaim Gingold, UC Santa Cruz, Former union member

Charlie Marshak, UCLA, Current union member

Dahlia Schweitzer, UCLA, Former union member

Dalia Bolotnikov, UC Santa Barbara, Current union member

Elizabeth Miller, Other school / Unaffiliated, Current union member

Emma Parker, UC Santa Barbara, Current union member

Eric Migicovsky, UCLA, Current union member

Erik Johnson, UC Berkeley, Current union member

Eyal Berdugo, UCLA, Current union member

Gabrielle Abrahamson, UC Berkeley, Former union member

Gat Savaldi-Harussi, UC Berkeley, Current union member

Gregory Antill, UCLA, Current union member

Hagit Perry, UC Berkeley, Current union member

Hila Peretz, UC Berkeley, Former union member

Igor Izyumin, UC Berkeley, Former union member

Ionut-Dragos Potirniche, UC Berkeley, Current union member

Itai Sharon, UC Berkeley, Current union member

Itai Trilnick, UC Berkeley, Current union member

Jeff Stern, UCLA, Current union member

Jeffrey Epstein, UC Berkeley, Current union member

Jethro Beekman, UC Berkeley, Current union member

John Schulman, UC Berkeley, Current union member

Jonathan Kummerfeld, UC Berkeley, Current union member

Jordan Ou, UC Berkeley, Current union member

Josephine Menkin, UCLA, Current union member

Joshua Saidoff, UCLA, Current union member

Juliana Londono-Velez, UC Berkeley, Current union member

Justin Bauer, UC San Diego, Current union member

Kathryn Wainfan, UCLA, Current union member

Kevin Todd, UC Berkeley, Current union member

Maggie apRoberts-Warren, UC Santa Cruz, Current union member

Maxim Ananyev, UCLA, Current union member

Michael Barlev, UC Santa Barbara, Current union member

Michael Rossol, UC Santa Barbara, Current union member

Naomi Martisius, UC Davis, Former union member

Natalia Lamberova, UCLA, Current union member

Nicholas Li, UC Berkeley, Current union member

Patrick Adler, UCLA, Current union member

Piper Milton, UC Davis, Current union member

Ran Nof, UC Berkeley, Current union member

Rinat Rosenberg-Kima, UC Berkeley, Former union member

Roey Reichert, UCLA, Current union member

Samantha Skinazi, UC Santa Cruz, Current union member

Sean Lawrence, UC Santa Cruz, Current union member

Stephen Brumbaugh, UCLA, Current union member

Tahl Sendowski, UC Berkeley, Current union member

Trevor Sarratt, UC Santa Cruz, Current union member

Yael Hadar, UC Berkeley, Current union member

Ying Qiao, UC Berkeley, Current union member

Yotam Shem-Tov, UC Berkeley, Current union member

Zachary Margulies, UCLA, Former union member

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