April 7, 2016

Letter: J Street UChicago Comes Out Against Resolution

J Street UChicago is opposed to the resolution recently introduced by UofC Divest. We are unabashedly pro-Israel, pro-peace, and pro-Palestinian. Our belief in social justice, human rights, and self-determination for both peoples has led us to work toward a two-state solution and to oppose the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement.

The UofC Divest resolution fails to explicitly support Israel’s right to exist and acknowledge that the right to exist is a fundamental part of working toward a peaceful solution and acknowledging the rights of both peoples. Just as there can be no secure, Jewish, and democratic future for the state of Israel without an end to the occupation, there cannot be freedom and justice for Palestinians without an embrace of the two-state solution and the right of the Jewish people to self-determination.

J Street U exists to provide a home for students who support the rights of both peoples to live in peace and security. That’s why we advocate for a two-state solution and why we oppose actions—like settlement expansion and the blurring of the Green Line—that undermine the prospects for peace.

We want to encourage an open, rigorous, inclusive conversation on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, not polarize the issue to a point where there is no potential for engagement and cooperation.

We urge our fellow students and members of the broader University and Chicago communities to join us in working toward a better future for Israelis and Palestinians—and to reject actions that only serve to exacerbate conflict.

—The J Street UChicago Board

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