Bridge Building for Peace
Awareness Raising Rally for Peace and Social Justice
Sunday, August 1, 11:00 am
At the Ben & Jerry’s Plant in Waterbury
JCVT is sponsoring a rally on Sunday in support of working together and building bridges for all those supportive of peace and justice for all touched by the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. 

We know that people hold strong views related to Israel and hope to offer a uniquely Vermont voice to encourage support for all those groups and individuals working constructively for the shared goal of peace and understanding in the region.

This rally addresses reactions to Ben and Jerry’s announcement to halt sales in the disputed territories. We want to stay away from blame or presumptions and instead aim to raise awareness of the following:
1)   We support and share with Ben & Jerry’s the goal of peace and justice for all in the Middle East
2)   The perception of any relation of this decision to the BDS movement is problematic due to the antisemitic tenor of statements from BDS leaders.
3)   Boycotts in Israel benefit no one, and particularly harm Palestinian workers and the shared work culture that brings diverse communities together.
4)   The timing of this announcement set back efforts of the new government of Israel to set a new, more cooperative tone in the region.
5)   Most importantly, we want to encourage support for the many groups and individuals working constructively for peace and justice in the region.

I know I personally am tired of the blame and finger pointing that surround the Israeli/Palestinian conflict and want to support constructive efforts for dialogue, connection, peace, safety and security.

We hope you can join us (with homemade signs (see the attached flyer for possible wording)).

P.S. I want to thank all who communicated with me in response to the JCVT statement related to Ben & Jerry’s in the newsletter last week. We appreciate the range of responses, some supportive and some critical, as a sign of an engaged community. We welcome the opportunity in the future to share these diverse viewpoints that all are valued perspectives from the Jewish community in Vermont.

Rick Gordon, Director
P.O.Box 4472
 Burlington, VT 05406