From Israeli Citizens to Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin


 January 2019
Image result for kentucky flag
 Dear Governor Bevin,

 We are a group of citizens of Israel, human rights activists who support democracy and full constitutional equality in our region. (1)

 We write to you in regard to the executive order that you have recently signed, to prevent Kentuckians from participating in a boycott of Israeli products or institutions.

 As you know well, your actions have been widely criticized for their infringements upon the rights of Americans to free expression of their political views. Perhaps most prominently, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has strongly opposed such executive order and legislation in both state houses and the US congress. (2)

 We support the efforts of American citizens to oppose this executive order on the grounds that it violates the rights of Americans and runs counter to American democracy. However, our main point is one which concerns us more directly. The executive order which you have signed is likely to be perceived in Israel as an endorsement of the Israeli government’s policies. Such policies amount to no less than "institutional discrimination" against "Arab citizens of Israel", according to the State Department's 2017 Human Rights Report on Israel, Golan, West Bank, and Gaza. (3) 

 In the occupied West Bank, the situation is much worse. Every week brings news of another policy which further dispossess Palestinians. Last week we learned of new policies restricting the access of Palestinian farmers to their agricultural lands. (4) And this month marks the opening of a segregated road in Jerusalem. (5)
 On a historical note, let us be clear: Fifty years after Governor Breathitt managed to passed the first desegregation law in a Southern state, your current policy helps perpetuate segregation in Israel and the occupied Palestine territories.

It should go without saying, in 2019, that we must all resist segregation and institutional discrimination rather than support it. Not only does your policy violate the rights of Palestinians, but it also condemns Israelis to a continued conflict with no end in sight. 

We urge you to rethink the executive order and any other legislation which might perpetuate Israel's discrimination against Palestinians, and violate American rights to free speech.


Boycott! Supporting the Palestinian BDS call from Within
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