Friday, November 21, 2008

Massachusetts: Major vote against Apartheid Israel

"Americans Vote Yes for Equality Between Jews and Non-Jews Inside


by the Somerville Divestment Project

Full article on the Web at:

November 5, 2008

Election day in the United States, 2008, will be remembered in most history books as the day
Americans elected the first African-American as president. But it also deserves to go down in
history for another reason. It was the first day when Americans rejected the instructions of their pro-Israel politicians and newspapers and instead voted for the principle that non-Jews should be equal with Jews under the law inside Israel, and not discriminated against as they are today in apartheid Israel.

The Somerville Divestment Project (SDP) placed Question 4 on the ballot in two state
representative districts, one in Somerville and the other in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The
question asked, "Shall the state representative from this district be instructed to vote in
favor of a non-binding resolution calling on the federal government to support the right of
all people, including non-Jewish Palestinian citizens of Israel, to live free from laws that
give more rights to people of one religion than another?"

The "Yes" votes outnumbered the "No" votes 9,100 to 5,542 in Somerville, and 9,637 to 3,650 in Cambridge. If Obama had won by this kind of a margin it would have been declared a Super-Landslide!

Not a single politician or newspaper supported Question 4. On the contrary, the Somerville
Journal reported in its election week edition that, "The City of Somerville, including all city
aldermen, does not support questions 4 and 5, said spokesman Tom Champion. The mayor of
Somerville also opposed Question 4 and the so-called “Progressive” Democrats of Somerville
were silent (apparently supporting equal rights is not part of the “progressive” agenda.) The only other Somerville newspaper, the Somerville News, editorialized, "The Somerville Divestment Project has divided Somerville residents by bringing up far-away, world conflicts in a municipal context. Reject the tactics of the Somerville Divestment project and vote no on Question 4."

Apparently the voters saw things differently.

In 2006 the SDP placed two questions (5 and 6) similar to Question 4 on the ballot in Somerville.
One called for Somerville to divest from Israel and the other called for supporting the right of all
refugees, including Palestinian refugees, to return to their homeland.

In spite of intense “Vote No” campaigning by the Boston Globe, both Somerville newspapers and the Israeli Consul for New England, as well as Mayor Curtatone, Congressman Capuano, and both candidates for governor—Deval Patrick (now the Democratic Party governor) and Kerry Healy the Republican--featuring glossy mass mailings and signboards with photographs of all four politicians saying “We Stand With Israel, Vote No on Questions 5 and 6,” and despite the unanimity of all these “respectable” leaders making many voters wonder if perhaps the SDP’s ballot questions that seemed so reasonable on the surface might actually reflect some kind of bad hidden agenda, despite all this the “Yes” vote was 31% for divestment and 45% for supporting the right of return of Palestinians.

Tuesday’s vote was therefore not the first time voters rejected the mainstream politicians to
support human rights for Palestinians.....

The Significance of This Vote is Enormous

The significance of this vote is enormous. It demonstrates that Americans support the principle of equality, and believe that Israel is wrong in discriminating against non-Jews under the law. It
shows that Americans do not want their government to support this discrimination inside Israel,
regardless of whether Israel is "our ally" or a "Jewish state."

It shows, in other words, that when given a chance to choose between the principle of equality versus the Zionist principle of inequality (that Israel must be a "Jewish" state in which the sovereign authority is "the Jewish people" and not all citizens equally) then Americans chose equality, even when their politicians and newspapers tell them not to....


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