Rabbis say: ‘This year let’s divest from Hewlett-Packard’

9 Apr


Electronic Intifada report, 8 April 2014.

In this video, members of the Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) Rabbinical Council call for divestment from occupation profiteer Hewlett-Packard.

It is part of JVP’s “Hewlett-Packard: Harming Peace” campaign.

The video plays on the phrase “Next year in Jerusalem” traditionally uttered at Passover seder dinners, which Jews around the world will gather for next week.

Hewlett-Packard makes electronic systems Israel uses to control the movement of Palestinians and has been specifically targeted in a number of divestment campaigns.

“This year in Jerusalem, Israeli policies limit the number of Palestinians who can live in the city” of Jerusalem, says Rabbi Brant Rosen.

“This year in Jerusalem, Palestinian Jerusalemites are considered permanent residents. Israel considers them immigrants,” adds Rabbi Margaret Holub. Effectively, Israel treats Palestinians whose roots in Jerusalem go back generations as if they were immigrants who must earn and qualify for the right to remain.

“This year in Jerusalem, a Hewlett-Packard powered system divides Palestinians into four categories, each with different rights: blue Israeli IDs, blue-green Palestinian Jerusalem IDs, green West Bank IDs and orange Gaza IDs,” Rabbi David Mivasair explains.

The video notes that according to Human Rights Watch, over 640,000 Palestinians risk separation from a direct family member who holds a different color identity cards. Israel’s “center of life” policy requires that Palestinian Jerusalemites prove continuous residency in the city to retain their Jerusalem ID. There’s no such requirement for Jewish Israelis.

The decision to grant or deny residency to Jerusalem’s indigenous Palestinian population is at the sole discretion of Israeli authorities. Meanwhile, Rosen says, “Jews throughout the world are entitled to receive automatic and immediate citizenship through Israel’s Law of Return for Jews and to reside in Jerusalem at will.”

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