We found out a few days ago that the Town of Chapel Hill is hosting an official delegation from Israel — 4 members of the Knesset (Israeli Parliament) — on Monday afternoon.
This delegation is part of an exchange program run by the US State Department, in collaboration with the Raleigh-based nonprofit organization International Focus. The delegation will be touring around the US for three weeks, and the Chapel Hill Mayor has agreed to host them from 1-4pm, and invited members of the Town Council and Orange County Commissioners to participate in an exchange about “Building Legislative Capacity.”
Do we really want an apartheid state to build its legislative capacity? No! Many of us in the Triangle, including the Town of Chapel Hill itself, are horrified by NC HB2 and the legalized discrimination that it promotes against workers, transgender people, LGBQ people, Black people, immigrants, Latinos, Muslims, women, and poor people. The legislation that the Knesset passes is far worse than HB2 in its codification of discrimination against the Palestinian people.
Tell the Town of Chapel Hill, DO NOT support Israeli Apartheid!
The Town of Chapel Hill’s participation in this visit normalizes the Occupation by acting as if the Israeli government is a value-neutral or even progressive government — which erases the violence that the State of Israel commits against Palestinians every day. Israel denies Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and Gaza access to water, roads, and even their own farmland. Israel has demolished tens of thousands of Palestinian homes. Since 1948, the Knesset and other government bodies have passed over 50 laws discriminating against Palestinian citizens of Israel.(1) Only 1 in 7 Palestinians can vote in Israeli elections.(2) This is not democracy, and it will not be democracy until the occupation is over, Palestinians have full rights as citizens, and Palestinian refugees have the right to return according to international law. By hosting this delegation, the Town of Chapel Hill is exchanging information that will help the State of Israel continue and strengthen these racist practices and policies.
Let’s stop this from happening! Take action!
- Today, call the Chapel Hill Mayor, Pam Hemminger and tell her: Cancel the delegation!
Mayor’s Office: 919-968-2714
You can say something like: “My name is ______ and I am a Chapel Hill/Orange County/Triangle resident. I am calling to ask you to cancel your meetings with the International Visitors’ Leadership Program delegation from Israel. By hosting this delegation, you send a message that the town of Chapel Hill supports Israel’s well-documented, unjust, and racist human rights abuses as well as its illegal occupation of Palestinian land. The Occupation is brutal, and intent on removing any path to safety or peace. I do not want my elected representatives legitimizing the Occupation!”
- Email the Chapel Hill Mayor & Town Council and tell them to cancel the delegation!
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org and it will go to the entire group.
- I do not want my local elected representatives legitimizing the Occupation! Israel uses delegations like this to normalize itself and to hide its egregious attacks on Palestinians.
- By hosting this delegation, you send a message that the town of Chapel Hill supports Israel’s well-documented and unjust human rights abuses as well as its illegal occupation of Palestinian land. The Occupation is brutal, and intent on removing any path to safety or peace.
- By hosting this delegation, the Town of Chapel Hill is unintentionally exchanging information that will help the State of Israel continue and strengthen its racist practices and policies.
- This visit is in direct violation of the Palestinian call for Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions. To host this delegation while there is a call to boycott is to stand on the wrong side of human rights!
- If the delegation is not cancelled, join our allies from AIME (Abrahamic Initiative on the Middle East) on Monday as they leaflet at the delegation events. Bring signs!
*If you can join AIME for these events, please RSVP to Miriam Thompson.
12:30-3:00pm — meet at entrance behind the Town Hall (405 Martin Luther King Jr Blvd, Chapel Hill, NC 27514)
3:00pm-4:00pm — meet at the gate of the NC Botanical Garden (100 Old Mason Farm Rd, Chapel Hill, NC 27517)
Please, after you contact the Mayor and Council, email us at email@example.com to let us know that you did, and any response you receive!
We cannot be silent when our local governments play host to Israeli Apartheid.