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[Image attribution: Noorrovers, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons. Image description: Four maps of Palestine ranging from 1946 – 2010 illustrate increasing theft and disintegration of Palestinian land by the British, the United Nations, and Zionist colonizers.]

The NC Triangle Chapter of Jewish Voice for Peace was created in 2013 in the Durham-Chapel Hill-Raleigh region of North Carolina. As people of conscience joining together in an organization grounded in Jewish values, we explicitly reject the supposed protection offered by nation states carrying out policing, surveillance, gentrification, genocide, ethnic cleansing, land theft, and settler colonialism in our names.

We demand an end to U.S. imperialism as exemplified through its obscene military and missile defense aid to the state of Israel; we work to end to settler colonialism everywhere; including Turtle Island; and we nurture Judaism beyond empire.

As a southern chapter of a national organization, we uphold both the global South and the southern region of the U.S. as necessary leaders in the fight for justice. We learn from both decolonial and anti-imperial practices as well as legacies of resistance to white supremacy and systemic racism, and we place ourselves within this continuum as we practice relational organizing and recognize each other as intrinsically valuable beyond transactional and extractional interactions.

BDS, or Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions is part of a 2005 nonviolent call to action from many Palestinian Civil Society organizations in the legacy of successful historic boycott movements in the apartheid Republic of South Africa and the United States under Jim Crow segregation and later by farm workers and others seeking humane conditions. See the Palestinian BDS National Committee website for more information!

Our vibrant chapter has participated in victorious municipal BDS campaigns such as the 2015 Durham Drop G4S campaign and the 2018 Durham2Palestine Coalition’s Demilitarize! campaign victory against Israeli training of the Durham Police Department and all police exchanges with foreign militaries. These campaigns lay bare the connections between state violence locally and in Palestine. We also engaged in a pivotal campaign with the Islamic Association of Cary to help return Imam Khadra home to the Triangle from Stewart Detention Center in Lumpkin, GA. We have participated in many marches and rallies since our inception and look forward to many more in the pursuit of liberation.

We continue to work locally on our own and through Durham2Palestine, Raleigh2Palestine (sign the petition!), and the Movement to End Racism and Islamophobia (MERI). We create ritual programming as a chapter and in conjunction with the local Sacred Monsters Havurah. Nationally, we participate in or have access to various networks of Jewish Voice for Peace including its havurah network, rabbinic council, chapter network, and more!

The iconic Genna Cohen. [Image description: An outdoor gathering or rally in a grassy area with trees in the background. In the foreground a white person with shoulder length golden brown curly hair and glasses holds a charcoal-colored sign reaching from her collarbone to her knees. The sign reads, in white capital letters, “THIS NC JEW STANDS WITH GAZA.” The person’s ankles are crossed. Behind her, at least seven other people appear. A young person wears a shirt with the Palestinian flag. An adult holds a white pole with a sign attached featuring a Palestinian flag. The others are a blend of children and adults.]

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