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Local Group Opposes Boulder-Nablus Sister City Effort

Boulder’s Sister Cities

As many of you know, the Boulder Nablus Sister City Project (BNSCP) has been active in their efforts to designate the Palestinian city of Nablus as one of Boulder’s sister cities. Their official request was filed with the Boulder City Council on Friday, April 26th.

Sara-Jane Cohen, Tom Trager, Talor HaLevi and I have created a fact-based, thoroughly referenced Opposition to BNSCP’s application based on the City’s published criteria for approving or denying sister city applications. That Opposition was sent to the City Council also on Friday.

This project must not go forward, for the following reasons:

  1. Boulder’s Sister City relationships should be apolitical. BNSCP is not.
  2. The Human Rights situation in the West Bank and in Nablus is abysmal.
    1. Honor killings of and violence against women are endemic to the Palestinian culture.
    2. Gays persecuted in Nablus and the West Bank often flee to Israel and seek asylum there.
    3. The P.A. represses Freedom of Press and Freedom of Speech.
    4. The P.A. Restricts access to and allows desecration of a Jewish religious shrine in Nablus.
  3. The dangerous and violent situation in the West Bank and Nablus, fostered by terrorism, has led several countries, including the U.S., U.K., Canada and Australia, to warn against travel to the West Bank and Nablus.

The Boulder we cherish should never enter into a relationship with a city that is so at odds with all we believe in and stand for.  The Daily Camera published this article covering our opposition efforts on Tuesday, April 30th: Some Jewish groups oppose Nablus as Boulder’s sister city. Included in the article is a statement from the Anti-Defamation League opposing the sister-city effort.  If you’d like to read the entire Memorandum, click here.

Making our voices heard on this subject is critically important. This debate may go on for a long time, so it is crucial for us to remain engaged by sending letters and making calls to the Daily Camera, other news outlets, and, most importantly, the City Council, which will ultimately vote on the BNSCP proposal.

Please remember that letters and calls of this kind are most effective when the tone is forthright, fact-based, and refrains from attacking any of the people or organizations involved. And, in this case, the facts are very clearly on our side.  Every voice counts. Let’s raise ours.

Sincerely,

Bill Cohen and Jane Rubinstein

About Bill Cohen

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6 comments

  1. Let us also remember that the people of Nablus have elected Hamas to the majority of their city council and as their mayor. Hamas is designated a terrorist organization by the US and denies the right of Israel to exist.

  2. Dear Bill and Jane,

    I am so curious why you are so opposed to this project? How is this city at odds with what you stand for? Do you not wish for peace for all Israelis? The citizens of Nablus desire peace as well. They wish for nothing more than an end to the occupation and to live in freedom. How on earth is that at odds with your own values?? Do you not wish for there to be two states – living side by side in peace? That too is what citizens of Nablus desire. How is that at odds with everything you believe in?

    You seem to be utilizing a false equation as you ponder this situation; you seem to assume that what is good for Palestinians is bad for Israelis. But, actually the opposite is true – what is bad for Palestinians is very bad for Israelis…and it won't get better until we focus on GOOD FOR BOTH peoples – you seem to claim to want that.

    Let us be honest here – the truth is that you feel afraid. The classic response to fear is to attack others. But, this does not dissipate your fear. The only way to dissipate your fear is to let go…to trust, not to grip tighter.

    I send you a prayer of the kind of faith that you need to ease your heart. Your hearts are in pain and I have compassion for you.

    May peace find its way to your heart.

    Love N Peas

    • Of course we want good for both peoples. But in this case we have a politically motivated action that helps to legitimize extremists.

      • I am not sure I understand what difference it makes whether the action is motivated by politics. Isn't working for peace motivated by politics? How can you work for peace and not hold political view points? Is support for Israel not political? The action of creating bonds of friendship is noble and you would do well to overcome your fears to explore the possibility. That is what sister cities are about – making friends where it might feel scary. Find the courage in your heart and your spirit will be lifted.

  3. The CU Asian Department is sponsoring classes with BNSCP and I feel that CU and the Regents also have responsibility for this project and deserve a letter. I have read letters on Facebook from students who say they plan to travel to the West Bank, which is dangerous.

    In order for this project to be approved by BCC, the group must have a 501c3, which is provided by the IRS.
    However, their website says it can be revoked if misused.

  4. Bill, what’s the best way to make our voices heard? The same question again but for people living in communities adjacent to Boulder?