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:
- Boulder’s Sister City relationships should be apolitical. BNSCP is not.
- The Human Rights situation in the West Bank and in Nablus is abysmal.
- Honor killings of and violence against women are endemic to the Palestinian culture.
- Gays persecuted in Nablus and the West Bank often flee to Israel and seek asylum there.
- The P.A. represses Freedom of Press and Freedom of Speech.
- The P.A. Restricts access to and allows desecration of a Jewish religious shrine in Nablus.
- 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.
Bill Cohen and Jane Rubinstein