December 20, 2016—The Colorado Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) is deeply disappointed by the decision of the Boulder City Council to officially adopt the city of Nablus as Boulder’s 8th Sister City, by a vote of 7 to 2. While, on the surface, there is nothing wrong with creating a relationship with any city anywhere in the world, the fact that Nablus is inextricably linked with anti-Israel activism cannot be ignored.
Appropriately, the City Council’s approval was made with an assurance that both anti-Semitism and Islamophobia would not be tolerated in Boulder. Members pledged to hold the Boulder Nablus Sister City Project (BNSCP) to the high standards conveyed in their Commitments document which states: “The Board of Directors of BNSCP will monitor the use of BNSCP programs to guard against the manipulation of messages that promote any anti-Israeli or anti-Palestinian perspectives. If such messages are found, the Board of BNSCP will take corrective actions.”
The JCRC will work vigilantly to ensure that both the BNSCP and the Boulder City Council fulfill this obligation. What is more, we will continue to stand with the many Jewish citizens of Boulder who work tirelessly across religious and ethnic lines to forge sincere bridges with the other communities in order to create greater understanding and acceptance.
Lastly, we want to thank the two members who voted against the proposal: Jan Burton and Andrew Shoemaker. They understood that the Council’s first duty to Boulder’s taxpayers is to focus on pressing local issues, as opposed to perpetuating a divisive and one-sided narrative in a deeply complex, nuanced and painful international conflict.