Groups Ask CT Treasurer to Divest from Israel

Treasurer, State of Connecticut
55 Elm Street
Hartford, CT 06106


October 10, 2014

Re: Divestment from Israeli Bonds and other corporations profiting from the Occupation of Palestine

Dear Treasurer Nappier:

We the undersigned groups and individuals encourage the State of Connecticut to join the voices of conscience in Israel/Palestine, United States and throughout the world in condemning Israel's continued reliance on military solutions to the ongoing Israel/Palestine tragedy. One people subjecting another people to conditions that they themselves would not endure will not achieve a lasting peace. Israel must end the blockade of Gaza and the occupation of the West Bank. Our nation's failure to focus on the underlying causes of the conflict as we continue to arm Israel has contributed to the continued cycle of violence. The "peace process" has faltered under such shortcomings as Israel expands its settlements in the West Bank, tightens its grip on Gaza, and exerts a military presence over the Palestinians people.

Since 2008, Israel has shelled, bombed and invaded the civilian population of Gaza in three separate offenses "Cast Lead," "Operation Pillar of Defense" and presently "Operation Protective Edge." These military incursions have killed thousands of innocent Palestinian civilians including hundreds of children and have injured and displaced thousands more. Rather than building bridges of hope and reconciliation, Israel's military assaults destroy lives, families, schools, hospitals, homes, businesses, power sources, water supplies and sewage treatment. A profound humanitarian crisis confronts the people of Gaza.

As friends of the Israeli and Palestinian people and as supporters of peace, justice, equality and democracy we encourage Connecticut to join the growing non-violent resistance movement protesting Israel's violations of human rights and International law. We ask that Connecticut divest from Israeli bonds and join with the Presbyterian Church and other faith-based organization in divesting from Caterpillar, Hewlett Packard, and Motorola, all companies profiting from Israel's occupation of Palestine.

Connecticut has a tradition of social justice investment policy. During the tenure of Connecticut Treasure Henry Parker the State of Connecticut passed divestment legislation in support of the struggle for freedom and justice in South Africa. Bishop Desmond Tutu, a leader in the struggle against apartheid long ago warned that: "If I were to change the names, a description of what is happening in Gaza and the West Bank could describe the events in South Africa." Today it is much worse. Bishop Desmond Tutu has recently joined several Nobel Peace Laureates and other voices of conscience such as American writer Alice Walker and Israeli historian Ilan Pappé in calling for a military embargo on Israel, similar to that imposed on South Africa during apartheid.

Connecticut should express its solidarity with the voices for peace and justice by divesting from Israeli bonds, Israeli companies and other corporations that are profiting from the ongoing occupation.

Sincerely,

Elizabeth Aaronsohn, We Refuse to Be Enemies
Shelly Altman, Jewish Voice for Peace-New Haven
Mongi Dhaouadi, Executive Director, Council on American-Islamic Relations-CT
Chris Garaffa, ANSWER-CT
Stanley Heller, Executive Director, Middle East Crisis Committee
Rev. Allie Perry
Joyce Rawitscher
John Fussell, Mike Winterfield, Tree of Life Educational Fund