To the editor:

Regarding your March 30 coverage of the Associated Students of Madison open forum on a proposed resolution calling for the University of Wisconsin to divest from corporations that profit from oppression and environmental devastation in both the U.S. and Israel:

A Badger Herald reporter described Jewish students who spoke against the divestment resolution as being Jewish and described Jewish students who spoke for the resolution as being “Jewish-identifying.” I wonder if this discriminatory wording reflects the reporter’s own political bias or simply the reporter’s lack of knowledge about Judaism.

ASM indefinitely postpones divestment resolution after hours of heated debateAfter six hours of heated debate, the University of Wisconsin Associated Students of Madison voted 13-12-1 to postpone a resolution demanding the Read…

In any event, as a Jew myself, I would like to clarify for The Badger Herald and its readers that all the Jewish students who spoke either for or against the resolution were not merely Jewish-identifying, but Jewish. Those who spoke in favor of the resolution are, like me, Jews of conscience. Jews of conscience do not want their freedom to be contingent on the lack of freedom for others. American Jews of conscience believe in fighting for democracy both in the U.S. and Israel, countries where the bulk of our tax dollars go.

We believe a country that provides ample water and electricity for some and purposely withholds it from others is not a democracy. We believe a country that protects the homes of some and routinely demolishes the homes of others is not a democracy. We believe a country that requires large segments of its population to spend hours each day going through checkpoints and lets others move freely is not a democracy. We believe corporations that profit from such human rights abuses should be held accountable for their actions. We believe divestment is an effective, nonviolent means of accomplishing this goal and ultimately ending the abuses.

Anti-divestment ideas are latest in long trend of oppression“Anti-Semitic.” “Hateful.” “Divisive.” “Disgusting.” These were all words I heard as descriptions for the Associated Students of Madison resolution targeting companies Read…

Two UW Jewish students of conscience who spoke on behalf of the divestment resolution are, like me, members of Jewish Voice for Peace-Madison. JVP-Madison is one of about 70 chapters in a national grassroots organization that works for justice and equality for both Israelis and Palestinians. I am very proud of these JVP members for speaking their conscience at the forum and for being on the right side of history.

Fran Zell ([email protected]) is a founding member of Jewish Voice for Peace-Madison.