|Chairman Tim Brown and other respected committee members,
My name is Ribhi Daoud, professor of Economics at Sinclair Community College, Dayton, Ohio.
I was born and raised in the West Bank, then moved to US after finishing high school. I have lived and experienced Israeli occupation during my youth years.
For the sake of giving peace in Middle East a chance, I urge you to oppose HB 476, and support the BDS movement.
Since 1948, Israel has subjected the Palestinian people to ethnic cleansing (Extrajudicial killings, tortures, deportations, land confiscation, crop and farm destruction, brutal military check points, racism, discrimination, home demolishing, curfew, high unemployment and poverty). Under Israeli occupation, Palestinians lack basic economic and human rights. Since the occupation of the West Bank in 1967, Israel has rejected Palestinian calls for freedom, justice, economic, and political rights. Under Israeli occupation, Palestinians have no citizenship, no statehood, and no rights, live in fear and despair. Israeli soldiers and armed Israeli settlers have free hands to attack and kill Palestinians without accountability.
Israel rejects Palestinian rights to their own statehood, rejects one state solution for all people to have equal rights and live in democracy and peace, rejects annexing the Palestinian territories and provide Palestinians Israeli citizenship. Israel is not interested in peace. These facts are documented by US State Department, Amnesty, international human rights organizations, and other UN institutions.
Israel wants to engage Palestinians in an endless and meaningless rounds of negotiations for the sake of negotiation that have gone for decades without producing any positive move toward peace. On the contrary, since OSLO accords, 1992, prospects for peace have diminished and Israeli brutality against Palestinians have increased.
I believe without exerting economic and political pressure on Israel, Israel will continue the occupation, apartheid, and ethnic cleansing of Palestinian people. If Palestinians will have no freedom with no peace, then Israel will have no freedom and no peace. The land belongs and must be shared equally among Jews, Christians, and Muslims.
BDS is one effort on the right path to pressure Israel to come to terms with justice and peace.
Please note, HB 476 is unconstitutional; boycotting Israel is a political right under the First Amendment.
During The American Revolution, the Sons of Liberty led the campaign to boycott British imports.
Jewish groups have boycotted Nazi good in 1933.
There are increasing number of organizations and activists who support BDS to end occupation and bring about peace such as Jewish Voice for Peace, US Campaign to End the Occupation, US Report on National Interest, Move on, and several US church denominations have approved divestment of their pension funds from US companies that profit from Israeli occupation.
Please be the voice for justice and peace, vote against HB 476; it is ethical, moral, human, and political obligation to do so.