|For Immediate Release: February 23rd, 2005|
|Contact: || ||Mitchell Plitnick or Liat Weingart 510-465-1777|
JVP welcomes end of punitive home demolitions, calls for end to all home demolitions
OAKLAND, CA - February 23, 2005 - Jewish Voice for Peace, a leader in the global campaign to pressure Caterpillar to stop selling bulldozers to the Israeli army, welcomes Israel's recent decision to stop demolishing Palestinian homes in retaliation for suicide attacks.
"JVP has long argued that by punishing innocent people, home demolitions inflame hatred and recruit more potential suicide bombers," said JVP member Adam Gutride. "We are pleased that Israel has ended the practice after its army committee came to the same conclusion. However, contrary to news headlines, most home demolitions still continue."
The vast majority of the homes that Israel destroys are not connected to suicide bombings. Instead, the largest number of homes are demolished either because Israel wants the land they are on for military purposes or settlements, or for permit violations. Israel systematically denies building permits to Palestinians while granting them to Jewish settlers. While applauding Israel's decision to end punitive home demolitions, JVP calls on Israel to stop these home demolitions as well.
All home demolitions egregiously violate Palestinian human rights and harm Israel by inflaming hatred.
Until home demolitions end, Jewish Voice for Peace will continue its campaign to convince U.S.-based Caterpillar Corporation to stop selling bulldozers to the Israeli army. Specially designed Caterpillar bulldozers are sold to the Israeli army and used to topple Palestinian homes and uproot orchards. Jewish Voice for Peace has sponsored a resolution questioning the sales, to be debated at Caterpillar's annual shareholder meeting April 13, 2005.
About Jewish Voice for Peace
Founded in 1996, Jewish Voice for Peace is a national grassroots peace organization dedicated to promoting a US foreign policy in the Middle East based on peace, democracy, human rights and respect for international law. With some 10,000 supporters and members, JVP's board of Jewish American and Israeli advisors includes Pulitzer and Tony award winner Tony Kushner, actor Ed Asner, poet Adrienne Rich as well as other respected rabbis, artists, scholars and activists.