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Unlike universities, where highly publicized petitions are often the tools the divest-from-Israel movement uses to draw attention to their cause, municipalities can be unwittingly drafted into this conflict by appealing to a small set of elected representatives.

As with divest-from-Israel activities in other forums, the goal is the same: to get a local organization (in this case a city or town) to lend its name to an effort to both punish the Jewish state and isolate it as the most egregious human-rights abuser on the planet, on par with the Apartheid government of South Africa in the 1980s. The divest-from-Israel movement's vocabulary, rife with Apartheid analogies, is testament to this strategy.

Because most cities and towns have retirement accounts that may invest internationally, or invest in defense contractors or other US companies that do business with the Jewish state, divest-from-Israel movement has many opportunities to find a "hook" to reel in a municipality, by claiming that such holdings represent a city or town's "investment" in the Israeli side of the Israeli-Palestinian dispute and calling for divestment as a means to "level the playing field."

Fortunately, such activity can be halted by local representatives becoming informed about the Middle East dispute and the true nature of the divest-from-Israel movement as just another arm of the propaganda war against Israel.

To date, the city of Somerville in Massachusetts serves as an example of how close the divest-from-Israel movement came to success, and how citizen opposition stopped their activity in its tracks. This section of DivestmentWatch provides information on Somerville's experience to help activists in other cities and towns deal with similar activities in their communities.

The complete story of Somerville's success in turning back a divest-from-Israel campaign

SomervilleMEjustice.com - A Web site established to battle the divest-from-Israel campaign in Somerville

Divestment Project - The Somerville Divestment Project's own Web site

Resources - Tools to help you.
© 2005 Divestment Watch