Jewish Federation of Greater New Orleans Statement on New Orleans City Council Resolution R-18-5

Over the past several days, the Jewish Federation of Greater New Orleans and the South Central Region of the Anti-Defamation League have worked tirelessly together to address the unconstructive and controversial passage of last week’s New Orleans City Council resolution R-18-5, which was trumpeted as a victory by proponents of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement. We have worked around the clock to educate and engage Council members, members of Mayor-Elect Cantrell’s transition team, and other community leaders about BDS and to push corrective action on what we view as a resolution steeped in both procedural and substantive flaws from the Council. We have jointly advocated that the resolution be both reconsidered and then withdrawn by the Council, the procedural mechanism the Council would utilize to reverse the resolution.


We are encouraged that Council President Jason Williams released a statement (please see below) unequivocally voicing support for Israel and the Jewish community, and indicating his intent to pursue corrective action on the resolution.


It is likely that the Council will take action next week, on January 25, and we will provide you further details as we receive them. We still have work to do but we wanted you to know this is a top-of-mind issue for us and that both Federation and ADL are acting assertively as it relates to this important matter. We invite you to reach out personally to any of us should you have any questions or otherwise wish to discuss. Thank you.


We also ask that you continue to reach out to the New Orleans City Council in a constructive and respectful fashion on this topic – here’s how to reach out to the Council members: http://nolacitycouncil.com/meet/meet.asp. 


 

Official Statement from City Council President Jason Williams on Human Rights Resolution


I am sad to say that I was not aware of the "BDS movement," its origin or its mission. I have spent my time since Friday morning educating myself on the complex, long history of these movements and issues in our city and worldwide.  Let me be very clear to citizens of New Orleans and citizens of the world; this City Council is not anti-Israel. That sentiment is inconsistent with the Council's actions and certainly mine personally. Earlier in last Thursday's meeting, we spent twice as much time than on R-18-5 praising the decades of work and collaboration of the Jewish community here in New Orleans. It was certainly not our intention to close the meeting with an insult. This clearly occurred, and that was unintentional.


Although I did not draft this ordinance or participate in its construction, after being asked last week by a fellow Councilmember I did agree to co-sponsor it based on a reading of the language within the four corners of the document and its articulated intended purpose as a resolution on human rights.  I do not believe it was introduced under suspension for any nefarious purpose. However, it is clear that it was certainly a mistake in doing so.  Because of the introduction under suspension, the discussion of the resolution before the City Council vote was not a diverse space of various viewpoints. It did not give notice or opportunity to dear friends and New Orleans residents who rightly feel deeply aggrieved by this vote. Therefore, I think it is important to reconsider this matter.  I will be moving to reconsider this item at the next City Council meeting on the regular agenda to allow for the opportunity to hear from all perspectives.

  • Edie & Paul Rosenblum Gift of Israel

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    A trip to Israel is one of the most important formative experiences in your child's Jewish development - and the Edie and Paul Rosenblum Gift of Israel Program can unlock this exper...

    Learn more here.

    A trip to Israel is one of the most important formative experiences in your child's Jewish development - and th...

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UPCOMING IN NEW ORLEANS

Jan

21

Jewish Community Center Annual Meeting

Jewish Community Center 5342 St. Charles Avenue
New Orleans, LA 70115

Jan

22

Temple Sinai Executive Committee Meeting

6227 St. Charles Ave.
New Orleans, LA 70118

Jan

22

Jewish Community Day School-Board Meeting

Beit Midrash at the Goldring-Woldenberg Jewish Community Campus 3747 W. Esplanade Ave
Metairie, LA 70002