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Statement of Some Denver-Boulder Jews In Support of the Boulder-Nablus Sister City Project

May 4, 2013

Nablus, West Bank

The following letter, originally signed by 11 local area Jews, has been submitted to the Boulder Daily Camera:

(Note: Although the letter has already been submitted, more names of people willing to sign keep coming in and as they do, I will post ALL of them here at the blog site which is also posted on Facebook; We are now up to 40 Jewish signers and two supporters with names still coming in)

To the Boulder Daily Camera:

We, the undersigned, members of the Boulder – Denver – Longmont more broadly based Jewish Community of Colorado, want to express our support for the current proposal being placed before the Boulder City Council, for Boulder to establish a `Sister-City’ relationship with the city of Nablus, West Bank, Palestine. People-to-People projects such as the “Sister City” program are highly effective in increasing good will, dialogue and open communication between and among communities. To this end  we want to encourage the Boulder City Council to pass this resolution

Some of us who have signed this letter are religious Jews, some not, but we all believe such People-to- People initiatives are important and within Boulder’s long tradition of humanism and empathy for people everywhere. We see such a gesture very much as `a Jewish thing’ to do, to express our sympathy for a people who has long suffered and who deserves the justice and dignity long denied it. There is nothing anti-Semetic, anti-Jewish, or quite frankly, even anti-Israel about such an initiative as some have suggested. To the contrary, it is, instead, a gesture of friendship.

We urge the Boulder City Council to support this initiative.

Signed (in alphabetical order)

Members of the Jewish Community:

Bob Bronstein, Sonia Bronstein, Les Canges, Ira Chernus, Nancy Commins, Ami Dayan, Michael Dayan, Joel Edelstein, Melodye Feldman, Zhenya Gallon, Alan Gilbert, Joan Graff, Irving Greenbaum, Karla Horowitz, Cheryl Kasson, Jennifer Klein, Henry Kroll, Randall Kuhn, Leslie Lomas, Pat Madsen, Tom Mayer, Barbara Millman, Rabbi Adam Morris, Charles Nadler, Danny Postel, Abbie Prince, Mollly Prince, Rob Prince, Doug Reichlin, Dr. Ilene Naomi Rusk, Sheldon Sands, Miriam Schiff, Ruth Seagull, Lynn Segal, Barry Sharoff, Rob Smoke, Elissa Tivona, Evan Weissman, Juliet Wittman, Betty Zeitman


Arnie Carter, Pete Peterson

14 Comments leave one →
  1. Alan Gilbert permalink
    May 4, 2013 10:08 am

    Just got back. Please add my name if it’s still possible

    Sent from my iPhone

  2. May 4, 2013 11:46 am

    Sounds like a better than good idea.

    • May 4, 2013 11:51 am

      hello will…robbie

      (to other friends who read this blog…will – who comes from cleveland and i believe still lives in the area – and i were roommates our freshman year at St. Lawrence University, upstate New York – now a mere 50!!! years ago, precisely academic year 1962-1963. he is a wonderful professional photographer.)

  3. May 4, 2013 2:27 pm

    this in an email from one of the statement signers

    “I might have added that I can think of no more appropriate sister city for Boulder than Nablus, which shares Boulder’s mountainous terrain, natural beauty, and history of religious tolerance.”


  4. May 4, 2013 7:38 pm

    Please add my name if it is appropriate for a non-Boulder, but Denver based Rabbi to sign …

    Rabbi Adam Morris, Temple Micah, Denver, CO

    • May 4, 2013 7:46 pm

      dear rabbi morris,

      i cannot thank you enough. yes, it is appropriate. about half of us are from denver, the other half from boulder,

      best wishes,

      rob p

  5. May 5, 2013 6:02 am

    from a Boulder based psycho-therapist…by email

    Thank you for doing this. As a Jew and traveler to Israel and The West Bank I support all of this. Please add my name to your list.

    I also have an interest in and invitation from the Director Humaira Wakill of Tomorrow’s Youth Organization in Nablus to visit them in August 2013 or set up a skype workshop ( depending on environmental factors)

    I am a psychotherapist trained in EMDR and would be training their teachers on the use of resourcing, Tai Chi and EMDR as a tool to decrease PTSD and emotional trigger responses in the youth. This would increase their ability to self soothe and reduce physical symptoms of trauma. We would be putting together a manual that would be translated into Arabic for the intern teachers and staff.

    Right now being directed to funding and a non profit to work with is my largest project.

    Again thank you, thank you.

  6. May 5, 2013 6:10 am

    from a long-time Boulder resident by email…

    The sudden effort by some in Boulder to head off the creation of Sister City relationship between the City of Boulder and the City of Nablus seems misguided at best.

    As you know, I am an active Unitarian Universalist by faith and affiliation however my ancestry is Jewish from the Pale of Russia. For generations, we have been an anti-war family active for peace and justice.

    Our first family members to live in Colorado arrived in service in the war against Nazi Germany and I stood with CU civil rights supporters on the Boulder Campus while my father’s brother and wife marched with Dr. King on August 28, 1963 !

  7. May 5, 2013 12:04 pm

    by email from a Jewish Boulder resident…

    My letter supporting the sister city project between Boulder and Nablus appeared May 4th in the Daily Camera. I was one of the 35 original letter writers to the Boulder City Council supporting the sister city project. In that letter I mentioned that I was Jewish. I too feel that the ADL should totally change its leadership and realize that they are not reaching young
    members of the American Jewish community who do not support Israel policies without questioning the wisdom of those policies and are often much more critical of the treatment of the Palestinians living in the west bank than their parents.

    Please add me to your distribution list too,

  8. May 7, 2013 6:32 pm


    All of your good intentions notwithstanding, the Boulder-Nablus sister city proposal is not the benign apolitical humanitarian effort you believe it to be. Below is a comment that appeared in the Boulder Daily Camera recently following a letter to the editor. It is in response to the letter writer stating, “If the good citizens of Boulder really want to hang out with terrorists and jihadists, I’m sure that they will find a way in which to do so.”

    In light of the disturbing revelations below, I implore you to reconsider your support for this project. Readily available additional information about Nablus, including its’ residents electing a Hamas-dominated city council and its’ proud status as a terrorist launching pad for killing innocent Israelis might also be eye-opening.

    Thank you for considering this.

    There is one resident of Boulder who has ALREADY been “hanging out with terrorists and jihadists” and that’s exactly how this toxic and fraudulent “sister city” scheme got started.

    The scheme was hatched by Guy Benintendi, who in his blog, “The State of Palestine” identifies himself as an anti-Israel, pro-Palestinian, pro-terrorism extremist.

    “Pro-Palestinian” for Mr. Benentendi means support for HAMAS’ goal of the elimination of the State of Israel and its’ replacement with a theocratic Islamic state of Palestine which encompasses “every inch” of Israel. There is a picture in circulation of Mr. Benintendi standing out on the street waving his “Zionism is Racism” sign.

    “Pro-terrorism”, in Mr. Benintendi’s own words, means support for HAMAS’ pledge to perpetual violent jihad against Israel:

    ” I’m wondering why it’s important for HAMAS to renounce violence when the US and Israel, both of whom use violence to a far greater extent and are much better armed, are unwilling to do the same.”

    Mr. Benintendi is also a practice-what-you-preach kind of guy. In Sept-Oct. 2010, Mr. Benentendi drove a truck in the “Viva Palestine” convoy which delivered “millions of dollars worth” of material aid to HAMAS in the Gaza Strip. (Source: Mr. Benintendi’s blog: “The State of Palestine”)

    Small problem: under the U.S. federal “material support” statute, 18 U.S.C. § 2339B, “It is unlawful for a U.S. citizen or a person who is located in the United States to knowingly provide material support or resources to a designated Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO).” And HAMAS is at the top of the U.S./EU FTO list.

    This makes Mr. Benintendi a federal criminal suspect in addition to a pro-terrorism death-to-Israel fanatic. This is serious business these days. Violation of the “material support” statute is punishable by up to 15 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $250,000. Now that he has been exposed through his “sister city” scheme, it is probably a matter of time until Mr. Benentendi will be speaking with the FBI. It’s hard to imagine that taking supplies to HAMAS, along with his other trips to the Palestinian territories, haven’t also earned Mr. Benintendi a spot on the U.S. Terrorism Watch List.

    In a blog post during his mission to supply aid to HAMAS, Mr. Benintendi’s wrote, “From discussions I’ve had with Muslim members of the convoy I’ve learned that this mission we’ve undertaken is, to them, a form of jihad.” Mr. Benintendi voices no objection or unwillingness to being involved in jihad.

    Mr. Benentendi’s sister city scheme is not original. During the supply convey to HAMAS, Mr. Benintendi became a protege of George Galloway (there is a picture of them yucking-it-up together on Mr. Benintendi’s blog). Mr. Galloway is a British MP and a leading anti-semitic and anti-Israel militant. He was expelled from the Labour Party for his extremist views and activities. Mr. Galloway is from Dundee, Scotland, a city which flew the Palestinian flag inside its’ city hall. And, whaddaya know, Mr. Galloway worked to get Dundee to make Nablus a sister city.

    Just months after meeting Mr. Galloway, Mr. Benintendi’s hatched his very own Boulder-Nablus sister city “project.”

    In a nutshell, the objective of this “project” is to create an official Boulder-sanctioned propaganda channel to justify Islamic terrorism and promote the HAMAS/Iranian “final solution” plan for the destruction of Israel. The plan is to hijack the sister city ideal, along with the official prestige and credibilty of the City Of Boulder ,as a front for his toxic and dangerous scheme.

    Advocating hatred and support for terror have no place in Boulder. This scheme must be stopped.

  9. July 27, 2013 10:57 pm

    Hello, There’s no doubt that your website may be having internet browser compatibility issues. When I take a look at your site in Safari, it looks fine however, if opening in Internet Explorer, it has some overlapping issues. I simply wanted to provide you with a quick heads up! Besides that, great site!


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