Letters to the Editor - BDS

 

Selling stolen land? That is exactly what companies like RE/MAX are doing and we need your help in convincing RE/MAX to set standards that would prohibit its franchises from selling land in illegally occupied Palestinian territories, and from referring clients to agents engaging in this ILLEGAL action!  

Writing a letter to the editor is a great way to get the word out about this issues and to put pressure on companies like RE/MAX to follow through with their promises to cease profiting from the oppression of the Palestinian people. A letter doesn’t have to be long- in fact, short is better! In Central New York, letters should be sent to the Post Standard at letters@syracuse.com. Here are some suggested talking points to get you started:  

  1. RE/MAX and its franchises currently sell and advertise land in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, which is a violation of international law prohibiting the settlement of citizens from an occupying nation in occupied territory.

  2. This also violates RE/MAX’s own corporate principles of supporting community development and avoiding actions that would bring about harm to the public.

  3. The actions of RE/MAX contribute to the displacement of Palestinian men, women, and children who are forced from their homes by the creation of Israeli settlements, sponsored and incentivized by the Israeli state.

  4. Palestinians have a right to return to their homeland and to be free from the discrimination and oppression they currently face under the Apartheid state created by the Israeli occupation.  

  5. RE/MAX CEO Dave Liniger recently announced that RE/MAX would no longer pursue profit in the Occupied Palestinian Territories- but we need to press for corporate accountability and make sure that RE/MAX follows through with its promises!

  6. Economic sanctions are an important way of pressuring Israel to cease its violations of Palestinian human rights, and the BDS (Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions) movement is a crucial part of this effort!

  7. The Syracuse Peace Council and CODEPINK held a demonstration on July 15 outside RE/MAX offices in Fayetteville, asking RE/MAX to follow through with setting standards prohibiting their franchises from selling land in Occupied Palestine and from sending clients to agents who continue to do so.  Demonstrations and peaceful protests like these are another way to show corporation that we as citizsens will hold them accountable for their actions, and to expose the truth about how RE/MAX and other corporations benefit from (and facilitate) the oppression of the Palestinian people!

If you have other concerns or knowledge surrounding the conflict and the involvement of corporations like RE/MAX, feel free to include these points, as well!  You can also find information about the Peace Council’s 10 Solidarity Points with the Palestinian people at:

http://www.peacecouncil.net/programs/justice-for-palestine/10-solidarity-points

As always, don’t hesitate to contact the SPC office us here at (315) 472-5478, we’d be happy to answer any question you might have!

And finally, here is an example of what an LTE might look like.  You can feel free to copy any language you find here, or you can choose to focus more specifically on one of the points touched on very briefly in this “overview” letter.

To the Editor,

For most of us in the US, real estate companies are nothing to be afraid of.  But for the Palestinians who have been forced from their homes by Israeli settlements, companies like RE/MAX are another threat to their lives.  By selling property in these illegal settlements, RE/MAX violates international and humanitarian law prohibiting the settlement of an occupying nation’s citizens in occupied territory, and violates its self-stated corporate values.  The corporation and its franchises have pledged to support community development and to avoid engaging in activities harming the public.  Yet the sale of land in occupied Palestine clearly harms the millions who have been forced from their rightful homes and deprived of their way of life.  RE/MAX has shown some sense in response to a recent overture from the Presbyterian Church; CEO Dave Liniger declared that RE/MAX would no longer pursue profit in Israeli settlements.  However, much work remains to be done: a myriad of other corporations from G4S to Motorola continue to benefit from the oppression and displacement of the Palestinian people, and citizens must push for corporate accountability by continuing to engage in peaceful actions like the demonstration organized this Friday outside RE/MAX offices in Fayetteville.  Economic sanctions are crucial in pressuring Israel to cease violations of Palestinian human rights, and while opinions differ on what exactly the political solution to this ongoing conflict may be, we must continue to mount a unified resistance to this international tragedy.  Let Dave Liniger’s decision be only the first step in the journey towards peace and justice in the Middle East.  

Remember to include your name and address, and don’t worry if you don’t get published- the more people write, the more we will show RE/MAX and the world that we care!

Thanks for your support and we hope you’ll put your pen (or keyboard) in action to help bring about Justice for Palestine!

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