In November, the Durham Human Relations Commission (HRC) presented a draft proposal recommending that the Durham City Council removes the singling out of Israel from their divisive and discriminatory April 16 statement.
Rene Paul de la Varre, a valued friend and ally of the Jewish community, wrote the Durham HRC the heartfelt letter printed below. We are proud to have such strong allies as Rene.
Read more letters to the Durham HRC here.
Letter to the Durham Human Relations Commission
December 1, 2018
Dear Ms. Standaert, and Mr. Correa,
I want to compliment and thank you and your committee for the excellent draft report which I have read. No doubt, the April 16 statement from the Durham City Council singling out Israel was wrong. The group who initiated this is known for their anti-Israel activism, who constantly base their opinion on lies and disinformation. I am not Jewish, but my Jewish friends feel unwelcomed in Durham, targeted, and marginalized by the reckless actions of the Durham City Council. I am in pain because my Jewish friends are in pain. “Durham for all” should include the Jewish minority.
I have also lived and worked in Israel on five different occasions. I respect your hard work, therefore, I purposely left out a list of seminars police departments around the country have had in Israel. All who took part raved about what they had learned.
I have followed this situation closely. The City Council fast-tracked anti-Israel foreign policy using non-transparent procedures that make the Jewish community and their allies feel marginalized. Your draft report captures this injustice using evidence and research. Thank you!
I implore all HRC commissioners to do the right thing. Support the draft as its official position for the good of Durham, its Jewish minority, and our country.
Rene Paul de la Varre
Chapel Hill, NC