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Cambridge, Mass., Home Of Harvard And MIT, Turns Away BDS Resolution

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (JTA) — A campaign calling on the city of Cambridge, Massachusetts to not renew its contract with Hewlett Packard because of its business ties with Israel was dealt a setback when a group behind the proposed boycott failed to get its resolution placed on the City Council’s agenda for its next scheduled meeting.

Mass Against HP, or MAHP, a group that includes Jewish Voice for Peace Boston and Mass Peace Action, initiated a resolution to end municipal contracts with Hewlett Packard Incorporated and Hewlett Packard Enterprise for what it claims is the company’s role in human rights violations by providing technology used by Israel against Palestinians.

As part of its campaign, the group met with city councilors and Mayor Marc McGovern to seek a sponsor for its resolution. That was expected to happen on April 23.

But in the last week, as word of the resolution spread, three of the Boston area’s largest Jewish organizations, who were taken by surprise, responded with a coordinated campaign to oppose the boycott.

Leaders of the New England American Jewish Committee, Anti-Defamation League New England region and Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Boston met with McGovern and nearly all of the city councilors.

Late Thursday afternoon, the city council published its agenda for the April 23 meeting without the proposed resolution, meaning that it would not be considered.

“We have been gratified to learn some of the City Councilors have heard us, and the resolution to boycott HP will not be put to vote on April 23rd,” the groups wrote in an email.

Cambridge, a city of more than 110,000, is home to two synagogues, several independent minyans, at least two Chabads, and two Hillel student organizations, at Harvard University and MIT.

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