Anti-Israel is not anti-Semitism
Dear Editor,Some community members claim that criticizing Israel means condemning Jews. A person who disagrees with the policies of the government of Israel isn’t necessarily anti-Israel, let alone anti-Semitic. In fact, it could be argued that one cares deeply for the fate of Israel who condemns the policies and practices that endanger her well-being. The goal of discussion is to remove the barriers that prevent a secure and peaceful Israel.The idea of anti-Semitism stirs deep passions in the Jewish community and throughout society, as it should. Anti-Semitism is an abhorrent practice that provokes hatred and violence. As with any bigotry, it should be exposed and confronted. Using the word anti-Semite to describe those who criticize Israel, though, waters down its otherwise powerful indictment of true intolerance.While humanitarian tragedies exist in places like Darfur, American tax money doesn’t go toward funding their government sponsored atrocities. Because Israel receives more U.S. aid than any other nation, American citizens have a right to critique the policies that we are funding. One of the main reasons we were attacked on 9/11 was because of U.S. support of Israel. Again, it’s our right to protest our government’s support of Israel because that support provokes violence toward us.Just as the U.S. pressures other nations to adhere to humanitarian principles by offering incentives as a requirement to receiving U.S. aid, Israel should comply with the International Bill of Rights (http://www.ohchr.org/english/about/publications/docs/fs2.htm) [cut this?]. Additionally, the U.S. should stop vetoing U.N. resolutions requiring Israel to return the land it has confiscated to its rightful owners or give them proper compensation. To achieve peace with its neighbors, Israel must retreat to pre-1967 legal boundaries.These actions by the U.S. would prove to the Arabs that we do not favor Jews over Muslims, and truly stand for justice for all. It would be much harder to recruit young Muslims to jihad against Israel or the U.S. if the legitimate grievances of the Arab world were addressed properly.A free and open discussion of the possible obstruction that Israel’s government policies pose to its own peace and security as well as our own can only be beneficial to the future of both our nations and should not be stifled by allegations of hatred toward Jews.Sue GrayCarbondale
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