Saturday, August 20, 2016

To the Editor:

Sadly, Israel has become a rogue nation and a pariah state to much of the international community. Human rights abuses, military occupation, illegal settlements, home demolitions, brutal invasions (resulting in the deaths of over 500 children), and a cruel blockade that causes food and water shortages for more than a million Palestinians all contribute to Israel’s isolation in the world.  

Of course, Israel needs to be criticized and Israel needs to change. Any government (whether it be China, Saudi Arabia, Hondouras, or the US) needs to be criticized when repeatedly violating human rights and inflicting humiliation and suffering on innocent peoples. The state of Israel could not commit any of these abuses without the $3.5 Billion of US taxpayers dollars that go to Israel every year.  

Clearly, it is not anti-semitic to criticize the policies of the government of Israel. The sad truth is that Israel’s policies and actions have generated a worldwide backlash of antagonism and hatred towards Israel. And tragically, Israel’s policies and actions incite and provoke those who are genuinely anti-semitic.  

I would encourage Americans who truly care about the future of Israel to advocate for changes in Israeli policy that would promote real peace and justice for all. The future is indeed bleak for an Israel bent on maintaining an apartheid, colonial, settler state. The future Israel may not look like a Zionist dream, but hopefully, it will be a peaceful and just nation inhabited by both Jews and Arabs. 

Eli Kassirer

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