Opinion: Israel’s many achievements don’t absolve its brand of apartheid

BDS movement supporter
An Egyptian man demonstrates in front of the logo of BDS, the pro-Palestinian movement urging a boycott of Israel.
(Amr Nabil / Associated Press)

To the editor: The author states that the effort to find similarities between Israel’s brand of apartheid and that of South Africa’s is different because “there are too many people in the world who admire Israel” as if this specious assertion absolves the state of Israel of any responsibility for its brutal military occupation of the Palestinians for the last six decades. (Re “An immoral boycott,” Opinion, June 29)

Do those who may admire the achievements of Israel understand that Palestinians were forced from their homes and land during the creation of Israel and now live in shelters in surrounding countries?

Not to allow the indigenous people to return to their homes is the moral issue facing the Jewish state and its standing in community of nations.

To demand that a state retain its Jewish majority at the expense of the native people is a supreme act of hubris and arrogance that lacks the essential components of both ethics and morality.


Joseph Tillotson, Redondo Beach


To the editor: Israel itself is the immoral threat to peace.

It was imposed upon the existing inhabitants without their consent and with the intention of expelling them and stealing their land and their nation.


For what? To create a nation of immigrants defined by racial/religious/ethnic characteristics that exclude the existing population.

When we recognize that Israel is a pariah state, BDS will be national and international policy.

Paul Larudee, El Cerrito


To the editor: Kudos to Yossi Klein Halevi for the succinct article explaining how the international, anti-Israel boycott divestment and sanctions movement, or the BDS, is “at once immoral and a threat to peace.”

It is indeed painful and puzzling to recognize the fact that even after the Holocaust there are still segments in the international community who seem to resent a Jewish presence in the world as well as the existence of Israel.

BDS is immoral because “it denies the anti-Jewish hate education on which generations of Arab children have been raised” and it spreads its hateful philosophy even in American universities.

Rhya Turovsky, Pasadena



To the editor: If the majority of Israelis favor two states, as Halevi notes, why does Israel continue to build settlements on the West Bank, the future Palestinian state?

It is unfair to blame the Palestinians for the decades-old conflict. Both sides have rejected peace proposals for various reasons.

It is past time for Israel and the Palestinians to end the impasse and establish two states, or a bi-national democratic state.

In the meantime, a peaceful boycott may persuade Israel, the stronger party, to stop building settlements and initiate peace talks.

Ruth Shapin, Orange


To the editor: Here’s a question for BDS: Why does the State of Israel not appear on Palestinian maps of the Middle East?


The answer is obvious: When Palestinians talk about “the occupation,” they’re not just talking about the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

They’re talking about Israel itself.

So who are the real bad guys in this never-ending conflict? The evidence speaks for itself.

Bruce Friedman, Los Angeles


To the editor: Halevi may be correct that the underlying BDS goal is to destroy Israel. But Halevi is wrong to use that as an excuse for Israel not to end the occupation and accept a Palestinian state alongside Israel.

Halevi says BDS supporters who want two-states are being duped. Maybe, but he refuses to understand that best way to destroy the BDS movement is for Israel to end the occupation, and let the BDS movement collapse when it loses the majority of its supporters whose goal is ending the occupation. Halevi does not seem to recognize that Israel’s constant expansion of settlements is the underlying strength of the BDS movement.

Rather than stop stealing Palestinian land by ending settlement expansion, Halevi prefers Israel to consolidate its hold on all the land.

The way forward to peace is for the U.S. to end its unflinching support of Israel that enables Israel’s refusal to make peace with Palestinians.

Jeff Warner, Los Angeles


To the editor: Divestment and boycotting Israeli goods is the least violent way to say NO to the State of Israel and its growing injustice against a people almost powerless in their fight for a homeland.

I am a Jewish American who once supported and loved Israel.

I am supporting the BDS movement not because I am an Israel hater but because of Israel’s vicious and often stupid actions. It has destroyed the moral fiber of a country I once saw as a beacon and haven for my people.

As long as we keep feeding Israel the billions of dollars that go to them every year, we are working against any peaceful solution.

Judith Markoff Hansen, Los Angeles


To the editor: I disagree that the anti-Israel boycott movement is a threat to peace. On the contrary, it is a non- violent form of resistance to decades of Israeli occupation, theft of Palestinian land, and monopolization of water.

As a non-Zionist Jew, I support equal rights for all in Israel, Palestine and the right of Palestinians to return to their homeland.

To deny them the right of return is analogous to barring Native Americans from their sacred land, something we would never expect the indigenous inhabitants here to accept because it would be tantamount to saying they had no right to exist in their homeland.

Marcy Winograd, Santa Monica

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