POINT OF VIEW

Interesting — and erroneous — views about Israel, Palestine

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(re: “Sorry, this is not antisemitism,” June 9)

P.T. Barnum, the great showman and circus impresario, aptly observed: “Many people are gullible, and we can expect this to continue.”

Wayne Price proves the point in his uninformed and baseless assault on Israel and in supporting the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement — an entity that mindlessly follows a course similar to that charted by Hamas. That’s the terrorist organization branded as such by the United States, the European Union and other mainstays of civilized society — and is part of a course that avowedly seeks to undermine and harm Israel and its people.

To support his claims, Mr. Price relies on the utterances at a recent demonstration of followers of a handful of organizations lacking in any international human rights or foreign policy credentials, and whose outcries against Israel can best be judged by their utter silence on China’s brutalization of the Muslim Uyghurs, Russia’s barbaric war crimes against the Ukrainian people, Bashar al-Assad’s slaughter of the Syrian people, or Iran’s unconcealed assaults on democratic institutions in the Middle East, to name just a few of the barbarians who “strangely escape” the professed human rights ire of those organizations and Mr. Price.

That silence and their failure to even chide those butchers speaks volumes.

Mr. Price justifies his support of BDS as one warranted by Israel’s “current policies toward Palestinian Arabs.” However, those who would know best simply do not credit Mr. Price’s musings or support his attacks on Israel’s government.

Notably, Mr. Price ignores — or simply does not know, or care — that the mainstays of the Israeli government he attacks are the Arab political parties and the Arab elected representatives in Israel’s parliament, or Knesset. Without that continuing Arab support and vote, that Israeli government would not have come into being, nor could it continue in office.

Despite slurs such as those Mr. Price echoes, that Arab support remains steadfast — they know better.

Mr. Price also supports his claims by reference to Gaza and its existence as a “vast prison camp.” Again unmentioned is the fact that the self-appointed Warden of that camp is Hamas and its acolytes, who promptly execute all dissenting voices, turn its children into unwitting hostages and victims, while proudly proclaiming Hamas’ slaughter of innocent women, children and the elderly in Israel. Who stone visitors to the Western (or Wailing) Wall, whether there to pray or as tourists of many faiths and denominations. Who use the money that they extort from witless State Department officialdom and others to encourage murder and mayhem by, among other devices, significant bonus payments to the families of the culprits.

And who bombard, maim and murder civilians with daggers, missiles, firebombs and Molotov cocktails, just to show they can do that.

And as for the two-state solution Mr. Price advocates, absent the elimination Hamas and Iranian subversion, that “solution” would simply exacerbate concerns by enlarging and further empowering the Hamas-Iranian cesspool of violence and cruelty to its Arab population and neighbors. Indeed that was a realized prediction in the unfortunate determination to separate Gaza and provide it self-governance rights — only to have Hamas seize power.

Israel’s government, like most governments under continuing assault from mindless murderers, is not without shortcomings. Neither is our own government without fault — like betraying its allies on the exit from Afghanistan, thereby exposing them to execution and torture.

So, too, are many of us at fault in suffering leaders of one of this nation’s two major political parties in their effort to justify the seditious Jan. 6, 2021, assault on America’s basic institutions by equating an assault on democracy with peaceful Black Lives Matter marches for justice.

Yet, the proponents of BDS’ hateful call to injustice and intolerance are single-minded in their targeted attacks on Israel and its Jewish people, and by their conduct and their single-minded focus they loudly proclaim their true purpose and intent.

Councilman Eric Dinowitz was entirely correct and is to be applauded for his courageous and well-founded denunciation of antisemitic bigotry as manifested by the BDS claims and demands. To paraphrase a late and great former dean of the Fordham University School of Law “only a fool or a rogue” would accept — let alone utter — the nonsensical and baseless propaganda that Hamas dishes out, and which the gullible swallow.

Regrettably, one final observation is appropriate. Data compiled by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and other agencies demonstrates that antisemitism and other espousals of toxic hate continue, largely unabated. The fight against hateful words and deeds is not aided by affording a platform to its disseminators or uninformed proponents, let alone one that is flawed by an unfounded premise.

The June 2 story in The Riverdale Press that precipitated Mr. Price’s letter advanced in its opening paragraph a factually unfounded premise, justifying the pro-BDS demonstration by equating it with the opposition to Apartheid in South Africa (without mentioning that American Jews and their organizations were, unsurprisingly,  in the forefront of those anti-Apartheid efforts in view of their people having historically been the victims of Apartheid). The parallel that served as the touchstone of the story is non-existent, and the premise is wrong.

Unlike Apartheid’s victims, Israel’s Arab population not only votes, but is an essential part of the current Israeli government. Druze and other Arabs serve in the defense forces and law enforcement. They are not barred from Israeli public and private facilities, shops, professions or economic opportunities.

Further like examples of critical differentiation abound.  The unfortunate error merited correction.

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