Pro-BDS rants have a ring of familiarity to them


(re: “A deeper look at BDS, antisemitism and reality,” Aug. 4)

Revealingly ignoring undeniable Russian butchery of Ukrainian civilians, China’s oppression of Uyghur Muslims in concentration camps, and Iranian and Syrian ethnic cleansing, Peter Wolf again directs his ire at Jews. He invokes misplaced moral principles to baselessly justify the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement’s assault on Israel and Jewry in an uninformed and inaccurate exegesis that seeks to warrant the savagery of those, like Hamas and Palestine Islamic Jihad, who mindlessly kill and maim Israeli civilians.

He does so by attacking the efforts to defend against such wholly immoral and unjustifiable excesses, and by his defense of BDS’s assault not just on Jews, but upon anyone who has any dealings with them  — by boycotting such non-Jewish fraternizers. And he makes clear his improper enablement of terror in the following terms: “Yes, sometimes Palestinians erupt in rage and kill Jews” as though killing Jews is a perfectly normal and acceptable pursuit.

It is not, and never again will be. 

Indeed, Mr. Wolf characterizes as “paranoid” those of us who survived the Holocaust, as well as those who did not but have the humanity and integrity to remember it and strive to resist repetition. Perhaps, I am “paranoid”  — at least by Mr. Wolf’s questionable standards. For more than 80 years, I have worn glasses and have diminished vision thanks to Gestapo antisemitic savagery inflicted in my youth and at a time when some — including some left-leaning biological Jews — thought Hitler’s professed dogma and brutality were an acceptable answer to the world’s ills. 

My mother and I escaped at literally the very last moment. My father, grandparents, aunts, uncles and the like were not so fortunate. Their fate was Treblinka, Auschwitz and like hellholes that Mr. Wolf never knew and chooses to ignore.

The Sonderkommando, the ”Judas goats” who led Jews — and non-Jews firm in their religious humanity and scruples — to those ovens and then cleaned up the remains, included many so-called “left-leaning groups” to use Mr. Wolf’s term, including biological Jews.

Many if not most of those miscreants had in the years preceding 1939 either sung Hitler’s praises and those of National Socialism, or determined “to go with the flow,” only to find they were ultimately not exempt and later finding their just reward in those same gas chambers or some other gruesome death.    

Indeed, that Mr. Wolf professes some biological link to Judaism in misdefining “chutzpah” and somehow warranting his rants is not only offensive, it is the true illustration of “chutzpah.” The observance of Judaism, like that of Christianity and any other religion, finds its essential roots in the adherence to moral principles, not the accident of birth.

Mr. Wolf is also wrong in seeking to justify or obfuscate the underlying evil that is BDS. James Sinkinson, the president of Facts and Logic About the Middle East, aptly illustrates the vice in his revealing discussion of one appalling current BDS venture — the Boston BDS “mapping project.”

This “project” has created a map and address book of nearly 500 allegedly “pro-Zionist” — i.e., pro-Israel — entities and individuals that “should be dismantled because of their support of ‘local entities and networks that enact devastation’ on Palestinians.”

Included among those “Zionist” offenders were such entities as Apple, Miscrosoft, Harvard Law School, the United Pentecostal Church, the Boston Herald, JPMorgan Chase, and local police and fire departments. Also included were two “left-leaning” politicians who seemingly fit Mr. Wolf’s template of “sound” thinking: U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren and U.S. Rep. Ayanna Presley, each of whom has opposed Israel — but, unsurprisingly, then denounced the BDS mapping project.

Again, those who have learned history’s lessons will recall similar lists of “offenders” to be purged, such as the lists promulgated by the likes of Hitler and U.S. Sen. Joseph McCarthy.

Perhaps most telling in weighing the credibility of Mr. Wolf and his exegesis on BDS is his omission to mention the foregoing vivid illustration of an entity that has as an essential part of its DNA an assault not only directly against Jewry, but indirectly by its assault on anyone who in some remote way has any dealings with Jews.

And the preparation of a “hitlist” of such targets should sound a shrill alarm. After all, that was an aim of the infamous 1935 Nuremberg Decrees.

As U.S. Supreme Court Justice Robert H. Jackson observed, in his role as U.S. prosecutor at the post-war trials, that scheme to isolate and denigrate Jews was one of the “most serious actions” marking the beginning of, and leading to, the Holocaust.

Little wonder that rational beings oppose its repetition by BDS or any other person or entity, and take deep personal offense at those who baselessly seek to excuse or justify it.

Charles Moerdler, CB8, Peter Wolf, BDS, Jews, Israel, antisemitism, zionism, anti-zionism