Who are the real villains here?


To the editor:

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

Some remarks and a reaction to Peter Wolf’s Point of View in a recent edition of The Riverdale Press.

Yes, I agree with Mr. Wolf’s definition of “antisemitism.” The problem is that many Jew-haters hide their antisemitism behind other nomenclatures. Mr. Wolf is trying to show that history is behind his position, so let me point out some historical facts.

In 1917, Great Britain in the Balfour Declaration recognized the right of the Jewish People to establish their own homeland in Palestine.

In 1947, the U.N. General Assembly voted for the partition plan, which granted the Jewish people to establish their own homeland in part of Palestine (by the way, the largest portion of the land assigned to the Jews was desert).

The Jewish leadership in Palestine accepted the plan while the Arab leadership in Palestine rejected it, stating that the Palestinian Arabs have a right to the whole land of Palestine, and no Jews have any rights to any part of the land. It should also be noted that a large part of the so-called indigenous Arabs in Palestine have immigrated from neighboring countries in the 19th and 20th centuries.

In spite of these facts, Mr. Wolf has the audacity to state that it takes chutzpah to claim that Jews have a right to their ancestral land.

In 1948, when the Jews declared their independent state in accordance with the United Nation’s decision, seven Arab armies invaded Palestine in order to occupy it and establish an Arab state in the whole land of Palestine. Thankfully they failed in their endeavor.

In 2000, President Clinton tried to broker a peace treaty between Israel represented by its prime minister, Ehud Barak, and the Palestinians, led by Yasser Arafat. Israel was willing to sign, but Arafat refused in the last minute. President Clinton later on clearly blamed Arafat for the failure to reach a peace agreement.

Between 2006 and 2008, Israel’s prime minister, Ehud Olmert, negotiated with Mahmoud Abbas, the president of the Palestinian Authority, offering him most of the “occupied” territories and even a part of Jerusalem — again to be turned down by the Arabs.

Mr. Wolf goes on to claim that Israeli Arabs do not enjoy equal rights. Has Mr. Wolf ever visited Israel? If he had, he would have met many Israeli Arab doctors, pharmacists, lawyers etc. And if he would have bothered to ask Israeli Arabs whether they would prefer to move to a Palestinian state when it is established, he may be surprised by an emphatic “No.”

Furthermore, has Mr. Wolf ever heard an Israeli leader state, “We don’t care about Palestinians”?

Mr. Wolf also states that colleges are attacked for enabling boycott, divestment and sanctions groups to organize on campus. I know for a fact that Jewish students who identify as Zionists are attacked on campuses, and that when a Jewish group invites an Israeli speaker onto the campus, her or she are often chased away by Palestinian sympathizers and the college administrations that do nothing.

I refer him to the book “Anti-Zionism on Campus” by Andrew Pessin and Doron Ben-Atar. Check out the Brandeis Center’s lawsuit against the University of Southern California for its dereliction of duty in protecting Jewish students.

So, who are the villains the Israeli Jews? Or the Palestinian Arabs?

Aryeh Jeselsohn