Kenneth Stern, who was interviewed by Martin Raffel, is not in touch with reality (Raffel’s Riffs, “Defining anti-Semitism,” May 30). Raffel asks Stern if the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement is always anti-Semitic. Stern’s answer was astounding! He said, “many students see BDS as a vehicle to pressure Israel, especially over the
The BDS campaign is another form of anti-Semitism. It demonizes Israel and the right of the Jewish people to national self-determination. The idea that Jewish students decide what Israel does or does not deserve is based on a level of ignorance that is incompatible with the truth. Furthermore, Jewish students who do not reside in Israel do not get to decide Israeli policy.
In order for Israel to be “occupying” the West Bank, the territory would have to be a legal and sovereign state with an official government, and it is not. The “disputed territories,” better known as Judea and Samaria, is land once belonging to ancient Israel that was captured fairly and squarely in the Six-Day War.
The “settlements” on this land, as Stern calls them, are communities very similar to the ones that Israel uprooted from Gaza in 2005. These uprooted communities consisted of homes, schools, farms, and businesses, which are hardly settlements.
The Palestinian people are suffering from the corruption of the Mahmoud Abbas government, which practices abysmal human rights. This is an internal problem that has nothing to do with Israel. Israel is safeguarding the entrance of Palestinian terrorists who continually seek to enter Israel to do harm. That is not apartheid.
The amount of anti-Semitism on college campuses is far more than Stern will admit. An example of its insidiousness is NYU’s recent commencement. Guest speaker Steven William Thrasher vilified Israel and promoted the BDS movement in his speech. Shameful!
Stern’s statement that pro-Israel activists have tried to stop classes and speakers with threatening e-mails, phone calls, and lawsuits is patently absurd. He presents no examples of where or when this happened.
Stern’s version of being an “expert in anti-Semitism” demonstrates a tunnel-visioned assessment of the truth.
It is sad to know that Jews are actually more concerned about the rights of a people who would see every Jew dead and the State of Israel dismantled than with their own people. History has taught those Jews nothing.