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Highland Park punts
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Highland Park punts

As a former mayor of Highland Park (1988-92) and a Republican, I was stunned by the decision of the Highland Park library to host a pro-Palestinian book reading that not only glorifies a racist movement — boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) — but says the intifada, which has terrified many innocent civilians with threats of physical violence, is an acceptable activity (“Community meeting on ‘P is for Palestine’ canceled,” June 11).

The Highland Park government, when faced with the evil of BDS, decided to punt and live “peacefully” with the consequence of not opposing a truly evil ideology.

To me this draws a comparison with Neville Chamberlain’s decision to live “peacefully” with the Nazis.

The Palestinians have been led by a kleptocracy that has been salting money away in Swiss Bank accounts for years. Instead of providing jobs, food, and prosperity to their people, they’ve provided bombs, murder, and bloodshed. The type of indoctrination that creates suicide bombers starts with the type of book that will be read in Highland Park.

In the meantime, Israel has the only functioning democracy in the Middle East. Israel managed to resettle hundreds of thousands of Jews expelled from Arab countries after Israel’s independence while the Arab countries wouldn’t allow Palestinian refugees to resettle in Arab lands. The Palestinians then used hatred and resentment as a weapon.

Having a reading of “I is for Israel” is nice, but it doesn’t excuse the legitimization of anti-Semitism and terror.

As for Highland Park Mayor Gayle Brill Mittler, I’m glad someone is able to sleep at night. I know if I still lived in Highland Park, I wouldn’t be able to.

Jeffrey Orbach
Rockaway

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