Unlike Nancy Street (“A bipartisan shame,” Aug. 10), I applaud our senators and congresswoman for joining the large, and bipartisan, majorities in both chambers to support Israel and oppose BDS. They understand that Boycott, Divest and Sanction directed against Israel would make it far more difficult to achieve peace and justice in that region.
Street asserts boycotts are nonviolent. That is not true in this instance. At the heart of BDS are individuals and organizations that condone, promote and even engage in terrorism. They conceived of BDS in an effort to garner support and rally international pressure from well-intentioned people who accept simplified descriptions and simplistic solutions to the conflict between Israel and its Palestinian neighbors.
It would be reprehensible enough if the terrorism were directed only against Israeli targets. In fact, since those who deny Israel’s right to exist make no distinction between Zionists and Jews, terrorism is often directed against Jewish targets outside Israel. These targets include synagogues, schools, cultural centers, markets and even ordinary Jews going about daily activities. No wonder many people consider BDS to be anti-Semitic.
I’m confident that Street is not an anti-Semite. She probably has Jewish friends, and perhaps relatives. She may even be Jewish herself. I appreciate her concern for the suffering of so many Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza. All good people, and I’m sure that includes an overwhelming majority of Jews, share such sympathies. But BDS is an obstacle to achieving a negotiated peace between the parties to end that suffering.