The Settlements And Boycotts


Concerning the interconnected articles in The Jewish Week’s March 18 edition, “Consensus Seen Taking Shape On Boycotts,” and Gary Rosenblatt’s Between the Lines column “Advocacy Gone Awry”:

Does the definition of proper “settlements” to boycott include Hebron, Gush Etzion and the Old City, all of which were denuded of Jews before and “resettled” after 1967? Is the ethnic cleansing of Jews perfectly acceptable while their return is objectionable? Do the Zionist boycott proponents only seek to abandon to a cruel opponent their brethren in places like Itamar? Or do boycotters believe that those children and their parents “got what they deserved” because they didn’t belong there?

Since the “big tent” advocates apparently support a democratic Jewish state, and the democratically elected governments of Israel consistently have funded “settlements,” shouldn’t the opponents of settlements logically support a total boycott of Israel? There is no slippery slope: the “limited” boycott proponents naively already facilitate a total boycott. The use of the term “global” to differentiate among boycotters, as set forth in Gary Rosenblatt’s March 18 Between the Lines column, is facile. There is no reason to seek a “big tent” if it ultimately and inevitably leads to the demonization of Israel.

Demonization of “settlers” appears to have happened in The Jewish Week’s headline “Itamar Attacks Put Bibi In Bind — Angry settlers make new demands …” (March 18). The focus on “settlers’ demands” implies that the real problems are the settlers and their demands rather than the murder of children in their beds. Again, isn’t the logical conclusion that such “settlers,” who are an obstacle to peace, got what they deserved? This cannot be Zionism.

Finally, while Rosenblatt states that we should focus on real threats, including the BDS [Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions] movement, rather than imagined ones, he spent almost his entire article on this minor issue. More of his article could have focused on the damage caused by boycotters who are “targeting our own, aggressively and irresponsibly, [which] hurts our cause and our community.” His space would be
much better spent explaining exactly and in detail why he believes this is a threat.

Woodmere, L.I.