What follows is a letter to the editor that I wrote to The Oregonian. It was published on January 28th. If you care to comment on the OregonLive.com site, the letter can be found online here. I post it via my blog to broaden visibility of my position and as an introduction to a new category of Almost Rational posts that will address the rising tide of global antisemitism.
To the Editor:
I was saddened to again see Israel’s struggle in Gaza distorted through the eyes of oversimplification. Guest columnists Maxine Fookson and Ned Rosch express a sadness that many feel about the humanitarian issues in Gaza, but they support the worst of all possible solutions: the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement.
BDS intends to impose hardships on Israeli citizens (including Arabs), but the movement is both untenable and unwarranted. Divestment and sanctions will only increase tensions. It is an irrational proposition that neglects the real issues.
The “government” of the Palestinians can stop the violence with three simple actions:
1) Acknowledge Israel’s legitimacy as a sovereign nation.
2) Stop putting civilians, especially children, in danger by halting the use of schools, hospitals and residential neighborhoods as firing sites and weapons transportation paths.
3) Stop indiscriminately firing rockets at Israeli civilians.
Like many supporters of BDS, Rosch and Fookson choose to ignore Israel’s sovereignty. Worse, they dismiss the fact that Israel is the only true friend of the United States in the region. Proposing sanctions against your only friend — a strategically critical one, at that — is crazy.
Steven Craig Bilow