Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

Other People's Mail

Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

Other People's Mail

Article excerpt

NETANYAHU IN HIS OWN WORDS

To the New Haven Register, June 17, 2016

How long and often have we heard about the two-state solution for Israel/Palestine? Here are some recent words of Binyamin Netanyahu:

"There cannot be a situation, under any agreement, in which we relinquish control of the territory west of the River Jordan." Also: "At this time, we need to control all of the territory for the foreseeable future."

Can any rational person believe that these statements offer a realistic possibility of the two parties coming to agreement? A Palestinian state with Israeli control of all of the West Bank?

Henry Clifford, Essex, CT

PALESTINIANS HAVE THE RIGHT TO EXIST ON THIER LAND

To the Los Angeles Times, June 20, 2016

I disagree that the anti-Israel boycott movement is a threat to peace. On the contrary, it is a nonviolent form of resistance to decades of Israeli occupation, theftof Palestinian land, and monopolization of water.

As a non-Zionist Jew, I support equal rights for all in Israel, Palestine and the right of Palestinians to return to their homeland.

To deny them the right of return is analogous to barring Native Americans from their sacred land, something we would never expect the indigenous inhabitants here to accept because it would be tantamount to saying they had no right to exist in their homeland.

Marcy Winograd, Santa Monica, CA

GOVERNOR CUOMO'S BOYCOTT HYPOCRISY

To The Washington Post, June 15, 2016

I was dismayed by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo's June 12 op-ed, "If you boycott Israel, New York will boycott you," justifying his blatantly unconstitutional executive order creating a blacklist of supporters of Palestinian rights. The Democratic governor compared the nonviolent boycott, divestment and sanctions movement to terrorism. The call for BDS was instituted by Palestinian civil society leaders in response to decades of human rights abuses that governments and leaders have not been able to abate.

This was a hyperbolic attack on a constitutional right to boycott and a chilling attack on free speech. Criticizing and protesting a foreign government is not discrimination.

Furthermore, Mr. Cuomo's statements represented sheer hypocrisy, as he saw nothing wrong with "discriminating" against the state of North Carolina by instituting a state nonessential-travel ban after it enacted a law restricting public rest*room use by transgender people.

Mr. Cuomo should remember that he was elected to serve the people of New York, in the United States, where freedom of speech and protest are constitutional rights.

Jenn Gorelik, Arlington, VA

The writer is a member of the DC chapter of Jewish Voice for Peace.

BDS IS PROTECTED UNDER THE FIRST AMENDMENT

To the Daily Freeman, June 14, 2016

Whatever your views on Israel/Palestine, McCarthyism is wrong.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo's Executive Order No. 157, which he signed June 5, should concern each and every one of us. This order threatens the rights of Americans to take collective action to address injustice by using boycott as a form of free expression and as a powerful means of protest. Furthermore, the creation of the related discriminatory "blacklist," which the New York Office of General Services will post on its website and update semiannually, is blatantly dangerous.

Thankfully, the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution protects our right to free speech. This means we are allowed to express, be exposed to and receive a wide range of facts, opinions and viewpoints, even when the ideas are unpopular. Under this umbrella of free speech, Americans have the right to boycott, and we have a long history of using boycott as a tactic to achieve justice. Let's remember that, before the American Revolution, colonists boycotted British goods (think "no taxation without representation") and that, since then, American citizens (and corporations) involved in social justice movements have used boycotts for issues such as: animal rights, testing and welfare; civil rights; environmental health/integrity; human rights; LGBTQ discrimination; and labor and worker rights. …

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