The Aug. 12 front-page articles “Threading The Needle On Black Lives Matter” and “NYU Prof Spurs Debate Over Distancing” report the anti-Israel rhetoric among certain segments of the American public that support BDS [boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel]. It is a shame that Prof. Hasia Diner, who teaches Jewish American history, feels she no longer can support the only Jewish and democratic state in the Middle East. One would think that Professor Diner would at least be familiar with the history of what she calls the occupation.
Prior to the 1967 War, Israel pleaded with Jordan not to enter the war. The West Bank, which Jordan controlled, would have not been in Israeli hands if Jordan had stayed out of the war. After the war, Jordan formally announced that it was relinquishing claim to the West Bank. So legally speaking, this territory should be considered disputed territory, not occupied, since for it to be occupied it had to belong to another country that claims it.
For the 20 years following the war, Arabs in the West Bank found employment in the construction trade, building homes for Israelis and developing their own independent economy. It is a pity that professor Diner chooses to ignore these facts.
As for Black Lives Matter, since when does the Middle East conflict become a racial issue? Rev. Martin Luther King forged a relationship with the pro-Israel Jewish community and declared support for the Jewish state. He was not anti-Palestinian. Shame on those who call Israel and apartheid state that engages in genocide.
A country that takes in children from its enemies into its hospitals for life-saving operations can’t be honestly accused of genocide. A country that teaches tolerance in its schools for minorities living within its borders can’t be labeled apartheid. A country that has an Arab sitting on its supreme court can’t be labeled racist. A nation where African immigrants are taken in, Jews and non-Jews alike, can’t be labeled a racist state.
Israel is a vibrant democracy that does whatever it takes to provide security for its citizens, even if it sometimes upsets political movements and university professors who live in the security of the wonderful United States.