By Jerome I. Chapman, Alexandria
To the editor:
Timothy Conway’s assertion of “Israel’s occupation of Palestinian land” for “almost half a century” as an alternative rationalization for divestments (“Anti-Semitism is not the reason why organizations choose to divest from Israel,” July 3) ignores salient facts and does not withstand scrutiny.
Palestinians rejected the 1947 United Nations’ Partition Plan that gave them a state in the West Bank and Gaza. Following repeated Arab military attempts to destroy Israel, the country sent military forces into the West Bank in 1967 to respond to an attack by Jordan, which had controlled the area since 1948.
Since then, Palestinians have rejected all of Israel’s territorial offers, used the West Bank as a base for terrorist attacks and, after Israel withdrew in 2005, began launching rockets from Gaza against Israeli civilians.
Territorial disputes are common around the globe. The substantial U.S. security assistance to Israel — that must mostly be spent here, creating American jobs — does not justify a divestment movement focused solely on Israel. We also give almost half a billion dollars in annual cash grants to the Palestinian Authority, much of which is spent on stipends to convicted terrorists and their families.
Conway asserts that while living in Israel he “saw first hand the brutalization of which I speak.” Didn’t he see the rockets from Gaza; the bombings of Israeli markets, buses, coffee shops and holiday gatherings; the grotesque anti-Semitic images in Palestinian school books, TV and summer camp programs?
If he had, perhaps he’d be urging divestment from companies that work with the Palestinians.