Opinion Your Views — 28 August 2014
Divesting from Israel 
is a ‘discriminatory act’

By Herb Cooper-Levy, Alexandria

To the editor:

This is in response to the letter by George Byrd published in the August 7 edition of the Alexandria Times (“Divestment does not equal anti-Semitism”).

Equating Israel’s policies with those of South Africa, as Byrd does, is a giant red herring. While I do not condone all of Israel’s actions, it is the only country in the Middle East where Christians are free to pray as they wish. This includes the nascent state of Palestine, where Christians are fleeing the brand of Islam espoused by Hamas, a brand that is indistinguishable from Al Qaeda, ISIS, Boko Haram and Al Shabaab.

Singling out Israel for divestment is a discriminatory act. Should the Presbyterian Church of the United States of America, or any person of conscience, wish to boycott a country for its less than exemplary practices, it must boycott China for its theft of the country of Tibet; India for its use of rape as a judicial tool against women; Pakistan for executing those it considers guilty of blasphemy; Syria for killing unarmed civilians and so on.

Byrd makes a casual reference to Israel “engaging in acts of aggression against their fellow civilians” because of their bombing campaign. I wonder what the United States would do if Mexico starting simultaneously bombing American communities while digging tunnels under the border?

I do pray for peace in Israel and Palestine. That peace will not come, however, by singling out Jews in Israel. Peace comes when enemies recognize each other as humans, each with a right to exist in their own land.


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