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Web Letters | The Nation

Web Letter

I am a native-born US citizen, educated here in the US. I have never been to Europe. I do not agree with anything Israel is doing in regards to the Palestinians, from whom they have stolen the lands the Israelis now occupy. Palestinians are just as much human beings as we all are and they deserve to have a home of their own.

Israel has no business tearing down Palestinian homes in their obvious racist clearances of the Palestinians from their ancestral home. They also have no business invading and setteling ever more deeply in Palestinian lands.

We in the global community need to push for international sactions against Israel--and this is the opinion of a very average American. The sentiments in the US are changing towards Israel, as we see that they are constantly upsetting the global peace! They are racists, demanding that we, the global community, constantly honor their pain over their past persecution, and yet they are now the persecutors! No more Jews died in the holocaust than did the Irish or the Scots during the clearances, and yet we do not see the Scots or the Irish wailing and demanding that we honor their pain. The Jews need to get over it! They are bringing global disrespect upon themselves.

Cailin J. Callahan

Tampa, FL

Nov 18 2009 - 9:42pm

Web Letter

Many of these letter writers demonstrate why any independent, rational discussion is practically impossible in the US. If you want to have a serious discussion of Israel, Israeli policies you have to do it with Europeans, Latin Americas, even many Israelis. But you cannot have it "in" America, because you will be met with nothing but smears and reflexive and inflammed defense of whatever Israel does. Zionism in the US justifies any violence Israel wants to use. It doesn't matter whether that violence is proportional or legal. It doesn't matter how many Palestinian civilians it kills. Forget BDS. In America, it still isn't possible to criticize Israel without guilt-inducing provocation. If those who write these letters of "support" for Israel are so certain in their viewpoint, why the self-righteous personal attacks on Klein?

Here's why. Those who write these letters are used to having a monopoly on speech in the US about Israel, and now that their monopoly is challenged, they are upping the ante at every turn. Oh Naomi, you are a Jewish anti-Semite. How dare you, Naomi? How could you want Hamas to take over the world?! Naomi, you should be ashamed of yourself!

This tone belies something psychotic. When people accuse Jews of being anti-Semitic for wanting to stop Israel's occupation, put an end to it once and for all, because it's gone on too too long, and because Israel has a high-tech military and keeps using increasing amounts of violence against Palestinians--extra-judicial killings, phosphorous bombs, DIME, tanks and missiles on a densely populated civilian area, when Israel is now poised to bring in a proto-fascist into government and threatens to deport its Arab citizens if they don't sign a "loyalty oath," there is something rotten in Israel's "defense" that evidences the need to support Klein's call.

Deborah Gordon

Wichita , KS

Feb 17 2009 - 2:00am

Web Letter

Reading the letters on this page merely confirms my suspicions of how grossly misinformed the American people, through no fault of their own, are of the situation in Israeli-Palestinian conflcit. First of all, I must say that I am no fan of Naomi Klein, but here her position is a generally received opinion on the European left.

I am an internationalist, and I sincerely believe that the most universal justification for morality is the rule of law. The occupation of Palestine is illegal. The six-month cease-fire was violated by an Israeli administration attempting to garner support in an upcoming election--in which a right-wing politician is likely to win.

The Israeli government accuses the democractically elected governmnent of Hamas of terrorism. No matter how unplatable that government is, its rise is indicative of the despair felt by the Palestinian people--and its methods are interchangeable with those used by Israeli Zionist fighters during the 1930s.

The UN Charter states quite explicitly that a people who have their homeland occupied are permitted--by international law!--to contest that occupation through armed struggle.

The Israeli government is guilty of violating every single rule of the Genenva Conventions, and of international law. The US government supplies them with $2 billion in military aid--and will continue to do so even in this time of economic decline. The West has permitted Israel to develop nuclear weapons in direct contravention of the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty.

In short, the occupation is illeagal, and indicative of the same fascistic ideology that motivated the Nazi "living space" occupation of Eastern Europe which caused the Holocaust in the first place.

U.H. Dematagoda

Manchester, United Kingdom

Feb 9 2009 - 3:39pm

Web Letter

To boycott or not to boycott: that is the question.

Naomi Klein is right: The use of economic boycott and divestment as legetimate weapons of the nonviolent protest arsenal of the peace camp has proven most effective, coupled with other means, in a number of cases throughout history, the South African apartheid regime being one of them.

Naomi Klein is wrong: In tha case of Israel, not only is this strategy not the most effective one, but it has led in the past and will lead in the future to the very opposite results than the ones sought by BDS.

Why? Because by geographic, economic and political "necessity," the emergence of a viable Palestinian state depends directly not on the weakening but in the strenghtening of its past enemy and future partner: Israel. Likewise, Israel cannot hope to achieve a measure of normalization without a strong partner: Palestine.

One or two states: The correct answer is one and two states. There is no reason why Israel should renounce its Jewish identity. Nor is there any reason why Palestine should renounce its own Palestinian identity, which sets it apart from all other Arabic and Muslim states. Both peoples have suffered too much for too long to give up their dreams of a normal life among other nations. But in order to do so, they must agree at the very beginning of the next round of peace talks to recognize the necessity of setting up a permanent "clearinghouse" or some other political device to sort out their divergences as well as to identify their common needs and projects. In that perspective, and that perspective only, will Palestinians and Israelis become able to contemplate potential residence accomodation scenarios, meaning that an Israeli could eventually elect to live in Palestine and a Palestinian in Israel. And from that point on, the sky is the limit for what these two peoples can dream to achieve.

Boycott the boycott: It follows, as Spinoza could put it in one of his futuristic and still-to-be-written political opuses, that BDS and Naomi Klein might wish to consider a bold reassessment of their strategy, amounting in fact to no less than a revolution.

Normand D. Paquin

Wotton, Quebec, Canada

Jan 26 2009 - 5:46am

Web Letter

Thank you, Naomi Klein. I've been boycotting Israel as an individual consumer for years, and am happy to read about organized efforts. US support for Israel is unconscionable, yet unlikely to change for some time. We simply need to raise our voices louder and louder for as long as it takes.

Ellen Benoit

Jersey City, NJ

Jan 24 2009 - 5:34pm

Web Letter

Thank you Ms. Klein for having the courage to write about the "right" thing to do. A boycott is absolutely needed, and its potential effectiveness is obvious.

I can't help chuckle at all of the letters you've received in response to your article. That you are the anti-Semitic, self-hating Jew for daring to endorse this Godawful plan to put pressure on an economy that feeds off of a brutal occupation is laughable in a very depressing way.

But don't let it bother you; everyone who actually knows something about the true nature of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict supports your suggestion and the letter-writers' days of yelling "traitor" are numbered.

I've never read The Nation before, but now that I've "discovered" you, I will.

Fadia Badrawi

Basling Ridge, NJ

Jan 24 2009 - 4:31pm

Web Letter

I think Ms. Klein has an ingenious idea--very similar to one from a few years back, I'm sure you are aware of the anti-Semitic actions that were taken by the europeans before WWII. Yes, the best way to combat Islamic extremism is to attack the only democracy on that side of the planet. May you never experience the constant attack the Israelis are subjected to--simply for existing. Kudos to you, Ms. Klein, for taking us backwards in our ideological ways.

As one man put it: "When people criticize Zionists, they mean Jews. You're talking anti-Semitism."--Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

elana moss

Los Angeles, CA

Jan 20 2009 - 7:06pm

Web Letter

Naomi, dear, I have a feeling you are lost. Your roots are in the same tribe who build Israel, without it you'd be a faded memory of written articles that got some exposure during your life. Speaking about memories: Golda Meir said: "We can forgive the Arabs for killing our children. We cannot forgive them for forcing us to kill their children. We will only have peace with the Arabs when they love their children more than they hate us"

And Bibi Netantahu added recently: "When the Arabs put their weapons down, we'll have peace. When Israel will put their weapons down, there will be no Israel.

From your academic couch, and Western background, you developed into the bright star(let) you are. However, if ever you are hunted by enemies, or become more familiar with the Arab world, and maybe inspect your roots to find family members murdered for their religion, your 180-degree turn would be immediate.

I hope you'll never need to save your life and run from the comfortability of your life, and if you do ever need to... where will you go? Israel, despite and beyond the disputes, will always be there to save lost sons and daughters !

Avinoam Ashrov

Haifa, Israel

Jan 16 2009 - 4:32am

Web Letter

My key concern in regard to this article is that Ms Klein states the essence of anti-Semitism without fully understanding this. According to her, a boycott should be instituted against Israel because it is feasible, not because it is based on any unique offense. In fact, Ms Klein admits that the USA and the UK allegedly commit similar offenses, but are too big (too powerful?) for a boycott to work.

Jews throughout history have been singled out because of their vulnerability due to small numbers.

I believe that all peoples and all nations should be judged under a universal moral standard, not whether they are small and vulnerable enough to make punitive actions feasible.

Failing to understand this fundamental unfairness seriously weakens the sincerity of Ms. Klein's viewpoint.

Martin Coyne

Los Angeles, CA

Jan 15 2009 - 12:18pm

Web Letter

Well, this shows the ambition of global critics who imagine themselves fit to judge all and everything on earth. The call for an anti-Semitic global boycott of Israel indicates the scale and the danger for Jews nowadays.

In Paris Jewish magasins and synagogues were attacked by Muslims with the justification that they are Jews.

It is sad to observe that the Islamists have established strong ties with parts of the misled Western lefts. In the past it had been the communist parties in the West led by the Soviet Union who denounced Israel as an outpost of Western imperialism. Now we have a so-called anti-imperialistic, "pacifistic" left who calls for UN intervention and human rights, but does not know that only democratic states can guarantee these rights, not an Islamist movement, not the UN, not an anti-imperialistic left.

Therefore, the best guarantee for a safe Israel is to become a member of the NATO. Nothing else will guarantee the security of Israel.

No treaty with Arabic-Muslim states will secure even a truce, just think of Egypt. President Sadat was murdered due to the treaty with Israel. The treaty sealed a cold peace and the return of Sinai, which disproves the claims of the "anti-imperialists" that Israel extends its borders as "colonialist" power. This absurdity of "colonialism" just shows how big a place Israel takes in their mind and how little room remains there for facts. Look on the map of Near East and the extension of the Arab world. So these accusations are the remains of a great ambition, of the anti-colonialist struggle, but has nothing to do with the realities, only with the ideological narratives of some strange lefts.

So why Egypt? The USA subsidizes the Egypt regime in order to prevent Egypt from becoming an Islamist state. What will happen if the Muslim Brotherhood, the organization that founded Hamas, grabs the power?

Ludwig Csepai

Vienna, Austria

Jan 15 2009 - 3:05am

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