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Open Letter to Berkeley Students on their Historic Israeli Divestment Bill

Dear Ms. Klein,

Eretz Israel was given to the Jewish People by G_d. It is in the same Bible on which we swear in our presidents. There is no peace in Israel because the Arabs will not accept the Jewish state. I have to believe in Divine Providence and that somehow this is the way it is meant to be. We are being led to some greater awareness. That people like you and other so-called human rights activists oppose the only country in the Middle East with human rights is par for the course. But that a Jewish girl could miss the obvious about her ancestral homeland is very sad indeed. Have you considered that you could be wrong about Israel? if not, why are you so prejudiced? if Israel would stop protecting itself, what do you think would happen? Is that OK with you? why? Why are you not biased for Israel? if you can answer these questions assuredly, Why are you so certain? Where is your Jewish heart?

Moshe ben Mendel


May 30 2011 - 7:40am

Web Letter

It seems from a sense of rationality Ms. Klein has taken a reasonable approach for establishing a "stake in the ground" for a starting point. This conflict of perspectives (religions) has been going on for thousands of years, and from the tone so far of the letters, just here, could be going on for a thousand more! This is lunacy!

The clash over perspectives has got to end. It is affecting every global relationship in existence today--all negatively. Every nation on the globe has on their common list of issues to either "try to mediate" or "try to avoid" the constant bickering, fighting and slaughter of innocents that happens in that part of the world daily. Either you're too stupid to realize this or your arrogance precludes considering that other people, with a different perspective than either of you petulant children, actually care! We don't! But you sure are a pain in our rear ends.

Either find a way to solve to everyone's mutual benefit the issues you people have and try, very hard, to live in peace, or blow yourselves to bits and be done with it so we can get on with other things we need to do !

Ms. Klein, as always, thank you for your lead.

Ron Baldwin

Chicago, IL

Apr 16 2010 - 2:46pm

Web Letter

Without going into a lot of detail, because many other comments have already been made regarding Ms. Klein's opinion on the actions taken by the Berkeley student senate, suffice it to say that I also believe her opinion is born of ignorance and misdirected hostility.

It is way too easy to look at the issues in the Middle East and declare an opinion one way or the other as if there were no ambiguities, especially if you toss in a lot of buzz words meant to arouse anger.

It is much more difficult to look at issues such as this one in a historical context, and to understand that there is no one right answer. Ms. Klein is certainly entitled to her opinion, which I don't share, but I am sorry that she leads us further from an amicable resolution, not closer.

Karen Lipney

San Francisco, CA

Apr 14 2010 - 5:20am

Web Letter

Here is a proposed new vision for students and others on the militant left and right.

The synergy of combining oil-rich Arab capital investment to support building industrial manufacturing business in Palestine based on state-of-the-art nonmilitary Israeli technology and Palestinian managers and newly trained, skilled Palestinian workers could bring all of the stakeholders eventually together toward a common goal--peace and justice for all.

The first steps are the oil-rich Arab states like Saudi Arabia, Israeli technologists and Palestinians on the ground willing to cooperate on a pilot program to test the feasibility of such a new approach.

Capital investment at a reasonable rate of return by the oil-rich Arab states is not charity poured down a rat hole but an investment in improving the quality of life of their Palestinian brethren. Nonmilitary Israeli technology producing products and goods will be sold to the world at large and will result in profits at home for the Palestinians.

New Palestinian manufacturing jobs as well as the multiplying effect of new Palestinian support businesses will greatly increase the local quality of life, because the profits will stay in Palestine.

Are there visionary leaders among the various stakeholders willing to give this very difficult but potentially very rewarding vision serious consideration? Are the students and others on the militant left and right willing to give peace a chance by promoting this vision of synergistic action where each element contributes its strengths for the common good?

Murray Rosenbluth

Port Hueneme, CA

Apr 13 2010 - 3:20pm

Web Letter

With due respect to Professor Klein, I'd like to submit a counterproposal. Allow the veto to stand, and rather than engaging in negative and controversial actions like divestment, instead act to bring the parties, Israelis and Palestinians, together in peace. Invest in Palestinian and joint Israeli-Palestinian infrastructure and education. Host events that present diverse Israeli and Palestinian perspectives. Send students to study in Israeli and Palestinian schools. In sum, resist the temptation to boil this conflict down to those stock characters: "bad Israelis" and "good Palestinians"... as, alas, Professor Klein does, when she lists recent conflicts in Lebanon and Gaza without mentioning the wanton attacks on Israel that preceeded them. Peace and reconciliation will not come by merely bashing one side but by ameliorating the reasons for conflict on each side of the divide.

Adam Glantz

Herndon, VA

Apr 4 2010 - 5:10pm

Web Letter

Ignoring Arab rejectionism entirely as a reason--in fact, a central reason--that the dispute fails to be resolved is not just as inaccuracy, it amounts to a lie. As Naomi Klein certainly knows full well that Hamas rejects any compromise with Israel and, along with Fatah, seeks a state that benefits Arabs and only Arabs, the correct term for her view is "racist." Her total negation of the violence central to the Arab movement against Israel is worse than a lie, it is a true calumny.

To remind her of what Hamas really is, the Hamas covenant says:

Allah is its target, the Prophet is its model, the Koran its constitution: Jihad is its path and death for the sake of Allah is the loftiest of its wishes.

Note the words about Jihad and death. Further, the covenant states:

There is no solution for the Palestinian question except through Jihad. Initiatives, proposals and international conferences are all a waste of time and vain endeavors.

And, the covenant calls explicitly for genocide:

The Islamic Resistance Movement is one of the links in the chain of the struggle against the Zionist invaders. It goes back to 1939, to the emergence of the martyr Izz al-Din al Kissam and his brethren the fighters, members of Moslem Brotherhood. It goes on to reach out and become one with another chain that includes the struggle of the Palestinians and Moslem Brotherhood in the 1948 war and the Jihad operations of the Moslem Brotherhood in 1968 and after.

Moreover, if the links have been distant from each other and if obstacles, placed by those who are the lackeys of Zionism in the way of the fighters obstructed the continuation of the struggle, the Islamic Resistance Movement aspires to the realisation of Allah's promise, no matter how long that should take. The Prophet, Allah bless him and grant him salvation, has said:

The Day of Judgement will not come about until Moslems fight the Jews (killing the Jews), when the Jew will hide behind stones and trees. The stones and trees will say O Moslems, O Abdulla, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him. Only the Gharkad tree, (evidently a certain kind of tree) would not do that because it is one of the trees of the Jews.' (related by al-Bukhari and Moslem).

Ms. Klein ignores this, as if one can ignore genocidal movements. Has she never picked up a book in her life?

Seeking a boycott of Israel to advance the lies she tells is unworthy of any serious consideration except by extreme bigots. While articles on The Nation need not be neutral, Ms. Klein's article is an example of disgusting, racist nonsense that The Nation should be ashamed to print.

Nial Friedler

Boston, MA

Apr 3 2010 - 3:22pm

Web Letter

I find this letter to be a flagrant violation of intellectual honesty.

1) Israel has never been judged to be in violation of any international law by a competent body. Kindly exclude Goldstone's slander. Indeed, self-defense is a recognized right under the same international law that seems so popular among members of the left.

2) The one-sided presentation of the case against Israel speaks to the political nature of the matter. I frankly cannot understand why leaving out facts about Israel's position is perfectly acceptable on the left, except that it would muddy the issue of Israel's guilt. Let us keep things clear!

3) I am amazed that people who use simple characterizations of Israel in place of exhaustive facts and prospective thinking are not petrified that they too would, under the right circumstances, become victims of such poor models of thinking. Twenty million dead Russians and Ukrainians did not make Stalin right, but he lived long enough to take that many lives.

4) For those who seek peace in the Middle East, the creation of an apartheid Palestinian state seems a funny way of advancing it. There is no right to kill Jews and uproot them that will find the Palestinians peace. They could have peace enough to raise their families and extract some pleasure from life just by standing down. So peace must not be their goal! What might be the endgame position that would satisfy the Palestinians, given of course that they cannot have everything they want?

Jerold Levoritz

New York, NY

Apr 1 2010 - 4:58pm

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