Editor’s note: To spread awareness of the eliminationist agenda of the anti-Israel Boycott/Divestment/Sanctions (BDS) movement and its elite supporters in the American university system, the David Horowitz Freedom Center placed the following ad in the op-ed section of the April 24, 2012 edition of The New York Times. The ad elicited objections from numerous Times readers, some of which are printed below the ad along with responses from David Horowitz.
Response from Times reader Robert P. Khoury:
I read your ad on today’s Op-ed page of the NY Times. I am curious just what arguments/statements by the BDS contributed “to the atmosphere of hate that spawned these and other murders of Jews.” Presumably, if one disagrees with a statement of the Israeli President or Foreign Minister, or simply disagrees with a policy such as allowing continuing settlement on the West Bank, one is allowed to express one’s opposition, correct? What were the statements that contributed to the slaughter of the people in Toulouse? Did not the murderer also kill non-Jews in his rampage before the slaughter at the synagogue? Why does the ad assume that the murderer was not beyond crazy—he also killed a Muslim correct? The ad connects dots that I have not seen in newspapers. I would like to see substantiation of the accusations.
As someone who does not want anyone driven into the sea, but as someone who does not believe in bigotry, I have thrown up my hands about the Middle East. I have read quotes in the NY Times from speeches by both the Iranian President and the Israeli Foreign Minister. Except for substituting/changing one word: Jew or Muslim, they were nearly identical, full of what I would call outright bigotry. I do not see anyone leading the charge to get rid of the bigotry of the Israeli Foreign Minister, as they should as far as I am concerned. [You can get rid of the Iranian President as far as I am concerned.] I remember when some leaders in the Middle East were not bigots, something that does not appear to be the case today. Abba Eban, for example. The former King of Jordan, whose name is escaping me at the moment.
It would seem to me that if any country has a bigot as its leader or foreign minister, that country should be called on it, correct?
Please provide me with examples of language of BDS that somehow influenced the murderer. If you cannot substantiate your allegations, then your group, as well intended as it may be, is just more noise being added to the problems in the Middle East and is not being helpful.
I look forward to your response. Thank you.
Robert P. Khoury
Los Angeles, CA
Reply to Robert Khoury from David Horowitz:
Excuse me, but Palestinian leaders have openly called for the extermination of the Jews and the obliteration of the Jewish state in so many words. Where is the Israeli leader who has said anything remotely comparable? Israel’s leaders have offered the Palestinians a state more than once, and continue to promote a two-state solution. Name me one Palestinian leader who supports the existence of the Jewish state. So don’t tell me there’s anything remotely parallel on both sides of this conflict. There is one side that wants peace and has already made enormous sacrifices and compromises to achieve peace (surrender of the Sinai, failure to annex the aggressors territories on the West Bank and in Gaza, unilateral withdrawal from Gaza and so forth). On the other side are religious xenophobes who have conducted a 60 year war whose stated goal is to destroy the Jewish state and who have either openly called for or have not condemned calls from Hamas, Hizbollah and Iran for the extermination of the Jews.
Response from Times reader Jay Gillen:
As a Jew and supporter of Israel, I was concerned and saddened by your advertisement today on the NY Times op-ed page.
I fully understand your disagreement with the divestment movement, and I also understand the parallel with Nazi and other anti-Semitic economic attacks on Jews.
It is wrong, however, to equate the divestment movement with anti-Semitism.
There must be a way to criticize Israeli policy without being labelled an anti-Semite or supporter of anti-Semites. We must enlarge the dialogue about Israel in such a way that people can speak together, act politically without violence, communicate, and not attribute motives that put the “other” into the category of evil.
I think you agree with me, and in fact that you reject the divestment movement precisely because it seems to attack Israelis as “evil”. There are anti-Semites. They do hate Jews and Israel. They do take comfort from the divestment movement. But the professors you mention are not anti-Semites and do not hate Jews. You should be able to distinguish them from others. And you should not hate them, even if you believe they hate you. Disagree with them, if you choose; but disagree on the merits of their arguments, not by associating them with the truly evil. Let us have done with that as a tactic, on our side at least.
Thank you for your attention.
Jay Gillen, Ph.D.
Reply from David Horowitz:
With all due respect you need to familiarize yourself with the sponsors, spokespeople and agendas of the BDS movement before drawing such facile and comforting conclusions. This is Hamas in action and its agenda is the liberation of “Palestine” from the river to the sea — in other words the destruction of the Jewish state. It is not about policies of the Israeli government which can be amended. It is about the “crime” of Israel’s very existence. To support such a movement you have to be ignorant and a dupe, or an anti-Semite. I grant you that there is a sucker born every minute and there may be several in this movement. But the organizers of the BDS conference are not among them.
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