December 3: BDS labels

Readers respond to the latest Jerusalem Post articles.

Letters (photo credit: REUTERS)
(photo credit: REUTERS)
BDS labels
There are ongoing actions all over the world regarding BDS and labeling products emanating from “outside” Israeli borders.
At present, Israel is a country without recognized borders.
Since 1948, many proposals have been initiated for the express purpose of establishing such borders, alas so far, without success.
The “green line” was merely the line drawn on a map in green ink, indicating the ceasefire line of 1967. It was not a border declared by any party or international body.
It is therefore impossible to declare that anything originates from within Israel or from without, or where “settlements” lie.
Equally mystifying is the situation in Jerusalem. A child born in Jerusalem to American parents is entitled to US citizenship. His US passport, however, will give his place of birth as just “Jerusalem,” not “Jerusalem, Israel.”
The US government’s official explanation is that “the status of Jerusalem has yet to be determined.”
In the same way, then, if we cannot say with certainty what is Jerusalem, we can hardly say what is not.
Reaching excellence
In her column (“The American war against the Jews,” Column One, December 2) Caroline Glick writes about the rejection of meritocracy, which has greatly benefited the Jews over the last century, on US campuses today. In the last few decades, however, it is the Asian students who, on the basis of meritocracy, have surpassed the Jews and every other group in university admissions and performance. I would like Glick to inform us about how they are being affected, if at all, by the new “fascism.”
The answer may contribute to or detract from her argument.
Hateful boycott
I found Dr. Marsha Levine’s reply to the 13-year-old Israeli student full of hatred (“Ex-Cambridge academic boycotts question by 13-year-old Israel,” December 2).
Would Levine give the same reply to a 13-year-old student living in Iran, Turkey, China, or Pakistan – all of whom have serious human rights issues? Israel is a democracy, the only one in the Middle East, and hence not every citizen voted for the current government.
I wish to remind Levine that like it nor not, she cannot boycott Israel, as Israeli hi-tech innovation is found in her computer and mobile telephone – please throw them away.
Ramat Hasharon
Dear Dr. Levine, in your email letter to 13-year-old Shachar Rabinovitz, you wrote that you would answer her question concerning your specialty, horses, when justice will come to Palestinians. What do you envision as justice for the Palestinians? Recent statements by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, the current world-recognized leader of the Palestinians, indicates he believes that Jews have no historic connection to the Holy Land, that all Holy Land areas that were ruled by Jordan from 1948-1967 should be Jew-free, and that Palestinians should rule the entire Holy Land. Is this what you believe to be justice for the Palestinians? What is more likely, that Rabinovitz would be sympathetic to Palestinians’ needs if you had answered her horse question and then described what the Palestinians’ problem is and how you believe it should be solved, or by your boycott?
Gag order
It would not surprise me if the “private attorney” who has petitioned the courts (“Attorney: Lift gag order on ‘breakthrough’ in suspected Jewish terrorism case,” December 2) to require publication of details of the investigation into the “price-tag” attacks (if that’s what the subject is) is in the pay of one or another of our media outlets.
Once the details are revealed, the newspapers and broadcast media will have a field day carrying on about the investigations.
We will hear about this affair until the next event replaces it on the front pages.
Until now, the media are doing what they can to report that they do not know anything about the affair, i.e., making something out of nothing. Your lead article in today’s newspaper is a good example of this.
Response to Boteach
Now that I have seen that a major Israeli publication has reblogged Shmuley Boteach’s article (“UK Jewish students try to silence mention of Israel,” No Holds Barred, December 1), I think it requires a response from somebody who was there.
Before I start, I must state that I am a proud Zionist, and I see myself as a critical, but fundamentally sympathetic friend of Israel. I have also been a B’nei Akiva madrich (counselor) for seven years.
Boteach turned up at our weekly Jewish Society lunch at King’s College without prior consultation with the J-Soc president or any of the rest of the committee. He just turned up and starting speaking. His speech was a 20-minute rant about how terrible Europe’s perspectives on Israel were.
The J-Soc president mentioned that this sort of talk was not appropriate for J-Soc as it is not a place where Israel (and here he meant Israeli politics, the issue of Israel rather than meaning absolutely anything to do with Israel) is discussed, and that such discussions are better situated in Israel society.
Boteach then rather sarcastically and cruelly starting lambasting this position, petulantly griping about his free speech.
What Boteach does not grasp is that there is a prevailing consensus among British Jewish students (even Zionist ones) that using J-Socs as a platform for Israel advocacy, and especially Israel advocacy of the sort that Boteach performs, is wrong.
This policy is held for a couple of reasons. First is to make sure that J-Soc is a place for all Jewish students, not exclusively Zionist ones. Second is that there should be absolutely no excuse for other students to make life difficult for a J-Soc. A J-Soc that is officially advocating of Israel is liable to be protested against and even banned by a students’ union. While this would probably never happen, the damage that a banning motion at a students’ union would cause to Jewish students on campus would be heartbreakingly awful.
This is not intended to stifle discussion about and relating to Israel on campus. In fact, quite the opposite. We are fortunate at King’s to have a diverse, active and well-run Israel society that exudes nuance. It has run several fantastic events this year, including speakers, films and a vigil to commemorate the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin.
Boteach was very nasty to our J-Soc president, who works and has worked tirelessly to make Jewish life at King’s as wonderful as it is. While he is well within his rights to disagree with our policy, it is childish bullying to do so in the way that he has. He ends his blog with the quote ‘It’s time to stand up to the bullies’ I agree.
Let’s stand up to him.