A letter in the Oct. 28 issue of the Jamaica Plain Gazette attempted to equate criticism of Israel with anti-Semitism. I wholeheartedly disagree. I am Jewish and very critical of the history and policies of the state of Israel toward Palestinians and that does not make me an anti-Semite.
The Movement for Black Lives released a comprehensive vision platform this summer. I think it deserves to be read in its entirety: policy.m4bl.org.
It also seems important to look at the one paragraph that Allen Spivack misrepresented in his letter:
The U.S. justifies and advances the global war on terror via its alliance with Israel and is complicit in the genocide taking place against the Palestinian people. The U.S. requires Israel to use 75 percent of all the military aid it receives to buy U.S.-made arms. Consequently, every year billions of dollars are funneled from U.S. taxpayers to hundreds of arms corporations, who then wage lobbying campaigns pushing for even more foreign military aid. The results of this policy are twofold: it not only diverts much needed funding from domestic education and social programs, but it makes U.S. citizens complicit in the abuses committed by the Israeli government. Israel is an apartheid state with over 50 laws on the books that sanction discrimination against the Palestinian people. Palestinian homes and land are routinely bulldozed to make way for illegal Israeli settlements. Israeli soldiers also regularly arrest and detain Palestinians as young as 4 years old without due process. Everyday, Palestinians are forced to walk through military checkpoints along the U.S.-funded apartheid wall.
I am proud to be an active participant in the monthly vigils in support of Black Lives Matter. We will celebrate a year anniversary on Dec. 1. My belief that Black lives matter is enduring and unconditional. I will not allow anyone to drive a wedge between people who express or tolerate criticism of Israel with those who recognize the need to stand up and be visible when Black people are under attack. Especially given the outcome of the election, we need to be even more united against racism.
Nancy B. Kohn
Jamaica Plain resident