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David Sloviter: Canceling Israel trip the wrong move

  • A picture taken on Oct. 9, 2018 shows a general view of the West Bank city of Nablus. APA IMAGES/TNS/Shadi Hatem


Monday, December 03, 2018
Canceling Israel trip the wrong move

The recent decision by the leadership of Northampton to cancel Chief Kasper’s training trip to Israel is nothing less than a disgraceful participation in the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS) against Israel. The trip was about training, not politics, in spite of the desire of some people to turn every event into a political conflict to prove a narrow point. The view of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict expressed by the group opposing the trip is one-sided and hypocritical. Where is their outrage over hundreds of missiles recently fired into civilian areas in Israel from Gaza? While the Palestinians certainly have legitimate grievances against Israeli policy, their refusal to recognize Israel’s right to exist and their calls for its destruction only make the situation worse. It is a matter of survival for Israel. Where is their opposition to those policies?

I disapprove of and disagree with Prime Minister Netanyahu almost as much as I do President Trump. They are friends because they are cut from the same cloth. That is also not the point. Should people around the world refuse to travel to the U.S. because of its appalling history of its treatment of minorities? The legacy of that treatment continues today with the killing of young black men. Visit the National Memorial for Peace and Justice in Montgomery, Alabama and then explain why there is a double standard with Israel. Should the world boycott the U.S. over racial injustice? The sanctimonious approach regarding Israel is hypocritical at best. I want our police trained to the highest standard to deal with the native terrorism which will one day visit our peaceful and supposedly insulated valley. Boycotts and other forms of not interacting don’t work. It has produced 58 years of unresolved conflict with Cuba. If the leadership of Northampton is so sure that Israeli policy is wrong, they should seize every opportunity to affect it for the better by engaging. If, on the other hand, they canceled the trip to placate a group with a one-sided view of the issue, then shame on them for lacking political courage.

David Sloviter
Amherst