David Sloviter: Writer misses point on Omar’s comments about Israel

  • Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., on Capitol Hill on March 12. AP

Published: 4/8/2019 11:51:54 AM

A recent letter supporting Congresswoman Ilhan Omar’s comments about Israeli influence missed the fundamental point and revealed the writer’s antipathy towards Israel by repeatedly referring to Israel as a fascist state.

Israel is a democracy that currently has a belligerent leader with whose policies many people rightly disagree. That sounds painfully familiar here in the U.S.

Forget for a moment the specifics of anti-Semitic buzzwords, outrageous claims about Israel being solely responsible for Palestinian misery, the controversy over Northampton canceling a police training trip, and the fact that Omar rightly operates and expresses her views freely and safely.

The fundamental error in the kind of opposition expressed in the letter is the stunning hypocrisy of one-sided criticism. I continue to marvel at the lack of objection to any country’s behavior other than Israel. Qatar loaned money to the Kushner family business to curry favor with Trump. The Saudis finance Trump directly. It seems like money seeking influence to me.

The people in Gaza deliberately provoke Israel by shooting rockets into Israel and sending incendiary devises to start fires in agricultural fields. That seems like destruction to me.

Why would Israel not retaliate? The U.S. reacts with cruelty to people fleeing violence at our southern border. Can you imagine the response if anyone in “the caravan” shot missiles into Texas? Even little ones? The Palestinians actively call for the destruction of Israel and teach it in their schools.

Does that seem like “working together to obtain justice?” Where is the outrage when Israelis are attacked? Those of us who do not approve of Netanyahu’s policies and leadership would have a much easier time respecting opposing views if they were not so clearly biased. This is not a matter of labeling anyone who opposes Israeli policy as an anti-Semite. It is a matter of fairness and justice.

David Sloviter

Amherst




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