BDS Derangement Syndrome in my Local Paper

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[Update: my LTE was published in the March 15 edition of Foster's Daily Democrat, shaking not only the earth but also the heavens.]

I was irritated enough with Robert Azzi's recent opinion column (alternate link) in my local paper to compose a letter to the editor. Here it is, with appropriate links added:

Robert Azzi's recent opinion column seriously misrepresents HB339, proposed New Hampshire legislation that opposes the so-called "Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions" (BDS) movement. He claims the bill to be a Republican attempt "to silence the legitimate voices of Granite Staters". It's not.

Azzi further claims that HB339 prohibits state investment in "any organization or institution that opposes apartheid, opposes settler-colonialism, opposes Israeli domination over the Palestinian people, opposes persecution of an occupied people, opposes war crimes of incarceration, displacement, and annexation." That's a wildly inaccurate overstatement, totally unmoored from the bill's actual language.

BDS economically targets (only) the country of Israel. There's little doubt about the ultimate goal of BDS: eventual destruction of the Jewish state. One of the BDS co-founders, Omar Barghouti, is on record as opposing "a Jewish state in any part of Palestine."

HB339 simply prohibits any state government investment (via its retirement system portfolios and deferred compensation plans) in companies that boycott Israel. That's it. It is a relatively mild version of "anti-BDS" legislation, laws enacted in opposition to the BDS campaign.

Azzi points his finger at Republicans in the legislature, but (as he admits) more than 30 other states have enacted anti-BDS laws, including states firmly under control of Democrats. Some of the broader anti-BDS laws are of arguable constitutionality; that's an active issue in the courts. But the Supreme Court recently refused to take up a case that challenged the Arkansas anti-BDS law, leaving that law in effect.

I didn't mention the opening paragraph of Azzi's column:

"Palestinian activists have long supported the Black people’s struggle against racism," Angela Davis, Black American academic and social activist said in 2020. "When I was in jail, solidarity coming from Palestine was a major source of courage for me. In Ferguson, Palestinians were the first to express international solidarity. … We have a profound responsibility to support Palestinian struggles."

When you start quoting Angela Davis (ontime recipient of the "Lenin Peace Prize") in support of your views, … well, you might get a high five from a few hard leftists, but otherwise, no, sorry.

Last Modified 2024-01-14 4:28 AM EDT