To the Editor:
The article (June 5) about the UC divestment petition (www.ucdivest.org) cited opponents as calling the measure “anti-semitic.” The press conference was small, occurring during a UC vacation, but 3 of the 7 faculty and student speakers were Jewish.
A disagreement with Sharon's government is no more anti-semitic than disagreement with President Bush's policies is unpatriotic or anti-American, or opposition to South African apartheid anti-white. In fact, colleagues in Israel have urged divestment and boycott campaigns as a way of helping to change policies which are locked in violence.
Insulting epithets are a tactic to silence criticism, and may explain why when we read the Israeli press we see more discussion of alternatives than in the American mainstream press.
This is about peace, about establishing international borders for Israel for the first time, and about reducing the incentives for both Palestinian and Israeli Defense Force terrorism (assassinations and violent coercion of civilians under US Congressional definitions).
Is it our business?
Yes, because the US taxpayers spend about $3 billion annually on supplying Israel with unconditional force. Divestment worked before, why not now.