Dear Ms. May,
I was recently made aware of the fact that the National Women’s Studies Association (NWSA) decided to join the ranks of those educational institutions and organizations boycotting the State of Israel. Although sadly I am never that surprised to hear about the most recent group to follow the ignorant horde, in this particular instance I was somewhat taken aback by your organizations decision, especially since you claim that your members “actively pursue knowledge to promote a just world in which all persons can develop to their fullest potential—one free from ideologies, systems of privilege or structures that oppress or exploit some for the advantage of others.” Well allow me to disseminate some of that knowledge to you so you might come to realize how ludicrous it is that an institution making that type of claim would boycott the State of Israel.
Israel is, and always has been a leader in Women’s Rights. In Israel’s Declaration of Independence it is stated that all residents are afforded “equality of social and political rights irrespective of religion, race, or gender.” Despite the reaction those words might invoke from someone choosing to boycott Israel for what they claim are actions to the contrary, Israel has proven over the years to be true to this claim. Israeli women enter the army at 18, women are free to dress as they like, they are free to marry or not marry, they are provided with equality in the work force, they are free to be gay or straight, and they can ascend to the highest ranks in government. As you sit in judgment here in America, we have a presidential candidate leading the polls who publicly insulted a female contender in a way that offended many women, not just the candidate he insulted. Although we will likely finally have a female representing one of the 2 major parties in the general election, we are yet to elect a female president. One of Israel’s greatest Prime Ministers was Golda Meir, and she was already the country’s Head of Government way back in 1969. Yet your organization, an organization promoting women’s studies chooses to boycott Israel.
All individuals living peacefully in Israel are afforded the same rights. The leader of the BDS movement was afforded those same rights, educated himself in an Israeli university, and subsequently turned around and started a movement that is pulling the wool over the eyes of those who belong to groups such as yours. All Israel has ever done is try to find a way to live in peace. Under the constant threat of attack even those with the best of intentions will err, but if one examines the facts openly and honestly they will find that Israel has shown remarkable restraint, remained as ethical as possible, and continued to function as a free and democratic society. A claim none of their neighbors van legitimately make.
Before I conclude I would like to make mention of a few more Israelis of the feminine persuasion. Hadar Buchris, a 21 year old Israeli woman, stabbed to death on a bus stop on November 23, 2015. Dalia Lamkus, a 25 year old Israeli woman stabbed to death on a bus stop November 10, 2014. Karen Mosquera, 22, an Israeli woman intentionally mowed down by a car on a bus stop on October 22, 2014. And Chaya Zissel Braun, a 3 month old baby girl killed in the same attack. All of these victims were murdered by Palestinians whose supporters, people like yourselves, claim to be supporting a noble cause. If your organization considers murder a noble cause I suggest you reevaluate how you advertise yourselves, because what I read made it seem as though you care about the well-being and protection of innocent people, particularly women.
In this political climate it take more strength to support Israel than to oppose Israel. Maybe your organization has chosen to take the easy way out, a way in which you will receive less opposition and more press. If that is the case I appeal to your sense of decency and credibility and hope you will reexamine this decision, especially seeing as you are portraying yourselves as promoters of freedom and justice.
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