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Wednesday, May 8, 2013
I take issue with Morton Nadler’s April 26 letter (“An unfounded accusation,” Pick of the day) defending Robert F. Boyd’s scurrilous commentary (“There is no peace process,” April 13) about American Jews and Israel.
Nadler claims “any criticism of Israel is, by Israelis’ own definition, a criticism of Jews, i.e., anti-Semitism.” This is nonsense, as can be seen in the Israeli media, which are full of criticisms of government policies. I have criticisms of Israeli policies myself, but I also believe Israel has a right to exist as a Jewish state and to defend itself.
The problem with Boyd’s commentary isn’t his criticism of Israel and U.S. policy — even if his version of events is one-sided. Rather, Boyd’s portrayal of American Jews as exercising excessive influence in politics, media and finance due to their supposed wealth and power is part of a trope with a dark and ancient history. His denial of anti-Semitic intent doesn’t let him off the hook.
There’s nothing mysterious or sinister about U.S. support for Israel. Countless polls have shown most Americans — gentiles as well as Jews — sympathize with Israel. American politicians vote for pro-Israel policies because that is what voters want them to do.
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