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Boycott Israel? A War of Words

This letter appeared in the New York Times on February 3, 2014. 

February 3, 2014

Letters to the Editor
New York Times 

To the Editor:

Re “Why Israel Fears the Boycott,” by Omar Barghouti (Sunday Review, Feb. 2):

When one considers the campaign’s true objective — the disappearance of the Jewish state of Israel — the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement’s complaint of being the victim of bullies who falsely apply the label of anti-Semitism is disingenuous.

By insisting on “the right of Palestinian refugees to return to the homes and lands from which they were forcibly displaced” in 1948, Mr. Barghouti effectively denies the Jewish people the right to fulfill their aspirations for a nation state. Singling out only Jews for the boycott — and encouraging governments, businesses and individuals to join in — is, at its core, anti-Semitic.

The so-called Palestinian “right of return” is a political tool — concocted and perpetuated by the Palestinian leadership to undermine a two-state solution by eliminating the Jewish majority in Israel. It is the demographic equivalent of invasion and conquest, clothed in more palatable terms of “nonviolence” and “democracy.” It is time those who side with the B.D.S. proponents wake up to the true goals of this enterprise.

Michael A. Salberg
Director, International Affairs

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