Recent events in Israel should give pause to those who believe any criticism of its government is “antisemitic.” When its prime minister of over 30 years, who has promised to annex the West Bank, finishes in a dead heat with his opponent even though he is being investigated on multiple charges of corruption, it is clear that not only the government but at least half of Israelis have abandoned any pretense of wanting a two-state resolution of its chronic conflict with Palestine. When it has occupied East Jerusalem and declared Syria’s occupied Golan Heights its own property, can any informed person really think Israel wants peace?

How can we regard Israel as a democracy when its prime minister receives strong support after pledging to exclude Arab Israelis from the government, when it declares itself a “Jewish state” even though 30% of its population is Christian or Muslim, and when it has over 50 laws that discriminate between Arab and Jewish citizens?

We give Israel over $10 million per day to finance its brutal occupation and protect illegal settlers who daily harass and attack Palestinians on their own land. How can we justify continuing to blindly support an apartheid government that even many of its own officials have called “fascist?”

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Those who love Israel need to realize that blind support for what is becoming an international pariah state is not doing Israelis any favors. I encourage them to check out Jewish Voice for Peace at jewishvoiceforpeace.org to find out more.

Rick Staggenborg

Albany (Sept. 18)

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