Letter writer Janice Kelly claims that "those of us who are opposing Israeli apartheid are being called anti-Semites" ("Criticism of Israel has merit," Feb. 16).
Of course, this fallaciously assumes that there is such a thing as Israeli apartheid. Criticism of Israel is different from demonization.
What leads people to believe that the boycotters are anti-Semites is that they maliciously characterize the situation in Israel as apartheid to justify a boycott. "Sentence first, verdict afterward," as the Queen of Hearts in "Alice in Wonderland" said.
The fact is, no such verdict can be sustained. The Palestinian Arabs started their reign of terror in the first decade of the last century. They could not accept the idea of Jews having self-determination in "Arab lands" (which the Zionists bought at excessive prices), so they vowed to drive them out.
Even Vladimir Jabotinsky, supposedly a radical, endorsed the Helsingfors Program, which would have created a democratic state for both Arabs and Jews living side by side. The Arabs would have none of it.
The situation now must be viewed in the context of history: The Arabs rejected peace with the Jewish settlers and launched a war of extermination. Their campaign of terror was responsible for the closing of the British Mandate's borders to Jews in 1939, just when the Jewish people needed a place of refuge.
The situation that the Arabs experience today is the bitter fruit of their defeat, which came too late to save the Jews of Europe. The Arabs have expended the Jews' trust and good will.
Ms. Kelly's letter suggests that the Jews do unto others as they would have done unto them. They have tried, but in return they have received massacres, rockets and suicide bombs.
The Jewish people have been walked over enough. Israel has had enough "sacrifices for peace."
As Jabotinsky famously wrote: "We were not created in order to teach morals and manners to our enemies. Let them learn these things for themselves before they establish relations with us. We want to hit back at anybody who harms us.
"Whoever does not repay a blow by a blow is also incapable of repaying a good deed in kind. Only someone who can hate his enemies can be a faithful friend to those who love him."
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