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Supporters of BDS need to explore what it means

The letter, “Boycotts have a long history as protected political speech,” demonstrates an odd inconsistency, supporting the right of some to Boycott, Divestment and Sanction (BDS) Israel, but denying the New York State Senate the right to boycott those who participate in the BDS movement. The writer also lashes out at “Israeli human rights abuses of Palestinians” as if the genocidal refusal by Palestinians to live peacefully with Israel weren’t the real cause of turmoil in the Holy Land.

The writer rails against “companies that profit from products produced in the illegally occupied West Bank Israeli settlements.” If he really cares about the Palestinians, he would note that Israeli enterprises in the West Bank are a major source of employment in the underdeveloped Palestinian economy. If he cares about truth, he will stop referring to the settlements as illegal; international law allows a nation to seize territory in its own defense, as Israel did in 1967.

One wonders, also, if this writer intends to divest of his cellphone, his Intel- and Windows-powered computers, his flash drives or his Waze GPS, all products of Israeli-developed technologies. What about his Israeli-produced prescription drugs, or Israeli-manufactured modern medical machines? Perhaps he would urge the Pentagon to divest itself of the enormous military improvements Israeli engineers have made to American equipment and shared with the United States, or Israeli battlefield rescue techniques that save the lives of wounded soldiers. Perhaps he would urge California to divest its consultation with Israeli experts in desalination and drip irrigation. Perhaps he would have disabled Americans boycott Israeli-made assistive technologies. Those inclined to support BDS are advised to investigate what it really means.

Laurence Boxer, Ph.D.

Niagara Falls