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Letters to the Editor, March 19

Honoring Rachel Corrie

Fifteen years ago, 23-year-old Rachel Corrie was killed by the Israeli military. She was trying to prevent the destruction of an innocent family’s home and the bulldozer ran her over twice. Opponents of Palestinian human rights claim the home was used for terrorism, but after their home was demolished (without recompense from Israel), the Nasrallahs, whose home it was, traveled to Tel Aviv to obtain an American visa and went on a speaking tour of America. Some terrorists!

Rachel’s quest for justice is now in trouble. Since Israel’s occupation of Palestine fulfills the three pillars of apartheid — 1. preferential legal status based on ethnicity/religion, 2. forced geographic separation of groups like the South African bantustans of its apartheid years and 3. a security apparatus to enforce discriminatory laws — BDS (boycott, divestment and sanctions) was created in an effort to force Israel to comply with international law as was successfully done against South African apartheid. But now the power, wealth and influence of the Israel lobby has reared its ugly head again with Senate Bill 720, which seeks to criminalize support for BDS by “any person engaged in interstate or foreign commerce.”

Let’s remember that BDS is nonviolent resistance to a violent occupation. Criminalizing support for it is anathema to all people who value justice. We can honor Rachel Corrie’s sacrifice by contacting Sen. Ron Wyden and request he withdraw his sponsorship of S720, a bill promoted by the powerful Israel lobby in an effort to punish Americans for supporting Palestinian human rights. Google Jewish Voice for Peace for more info and to join hundreds of thousands of American Jews in supporting BDS against Israel.

Gene Robbins

Ashland