Letter: BDS exists to stop abuse of rights

Les Peterson

Regarding David Nadler’s April 22 column “BDS bill supports Israel”:

Nadler says the Boycott, Divest and Sanction (BDS) is an effort to destroy the state of Israel. That is not true. BDS is an effort to stop Israel’s abuse of Palestinian human rights. The BDS movement is against businesses and projects that are connected to these practices. BDS is an invitation to the world to participate in a non-violent method of civil resistance that holds Israel accountable for human rights and other international law violations.

I am disturbed by the use of illegal settlements, a wall, and checkpoints that have separated West Bank Palestinians from their farmland, jobs, schools, hospitals, water sources and from each other. Palestinians began the BDS campaign in 2005 as a way to speak up for basic human rights. As the movement has grown Israel has escalated attacks on it, including physical threats against the co-founder of the BDS movement and other defenders of human rights. Amnesty International issued a statement on April 12 condemning these attacks that include threats to restrict freedom of movement, canceling residency permits, death threats, arrests, imprisonment and violence against non-violent assembling protesters. Amnesty International also condemns the Israeli government’s intimidation of Israeli soldiers and their families who are speaking out against abusive or criminal Israeli military practices that include portraying human rights defenders as security threats.

If Israel’s policies sound like apartheid, that’s because they are, and our federal and state governments are looking the other way. I encourage Americans to educate themselves as to what is happening in Israel. Stand up for BDS.

Les Peterson

Volga City

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