Wash Post:Want to Stop Israeli Settlements? Start With Americans

Ronit Avni, the Executive Director of Just Vision has a very important op-ed in today’s Washington Post. The points she makes about American private support for the settlement enterprise should be taken to heart by all.

I agree with Ronit when she says “I am not suggesting that non-profits should lose their tax advantages simply because they are at odds with American foreign policy. But the settlements are widely considered a violation of international law.” There is certainly a legal question there that should be discussed and decided.

But I’d make another point in addition to that one. There are a great many Americans, Jewish and otherwise, who are concerned about Israel’s future and the human rights of the Palestinians, both of which are seriously threatened by the settlements. And it’s important, to be sure, for those folks to support President Obama and American peace groups. Continue reading

A Note To Commenters

It is my intention to maintain this site as a place where people can comment freely. That does not, however, mean that there are no guidelines.

The subject we deal with here is bound to stir up passions. I do, however, insist that we all keep the conversation to debating, however passionately, the issues and not the characters of others. Please confine your comments to matters of substance and not to your own views of the personalities of other commenters.

I do not believe that, in recent conversations, there has been anything I would call a terrible breach of that guideline, but I’ve been doing this long enough to see when it is starting to veer in that direction. So, this is a pre-emptive caution. If folks cannot keep to matters of substance, I will have to moderate all comments. That’s something I do not find desirable, and something I do not really have time for. If I have to go that route, it opens the possibility that I might then, due to time constraints, be forced to turn off comments entirely.

So let’s keep this an open forum, where we deal with the substantive issues with respect for each other, even when we disagree. We operate under the premise that, whether one supports the Israeli view or the Palestinian one or any shade of grey in between, we do so because we believe that view is right and just. And we therefore argue the issues, not each other’s motivations, character or other personal issues.

Thanks in advance for everyone’s cooperation.