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Davis, California

Thursday, May 23, 2024

Letter to the editor


A pro-Palestinian solidarity event took a sharp turn to show the ugly face of intolerance and racism at an event on Feb. 3. The event was organized by those who started the petition to boycott all Israeli products from the Davis Food Co-op.

Following a screening of a movie criticizing Israeli policies in the West Bank, a discussion was initiated and quickly deteriorated into calling all Israelis Nazis. If that was not enough, members of the crowd pointed specifically at the three Israelis in the room and referred to them as Nazis.

I am a new resident of Davis. When I arrived here I witnessed and appreciated an open, liberal community. All religions are represented and respected, sexual orientation is personal business and environmental issues are at the heart of public opinion. I saw the people of Davis as citizens with higher causes at heart. The above-mentioned event reminded me that no place is immune to ignorance, prejudice and hatred, and that we should never stop telling the horrific story of the Holocaust.

Jan. 27 marked the International Holocaust Remembrance Day commemorating the six million Jews and millions of other nationalities who were brutally murdered in gas chambers and labor concentration camps. The vandalizing of Jewish cemeteries, broken tombstones and graffiti swastikas all shocked participants in memorial ceremonies on that day.

“This is a living reminder that anti-Semitism is not dead,” said Shlomo Mula, member of the Israeli Parliament.

The first amendment addresses side-by-side freedom of religion and freedom of speech. Those two freedoms go hand in hand. Calling for the annihilation of a people for being part of a religion denies them both.


Israel Program Director

Hillel at Davis and Sacramento


  1. International Committee of the Red Cross Press release

    Geneva/Jerusalem (ICRC) – Israeli restrictions, including measures ostensibly designed to protect settlements, continue to have a severe impact on the lives of many Palestinians in the occupied West Bank, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said today.

    While the economy has shown signs of growth and certain restrictions on the movement of Palestinians have been lifted, living a normal life is close to impossible for many people in the West Bank.

    “The ICRC has repeatedly called for action to be taken to allow Palestinians to live their lives in dignity,” said Béatrice Megevand-Roggo, the ICRC’s head of operations for the Middle East and North Africa. “We reiterate our call on Israel to do more to protect Palestinians in the West Bank against settler violence, to safeguard their land and crops, to allow families to repair their houses and to ensure that all Palestinians can get to hospital or to school without delay.”

    For decades, restrictions linked to the settlements, which are illegal under international humanitarian law, have resulted in Palestinian farmers losing land and income. Despite recent improvements in the economic situation, an estimated 50 per cent of the West Bank population lives in poverty. Particularly hard hit are Palestinians living in areas under full Israeli civil and military control (referred to as Area C) – which represent over 50 percent of the land.

    Checkpoints, roadblocks and earth mounds as well as the routing of the West Bank barrier present everyday obstacles for many Palestinians. Some of them are often unable to reach a hospital or visit their relatives. The West Bank barrier, inasmuch as it veers away from the 1949 Armistice Line, or “Green Line,” into occupied territory, is contrary to international humanitarian law. Furthermore, the Fourth Geneva Convention prohibits the confiscation of land for the purpose of building or expanding settlements.

    Harassment or violence perpetrated by Israeli settlers is a regular occurrence, preventing many farmers from cultivating or even setting foot on their own land. Approximately 10,000 olive trees have been chopped down or burnt in the past three years. Furthermore, Palestinians are facing a range of restrictive urban-planning measures implemented by the Israeli authorities. They are often unable to get permission to repair or enlarge their houses, meaning that young people have few options but to leave home or live in cramped conditions with the rest of the family.

    “Israel must find the right balance between meeting its legitimate security needs and safeguarding the basic rights of the Palestinian population,” said Ms Megevand-Roggo. Under international humanitarian law, as the occupying power, Israel has an obligation to treat the civilian population humanely at all times. It must allow the West Bank’s economy to grow, and ensure that Palestinians have sufficient access to water and health care. It must not requisition, destroy or damage property belonging to civilians unless absolutely required by military necessity.

  2. It seems that our ideas of tolerance for others are not shared by everyone. While of course, all political ideas are open for discussion, the Anti-Israel side has taken an unacceptably intolerant direction against, not only Israel as a political entity with policies, but really because it is a Jewish state. Unfortunately, our high level of tolerance for others in the US, has permitted this blatant racist behavior by Anti-Israel groups rather than applying the same “no tolerance for racism” standard that we apply to all others. Simply, these anti-Israel groups also attract racists with a “Jew hatred” focus who tend to use the vocabulary of modern poiltical correctness to camoflauge a deeply disturbing agenda. Lets not be fooled and lets not be naive.


  3. Unfortunately this is not the first or last time a mob in Davis sponsored by SJP/SPJ/MSA will turn hatred on Jews in general under the guise of “dialogue” about Israel.


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