As a Penn alumna, I was appalled to read today’s Guest Column by Professor Ruben Gur. Not only is his belligerent rhetoric inappropriate and nonproductive, it does nothing to promote the civil discourse so desperately needed in Israel or Palestine today. As a member of the faculty of the University of Pennsylvania, his ignorance of the facts regarding the Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions movement and the plight of the Palestinians is inexcusable. He and others of his mindset fail to see or perhaps want to see, that the BDS movement, which is international in scope, is a nonviolent attempt to address the inequities that exist between Israelis and Palestinians. Inequities that continue to obstruct the process to peaceful coexistence between Israel and Palestine. When Palestinians have their water turned on only once every fourteen days, as they do in Hebron in the occupied Palestinian territories while the residents of the illegal Israeli settlement immediately above have water 24/7 and swimming pools, it is hard to see how that is equal coexistence.
As one who is old enough to have been a young woman involved in the civil rights movement in this country and then to have had the privilege of working for the anti-apartheid boycott and divestment movement for black South Africans, it is indeed troubling to see that my own alma mater faculty is resorting to the same hateful discourse that so obstructed the goals of both of those morally imperative actions.
Judith T. Beck is a 1964 graduate of the Nursing school. She lives in Philadelphia.
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