Your Voice | Think twice about tokenism


A Van Pelt Library clerk calls for a more realistic portrayal of Israel




I have read College freshman Shlomo Klapper’s guest column with interest.

I, too, have doubts about the efficacy of the Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions against the State of Israel campaign. I am concerned that the campaign is so visibly led by Palestinians: I would prefer a campaign led by Israelis, Palestinians and progressives from around the world, with no group taking front place.

I am also concerned that the campaign should pick the University of Pennsylvania for its conference: an urban campus with a very large Jewish and pro-Israeli population (not the same thing), where the issue would spark controversy, as it has, indeed done. On the other hand, that is one of the goals of the campaign. So I give them the appropriateness of the campus as a location for their conference.

However, Mr. Klapper’s characterization of Israel as a near-perfect democracy with progressive policies and public opinion regarding Arabs, women and LGBT people; as an enlightened judiciary, rule of law and a “moral military” (huh?! oxymoron!) is jejune, ill-informed and frankly delusional.

I am a Jewish Lesbian, I have been to Israel. I have family and friends living and working there in many different socioeconomic niches and I can tell you that quite the opposite is true. Israeli society is sick, driven by fear and hatred, violence, selfishness and greed, sucking at the U.S. tit to a point probably beyond repair.

To take just one of Mr. Klapper’s childish examples, Zippi Livni does not speak for me, as a Jew, a woman, a Lesbian, a progressive thinker. She represents the worst aspects of the people who tried to wipe us off the earth. For me, and progressive Jews all over the world, she represents nothing so much as someone to be ashamed of.

Tokenism, Mr. Klapper, is a tactic your high school teachers should have drummed out of you before you came to Penn.

Frances G. Hoenigswald
Van Pelt Library InterLibrary Loan Clerk

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