Five U.S. Jewish, Christian and Muslim leaders were barred from going to Israel under a new law that prohibits entry to the Jewish state by foreign activists who advocate a boycott of the country.
One of them was the deputy director of “Jewish Voice for Peace”, Rabbi Alissa Wise. I wrote to her as follows:
Dear Rabbi Wise,
I read with interest that you have been refused permission to fly to Israel
Not knowing anything about your organization, I went to your website, which carries the headline: “The people of Gaza should have electricity, clean drinking water, functioning hospitals, and opportunities to rebuild. This means that Israel needs to end its brutal blockade, and the world needs to pressure them to do just that.”
As a person who always votes for Meretz in our national elections, I am sympathetic of a left-wing agenda for the State of Israel. That having been said, the above headline makes no reference whatsoever to the part that Hamas has played in bringing about the current situation. You may recall that when Israel unilaterally vacated Gush Katif, it left the greenhouses and irrigation systems intact as a gesture of goodwill. This did not stop Hamas from arming itself and firing rockets on Sederot’s civilian population. Where were you then? Did you condemn their actions? As you know, Hamas’s stated policy is to work for the destruction of Israel. It says as much in its Charter.
Dr. Mahmoud Al Zahar, a co-founder of Hamas, is on record as having stated: “Neither the liberation of the Gaza Strip nor the liberation of the West Bank or even Jerusalem will suffice us. Hamas will pursue the armed struggle until the liberation of all our lands. We don’t recognize the state of Israel or its right to hold onto one inch of Palestine. Palestine is an Islamic land belonging to all the Muslims.”
And you want us to end the blockade! That is not what you do with an enemy. (Look at what your own country does to Cuba, which is not committed to the destruction of the United States of America.)
Of course I sympathize with the suffering of Gaza’s civilian population, but they chose their leaders and pay the price for that in the same way as ordinary Germans suffered after Adolf Hitler had been elected by them as their chancellor.
As you will gather, I do not share your political sympathies. I feel sure that you have no wish to see Israel destroyed, but an open border with Gaza would risk precisely that. I can see why my government decided to keep you out.
Rabbi Michael Boyden