Empathy for Palestinians hardly equals anti-Semitism

To the Editor:

I will not explain the case for divestment yet again; Julian Perez and Saqib Bhatti have done that quite well already in recent issues of the Yale Daily News (“Divest now from a racist government,” 11/15 and “Divestment is not an attack on the Jewish people,” 11/19). However, I must reiterate one thing: my issues with Israel are by no means issues with Judaism. It both offends and saddens me that Justin Zaremby ’03 (“Anti-Semitism: back en vogue and kicking,” 11/19) mistakes my empathy for the Palestinians as hate for the Jews. The “anti-Semite” label is an extremely powerful one, especially in the context of the last century. By falling back on accusations of anti-Semitism, Zaremby is exploiting the Jews’ own tragic history to unfairly dismiss a legitimate argument.

Matthew Rohde ’06

November 19, 2002

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