From the Salt Lake Tribune: Boycott Israel

Public Forum Letter
Updated: 03/16/2010 12:34:04 PM MDT

Israel’s announcement of plans to build 1,600 more housing units for Jews in Palestinian East Jerusalem is for me the last straw.

According to international law, that’s not Israeli land — it’s Palestinian land — a point the United States has reaffirmed for decades. Clearly, Israel doesn’t care about that or a two-state solution. It’s simply interested in land theft.

The Obama administration must not make Palestinian hopes for statehood and U.S. Mideast policy dependent on good behavior from Israel. It should announce that once the Palestinians truly start acting like a responsible state — caring more about police, roads, jobs and schools than lobbing missiles into Israel — then the United States will unilaterally recognize the Palestinian state, similar to what President Harry Truman did for Israel. That should make both sides serious about peace.

President Barack Obama probably won’t do that, so Americans should do what they did with the policy of apartheid in South Africa — boycott. Americans need to pressure Israel to seek peace with the Palestinians by disinvesting in organizations that trade with or own stock in Israeli companies. That approach helped bring South Africa around.

Some say this is anti-Semitic; it’s not. It’s about behavior — on both sides — not race.

Maurice Hall

Salt Lake City

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