Letter: Justice for Palestine
As the hostilities between Israel and the Palestinians living in the Gaza strip dominate the news, it is important to continue to underscore the morally unsupportable policies and practices of Israeli’s government vis-à-vis the West Bank.
Those of us who have visited Israel and the Palestinian territories have witnessed first hand the razed villages, the construction of new settlements on confiscated land, and the divisive 25-foot cement wall that separates Palestinian families from their livelihood. While our U.S. Government supports Israel through an annual $3 billion plus package of defense assistance, there is a growing American voice of dissent from many who feel compelled to act locally on the rights-based call from Palestinians for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS).
Hence, we encourage our West County neighbors not to purchase Soda Stream — a seltzer water maker — produced by a company owned and operated in one of the Israeli settlements on confiscated Palestinian land. This product is currently available in a number of our local stores. We also call on resident shoppers to boycott Sabra and Tribe Hummus, products from companies half-owned by Israeli groups with a history of human rights abuses against the Palestinian people and the militarily backed prevention of Palestinian access to lands confiscated by the Israeli government.
Further, consider not purchasing Hewlett-Packard products as a way of voicing our collective awareness that they provide and maintain the electronics used by the Israeli army at the onerous check points on the West Bank, which manage the daily mobility of all Palestinians. Governments and international groups must press Israel through serious sanctions to change its policies and practices vis-à-vis the Palestinian population.
Let us vote our collective conscience with our dollars to give an additional strong local voice to change what is blatantly unjust.
PETER J. PURDY
Franklin County Justice for Palestine