Dear Washington Post Staff,
The illusions about Israel in our popular culture all came to a crashing end, for me, when I lived and worked in Bethlehem for eighteen months. I am not writing to tell you that the State of Israel is a supernatural root of evil; I believe Israel is a state making poor decisions that are illegal under international law and the United States is playing the part of an ‘enabling’ friend who helps perpetuate misbehavior. The occupation and its methods are unconscionable. Palestinian scholars called for the ASA’s boycott of Israel’s institutions, though not to hurt Israeli scholars but to highlight that academia in Israel is co-opted by an ethnocentric, violent agenda, advancing because of right-wing political coalitions in the Knesset that rely on fear appeals and bombast performances. The settlement enterprise has been, is, and will be a hobble for Palestine and a stain on Israel. Though the problematic nature of a ‘Jewish State’ will remain, Israel needs to at least respect the movement to desist from building settlement blocks in the West Bank, withdrawing its military chokehold. More stall tactics will not bode well for them, economically. Thank you for receiving my letter.