Influencing Israel

The threatened expulsion of six Palestinian households from Sheikh Jerrah in East Jerusalem was alluded to but not named in “Interfaith peace efforts strained by Israeli-Palestinian violence” (May 28). The oppression of Palestinians also harms Israel. A Jewish scholar once told me that in their treatment of Palestinians the Jewish people of Israel are losing their souls.

U.S. citizens, including Mennonites, can impact this conflict. First, support the members of the Congress who call for confronting Israel about Palestinian rights. Every year, Israel receives $3.8 billion from U.S. taxpayers. Thus the U.S. has 3.8 billion reasons to exert pressure on Israel to adopt a more just policy toward Palestinians. Second, support BDS: a nonviolent, grassroots call to the international community to boycott, divest and sanction the economic interests of Israel until it adopts a just policy toward Palestinians. I am saddened that Mennonite Central Committee does not join Jewish and Christian groups in supporting BDS. “Both-side­ism” — claiming not to take sides or to support both sides — actually supports the status quo and the dominant side’s oppression.

J. Denny Weaver, Madison, Wis.

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