To the Editor:
A letter in the Feb. 21 edition of The Catholic Messenger supported the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel and was critical of Senate Bill 1. It should be noted that this is not a partisan issue. From the Democratic Party Platform: “That is why we will always support Israel’s right to defend itself … and oppose any effort to delegitimize Israel, including at the United Nations or through the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions Movement” (democrats.org). The Republican Party Platform also opposes the BDS movement.
The letter claimed that supporting the BDS Movement is not anti-Semitic, a notion that I feel should be rejected. I had the chance to visit the National Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C., last week. One exhibit detailed the Nazi boycott of all Jewish businesses in Germany in 1933. Another exhibit contained the following statement: “The history of the Holocaust shows that targeting an entire group has far-reaching consequences. It leads to an increase in xenophobia, racism, and extremism throughout society, with potentially devastating consequences for individuals, communities and nations.”
Catholics should be aware of our past and vigilant of our current treatment of the Jewish people. We should also be aware of the alarming amount of anti-Semitism that is in the world around us.
The BDS movement is anti-Semitic because it seeks to injure the Jewish people as a whole. We as Catholics should not support policies or movements on either end of the political spectrum that would seek to discriminate against Jewish people or any other religious groups. The following quote from the Vision 20/20 concept paper offers relevant advice: “In recent years, we have weathered storms and navigated through some difficult challenges. We believe it is time now to be proactive about the future and be a light to the world.”