Dear Ms. Jody Williams,
From the time you won the Nobel Peace Prize for your efforts to ban landmines, you have been a hero to me. In my 2008 book, “The Broken American Male,” I wrote this:
“There are those unique people who really don’t think about themselves. Few will remember her name, but I remember how impressed I was with Jody Williams, who won the Nobel Prize for Peace in 1997 for her contribution to the worldwide campaign to discontinue the use of landmines. On the day she won she criticized the American government, President Clinton, and every other world leader who didn’t sign the petition banning landmines. Had she not condemned them for failing to take the threat of landmines seriously, she would have been treated like royalty. As the winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, she would have been invited to royal receptions and state dinners. But that meant nothing to her because she lives for a cause.”
It was also a great pleasure to meet you as a co-speaker in Puebla, Mexico, at the City of Ideas Convention, where we became friendly, and then to be reunited at the Peace Summit in Newark, convened by my close friend, Mayor (and now Senator) Cory Booker.
You are a woman of unique righteousness. I am therefore stunned to see your signature on the BDS call for a military boycott against Israel while it is fighting for its very life against Hamas. Are you not aware that if Israel did not have an army or armaments by which to fight its genocidal enemies, there would be a second Holocaust immediately?
Hamas, whom Israel is battling in Gaza, has a genocidal charter against the Jewish people, calling for the murder of Jews wherever they may be found. Among other rabidly racist, genocidal tropes, the charter says, “The Day of Judgment will not come until Muslims fight the Jews, when the Jew will hide behind stones and trees. The stones and trees will say, O Muslims … there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him.”
How can you, a fighter for women’s rights, align yourself with Hamas, which is guilty of innumerable honor killings of Palestinian women for the simple desire to marry the man they fall in love with if he is not chosen by their father? How can you, a campaigner for the rights of all people, align yourself with Hamas, which has killed hundreds of innocent homosexual Palestinians on false charges of collaborating with Israel?
In its efforts to impose sharia law on Gaza, Hamas has now criminalized couples holding hands on the beach. Yet you signed a letter that said that Israel uses its arms to “maintain decades of oppression” rather than simply protect its civilian population from the bloodthirsty murderers of Hamas, Hezbollah, and Islamic Jihad.
Amid their fraudulent piety, Hamas values are a disgrace to the peace-loving principles of Islam. Hamas is motivated not by Palestinian freedom but by hatred of Jews. Although Israel unilaterally withdrew from Gaza in 2005, completely dismantling its settlements forcibly removing its citizens, Hamas never stopped their campaign to annihilate the State of Israel.
When Hamas came to power in 2006, it channeled the billions it received as the world’s largest per capita recipients of international foreign aid into rockets rather than into hospitals; they bought bombs rather than universities. And they intentionally launch their rockets from nurseries and schools, rendering the innocent Palestinian population into human shields.
I recognize and mourn the loss of innocent Palestinian life amid Israel’s attempts to destroy the Hamas terrorism infrastructure. Even the most advanced military instruments that Israel employs in order to reduce any and all civilian collateral casualties as much as humanly possible still are imprecise. This becomes especially true as Hamas purposely fires its rockets from hospitals, schools, and family homes. Every Arab life is the equal of every Jewish life, and Israel goes to lengths unmatched in modern warfare to avoid innocent deaths. But what choice does Israel have when Hamas has coiled itself around Gaza like a poisonous viper, bringing suffering to Palestinian and Israeli alike?
While the brotherhood of man may continue to elude us in an increasingly violent world, an agreement between prominent spokespersons – Nobel Peace laureates in particular – to condemn all genocidal organizations like Hamas would go far to establish moral rule in the world.
Where, Jody, do you see Israel glorifying murderers and terrorists? Boruch Goldstein, who killed 29 innocent Arabs at prayer in Hebron, is condemned as an abomination to Judaism by 99 percent of Israelis. Compare that to this New York Times article of March 11, 2010:
“Dozens of Palestinian students from the youth division of Fatah, the mainstream party led by President Mahmoud Abbas, gathered here on Thursday to dedicate a public square to the memory of a woman who in 1978 helped carry out the deadliest terrorist attack in Israel’s historyâ€¦. The woman being honored, Dalal Mughrabi, was the 19-year-old leader of a Palestinian squad that sailed from Lebanon and landed on a beach between Haifa and Tel Aviv. They killed an American photojournalist, hijacked a bus and commandeered another, embarking on a bloody rampage that left 38 Israeli civilians dead, 13 of them children, according to official Israeli figures.”
Can you, Jody, who has dedicated herself to preserving life, be on the side of those who glorify death? Watching Israel warn the Palestinians of every Hamas-occupied building they plan to attack – knowing full well that it is giving up the element of surprise and increasing the likelihood of dead Israeli soldiers – how could you have signed a letter that said, “the Palestinian people in Gaza [face] the brunt of Israel’s militarism, atrocities” when those atrocities are all committed by the monsters of Hamas?
There is more. You have co-signed the petition with the likes of Roger Waters, who is not anti-Israel but an out-an-out Jew-hater and anti-Semite.
The essence of anti-Semitism and the age-old blood libel is the attempt to defame the Jewish people as a murderous, bloodthirsty nation, deeply immoral and therefore a direct threat to civilization. As such, they must be eliminated at any cost.
Waters frequently compares Israel to Hitler and the Nazis, the ultimate genocidal regime that murdered six million Jews, including 1.5 million Jewish children. Only a rabid racist and anti-Semite would compare the victims of genocide to their perpetrators. Rogers has no decency, no heart, and no soul. The Jews of Germany did nothing to invite the aggression against them. Indeed, they were loyal citizens of a country for which many of them had fought courageously just 20 years earlier, in the First World War. They did not blow up buses for political purposes. They did not send terrorists into schools to murder children. They did not preach that killing German children would get them virgins in heaven. They lived lives of humanity and decency and were murdered for no other reason than the fact that they were Jews.
Waters spews a filthy, vile blood libel. Your company is too good for him, Jody, and you are stained by the association.
You have every right to criticize Israel. Lord knows, Israel’s biggest critics are the Jews themselves, because we expect Israel to uphold the highest moral standards.
But criticism is one thing, defamation quite another.
I urge you Jody, to do the moral thing as you always have: remove your name from the horrible Roger Waters petition. Do not associate yourself with calling the Jews Nazis and falsely accusing Israel of atrocities as it seeks to protect the lives of its citizens from thousands of murderous Hamas rockets.
Your friend and admirer,
Rabbi Shmuley Boteach