An open letter to Rep. Gwen Moore

Dear Rep. Moore,

As voting constituents of your district we must express our personal disappointment and dismay at your recent vote against HR 246. Your public opposition to a resolution condemning the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign and its efforts to isolate and delegitimize the Jewish state, the only democracy in the Middle East, is deeply disturbing. You represent the largest concentration of Jewish voters in the state of Wisconsin, and you have failed to represent your constituents. Your vote shows either a lack of knowledge or an insensitivity to the prejudice of antisemitism that BDS represents.

This is not a freedom of speech issue. The BDS movement is a hateful campaign which attacks the only country in the Middle East with full rights for women, full rights for the LBGTQ community, the only country where people of all faiths are not only free to live, work and practice their religion but also to serve at the highest levels of government. One must ask why the only Jewish State in the world is singled out for such attacks, but the 50 Islamic theocracies, who suppress virtually all human rights are not subject to condemnation. The real apartheid in the West Bank and Gaza lies with the Palestinians, who insist that any independent Palestinian state be judenrein (Jew-free), in sharp contrast to Israel where two million Arabs reside as full citizens and constitute 20% of the Israeli population.

About this article: When 398 members of the U.S. House of Representatives voted on July 24, 2019 to condemn the movement to boycott, divest and sanction Israel, only 17 voted in opposition. Among the 17 was Rep. Gwen Moore, a Milwaukee Democrat.

There are a few facts that you must know. Israel’s enemies were committed to its destruction long before it occupied a single inch of Gaza or the West Bank. In proportion to its size, Israel has voluntarily relinquished more territory taken in war than any state in the world. Israeli prime ministers offered a Palestinian state in 2000 and 2008; they were refused both times. The chant “From the River to the Sea Palestine must be free” means the obliteration of Israel, and no Jews left alive between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea. The government of Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon removed every Israeli settlement and soldier from the Gaza Strip in 2005. The result of Israel’s withdrawal allowed Hamas to seize power, to spark three wars, and cause Israeli citizens to think twice about the wisdom of duplicating the experience in the West Bank. Nearly 1,300 Israeli civilians have been killed in Palestinian terrorist attacks in this century: That’s the proportional equivalent of sixteen Sept. 11s in the United States.

Why single out Israel, and ignore the hundreds of thousands killed in Syria, the abuses of Ukrainians in the Crimea, the oppression of minorities in China and Myanmar, the Kurds in Turkey, Christians and Yazidi in Iraq, the suppression of Christians in Algeria and Iran, and the strict limitations present in Saudi Arabia limiting all forms of expression of Christianity including public acts of worship? There is only one answer: because Israel is the only Jewish state in the world, and BDS and anti-Zionism is merely a thin veil for the expression of vile antisemitism.

The Confederate flag flown above a courthouse in Alabama is NOT “freedom of expression.” It is despicable racism. The honoring of statues of Robert E Lee is NOT “freedom of expression.” It is ugly racism. Similarly, you must understand and realize that BDS is organized racism and antisemitism. It must be condemned by everyone, including you, who rejects prejudice and racism.

Your vote against HR 246 can only be seen by your constituents as a betrayal of the trust we placed in you to be knowledgeable of the facts and represent the highest ideals of our country. We ask you to publicly disavow the vote you cast and reject those who espouse hateful anti-Jewish rhetoric in the halls of Congress. In addition, please begin a dialogue with the community you represent to become aware of our concerns and the true facts in the Middle East.

With respect,

Mark Freedman, M.D.

Linda Freedman