Support the BDS movement

As Mr. Steve Hunegs and the co-authors of his Feb. 23 letter well know, the “J-word” in the divestment proposal offered by Students for Justice in Palestine is not “Jews” but “Justice.”
 
 
Accusations and implications that this campaign is somehow anti-Semitic are as unfounded as accusations that the South African anti-apartheid movement of the 1980s was aimed at white people generally. 
 
 
If Mr. Hunegs and the other signatories of his letter are truly dedicated to seeing a two-state solution in Palestine, they might consider taking an active, high-profile role in stopping Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government from building new settlements in the West Bank and instead start dismantling existing ones. 
 
 
They might consider joining Israeli organizations like the Israeli Committee against House Demolitions, which is trying to prevent the continuous demolition of Palestinian homes. The group’s founder, Jeff Halper, is originally from Hibbing, Minn.  I’m sure he’d be glad to meet with Mr. Hunegs and talk about how he could help. 
 
 
As Mr. Halper or anyone familiar with the situation could confirm, housing demolition, like other issues, is not a one- or two-state solution issue. Rather, it is something many Palestinians are subject to.
 
 
Indeed, the fact that there is an international Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions  movement at all is a direct result of the fact that those who hold — and have held — power in Israel are happy to go on talking about peace while they confiscate more and more Palestinian land. 
 
 
More and more people from all walks of life and from around the world are seeing this for what it is. This is the unstoppable source of the growth of the BDS movement.
 
 
After apartheid ended, South Africa was still South Africa. While many problems remain, there is at least hope for a new kind of South Africa based on equality before the law, regardless of race or ethnicity. 
 
 
At the time, the United States complained about communists and extremists among Nelson Mandela supporters. Now we see Arabs, Muslims and Palestinians tarred with the same brush of “terrorism” and “anti-Semitism.” 
 
 
But the movement for Palestinian rights via BDS is well on its way. Regardless of the outcome, the SJP campaign for University of Minnesota divestment is another significant step on that road.
 
 
Robert Kosuth
University alumnus