False equivalency between the occupied and the occupiers

BRATTLEBORO-John Ungerleider has built a career at SIT and elsewhere around the false equivalency that the people of Israel and Palestine could achieve peace if they would come together to talk as coequal partners.

This normalization paints the Israeli occupation of Palestine as a benevolent and paternalistic system that would somehow evolve into peace if everyone could just sit in a circle, play guitars, and talk.

It requires the occupied - who have been displaced and dispossessed for more than 75 years - to make even more concessions to their occupier.

Israel's Zionist project - one of the last strongholds of western colonialism - is the basis for an apartheid system of military laws that deprive Palestinians of human and civil rights and elevate the expansionist claims of Israeli Jews to the land of Palestine.

Meanwhile, Palestinians are walled off into shrinking territory while the military protects extremist settlers who steal even more land and shoot Palestinians harvesting their crops.

Israel has imprisoned hundreds of Palestinians; bulldozed their homes; and denied them their rights, legal protections, and the freedom to live on or work their land.

It's well past time for the world to call this settler colonial project what it is.

If Mr. Ungerleider dislikes these words, I invite him to help us change the facts. That has nothing to do with antisemitism and everything to with justice.

Kate Casa


This letter to the editor was submitted to The Commons.

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