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Letters: People seeking justice for Palestinians not racists

The Journal-Gazette editorial on Dec. 26 is inaccurate and prejudicial. The headline, “A Principled Stand – IU, Purdue Rightly Disavow Anti-Israel Academics” more than infers that people seeking justice in Palestine are unprincipled and racist.

One of the frustrations of the peace movement is trying to explain how being negative about a negative is positive. It is sad that this editorial lacked understanding of that concept.

The Boycott, Disinvestment, Sanction movement is a response to racist treatment of indigenous Palestinians in Palestine. The editorial doesn’t seem to consider that activists desire justice and fair treatment for Palestinians.

Peace activists realize that peace is often a long process, but we can see that the Israeli “peace process” is just a smoke screen for continued expansion into Palestinian land. I am disappointed that the editorial did not demonstrate more understanding of the plight of Palestinians.

It is illogical to claim that people who desire justice for Palestinians are racist. We do not give $3 billion per year (mostly in military aid) to China, Russia, Sudan, or North Korea. I have written against arms sales to Saudi Arabia, but we do not give them weapons to my knowledge. These countries did not invade and displace indigenous people in the manner that Israelis have displaced Palestinians.

Focusing on an injustice does not mean we are not concerned about injustice in other countries. Just because people walk to cure a specific disease does not mean they don’t care about other diseases.

It is extremely ironic that BDS is opposed by Purdue University president Mitch Daniels in particular after he tried to ban Howard Zinn’s history of our mistreatment of indigenous people in America. Mitch Daniels is a poor standard bearer for academic freedom (i.e. “This is as clear a violation of academic freedom as one can imagine.”) It seems very strange that Daniels does not realize book-burning is a clear violation of academic freedom.

This editorial demonstrated a lack of critical thinking by McRobbie and Daniels and the editorial writers who cheer them.

TIM TIERNON Fort Wayne for Peace