I am writing regarding an article from the Jan. 17 issue of The Other Paper, “Resident Urges Board Not to Allow BLM Flag.”

Said resident brings up BLM’s platform of its support of the BDS (boycott-divestment-sanction) movement and its anti-Israel platform.

After the recent Martin Luther King Day weekend I am reminded of a quote from this great man: 

“When people criticize Zionists, they mean Jews. You’re talking anti-Semitism.”

“Israel’s right to exist as a state is incontestable.” 

This is especially conspicuous when many so-called human rights organizations, such as BLM and the Women’s March specifically target Israel and align themselves with hate mongers such as Louis Farrakhan, whose anti-Jewish statements, equating Jews to vermin and worse, as well as his vehement denouncement of the LGBTQ community, support the Hamas charter of Israel’s destruction and non-right to exist. 

Lately we’ve heard calls of “From the river to the sea,” witnessed a synagogue massacre in Pittsburgh, have seen a 57 percent increase in anti-Semitic incidents in 2017 and climbing in 2018. While I totally support the theory behind BLM, I cannot support a movement that calls for the destruction, or the vilification, of others.

Recently the Anti-Defamation League’s Jonathan Greenblatt wrote in Time Magazine:

“At ADL, we work with various communities not only because it is the moral thing to do but also because our freedoms are bound to theirs. That said, even as we fight alongside other groups on issues of mutual concern, we should not sacrifice our principles, and we will forcefully denounce those who would slander our community and resort to stereotypes.”

This does not mean we need absolute ideological alignment with every prospective partner. But it does mean that we need to draw lines in a clear manner — and demand that our allies observe those fundamental values that we also seek to live by: equality, fairness and respect for all.”

I hope that as the school board moves forward, it will take into account the rights of all those in the community, regardless of religion, color of skin, and gender identity.

Judy Alexander

South Burlington

Editor’s Note: Judy Alexander is the Director of Congregational Education at Temple Sinai in South Burlington.

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