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I beg to differ

Reader comment on item: How Trump Put Netanyahu in an Untenable Position

Submitted by Dave Girvitz (Canada), Aug 16, 2019 at 23:10

Normally, I read your opinions with great interest. This time, however, I would have to disagree. Denying the 2 congresswomen was the right decision that was made for the wrong reasons. Despite whether the issue may have been to please Trump, the reality is that these two are irredentists.

Your first reason is implausible. Their itinerary indicated that they would not meet with any Israeli interlocutors (except for members of If Not Now). They had no intention of seeing or hearing any point of view that could be construed as pro-Israeli. As a result, they would never learn anything that would lead them to soften their views.

Your second reason is a false dichotomy. Given that their agenda was to raise further grudges against Israel, the fact that they have one more is minor. The real choice was to either a) give the pair another petty grievance against Israel or b) allow them to increase hostility to Israel in front of the international media. In addition, the probability of staged or spontaneous acts of violence would need to be considered.

The third reason is weak. For too long Israel has been too accommodating to those who would seek it harm. By trying to promote legislation promoting BDS, they have crossed the line from criticism to action. By denying them entry, Israel has sent a strong message of how far would be activists will be allowed in antagonizing Israel. If they are coming to support the destruction of the state or to promote potential acts of violence, they should not be welcome.

The fourth reason is a restatement of the first. The pair had no intention of meeting with any Israelis, so any attempt to lavish them with hospitality and good will would not happen. They came with an agenda to demonize Israel and they would not even attempt to listen to other points of view.

Although I would tend to agree with the fifth reason, I support a free speech exception for hate speech. It can be argued that by supporting a single side of the conflict with an agenda that would tend to promote violence along with a sponsor that has engaged in anti-Semitic canards would qualify as hate speech.

As a result, this would be one of the few times that I strong disagree with you.


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