I was born into an Orthodox Jewish family, have worked for decades in Holocaust education, cried at the birth of Israel, was proud of the Israeli armed forces in the 1967 war, and always considered myself a person who had pride in his Jewish heritage. Those who founded Israel in 1948 created a new nation dedicated to the proposition that all people were equal and that Muslims and Christians should enjoy equal rights in the new nation. They accepted the idea of a Palestinian state if that was the desire of Muslims. In other words, Israel for decades prided itself as being a beacon of democracy in the Middle East.

Alas, religious bigots have gained control of Israel. They impose their fanatic ideas on fellow Jews including “laws” that segregate sexes on transportation or even walking the streets of a town. They have seized land from Muslims, they evict Muslims  from their homes and even desecrate mosques. New Israel laws pushed by the government of Benjamin Netanyahu seek to prevent Israeli groups  which oppose the growing power of religious bigots to express their ideas or obtain financial support from outside the country.

In simple language, Israel is becoming a theocracy in which freedom is dying. It has denied rights to Palestinians, it refuses to engage in honest compromise discussions with Palestinian leaders. Israel has transformed itself into a pariah state and is bewildered why the rest of the world does not understand it has the right to impose a form of totalitarianism on its own people as well as upon Palestinians.

Historically, Jews were second class citizens in nations of Europe and the Muslim world. One would assume a people which experienced such hatred would NOT employ the same second class approach to minorities in its nation. There is but one course of action for those who believe in the founding principles of Israel–BOYCOTT ISRAEL GOODS UNTIL COMMON SENSE RETURNS TO THE JEWISH PEOPLE OF ISRAEl. Do not purchase any goods made in Israel, do not engage in trade with Israel.

It is also important to protect those Israelis who fight for equal rights. Do not punish educators or civil rights activists for the actions of Israel’s thug government which denies  equal rights to all people.!