I am frankly puzzled by Robert Wilkes’s extensive dissection of Omar Barghouti’s January 5 talk at our local landmark, St. Mark’s Cathedral (“Barghouti’s own life reveals the BDS deception,” Jan.27). Let’s begin by separating objective facts from opinion. BDS stands for boycott, divestment, and sanctions in respect to the State of Israel. Should anything Mr. Barghouti presented have been anything of a surprise? I was not present, so my analysis is a ”he said, she said,” but Wilkes’s offhand description of the audience as ”well-meaning Christian and Jewish tikkun olam-nistas” offends those of us who sincerely seek to ”repair the world.” I believe that the action called for to (God-willing) achieve a secure, peaceful and democratic Israel is the establishment of a secure, peaceful and democratic Palestinian state alongside. Make no mistake: This must include just and fair land swaps as necessary.
The Israeli writer Amos Oz likes to remind us that Israel began as a dream. Blood, sweat and tears made it a reality. We now must do the hard and painful work on the ground of preserving the Jewish State. Throwing verbal tomatoes at a speaker who is antagonistic to our cause is a waste of energy and a waste of good tomatoes.