An Open Letter to Carlos Santana: Don't Play in Israel in July


Dear Carlos,
We have met several times before, in a very different era, when Nelson Mandela was still in prison, and then again when Apartheid had just ended and the world seemed so full of hope, including in Israel and the Occupied Territories. The first time we met was at a mid-1980s concert of yours at The Pier in New York City, when you let my friend and I climb on stage and hang a huge banner we’d made calling for freedom for Nelson Mandela. Later, when we met at Woodstock ’94 and had lunch together before your show (I was there helping direct the house band of the Nuyorican Poets Cafe), we talked about how beautiful it was that banner was no longer needed, and hoped that the world would keep moving towards the peace, love and humanity your music has always represented.
When I helped arrange and perform on Ozomatli’s 2005 Grammy-winning album Street Signs, bringing together Moroccan Gnawa legend Hassan Hakmoun and French Jewish Gypsy band Les yeux noirs with Ozo, it was your amazing collaborations with other artists that inspired me. Perhaps most important, my lifelong commitment to human rights, from setting up a college chapter of Amnesty International to working with the global anti-music censorship organization Freemuse, emerged out of your honesty and spirit of love and commitment to social justice and human rights globally.
It’s no understatement to say that I cannot imagine my life as a musician, professor, human rights activist or father without you and your inspiration. And so, with the profoundest possible respect and belief in the rights of all peoples to have their full measure of justice, peace, self-determination and freedom, I am begging you: Please don’t perform in Israel this July.
I write these words with a very heavy heart. I’ve lived, studied and worked in Israel most of my adult life. The first language I ever dreamed in besides English was Hebrew. The greatest music I’ve ever played has come from there, and I enjoy nothing more than working with the many Israeli artists I’ve come to know and respect. However, none of this holds a candle to the suffering of the Palestinian people, which I have seen up close time and time again for the last 25 years. Carlos, you don’t have to believe me, talk with Archbishop Tutu, who I’m sure you know and can easily reach. As he wrote in 2010: “I have been to the Occupied Palestinian Territory, and I have witnessed the racially segregated roads and housing that reminded me so much of the conditions we experienced in South Africa under the racist system of Apartheid. I have witnessed the humiliation of Palestinian men, women, and children made to wait hours at Israeli military checkpoints routinely when trying to make the most basic of trips to visit relatives or attend school or college, and this humiliation is familiar to me and the many black South Africans who were corralled and regularly insulted by the security forces of the Apartheid government.” The next year Bishop Tutu came out in support for BDS, as I urge you to do now.
Carlos, the Occupation has been going on for 50 years. As an historian of Israel/Palestine who has written and edited almost a dozen academic books on the country, its history and the conflict, I can say without a shred of doubt that for not a single day has the Israeli government ever attempted to make peace. Instead with the active encouragement or acquiescence of the vast majority of Israeli Jews, it has sought to expropriate as much of the territory as possible and has used inhuman means, including systematic war crimes and even crimes against humanity, to achieve the goal of “maximum land, minimum Arabs,” as the Palestinian-Israeli rap group DAM so brilliantly put it in their song “Born Here,” whose video I urge you to watch. For decades Palestinian activists and intellectuals tried every tactic possible to achieve a minimum of independence—talking with Israelis, endless “people-to-people” meetings, going to the UN and international organizations and even the International Court of Justice and International Criminal Court, but to no avail. The Occupation continues relentlessly and the crimes against Palestinians grow with each passing year.
None of this excuses Palestinian terrorism or violence against Israeli civilians. But they are a response to and symptom of an unending Occupation whose goal, in the world of pioneering Israeli sociologist Baruch Kimmerling, has been nothing short of the “politicide” of the Palestinian people. Moreover, their impact is impossible to measure compared to the systematic costs of the Occupation. The Oslo peace process, as I showed in my 2009 book Impossible Peace as well as in the pages of Tikkun magazine, the most important Jewish magazine in America, was a sham from the start that only enabled further expansion of the Occupation. The denial of the most basic rights of Palestinians, from education to housing to medical care to fair trials, to freedom from torture and extrajudicial execution even for your children, is so publicly evident that not even Israel supporters bother to deny them—In fact, more and more leading Israeli politicians, religious leaders and commentators encourage them, as does the majority of Israeli Jews. Just read the reports of Rabbis for Human Rights or B’tselem or the pages of Haaretz. There’s nothing left to hide.
In this circumstance, BDS was overwhelmingly decided upon by Palestinian civil society as the best means available to fight the occupation non-violently. Its logic should be familiar to you because it’s the same logic that motivated the anti-Apartheid era BDS that you rightly supported. Critics of BDS are probably telling you that its discriminatory, that it stops dialog and violates artists’ right to perform everywhere. These are patently untrue. BDS has encouraged more dialog and discussion than any other strategy I have seen in a quarter of a century of work as a musician or activist in and around Israel/Palestine. BDS merely forces Israelis to confront the fact that the Occupation is not normal and can never be normalized, that there has to be a price to pay for continuing, as a society to support an illegal, brutal and utterly disastrous Occupation and settlement enterprise.
While I plead with you not to perform for money in Israel as long as the Occupation continues, I urge you to travel there, meet with Israeli and Palestinian activists, go to the West Bank and see the realities that I have seen and so many other activists have seen. This would be a great service to the cause of peace, because once you see the realities of the Occupation up close, your life will be changed forever. Call up Roger Waters or Brian Eno and ask them what their experiences have been. Talk to the many Palestinian and Israeli artists, activists and scholars how can no longer sit by while an entire people is choked out of its national existence while the world sits idly by.
You may also think that if you supported BDS against Israel, by the same principles you couldn’t tour anywhere. After all, Russia, China, Britain, France, even the US, not to mention most of the authoritarian regimes across the Arab world, Africa, Asia and now even Turkey, are all engaged in systematic human rights violations and worse. This is no doubt true, and we all should do our best to ensure we don’t encourage or legitimize these regimes by performing in these countries without saying anything while their own citizens or others are brutalized, jailed, repressed, tortured and murdered by these governments.
But the reality is that while other governments may commit grave crimes and artists absolutely should not lend them support (the way so many well-known musicians shockingly continue to do), activists in their societies have for various reasons not put out a call for BDS. On the other hand, after decades of trying every other method possible, Palestinian civil society as a whole determined that BDS is the best if not only non-violent way they can resist the unending repression by Israel, for reasons that are well-articulated by BDS organizers, including their explanation of why Israel is uniquely susceptible to such public pressure compared to other states. In this situation, I truly believe our job as artists, activists, scholars, and indeed human beings, is to honor their call, just as it would be if and when Tibetan, Egyptian, or other peoples make a similar call.
Finally, supporting BDS is not anti-Semitic or even anti-Zionist. The large and growing number of Israelis openly supporting BDS, as well as the leading role of American Jews in the movement here (as epitomized by the amazing growth of Jewish Voice for Peace, the fastest-growing Jewish organization today which explicitly endorses BDS), put the lie to such slanderous claims. In fact, As I have elsewhere written, supporting BDS is most likely the only truly “pro-Israel” stance anyone can take if you care about Israel and don’t want it to slide into fascism and permanent war, just like fighting against the Vietnam War or structural racism was and remains the truest form of patriotism in America, whether in the 1950s or the 2010s. To put it more simply, true friends don’t hand their drunk friends the keys to the car, or a man abusing his wife a baseball bat. True friends refuse to enable others to head down the path to ruin of other peoples lives as well as their own.
Carlos, I know that it would be a very difficult and even costly decision not to play Israel, one which would no doubt lead to a lot of criticism. But it would also lead to incredible support and love, and place you square on the right side of history where you have always been and still belong. Indeed, the greatest sense of solidarity and shared humanity I’ve ever experience has been on the front lines of this conflict with Palestinian, Israeli Jewish and international artists and activists, struggling together against the Occupation. It is a beautiful struggle despite all the obstacles, and even mistakes.
In that regard, playing Israel today, in the midst of an ever deepening occupation where Palestinian children or killed weekly with impunity, where hundreds of thousands of trees, including untold numbers of olive trees dating back to Roman times, have been destroyed, wells poisoned, water stolen, land expropriated, an entire people disenfranchised, tens of thousands tortured, thousands expelled from their home land, millions locked into the world’s largest open-air prison, Gaza, and on and on—to perform now is to legitimize all this, no matter how you might try to explain or justify it, no matter how much you offer to also play in the West Bank or meet with Palestinians. To be sure, the Israeli government and its hugely powerful propaganda machine will use your concert to discredit the sacrifices made by so many artists and activists fighting the Occupation. After all, if Carlos Santana is playing Israel, how bad can it really be?
I very much hope you’ll heed the words of so many Palestinians, Israelis, Jews and people of good will from around the world and support freedom, dignity and human rights for all the inhabitants of Israel and Palestine, by refusing to perform in Israel until the Occupation ends.
With love and respect,
Mark LeVine

Editor’s note: Tikkun magazine has not taken a stand on BDS of Israel, though it has supported BDS against companies doing business from the West Bank settlements or making products or services explicitly for the West Bank settlers. In our last issue on Israel we had people on both sides of the BDS question, and will revisit it again in 2017. So although Mark LeVine is a contributing editor to Tikkun, in regard to this issue he is not speaking for the magazine which prefers to be a safe place for all sides of the BDS question to present their positions.

33 thoughts on “An Open Letter to Carlos Santana: Don't Play in Israel in July

  1. Manny, please stop trolling and start doing some heshbon nefesh, especially this time of year. I’ve been fighting terrorism my whole adult life, state terrorism as well as those of non-state actors. Of the two of us, you are the one who’s literally participated in systematic terrorism as a soldier in a brutal occupying army, so please stop trying to tar me with your very wet brush. as for being anti-semite, only one of us clearly hates semites, specifically of the palestinian variety. your hatred only poisons your and everyone around you. i hope you can change before it’s too late.

    • No Manny. While religiously the practice is based on the period of new year, one can do heshbon nefesh whenever you need to. And you certainly need to now.

  2. I was so excited to see you perform at the upcoming concert at the Turning Stone Resort in NY but when I learned that you plan to perform in a country with such a horrible human rights record such as Israel I decided to cancel my plans to attend any of your concerts. I find your willingness to perform there disappointing.


  4. Dear Carlos,
    Why don’t you come to Israel and see for yourself?
    In my opinion, there is a lot of slander about Israel in this article, but I am fine with it; this is free speech.
    I believe however that the best way to settle this debate is to let Carlos travel to Israel, engage with the locals, and make up its mind.
    And, dear Carlos, why not write an article in this magazine after your trip to give readers your firsthand impressions?

    • Dear Yves, Every claim I have made is amply documented by Israeli and international human rights organizations. Go to Amnesty, Human Rights Watch, etc and just search Israel. or B’tselem or Palestinian organizations. Just now HRW released a new report accusing Isarel of mistreatment of illegally detained Palestinian children. The list is sadly endless.
      I would urge everyone to go to Israel and Palestine and “see for themselves”. What I would also urge them not to do is to take money for performing in Israel under these circumstances where their appearance immediately becomes part of the propaganda effort to normalize a half century brutal occupation.

      • Dear Mark, you see too much propaganda everywhere. Israelis are open-minded people and they like a good concert. This is just culture. I think that Carlos should give concerts to both Israelis and Palestinians and let everyone have fun. He should also go to Rawabi, as I did, and see a new Palestinian city being built up: people their live their lives and have projects, far from being the victims that you paint.
        You won’t like my answer, but I trust we can debate respectfully. The “occupation” is from the Arabs. Let me remind you that the Jews’ name comes from Judea, and you know were this is. The Arabs… came from the Arabic peninsula, where they have their holy places in Mecca and Medina. They conquered vast spaces by the sword, guided by their religious texts. I urge anyone to open the Qur’an and see what’s inside. They have islamized countries from the Atlantic (Morocco) to the Pacific (the Philippines, Indonesia). They are the biggest colonialists… And please ask the American Indians in your beautiful California about their thoughts on occupation. Google Ryan Bellerose. He is an American Indian and he understands that the Jews are the indigenous people of a land that Arabs simply want to take away from them.
        If you really care for Palestinian children, instead of referring to reports of partisan organizations, look up for the numerous examples of indoctrination by the Palestinian Authority who raises children in the hate of the Jews. This is how a little girl is proud to sing that she wants to stab Jews. Watch it here:

    • Dear Mr Santana….I am sure you have heard and understand the situation here, however I will ask myself as BDS Admin.I have been to Gaza and seen the horror of the Children that they target before any. I plead with you on behalf of the Palestinian people, please do not break the boycott. As Tali said it would influence others who are invited to perform In israel. People die every day here. This is a slow incremental Genocide. Your part is one of great importance. Someone obviously anti-palestine invited you to go to Israel so they will show you how wonderful it is. I will say this, if you do go make sure that you don’t just get a tour of Tel Aviv but Gaza and the West Bank where this is all happening. I am sure you are a man of integrity and honor, I know you will do that right thing… Thank you From BDS New York Frank Pennestri

  5. shame on you santana…i recommend you play in palestine to encourage peace not supporting the apartheid and oppression against palestinians.

    • With the horrific human rights record for Hamas and the Palestinian Authority?? Hw do they treat their own people, especially with regard to Gays and lesbians

      • Manny, this will be my final reply to you on any thread because you are clearly unable to accept your own role in this disaster. Hamas is a brutal terrorist organization. There is no denying that. I have been to Gaza enough and have dear friends among the activists tortured by them to know the reality. The PA is no better–but of course the PA coordinates its activities directly with Israel and the US. It’s oppression of Palestinians is at the behest of its occupier. Here’s a little story I learned at the Gaza Mental Health Center long ago. Sitting there talking with the director he explained that Israel tortured Palestinians, who then when they became part of the PA security structures, the same guys tortured by Israel tortured fellow Palestinians using the same techniques as they were tortured with, even screaming the same things in Hebrew. Now those same Palestinians, who are part of Hamas, are torturing activists, using the same techniques used on them that came from Israel, screaming in Hebrew even. So the cycle continues. And the cycle begins with occupation and continues with occupation, and even after the occupation ends the violence can continue. But in Palestine it continues even worse because the occupation never ends, and Israel’s violence and brutality continue unabated against pretty much every living thin in the Occupied Territories, from the trees to the streams, from the people to the animals.

        • Mr Mark: very slippery, very. Doing Israeli’s bidding and painting Hamas as terrorist. Very slippery I must admit. I know which Dog you have in this fight…Many Israeli’s now know the Truth. Their is not much you can do about that..My Netanyahu daily cry, Hamas, Hamas, Hamas, is what he is still using. Anti-Semitism is already worn out…Hamas was the new word. Now, as far as well are concerned the latest news has taken things beyond the pale… BTW, can you be more \specific as to the Activist group you were with in Palestine? or know of personally?? You see when you make comments like that you need to back them up my friend or we just consider them Pu Pu..I am sure you do understand…BDS

          • I’m sorry, your comment is not very clear. Please rephrase so I can answer you best. As for which organizations I know, that would include B’Tselem, Rabbis for Human Rights, ICAHD, Christian Peacemaker Teams, al-Haq, Amnesty International, HRW, Jenin Freedom Theatre, Nabi Saleh Solidarity, Bil’in Solidarity, Jordan Valley Solidarity, ‘Atwani Solidarity, Operation Dove, Mahsom Watch, Gaza Youth Breaks Out, al-Rabita, and so on… My research is on non-violent resistance movements in the Middle East so I know most of them.

  6. Yes manny, you are a war criminal. You participated in an illegal occupation where systematic war crimes and crimes against humanity have been perpetuated on an occupied population. that makes you at the least an accessary to war crimes, and thus a criminal–that is, a war criminal. If you have trouble with this designation your problem should be with what you did, not the label that sadly fits it. And yes, I have studied international law and war crimes for 20 years and have written in peer reviewed journals on the issue.

    • Indeed, I would urge anyone reading this not to believe either of us, but go to “breaking the silence” and other groups created by ex-soldiers describing their activities and they will see for themselves the systematic and wide scale nature of the crimes and how they are part of the very fabric of the occupation. again, i have seen the war crimes committed with my own yes innumerable times. israeli politicians don’t even bother denying them and in fact openly call for them. so your attempts to deny this won’t really work. especially in Tikkun, which has itself published more than enough exposes so readers know what the reality is

    • You are part of an illegal occupation army. Your very presence in the Occupied Territories in support of illegal activities, including settlements, land expropriations, illegal detention and execution, theft of resources and on and on, is a violation of international law. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news. This is like the get-away man saying he didn’t do the break in and therefore isn’t a criminal. Unless of course you were far more than the get-away man, but that’s irrelevant. By serving you are party to the commission of large scale and systematic war crimes. Just as US soldiers in Iraq were.

  7. My favorite song is “Samba Pa Ti”, on the Abraxas album. I am so upset to hear that Carlos may play in Israel. If he does, he will lose my respect, and now I have a lot of respect for him. To say he should come and find out for himself sounds nice, but it is breaking a boycott, akin to crossing a picket line. BTW, I think Springsteen is planning to play there, too! What a disgrace for both of them!

    • going there to learn and not to perform publicly and or earn money is not breaking the boycott as far as i know. springsteen has been rumoured to be playing there almost every tour, but from what i know it will never happen although he probably won’t sign on openly to the boycott yet.

  8. The tenor we now hear from self hating Jews is very dangerous for Jewish survival.Yes, Palestinians are victims but mostly from Arab and other enemies of Israel, slanted so called Human Rights organizations (which have morphed in the last twenty years into publishing one sided and carelessly documented criticisms of Israel). There is no settlement of the settlement and other issues and no improvement of Palestinian lives because Palestinian leadership refuses to accept Israel proper as a Jewish state or make any compromise which is required to provide both sides with security. Why has Palestinian leadership rejected all American peace proposals? Does Mr. LeVine not realize that Israel needs to protect itself from aggressive enemies on all sides, including ones residing in the, unfortunately, still partially occupied Palestinian Territories.
    BDS, which advocates all of the above is a foolish and peace-destructive tactic. I look forward to reading the reviews of the Santana Israel concert!

    • your slander against human rights organizations reveals your own bias. they are doing amazing work and if you had any courage you would be there with them seeing things from your own eyes.

      • Thirty years ago I wrote letters for Amnesty International, worked in my local chapter, and contributed to Human Rights Watch. Those organizations have changed in the Palestinian Territories though thy still do good work elsewhere. I am sincere in what was difficult for me for me to realize. I don’t deny that there is suffering. I just see a different cause.

        • Where is your evidence? I have worked with them on the ground and other organizations. their conclusions are unanimous about the daily brutalities and crimes of the occupation. your argument is without merit. even the state department annual HR reports say the same things. this is reality. if you want to assume a fantasy world where israel doesn’t commit systematic HR violations and war crimes, that will not change the realities on the ground. please go see for yourself if you don’t want to believe the reports.

    • Please stop with the self-hating Jew nonsense. Trust me, we don’t hate ourselves. And most of us don’t hate you either, although your willful ignorance, racism and xenophobia are are in fact more signs of self-hatred than the criticisms of Israel by Jews who take our traditions and history seriously. have you not read the Prophets? were they self-hating? Does Exodus 23:9 mean nothing to you, even the day before Pesach? These are among the most holy verses in the entire Hebrew Bible. Have you not read Rashi’s commentary? This is not hard English, nor was the Hebrew difficult to understand, there’s no secret meaning, no gematria that gives you an excuse to oppress Palestinians. Even if you take them to be “strangers”–that is, not native to the land, which is utter nonsense, still Israel cannot treat them as it does (nor can the government or Israelis treat the hundreds of thousands of Africans and other foreign workers/migrants that way either). To talk about human rights organizations as “partisan” is to use the same language every other dictatorship and brutal regime uses, from Russia to China to Saudi Arabia. Is that the company you want to keep?

  9. This is not rocket science to know this is clearly a himanity issue. I can’t even believe Santana would consider performing for Israel, if they have open eyes and ears and hearts. i would expect this band to be more connected than they are showing in their ignorant intentions to support in any way a clearly Apartheid government/state. I wish they would show intelligence and conscience ……and cancel.

    • Debra, Do you know what apartheid is? How is it that Arabs participate in the Israeli political process and have open access to all levels of society? Yes, there’s the West Bank, a territory that has to quiet been defined because of an on going conflict. Think of it as….the Negorno Kalbakh of the Middle East. Have you heard of Negono Karabakh? It was captured by Armenia during a war with Azerbaijan and the Zeris living there fled. .I’m sure the faux Professor LaVine has heard of it. Carlos Santana has performed in Armenia and it did not anger LeVine

      • Debra, I suggest you see the work of Israeli geographer Oren Yiftachel, the most senior geographer in Israel and former chair of both the geography dept at ben gurion university and of Btselem. the idea of “arabs” having full rights is a lie. first of all, “arabs” is a meaningless term as there are millions of Jewish “arabs” in israel. what that is used for is a euphemism for “Palestinians” whose existence people would rather not mention. as yiftachel points out, in many ways the israeli system is in fact worse than apartheid (many anti-apartheid activists from south africa, including bishop tutu but also jewish south african activists who’ve visited the occupied territories have made this same point) because while ultimately that system was about dominating and exploiting blacks, this system is about removing “arabs”. in other words, they literally have no place in the israeli settlement system, a reality that returns to the very beginnings of zionism, with the foundation of jewish only spaces such as the first kibbutz, degania, and the first “jewish” town, tel aviv (whose bylaws prohibited “arabs” from living there). nevertheless, there are structurally quite similar in one respect: the trpartite division of rights. the first/highest class of inhabitants are the whites, in this case the Jews. there are many internal divisions and hierarchies, but political they have full rights everywhere in the territory. the next/middle class of inhabitants are the “coloreds”. they ahve some political rights but they are restricted and they are also economically marginalized compared to whites, and have far less access to the system and all ts benefits than do whites. this would correspond to “arab” citizens of israel. the final class are the “blacks,” in this case “arabs”–palestinians of course–who live on the wrong side of he green line, in the west bank and gaza. they have absolutely no political rights, are completely margianlzied, their movement controlled and they are exploited or gotten rid of as the system sees fit. if you want to learn more about this formulation you can see his piece in haaretz earlier this year:

  10. If the violence and attacks against Israel is caused by the occupation, what caused the joint attack on Israel by all its neighbors in1968 before the occupation started? Why were Jews not allowed to enter the Arab countries and why did Arab countries refuse to do business with companies that did business with Israel? Because for the majority Palestinian position, the occupation started on the floor of the UN in 1948.

    • Thanks for your comment. First, there was no attack in 1968. i presume you mean 1967, no? but even then, there was no attack; there was only the threat of attack. there are many debates about how serious the threat was–that is, how immanent was a multi-pronged attack and whether israel had the legal right to launch a preemptive attack to prevent a potential or threatened attack on its territory. whatever one feels about this question, it’s undeniable that the arab states gave israel all the pretext it needed to attack first.
      moreover, regarding jews “not allowed to enter arab countries,” i have no idea what you’re referring to. i don’t know of any countries that jews cannot enter 2, other than parts of saudi arabia that are prohibited to non-Muslims. if you mean arab countries not letting israeli citizens visit them, that is a different question. of course, israel has severe restrictions on who can enter its territory, particularly against the indigenous population who should have more rights than anyone else. so your point really doesn’t make sense. you are also conflating arab countries with palestinians, and 1948 with 1967. none of your points has anything to do with the nature of the occupation or the extent to which it violates international law

  11. Mark – thank you for your beautifully written piece. It takes so much courage to take this stand in the Jewish world today. One of the things that is most horrifying to me is how the world, including many (but certainly NOT all) Jews stand by numbed to the suffering of the Palestinians just as the world did around the persecution of Jews in Europe. As a psychotherapist I was moved by your explanation of Hamas terrorist behavior as coming in large part (but not exclusively from) treatment they experienced at the hands of the Israeli government. That is exactly how the transmission of trauma and pathological behavior continuously recreates itself. And that includes the evolution of an Israeli survivalist consciousness which embodies within it: Never Again. Speaking against that consciousness seems to inevitably invoke fears of anti-semitism, easily inflamed even when the Jews who are speaking up on behalf of Palestinian suffering are doing it partly because we hope for a new Israeli consciousness embodying empathy and perhaps someday love for our Palestinian brothers and sisters. What I have found most disappointing and heartbreaking is that many of the Jews in my life, historically on the side of an activism of love and compassion regarding all other social justice movements in this country and globally, are unable to allow themselves to connect with Palestinian suffering. It is as if, we as Jews, now feel ourselves solely responsible to heal all the atrocities done to us over centuries of pain and persecution. And that healng is manifesting itself as invulnerability. (and sadly, that is NOT how people heal from trauma; it just perpetuates it; a point you beautifully made).
    Thank you for the courage to write this piece. Please let us know if you get a response and how you feel about it and keep us connected to your ongoing humanitarian efforts towards peace and reconciliation.

    • thank you renna for those beautiful and very astute words. i agree with your analysis. i also think, however, that the ‘never again’ consciousness has been deftly but very immorally manipulated to encourage ongoing dehumanization of palestinians. ultimately israelis have to come to grips with their actions. the idea of bds is, of course, to force them to do so. i think it’s precisely this power which is what scares so many israeli/zionist leaders about bds. if israelis start to come to grips with what the occupation has actually been about, they will turn their back on it. i think what you see in the US, so many young people and especially young jews coming out for bernie sanders, is an indication of the true , or at least better, foundation of jewish ethics.

      • “As a psychotherapist I was moved by your explanation of Hamas terrorist behavior as coming in large part (but not exclusively from) treatment they experienced at the hands of the Israeli government”
        Jews who emerged from the far, far worse Nazi death camps did not recruit and turn youth to suicide bombers. Thats terrible. Next up, you will tell us that Saddam Hussein gassed his own people because he was abuse by his parents. In spite of LeVine claims, Hamas is unwilling to come to terms with Israel. He cannot produce any quote to refute this.

      • Thank you Mark for your response. I agree with you about Never Again consciousness as a driver of hate fueled behavior. I have difficulty resolving the tension between looking at Israeli behavior as deliberately manipulative (which sometimes I feelit is) versus seeing it as driven by unconscious forces having to do with a narrowing concept of what self protection really needs to be. Or revenge. It’s a tough one! Ultimately trying to empathize with both sides is one of the greatest challenges I face as a Jew. thank you for continuing to keep this dialogue open.

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