Don’t label Kerry an anti-Semite

To the editor:

In Rick Sirvint’s wide-ranging op-ed of Jan. 2, “Anti-Semitic views persist,” he accuses Secretary of State John Kerry of bigotry.

Mr. Sirvint wrote, “Kerry has made the removal of Jews from parts of Jerusalem, the West Bank, i.e., Judea and Sameria, a central part of his work.” Further he stated that Kerry, “...has accepted that the mere presence of Jews is a negative if they live where they are not wanted.”

In actuality, Secretary Kerry has simply been calling for adherence to well-established international law which says that an occupying country, Israel, can’t transfer it’s population (Israeli citizens) into occupied territory (the West Bank). It is not Secretary Kerry’s fault if these Israeli citizens all happen to be Jewish, as Mr. Sirvint is claiming. That would be the result of discriminatory, domestic Israeli policy.

Secretary Kerry’s commitment to international law (particularly in the pursuit of peace) should not be twisted to suggest anti-Semitism on his part in any way.

Further, if Israel is, indeed, a western democratic country with equal rights for all its citizens, it would logically follow that criticism of this multi-cultural, multi-ethnic nation cannot be called anti-Semitism.

Tricia Saenger


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