The coveted Spotty (tm) - graphic by Tild
by Steve Timmer
Dec 1, 2018, 10:30 AM

Mary Christine Bader wins the coveted Spotty ™

Regular readers here know that a Spotty™ is awarded to the writer of a letter to the editor, an op-ed piece, or a blog post or comment that I wish I had written myself. I started to write a piece with the sentiments expressed by Mary Christine Bader, but even if I had finished it it wouldn’t have been half a good.

For her Counterpoint in the Saturday print edition of the Star Tribune, Mary Christine Bader wins a Spotty™. Bader’s op-ed was in response to a Commentary in the Strib by Adam Platt a week ago. Platt took the horrific shooting at the synagogue in Pittsburgh and wove it into an argument that criticism of Israel should be muted because, after all, Jews (all Jews?) might have to live there someday.

Bader says, Not so fast:

Here in Minnesota, Jews have long used their freedom of speech to help make Minnesota a better place. They persevered through a shameful period of anti-Semitism, especially in Minneapolis, to become leaders in advancing civil rights and tolerance in our state. They have served at all levels of civic leadership, including as our senators and mayors. Jewish values are not only at home in Minnesota, they have helped make Minnesota.

But to many people, those same Jewish values seem absent in Israel. That is why so many Jews are among the most persistent critics of Israel’s denial of human rights and civil rights to the native Palestinians. Israel’s long history of imprisoning adults and children without charges, stealing land, demolishing homes, group punishment, 50 years of illegal occupation and martial law in the West Bank, a decade of blockading Gaza, and numerous other atrocities are certainly not Jewish values.

A suggestion that Jews [and others, too, I think, ed.] limit their criticism of Israel diminishes Jewish values, not to mention American values. And, I would add, Minnesota values.

It has bothered me for a long time that a Jewish family from Brooklyn or Cleveland can find a home in a West Bank settlement constructed out of the ruins of a Palestinian village or olive orchard. Bader call this “colonization,” and she is exactly right.

I will be harsh here — harsher than Bader — Israel’s settler policies are the new Lebensraum, and its treatment of Palestinians is the new apartheid.

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