To The Editor:
Stanley Heller’s opinion piece, published in newspapers across Connecticut, asks Connecticut’s Treasury candidates to reconsider our state’s investments in Israel, calling Israel an apartheid state. We believe that whoever becomes our next state Treasurer should not only continue our state’s investment in Israel but increase the ties between Israel and Connecticut.
Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East and is demonstrably not an apartheid state, as is asserted by Mr. Heller. In Israel, Arab citizens vote and sit in the Knesset (the legislative body), in government and on the Supreme Court. Israeli Arabs are full members of Israeli society and are represented across business, academia, and a variety of other industries, none of which could occur in an apartheid state.
While there is certainly room for legitimate criticism of Israeli policies, Mr. Heller’s anti-Israel diatribe is nothing short of an effort to vilify and ostracize the only Jewish nation in the world. This demonization undermines fundamental building blocks for Israeli-Palestinian understanding, peace-building and, ultimately, a two-state solution. Furthermore, his comparison between Israeli actions and the horrific genocide in Darfur is offensive and wholly unacceptable, and plays into the false and, at times, antisemitic, notion that Israel is committing genocide towards the Palestinians.
Support of Israel through investment benefits Connecticut businesses and residents. In addition to the tax benefits that Connecticut reaps from tax dollars paid by Israeli companies, both Israel and Connecticut are leaders in Financial and Agricultural Technology. Collaborations between Connecticut companies and their Israeli counterparts ultimately benefit not only our state, but our country and world as a whole. Calls for financial isolation of Israel will do the exact opposite, undermining much-needed dialogue and engagement in the process.
ADL Connecticut Office
Jewish Federation of Greater New Haven
Jewish Federation of Greater Hartford
Jewish Federation of Greater Fairfield County
United Jewish Federation of Greater Stamford, New Canaan and Darien
UJA-JCC of Greenwich
Jewish Federation of Western Connecticut
Jewish Federation of Eastern Connecticut