Counterpoint letter on Braverman’s speech

“Ms. Levitt’s letter to The Daily Illini”: about Dr. Mark Braverman was painful to read. Basically, in her book, he’s an anti-Semite. End of story.

To my recollection, he noted that Zionism and Judaism have been intertwined for many decades, suggesting that at this time in history, the two should be teased apart. I think it’s a huge leap to suggest that he said Judaism is inherently racist. Wow.

As for Ms. Levitt’s take on the relationship between American Christian organizations and American Jews, she completely missed Mr. Braverman’s point. He argued that such Christians are trying to make up for 2,000 years of Christian persecution of the Jews. In his opinion, this has implications for Christian influence on U.S. policy toward Israel.

Ms. Levitt skirts engaging his ideas about a very complex situation (in the United States) and resorts to attacking Mr. Braverman ad hominem. That doesn’t tell us readers why she thinks his views are wrong or what she believes should be the right U.S. policy toward Israel.

Lastly, I am one of those members of the University of Illinois community who did “silently agree with” some of what Dr. Braverman said and who hopes for peace. But if I, like Mr. Braverman, believe that peace will not happen until there are changes in Israeli policy toward the Palestinians and in U.S. policy toward Israel, then in Ms. Levitt’s book, I’m just an anti-Semite. End of story. Never mind why I think these things.

_Lydia Khuri, program director, Urbana South Living-Learning Communities_