As a long-time resident of Miami, and as a Jew, I must express my deep concern about Martin Karp’s April 12 opinion piece, “School board member: Activist groups in Miami-Dade could hide anti-Israel agendas.”
The article, which is based on unfounded suspicions and ridiculous predictions — such as what Jasmine, a 10-year-old, will be like and do in eight years — not on facts, is misleading. Karp makes sweeping, unsubstantiated, anti-Semitic accusations toward Quakers and their organization, the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC).
I wonder if he knows that during and after World War II, Quakers were at the forefront of rescuing Jews from the Holocaust. Quakers’ efforts are widely respected internationally for their neutrality in the service of peace and justice.
Karp’s article is disappointing, considering that he is a member of the Miami-Dade School Board. I hope he takes seriously his responsibility to help ensure that our children become careful thinkers and interpreters of available evidence.
Yet, his example illustrates that he doesn’t live up to anything close to those standards. He has misinterpreted and misrepresented statements made at the School Board meeting, and the AFSC article on the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions movement.
I have family, friends, and professional colleagues in Israel for whom I care deeply, and I support the country. But that doesn’t mean I need to support everything Israel does. I also have senior, professional colleagues in the Palestinian Territories and have some knowledge of the unrelenting humiliations and deep, punishing hardships to which they are all subjected daily. This is not the simplistic situation that Karp describes.