Re: “ ‘Block the Boat’ would hurt Seattle, not Israel” [June 25, Opinion]:
As Jewish Seattlites who care about justice, we were deeply disappointed to see The Seattle Times editorial board applaud Seattle’s connection to the global economy, while refusing to acknowledge our complicity in Israeli apartheid through commercial interactions.
Injustice in Palestine/Israel is not a faraway issue, from the ZIM boat docking here to the Boeing-made bombs used by the Israeli government to massacre Palestinians in Gaza. There is no “over there” when it comes to Palestine/Israel.
The Block the Boat campaign, led by the local Palestinian group Falastiniyat, offered Seattle a chance to refuse injustice. The campaign responds to the Palestinian call for pressure in the form of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) of Israel until it ends its system of apartheid.
Many Jews were proud to support the Seattle port protests, which continue a long tradition of international solidarity against apartheid in all its forms. This includes the International Longshore and Warehouse Union’s refusal to unload apartheid ships from South Africa in the ’60s, ’70s and ’80s, and Israeli ships in the last decade.
The longshore workers and community organizers acted from a principle that eludes the editorial board: When commerce supports apartheid, there can be no business as usual.
Wendy Elisheva Somerson and Matt Weiner, Seattle chapter of Jewish Voice for Peace