To the Editor:

On September 17th Pipe Dream published a Letter to the Editor by Joe Tannenbaum which critiqued three op-ed columns on the conflict in Syria and US military intervention. Tannenbaum gives his opinions and criticisms of why he believes the US is not necessarily the model for human rights. Tannenbaum, however, also uses his letter as a platform to spread false anti-Israel slander.

Tannenbaum writes: “But then there is the problem of Israel, a government accused by the international community of using sarin gas (provided by US aid) in its many conflicts, and of sterilizing Ethiopean Jewish immigrants.”

The author offers no evidence to support either of these ludicrous claims.

If one does their research, they would find no basis to support the notion that Israel is sterilizing Ethiopian Jewish immigrants. On the contrary, when it comes to women’s rights, Israel shines as a model in a region filled with misogyny, bigotry, and religious sexism. Furthermore, Israel’s record for absorbing and naturalizing immigrants from Ethiopia and elsewhere is stellar.

When issues do arise, Israel has an honest judicial system which isn’t afraid to investigate its own leaders. That’s why Yaakov Litzman, the Israeli Deputy Health Minister called for an investigation into the reported administering of the contraceptive Depo-Provera without the consent of Ethiopian women. On that point, in an article in Time magazine, Dr. Paula Franklin of Marie Stopes International explained that this contraceptive is a “safe, medium-term reversible hormonal contraceptive” which is used around the world by countless women. In this regard, Israel once again shows that it places primary value on the welfare of its citizens.

The claim that Israel used Sarin gas provided by US aid is also a lie. No credible organization or government has ever levied such a charge.

Tannenbaum is simply writing slander about Israel He’s using the classic “Big Lie” tactic (or maybe he’s fallen susceptible to it); that is, if you say something so terrible, people will think it must be true. These accusations serve the sole purpose of demonizing the State of Israel.

The bottom line is that Israel wants peace and has made a number of sacrifices to achieve peace with its neighbors. Tannenbaum’s accusations serve no productive purpose in his argument or otherwise.

Next time anyone wishes to make such claims against Israel, or any country, I hope they do their research.

Yael Rabin

Binghamton University Zionist Organization President

Class of 2014