Letter to the editor: Vt. Dems should join boycott

Sen. Bernie Sanders and several members of the House and Senate have announced that they will boycott Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s scheduled address to Congress next month. We urge Sen. Peter Welch,  Rep. Becca Balint and other Democrats and independents to join them.

The invitation to Netanyahu is cynically calculated by the Republicans to embarrass and pressure President Biden, divide Democrats and progressives, Jews, African Americans and Muslims, and enhance Donald Trump’s election chances. Netanyahu’s visit will shed no new light on the Israel/Hamas conflict and will do nothing to end the suffering, starvation and devastation in Gaza or bring home the Israeli hostages, dead and living, brutally kidnapped by Hamas terrorists. It will almost certainly lead to hostile or even violent demonstrations and clashes in our streets.

Senate majority leader Chuck Schumer courageously condemned Netanyahu’s massacre of Palestinian civilians. What possessed him and House minority leader Hakeem Jeffries to concur in the Congressional invitation?

The United States must exert every effort to end the orgy of killing and destruction regardless of root causes and questions of who is more to blame. Rewarding Netanyahu with a priceless platform for self-justification while Gazans die and Israeli hostages languish (and while we drag our feet in aiding beleaguered Ukraine) mocks all our professed humanitarian values.

Judy and Michael Olinick


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