In a recent letter to the editor (Aug. 9), Alan J. Levenson criticizes Rep. Chellie Pingree for not supporting “Israel’s right to exist,” because she voted against H.Res. 246, which targeted the global Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement criticizing Israel.

H.Res. 246 is among measures in Congress and in state legislatures promoted by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, part of the Israel lobby, aiming to suppress BDS, identified by AIPAC as a top priority since 2017.

The 398-17 vote passing H.Res. 246 demonstrates the Israel lobby’s power. Thus, Rep. Pingree’s vote was a brave one indeed, one of only a few representatives in Congress opposed to the Israel lobby in this case.

Her vote was not a vote in favor of BDS as a movement, but rather our civil right to express support for BDS and other boycotts of those who abuse human rights, such as the widely supported boycott of the South African apartheid regime. BDS opposes human rights abuses by Israel against the Palestinian people, including killing and maiming of civilian protesters, apartheid and illegal occupation.

Contrary to the Israel lobby’s rhetoric, BDS does not advocate Israel’s destruction, but rather the promotion of Palestinian human and international legal rights.

Mr. Levenson also echoes the debunked canard that criticism of Israel, the Israel lobby and their actions is anti-Semitic.

One can hope that Rep. Pingree continues to stand up to the pressure of the Israel lobby and what may well be its continued assaults on our civil liberties.

David Plimpton

Cape Elizabeth

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