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Peace in the Middle East

The following open letter was sent to the MIT Students for Israel.

Thank you for sending me a copy of the MITSI petition to “support Israel in her quest for peace.” I read, with interest and admiration, the names of the signatories. The list was diverse and inclusive: students with Indian and East Asia surnames as well as “Anglos” and Latinos. I was impressed that so many students who had seemingly no ethnic or religious connections with Israel signed this petition expressing their support.

This reveals an important truth: men and women of good will, committed to democracy and human rights, support the right of Israel to exist and to flourish. It is remarkable, for instance, to read that the Supreme Court of Israel has reinstated Arab candidates for the upcoming elections. It is hard to imagine a court elsewhere in the region accomplishing anything comparable.

I hope to see Israel living in peace with democratic neighbors, all within secure and internationally recognized boundaries, all committed to the well-being of the region’s peoples. I reject any attempt to treat Israel as a pariah state, and, to that end, I introduced last summer H. Res. 499 condemning attempts to boycott Israel scholars and scientific institutions.

I have, from time to time, also rejected resolutions that seemed to me gratuitously offensive to Palestinians. I believe that the United States cannot promote peace in the region if it appears indifferent to the suffering of any people.

Thank you for writing, and please do not hesitate to contact me if I or my staff can help you in any way.

Michael E. Capuano
U.S. Representative (D-Mass.)