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Forum, July 23: Ben & Jerry’s caves to pressure from boycott movement

Published: 7/22/2021 9:59:57 PM
Modified: 7/22/2021 10:00:06 PM
Ben & Jerry’s caves to pressure from boycott movement

Ben & Jerry’s, a company that prides itself on being a socially responsible business, has caved to anti-Israel pressure from within the “boycott, divestment and sanctions” movement (“Ben & Jerry’s to stop sales in Israeli-occupied lands,” July 20). It is a sad day for the company, for Israelis, for Palestinians, and for supporters of Israel, our steadfast ally and the only democracy in the Middle East.

The boycott, divestment and sanctions movement is not truly interested in protecting Palestinians or any other group, but rather in systematically destroying the Jewish state. Recognizing the vacuous and hateful nature of the boycott, 35 states have to date passed laws, executive orders or resolutions designed to discourage boycotts against Israel. New Hampshire is not on the list. And last spring, U.S. Reps. Annie Kuster and Chris Pappas both voted to kill consideration of an anti-boycott bill proposed in Congress.

The high profile announcement by Ben & Jerry’s will unfortunately now fuel the movement’s passion to pursue more attempts at denigrating Israel. It’s time for concerned citizens to use all the resources at their disposal to encourage anti-BDS legislation to be enacted in the Granite State now. It’s more than time.

DAVID GREENFIELD

Grantham

Dartmouth Hall is the embodiment of college’s heritage

Recent Forum letters citing the architectural significance of Dartmouth Hall prompted this letter. For my graduate studies at Dartmouth College, I read professor Leon Burr Richardson’s excellent two-volume History of Dartmouth College (1932). “From an architectural point of view,” he wrote in volume one, “the exterior of the building was highly attractive. With its fine proportions, its simple lines, its singularly graceful and airy belfry, it remains to this day … by far the most pleasing of the buildings of the college.” In volume two, he writes extensively about rebuilding Dartmouth Hall after it burned in 1904.

The context is college President William Jewett Tucker’s empowerment of the Dartmouth community to rebuild the college’s physical and financial infrastructure. Tucker was a revered theologian; the trustees were global financial leaders who were aghast at, and later in awe of, his ideas. He installed the college’s first heat and power plant and water and sewer system, from which all other development was built — with spectacular architectural and academic results. Tucker made regular nationwide lecture tours based on his Atlantic Monthly articles on public interest leadership. This message was repeated in his Sunday sermons to the student body at Rollins Chapel. One Sunday, this group watched in horror as Dartmouth Hall was engulfed. Gone “was the last of the edifices which connected the modern college with the time of the Wheelocks.”

At that time Tucker was bent on assigning vital college duties to the Alumni Association and “devoted himself to the process of arousing and solidifying alumni sentiment in a general way.” But after the burning of Dartmouth Hall, with “this sense of loss and with the feeling of unity among the graduates which had been aroused by the wise policy of the president, the time was ripe for action.” Boston alumni soon received circulars: “This is not an invitation, it is a summons.” Within days, the alumni had outlined a plan of reconstruction.

Tucker considered Dartmouth’s heritage its most vital investment tool, and his example is embodied in the architectural integrity of Dartmouth Hall.

PATRYC WIGGINS

Guild, N.H.

Liberal hypocrisy: It’s different

As an ardent admirer of the pithy observation, I am reminded by virtually every exposure to the news media of the late Kathy Shaidle’s masterful seven-word distillation of modern liberalism to its very essence: “Liberals: It’s Different When They Do It.”

As Shaidle’s quip (from her blog “5 Feet of Fury”) illustrates, one of the myriad advantages of conservatism is that, unlike the progressive, a conservative isn’t necessarily a hypocrite.

ANTHONY STIMSON

Lebanon

Harassed by big boys and their big noises

There are quite a few unevolved adult men of all ages in the Upper Valley. (I’m keeping this local, but they are everywhere.) Men no longer mature by age 30, and many never mature. They act petulantly, angrily thrashing around like feral 4- to 8-year-old boys.

As big boys, they run around in pickups with oversize or otherwise tampered pipes, in “hot” sedans and on Harley hogs. The noise level that they produce from adjusted exhaust systems is deafening and discourteous to everyone. They are especially loud near the homes of known Democrats. They often harass and yell epithets at the residents. Many of them disrespect our flag by flying it from their rigs while being jerks.

What would their elders and ancestors think of their puerile attacks on society and democracy?

STAN PHANEUF

Newbury, Vt.

Putting a sanitized spin on America’s history

Recent letters portraying the Republican Party as a champion of civil rights reminded me of the “George Washington could not tell a lie” spin in history classes during the Cold War era. The letters, along with the July 15 news article about Sununu’s waffling on teaching the truth about uncomfortable racial issues (“Divisive concepts law vexes teachers”), revealed how Republicans believe American history should be taught: Redacted.

Fact: Yes, the Republican Party of the 1850s opposed expanding slavery into new territories. And Republican President Abraham Lincoln banned slavery in 1863.

Fact: Yes, the post-Civil War Republican Party backed Reconstruction to offer formerly enslaved people the opportunities denied them by the people who owned them.

Fact: Yes, the post-Civil War Democratic Party was dominated by white Southerners who opposed Reconstruction.

Fact: Yes, those “Dixiecrats” instituted Jim Crow laws that for decades denied Black U.S. citizens their rights.

Got it.

But there are things that the Forum contributors omitted:

Fact: In 1876, the Republican Party bargained away Reconstruction in exchange for Southern support of Rutherford B. Hayes as president.

Fact: By the mid-20th century, the two major parties had begun switching positions. Now it’s the Democratic Party that supports ensuring everyone’s civil rights.

Fact: It is the Republican Party that is chipping away at voting rights or, failing that, making minority citizens’ votes irrelevant by gerrymandering districts to favor white citizens.

Fact: It is the Republican Party that wants schools to teach a gutted, sanitized, happily-ever-after spin on American history — a whitewashed version, if you will.

By prohibiting schools from teaching the inconvenient truths about the way America has treated some people in the past, the Republican Party may doom it to commit similar violations in the future.

REBECCA KVAM PAQUETTE

Hanover




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