In his attempt to smear Israel with the accusation of apartheid, George Bisharat (“Israeli boycott mirrors attitude of the United Nations,” April 6) ignores important facts which demonstrate that Israel is vastly different from South Africa. Palestinian citizens of Israel, known as Israeli Arabs, have equal rights to Jewish citizens of Israel. They serve as elected officials at all levels of Israeli government, as officers in the Israeli military and as judges in Israeli courts. Thousands of Israeli Arabs attend and teach at the very Israeli universities that Bisharat wishes boycotted. If Israel truly had an apartheid system, Israeli Arabs would not have these opportunities.

Moreover, Bisharat evades the issue of terrorism. He protests Israel's protection of its citizens from terrorism yet ignores the actions of the terrorists themselves. Palestinian terrorists have attacked Israeli civilians countless times, including at a hospital, a hotel, a pizzeria and at several schools. They have used women and children as suicide bombers. These terrorists' exploits are even touted by supposedly moderate Palestinian groups.

Bisharat's call for a boycott ignores Palestinian terrorism and does not serve to address the many vital issues that need to be resolved for a lasting peace.

Jason Levinson