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July 23, 2024

Zionism, antisemitism and Israel

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Byron Shire Council passed a rather messy but nevertheless important motion last week on Gaza and Israel. 

The motion captures the key points – end the siege, return the hostages, respect international law, sanction those who breach it, support the UN, condemn all civilian deaths and ceasefire now.  

You can see why the Zionists were horrified. Predictably, the word ‘antisemitism’ was utilised by public speakers against. Those expressing support for Council’s motion (like me) copped a barrage of such claims. To suggest that any councillors, speaking with such heart, were supporting antisemitism is way beyond the pale. 

Let’s get back to basics. There is a war between Israel and Hamas. Israel specifically identifies as a Jewish state. Israel has non-Jewish citizens, and a token few serve in the armed forces, but that’s what it calls itself. All members of the war cabinet are Jewish, the flag is a Star of David, and citizenship is open to every Jew in the world. Not my cup of tea, but lovely to feel eternally welcomed. 

Antisemitism is prejudice against, or hatred of, Jews. So, is it possible to criticise Israel, the Jewish state, without being antisemitic? Of course. 

To chant ‘from the river to the sea’, even if it means that the Jewish state be dismantled, is not antisemitic. 

It is absurd to cloak yourself as a nation in a religion, and then say if you take issue with our actions or policies you are bigots. 

The overwhelming evidence now is that Israel is guilty of genocide. 

I have hesitated to come to this terminology, but the facts don’t lie. Israel of course denies this, but claims that although they are killing citizens, because their intent is only to hunt Hamas operatives, it is not genocide. Israel says that they are not blocking food from entering Gaza, but instead doing their best to feed civilians without supporting terrorists. 

Both these arguments are false. Israel can defend itself without carpet bombing the entire place, and civilian deaths be damned. Excessive self-defence is not self-defence. Reckless killing is just as illegal as deliberate killing. Famine is, and always was, avoidable. Never in my lifetime have people on such a scale been hemmed in, starved, and then massacred in such a way. I was born after the Warsaw Ghetto, but only by 20 years. 

The international legal bodies Amnesty and Doctors Without Borders making declarations against Israeli actions are independent, and are not antisemitic. 

Muddying the waters 

Further, muddying the waters is the moving definitional feast of antisemitism from the Zionist lobby. 

One minute it was antisemitic to be calling for a ceasefire, but when our leaders did, then suddenly it was not. Then it was antisemitic to call for a cessation of the attack in Raffa, but now that government ministers have done that the claim falls away. And then the ICC and the ICJ are antisemitic, until the government states that they respect these courts and all nations must follow their rulings. 

It is just so discombobulating to be an antisemite one moment, and then just a self-hating Jew the next. 

When otherwise intelligent and reasonable people engage in irrationality, the source is almost always trauma. The shadow of the Holocaust, triggered by October 7, is understandably deep, raw and multigenerational. However, reasons are not excuses. 

Israel claims that it is being held to standards that no other country is, and that this is because of antisemitism. Really – if there is inconsistency in reactions to international misdeeds then that is a point well made, but to jump to the worst possible motive is glaringly disingenuous.  

So, has there been a rise in antisemitism in Australia? 

First, we have to discount all the anti-Israel commentary which only very rarely strays into antisemitism. Secondly, we have to markdown the moving feast discussed above. 

Third, it is understandable that some commentary inadvertently crosses the Israel/Jewish divide. But all that aside, I have no doubt that there has been an increase. Nazis, some religious extremists and other odds and sods will no doubt capitalise on the current blurred lines to spread their poison. Criminal attacks on individuals or local businesses have been reported and are deplored. 

For myself, the only angst I have received has been from Zionist groups and supporters. I have spoken at pro-Palestinian and peace rallies and forums and fundraisers as openly of Jewish heritage, and have been warmly welcomed and respected by all – even those who disagreed with my learning curve and blinkered stance on some issues. I have learned so much. 

For me, I am heartened by Council’s motion and grateful there are so many Jews speaking out against Israel’s actions in Gaza, including at the Council meeting itself. For example, two of the advisory panel members for the ICC warrant application are leading Jewish lawyers and are brilliant. 

I take solace from Australian organisations like New Israel Fund and Jewish Voices for Peace in the US. 

Many leaders of, and participants in, the university protests are openly Jewish young people. They are brave. 

Friday nights with the family must be tense. 

The Zionist community would be well served by using the term ‘antisemitic’ sparingly, if at all. 

It is an insult to all those whose family died as a result of real antisemitism, and it does not aid their cause.

All this reminds me of man of Asian descent when I refused bail after he was caught red-handed killing his partner. ‘You racist’ he called as he was led away. 

♦ David Heilpern is Dean of Law at SCU and a former magistrate.


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35 COMMENTS

      • Guilty of the murders and atrocities that started all this, of course. But war crimes, I don’t think so. Israel military has killed 40,000. That’s more war crimes I’d say. Sometimes the forest is obscured by all the trees.

    • How far do you want to go back M McL? How many thousand years? I found the words of a previous ABC Global Affairs Editor very telling recently. You won’t solve this issue by looking back.

      If we insist on digging in about who was where first, most of us on this continent should be convinced to 🤬off! Where to though?

  1. Ever known a war where innocent people didn’t get killed? Me either.
    I wonder if Byron Council will also pass motions about the Russian attacks on Ukraine, the ongoing brutality in Nigeria, China and North Korea, the Turkish occupation of Cyprus, the Indonesian occupation and brutality in Irian Jaya (West Papua)? Or does the council only care about injustices when Jews are involved? Pathetic. Perhaps our council should just stick to things it has some control over, like fixing our bloody roads!

    • Hi Brian, and thank our for taking the time to comment. The focus of the media (and council) on Gaza rather than all the other conflicts you mention is a discussion worth having. But to suggest that this is due to one side being Jews is leaping to a conclusion without evidence or foundation.

      • I don’t think that is the reason for the media/political attention. I’d say it’s because it is easier to whip up division and vote harvest with this particular conflict – for both ends of the political spectrum. It’s become the social media zeitgeist.

      • I appreciate your reply David. But seriously, have there ever been occupations of universities, disruptive and provocative gatherings, racist chants, foreign flag waving, flare throwing… Did any of this happen when Iraq invaded Kuwait? Or when hundreds of thousands of people were killed in Syria? Or the same in Yemen? No Jews, no news.

        • It is true that this war, unlike the others you mention, has captured the lime light. I was involved in the same over apartheid in South Africa, I marched for peace prior to the Iraq wat mark 2. Half a million in Australia marched against US, UK and AU aggression in those protests, and the universities were alive with protest. Not a prominent Jewish presence in that debate. And I think part of the interest in this particular war is because, of all people, we expect more of those who have suffered such unspeakable genocide themselves. There is something so perverse in this that I think it excites more interest than it would otherwise. But that is far from antisemitism. Fence them in then kill them. Even Putin lets Ukrainians leave.

  2. Great article written by someone of Jewish descent who thus has an outside chance of being heard by the Israeli war cabinet. That’s if they listen to anyone at all.

  3. Do you understand the meaning of the word “genocide”? In Rwanda in 1994, 800,000 people were killed with basic technology (knives and machetes) in a period of about ten weeks. According to Hamas (whose reports make Trump look like a beacon of honesty) some 30,000 citizens (they seem to know the exact number instantly, but have no idea how many were combatants) have been killed in Gaza in nine months. Given the rather better technology at Israel’s disposal, if Israel had planned a genocide, there shouldn’t be a living thing left standing in Gaza.

    As for “hemmed in and starved”, you are aware that Gazans have a border with Egypt, which avoids interaction with them at all costs (including building ever bigger walls)? That until Oct 7, thousands of Gazans crossed the border into Israel (not Egypt) every day to find work. Yes Virginia, there was a ceasefire on Oct 6th, until their government broke it in an orgy of rape, torture and murder.

    Why do we call the ratbags who raise these motions antisemites? Because those who rage and scream about the deaths in Gaza have never said a word about the half million Muslims killed in Syria, the hundreds of thousands of others killed in Yemen, Iraq, Afghanistan, etc, nor the one million Muslims in concentration camps in China. If it’s only an outrage if Jews do it, then it’s antisemitism.

    • Thank you Des for your comment. Yes, I have taught international law at tertiary level, and have researched the meaning of genocide. If Israel had decided to wipe out the entire population of Gaza they could have done it. However, the absence of that decision and action does not make their current reckless and excessive actions not a breach of international law. Less lives taken than Rwanda is no defence. It is still genocide whatever the scale. The border with Egypt is not, as you state, open. Hence the non combatants are fenced in. By Israel, and yes, by Egypt too. Egypt is at fault too. But they are not bombing.

      All the councillors voted for the final motion. All antisemites? The outrage expressed by Penny Wong? Her too? The UN, Amnesty etc all them too? Or is Israel behaving disgracefully. I choose the latter.

      • Letting Egypt off the hook because they are not “bombing” is an example of your ugly bias, David Heilpern. Have you noticed that not one single Muslim country will accept Palestinians as refugees? Only leftist keyboard warriors (read “cowards”) such as yourself advocate for these hateful people.

        They destroyed Lebanon, Jordan and Egypt. They have attacked Israel, who gave up land for (no) peace. With tertiary “educators” like you publishing lies such as “genocide”, we see why Australia, especially the judiciary, is a complete mess.

        Shame on you for your propaganda and your lack of unbiased research.

        • Hi Daryl and thanks for taking the time to comment. I did not let Egypt off the hook. There is bad, and very very bad, and thats how I see Egypt and Israel respectively. Coward – really. I reckon expressing a view that challenges the dominant Zionist hegemony takes a bit of courage or at least a thick skin. But you know nothing about my actions, my family or my level of personal commitment. But you really give yourself away when you refer to Palestinians as “hateful people”. Such blatant racism. Perhaps one day you will spend time, as I have, with lovely kind generous downtrodden Palestinians, as well as compassionate peace loving but deeply ashamed Jewish Israelis. Can I kindly suggest you spend some time on the websites of those with a different view – like Jews for Peace in the US, or the New Israel Fund in Australia.

  4. Nailed it straight on the head.
    Your words need to be shared.
    Violence is violence whether committed by soldiers(Israel’s military allows Men and women to contribute equally to slaughtering civilians and Independent Members of Humanitarian organisations such as The neutral Medicins Sans Frontiers.
    Bravo for having the guts to open this subject up.

  5. Thank you David for your thoughtful and balanced commentary on Gaza and Israel.
    Zionism is a political ideology, the belief that Palestinians can and must be expelled from their homeland so that settlers can create a majority Jewish state.
    David Ben-Gurion, primary national founder of the State of Israel, wrote to his son Amos, in 1937: “What we really want is not that the land remain whole and unified. What we want is that the whole and unified land be Jewish. A unified Eretz Israel would be no source of satisfaction for me – if it were Arab”. (emphasis in original)
    What the establishment Jewish narrative omits is that the vast majority of Palestinians forced from their homes committed no violence at all. Their presence was intolerable not because they had personally threatened Jews but because they threatened the demography of a Jewish state.
    It is not the Palestinians who obstruct peace, it is 75 years of Zionist occupation.

  6. Of course David, criticising a government and a war cabinet is not necessarily antisemitic. It’s just like it’s not appropriate to jump to the racist charge every time a person of colour or minority ethnicity faces criticism. Agreed!

    It’s also possible to agree with this and still maintain that the Israel/Hamas conflict has been for some, a welcome source of political opportunism and “divide and conquer”.

    To this end much of the debate has become slippery semantics . When you say “ To chant ‘from the river to the sea’, even if it means that the Jewish state be dismantled, is not antisemitic” that’s true enough. But is it anti Zionist? – another term open to a “moving definitional feast” Is anti Zionism OK? Depends which iteration? An honest analysis tackles this crucial aspect of the debate – they are not equivalents.

    I wonder if it’s only the Zionist community who “would be well served by using … term(s) sparingly? Isn’t it incumbent on all of us to be aware of the dangerous territory we can enter playing games for political advantage.

    Which motion did you speak in favour of and now applaud? Personally, I think the amended, unanimously accepted one is definitely “less messy”, acknowledges the validity of wrongdoing on both sides and focuses on peace and mutual respect. I commend Sarah Ndiaye on her preparedness to second the amendment. I wonder how her nuanced stand would be seen by the federal Greens leadership team.

    Last night in the House of Representatives chamber, Labor passed a motion for recognition of the state of Palestine as part of a peace process in support of a two-state solution and a just and enduring peace. The Age/SMH reported that “ The Greens and Coalition voted against the motion”. However it passed 81 – 55

    A similar amendment to the Greens Senate motion, lost earlier in the week.

    You are reminded of a previous bail applicant. The situation reminds very much of the science in the Life of Brian where Brian, selling “Larks’ tongues. Wrens’ livers. Chaffinch brains. Jaguars’ earlobes. Wolf nipple chips”, at an colosseum style entertainment venue, encounters the People’s Front of Judea :

    “ BRIAN: I didn’t want to sell this stuff. It’s only a job. I hate the Romans as much as anybody.

    PEOPLE’S FRONT OF JUDEA: Shhhh. Shhhh. Shhh. Shh. Shhhh.

    REG: Stumm.

    JUDITH: Are you sure?

    BRIAN: Oh, dead sure. I hate the Romans already.

    REG: Listen. If you wanted to join the P.F.J., you’d have to really hate the Romans.

    BRIAN: I do!

    REG: Oh, yeah? How much?

    BRIAN: A lot!

    REG: Right. You’re in.

    REG: Listen. The only people we hate more than the Romans are the f…ing Judean People’s Front.

    P.F.J.: Yeah…

    JUDITH: Splitters.

    P.F.J.: Splitters…

    FRANCIS: And the Judean Popular People’s Front.

    P.F.J.: Yeah. Oh, yeah. Splitters. Splitters…

    LORETTA: And the People’s Front of Judea.

    P.F.J.: Yeah. Splitters. Splitters…

    REG: What?

    LORETTA: The People’s Front of Judea. Splitters.

    REG: We’re the People’s Front of Judea!

    LORETTA: Oh. I thought we were the Popular Front.

    REG: People’s Front! C-huh.

    FRANCIS: Whatever happened to the Popular Front, Reg?

    REG: He’s over there.

    P.F.J.: Splitter!”

    • I am so sorry that you feel that way, and that my views cause you distress. No doubt we both come from the same place of wanting to save lives, but have very different paths to get there. May peace be with you.

  7. Anti-semetism is just another contrived distraction used by the agressor to play the victim!
    Are people concerned as they should be of what Netanyahu’s Zionist Govt’s continuation of their planned Lebensraum deception is really all about? Maybe people will be when he does the same as they have done to Palestine since 1949 and as they have now just done to Gaza, as he’s now about do to Lebanon very shortly?

  8. It could never be peace in that part of the world unfortunately. Since its creation Israel was based on displacing people : not only Muslims but Christians too. They are still doing it today. People who lived side by side with their Jews neighbours for centuries . Zionism is like all other fundamentalist religions dangereous. The way the Zionists and their supporters treated Palestinians ( Christians and Muslims, Bedouins) have resulted in Hamas, Hesbollah being created with Iran help. Iran who doesn’t want peace.
    Another point David didn’t mention is the fact that many Palestinians in Gaza hate Hamas but are afraid of protesting because they get killed. Hamas is as guilty of hiding between civil population, hospitals.
    Hesbollah &Hamas don’t care if children die : their ideology is as strong as the Zionists one. Lebanon has been ruined by Hesbollah and Iran too.

  9. David,

    The way jewish people in Australia are being treated now – open expressions of vilification of jewish people, and inciting violence against jewish people, including by Australian senators, and the government just letting it rip – is exactly what happened in Germany in the lead up to the holocaust of the 1940s.

    Dismissing this as not as bad, as you did, misses the point.

    This is why jewish people are scared, I think.

    They are being let down by our governments, by our judicial class (you), etc, in this exact way.

    After Israel gave self-governance to the people of Gaza and they responded with ongoing violence, culminating in October 7.

    Which is ongoing for the people of Israel, including the hostages being held.

    If I was jewish, I’d be scared, and I’d be offended by your response, which is leftist ideology first and jewish a distant second. A jewish betrayal I would view it, given your failure to actually state that Gaza has done the wrong thing harbouring and breeding terrorism (while accusing Israel of “genocide”).

    • Shane, thank you for taking the time to comment, and your polite but firm approach.

      I do not accept that there is widespread antisemitism with open vilification and incitements to violence. The evidence for this is largely because of the conflagration by those who collect data of critique of Jews, and condemnation of Israel. As in the article, I do agree that there has been an increase, and in islamophobia as well and that is deplorable. But to suggest as you do that the government is encouraging hatred and violence against Jews is absurd. I may not agree with Wong and Albanese and other s on many things, but I would not suggest that they are anti-Semitic. The government is not “letting it rip” like in Germany. The article does not excuse anti-Semitism, and deplores it.

      The Jewish people are scared, I agree, and that is so sad. I am only scared of some Jewish people to be honest.

      I am not a member of the Judicial class, whatever that is, but to suggest that the judiciary is “letting down” Jews smacks of conspiracy to me. Where is the evidence of that?

      If you were Jewish you might be scared, but you might also be inspired to speak out against Zionism in its current Israeli government form. Like me and many others.

      Hamas has done the wrong thing, and I made that absolutely clear in my previous column on this issue still online here – https://www.echo.net.au/2023/11/israel-palestine-gaza/

      Again, thank you for your comment, and engagement.

      • Not only have Albanese and Wong condemned antisemitism and Islamophobia, their electoral offices have been amongst the main targets of the proPalestinian protests. Did everyone note what happened to Josh Burns’ electoral office?

        This is clearly political and I think there’s a particular disingenuousness about this sort of politicking that, to me, seems to want to create a psychological association between the current Labor Government and responsibility for both a centuries old conflict and a current disaster.

        Calm, intelligent and informed dialogue, the recognition of legitimate grievance and grief on both sides and the promotion of respectful empathy is what should be encouraged right now – not blockading electoral offices (part of the infrastructure of our national democracy?) copious red paint and “dead babies”, defacing monuments of photographs of the hostages.

        Everyone needs to wise the 🤬up. Creating hatred won’t save one starving or dismembered child in Gaza.

  10. David,

    well put. As a (very secular) Jew, someone who has close friends in Israel, I have felt some despair over the current situation. Many (most?) Israelis look for a better way forward than Bibi’s slaughter, and yes, genocide. Albanese’s rather limp response has not helped matters. Payman, who I believe is an opportunist, is also pouring petrol on the fire. But as you say, separating anti-zionism from anti-semitism is not easy, particularly when anti-semitism is defined as “imperfect agreement with the policies of the state of Israel”.

    Keep up the fight and don’t let the bastards dishearten you, or even worse, enrage you!

  11. Thank you David. I’ve been waiting for someone to accept this is a Genocide. I think until this is agreed, we will get nowhere. All discussion of who did what should not prevent an end to this slaughter. Changing the subject from genocide to antisemitism hasn’t helped either as we’ve seen, so thank you again for being part of our wonderful community and speaking out. Peace in the Middle East would be good for us all.

  12. Very well said David. Both the article and your replies to the comments. You couldn’t cover every detail here , so it’s worth mentioning most of the civilian casualties in Gaza are women and children. Do the Israelis and their apologists think it’s ok to dispose of them in pursuit of Hamas fighters? Fighters who they still haven’t eliminated after ten months of warfare. The IDF has also killed dozens of journalists just doing their jobs and banned Al Jazeera for telling the truth . Remember too an IDF drone killed a group of aid workers ( including an Australian) despite them having told the IDF of their route and plans and getting permission to do the food run. Some years ago I read that 49% of Israelis supported a two state solution. Unfortunately the maniacs on both sides have ensured this won’t happen. Finally a personal note: I am Australian born of secular racially Jewish Hungarian parents who in 1938 saw the war coming, got out and came here. I never met my grandparents or aunt and uncle because they ended up gassed in Auschwitz. Again, David , thank you, and thanks Echo for publishing

    • Thanks Daniel, and your comments are prescient. I too find it amazing when they bomb a school and children are killed they say “it was a targeted attack to take out a Hamas militant who was hiding there. Well, so what? That is no justification. I ask myself “if it was an Israeli school would they bomb it to kill a terrorist?”. Never. And that just about sums it all up. Take care.

      • Agreed David, totally, but how cowardly and ethical is it to use civilians as human shields and as opportunities to win the propaganda war?

        • How cowardly and ethical is it to bomb a civilian population? Israel has dropped more than 70,000 tons of explosives on the Gaza Strip in addition to its bulldozing operations. This is more than Dresden, London and Hamburg in WWII. The use of human shields is forbidden by Protocol I of the Geneva Conventions and is considered a war crime as well as a violation of humanitarian law. The claim of human shields is used on both sides. Israel’s own human rights organisation [https://www.btselem.org/human_shields] says that the IDF has been systematically using human shields for years – they send (coerce) civilians into locations where they believe there are Hamas militants so that the civilian takes the risk of being killed, not the IDF soldiers . It is well documented and is happening in this conflict

          Israel claims that Hamas uses human shields because they fire rockets into Israel from within urban areas, which are populated. NB they almost never hit their target because of Israel’s Iron Dome system.
          In this latest conflict, Israel has claimed that the civilian deaths – including more than 20,000 women and children – are justifiable because Hamas uses ‘human shields’. This ‘justification’ is nevertheless illegal under international law. Under the Geneva Conventions, if hundreds of people were sheltering at a site that was proven to hide a Hamas presence, Israel would have to send soldiers in to only hit the enemy assets (principle of distinction). If it instead opted to bomb the compound from the air, it must be able to prove the existence of enemy assets and to argue that the “incidental” loss of life was proportionate to the military advantage gained (principle of proportionality).
          In an article, Jessica Wolfenden, Professor of Philosophy, Case Western Reserve University, Ohio – quoted in The Conversation, says:
          “… the question is to ask what a military force would accept if it were “their” civilians who were at risk of harm from military action. That is the standard we should apply when assessing potential military actions that threaten harm to enemy civilians. We call this standard the “principle of the moral equality of noncombatants”.
          “Israel argued that its attack on Shifa hospital was justified because, it claimed, Hamas was hiding a command base and weapons under the hospital. The hospital, which was running low on fuel, food and water, housed patients, including premature babies, and civilians seeking refuge from the conflict. According to footage shown in news reports, the attack left the hospital seriously damaged, filled with debris and lacking essential supplies for the remaining patients, who include the elderly and infirm.
          Israel has released [disputed and unverifiable] footage supporting its claim that there was a Hamas command centre under the hospital. Does that mean Israel’s attack on the hospital meets the requirements of proportionality? In other words, was the harm to civilians caused by the attack — including the ongoing harm resulting from the loss of a major hospital — proportionate to the military value of destroying a Hamas command base?”
          Since more than 60% of Gaza’s buildings have been destroyed, then you would have to assume that all of those homes and buildings housed Hamas operations, which is ludicrous. Additionally, 57% of agricultural land has been bombed. Are Hamas hiding out in the fields? The allegation of Hamas using ‘human shields’ can hardly justify the destruction of Gazan homes and food supply.

          Just parroting what Israel says about Hamas and human shields does not help discussion and it is actually a ‘shield’ to deflect from Israel’s own involvement of civilians in it military actions.

          • Catherine, I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but I have not condoned Israel’s behaviour at any stage. I don’t think the presence of Hamas operatives justifies the total “disproportionality” of Israel’s actions nor do I swallow their propaganda.

            I don’t need to parrot what Israel is saying, I think there is sufficient evidence of the human shield issue. Why, for example have hostages been embedded in highly populated civilian areas?

            I’m no apologist for Israel but nor am I for Hamas. I can’t help but think that, if Hamas released the hostages, the carnage would stop. Maybe that’s naive, but it’s perhaps worth a try in the interests of the Gazan population? But do Hamas care about the civilian Gazans any more than the Israelis do?

            This twisting of perspective, to insist on placing both protagonists and commentary in black and white camps has become an entrenched feature of this debate. It’s the same lunacy that perpetuates the problem over there.

            Sleight of verbal shifting that uses anti semitism and anti Zionism as interchangeable is equally unhelpful. Elements of both sides in this “war” want to obliterate the other. The pro Palestinian advocates (among which I number myself) never at any stage deny the validity of Palestinians to exist. There should be a willingness and honesty to be upfront about whether Israel (the whole population not just the Netanyahu regime) has a right to exist.

            Because the Australian Government chooses a path that says yes to both, there is a further disingenuousness about suggestions the outrage at the atrocities is all on one side and that our government, and individual targetted politicians, is where ALL the responsibility lies. Very political! And I don’t think I’m the one doing the parroting!

  13. To me it is of no importance what so-called God anybody believes in. This also applies to Jews.
    But the ongoing violence against Palestinians and the illegal land grab, which is going on for decades (not only since the 7th of October last year), is my reason to condemn the State of Israel.
    I would have exactly the same reaction if it would be a State of Berbers or green aliens. Actually, I’m also constantly criticising the mingling by the USA in foreign countries.
    My conclusion: if you attack me for my opinion, you seem to feel guilty by association! But this happens in YOUR head, not mine.

  14. Egypt occupied Gaza from 1948. Occupied which sovereign’s land?
    Egypt occupied Gaza until 1967, when they attacked Israel, then Israel occupied Egyptian land?
    Egypt’s peace deal, gave control of Gaza to a body called the Israeli Civil Administration, i.e. Israeli.
    Jordan controlled the West Bank, until it also attacked Israel in 1967. Were Jordan the occupiers?
    Jordan renounced its claim to the West Bank in 1988.

    To the PLOs credit, they have done an unparalleled public relations job, selling horse manure.
    It used to be that if you started a war and got messed up, that’s the fault of the aggressing army.
    It’s a sad story for the Palestinians, especially the children and women, it’s truly a tragedy.
    Israel should not be expected to sacrafice lives, to enable civilian based military armourments.

    Difficult decisions for Israel to make. Commentators don’t seem to have the foresight required.

    Jones,

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