Following an article in the Melbourne Age yesterday about Australian Jewish dissenters, the following letters appear in today’s paper:
The fear of being called ‘anti-Semitic’
While Andra Jackson’s report on debate on Israel/Palestine in the Jewish community ( The Age, 7/2) indicates the stringent self-censorship that has occurred within that community, it fails to talk about the problem of criticism of Israel being a taboo subject in the wider community because people are fearful of being called anti-Semitic or of inciting anti-Semitism.
This has been an enormous problem in the Australian community: it has meant the Palestinian narrative of the injustice of their dispossession has barely been discussed. Because the media are complicit with this, the reporting of Israel’s many human rights violations rarely get the coverage they should, that would make people sit up and think something very wrong is going on.
Dora McPhee, Melbourne
Contrary to what Antony Loewenstein is quoted as saying in Andra Jackson’s report, there is frank and “open debate” within the Jewish community about Israel and the occupied territories. Many opinions are expressed, as is evident in the opinion columns and letter pages of such publications as the Australian Jewish News.
Sure, we do not go in for public brawling, as that would only give our antagonists something to sneer about.
Henry Herzog, Elwood
Stop the presses!
Oh my God, stop the presses! Jews hold differing opinions! Let’s not imagine that pluralism among Jews is something novel. Note that the differing opinions have not resulted in Jews running rampant shooting and killing their opponents.
Paul Rozental, Melbourne