My latest New Matilda column discusses the launch of Independent Australian Jewish Voices:
Another intriguing response to the IAJV petition has been the objection to our mention of ‘State-sanctioned violence’ — a clear reference to Israel (though we equally condemn Palestinian violence). For many Jews — and this has been shown in various letters in the Australian Jewish News and elsewhere — Israeli violence is not ’violence,’ merely self-defence. This Orwellian conceit gives comfort to those who choose to ignore the inhumanity of Israel’s occupation of Palestinian territory and focus on Israel’s supposed victimhood.
Being a Jew means different things to different people. Critics of IAJV have revealed their parochialism by condemning Jews who, previously, have never spoken out as Jews. Perhaps they should wonder why. In the UK, US and much of Europe, Jews are starting to shun decades-old Jewish groups that have simply rubber-stamped Israeli policy and refused to allow true debate across a wider spectrum.
My New Matilda archive is here.