Watch out if you’re Jewish and don’t entirely support Israeli policies. Today’s Australian reports:
A pro-Palestinian advertisement protesting against parliament’s motion in support of Israel has divided members of a Jewish group critical of Israeli national policy.
Antony Loewenstein, a founder of Independent Australian Jewish Voices, was a signatory to the advertisement, published in The Australian on Wednesday, which said the 60th anniversary was a “celebration of the triumph of racism and the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians”. Other members of the group, including publisher Louise Adler, declined to sign.
In a strongly worded editorial, the Australian Jewish News this week condemned Mr Loewenstein, describing him as the “enfant terrible of the Australian Jewish community”. “He would be well advised to leave the business of creating an alternative Jewish voice to those who at least support the existence of Israel as a viable Jewish state,” it says.
NSW Jewish Board of Deputies chief Vic Alhadeff said the advertisement caused “extreme concern” in the Jewish community, because of its “dishonesty and inflammatory language”.
The advertisement also caused a stir when it emerged that names had been added to the advertisement without permission.
Peter Slezak, a founder of Independent Voices who helped gather 70 names for the advertisement, said there were only two people who had raised the concern – academic Nic Witton, who was added because of a miscommunication, and Susie Gold, who was angry to be confused with the listed Suzie Gold.
Mr Loewenstein yesterday said the editorial was a “disgrace”. He had not instigated the advertisement as claimed, but had helped to gather signatures because he felt it was important to show solidarity with Palestinians who had suffered as a result of the events of 1948. He said he supported Israel’s right to exist but did not believe in the idea of a Jewish state that discriminated against non-Jews.
The Zionist lobby and its local supporters can’t tolerate any dissent from the party line. Israel must be backed 100%. Full stop. But a growing number of Jews and non-Jews are speaking out publicly against the Jewish state’s immorality. The fact that the New South Wales Jewish Board of Deputies is caught red-handed disseminating false information about the petition in an attempt to discredit alternative voices – something ignored by the Australian – proves that they’re scared. And they should be.
Zionism’s time is coming to an end.