The following letter appears in today’s Sydney Morning Herald:
It is disappointing that a writer described as having ideas to advance the cause of peace displays arrogance and intolerance (“Activist has a gender for peace, and it’s all in the talk“, August 9-10). Asked about the possibility of debating the Australian author Antony Loewenstein, the Israeli American writer Naomi Ragen uses the lazy, outworn dismissal, “a typical self-hating, ignorant Jew”.
Ragen’s invitation to the Melbourne Writers’ Festival suggests she is taken seriously. Yet to be a contributor to peace requires a touch of humility and a willingness to ponder others’ views. The “self-hating Jew” response displays the same violence of attitude that lies at the hub of the Israel-Palestine problem.
Stuart Rees Director, Sydney Peace Foundation, University of Sydney