The following letter appears in today’s Australian newspaper:
Greg Sheridan (“Israeli leaders mislabelled by foes”, Opinion, 9/4) complains that Israeli politicians such as Benjamin Netanyahu and Avigdor Lieberman are misleadingly labelled as “hardline right-wing” but then has the gall to smear all opposition to Israel with the slur of being “heirs to ancient anti-Semitism”.
It’s true that their are plenty of anti-Jewish racists who are against Israel, but the primary reason for opposition to Israel isn’t anti-Semitism. Rather, it’s the fact that the majority of people who lived in western Palestine at the time Israel was created did not want to live in a state that was dedicated to an ethno-religious identity they were not part of. The UN’s decision to create Israel violated the democratic rights of that non-Jewish, Palestinian majority. The Palestinians who lived in what is now Israel have a just claim to return to their homes based on principles of both democratic human rights and property rights. Anti-Semitism is irrelevant.