Long-time supporters of Israel are having a tough time at the moment. War crimes were committed in Gaza during the recent war. The prospects of a two-state solution are beyond grim. Western-led tensions between Hamas and Gaza are real. The new Israeli government has no intention of seriously pushing for peace, only worsening the West Bank occupation. The Australian Jewish community is once again whinging about “anti-Semitism”.
But hey, if you’re two “left” Jewish academics in Australia, desperate for approval and support from the Jewish establishment, none of these facts matter. Writing in today’s Australian, Philip Mendes and Nick Dyrenfurth – IAJV blogger Michael Brull recently took apart consistent and laughable attempts by Mendes to enforce acceptable boundaries of Middle East debate – it is left-wing thinkers who just want to demonise Israel because, well, who needs a reason:
Despite the quasi-conspiratorial and unhelpful arguments of professional Israel-basher Antony Loewenstein, the Australian Jewish community holds quite divergent views on the above issues. As the old-saying goes, for every two Jews you’ll find three different opinions. Indeed, many Jews who support the existence of Israel are quite vocal, and deservedly so, when it comes to criticising Israel’s West Bank settlement policies.
Rather, progressives should steadfastly support a peaceful two-state solution based on staple social democratic values: co-operation, compassion and solidarity. These values must be accorded to both sides. To do so is to explicitly reject the false dichotomy of being pro-Israel/anti-Palestinian and vice versa fostered by extremists on both sides of the political divide. This means promoting dialogue with Israelis and Jews who reject the Greater Israel project, and with moderate Palestinians and Arabs who reject demands for a coerced return of millions of Palestinian refugees to Green Line Israel which would result in the immediate or gradual dissolution of the state ofIsrael.
While this all sounds so terribly reasonable, neither author even remotely honestly addresses Israel’s decades-old policy of irreversible expansion and aggression against the Palestinians. Whenever Israel is under criticism from the global community, Zionist extremists or self-appointed progressives come out and defend the wonderful “liberal democracy” of Israel.
When was the last time they visited the West Bank or Gaza? When was the last time they saw the realities of occupation?
They have no idea, frankly. And it’s almost comical to watch these two Jews so keen to gain support from the Murdoch press and Jewish community. Israel now has a fascist in government and the problem is left-wing Jews in Australia?
Lads, here’s a newsflash: millions of citizens around the world know the facts about Israeli “democracy” and they rightly use the word ‘apartheid’. Perhaps you should read Haaretz a little more often and virtually every human rights group report in the world. The facts are clear. Stop living in an academic bubble.