Disagreeing over Israel should not cause offence

The following letters appear in today’s Sydney Morning Herald:

Before accusing your editorial writer of oversimplification, perhaps Athol Morris (Letters, March 14-15) should check his back copies of the Australian Jewish News. That paper has published several of my letters arguing that Israel should be a state of all its citizens. Readers took that to be the end of Israel’s existence as a Jewish state, and said so.

However, in the hearty debate that ensued, no one took the view that it was offensive to suggest Israel should be “as Israeli as Australia is Australian” (and as Jewish as Australia is Christian). Nor did the editors who published the letters.

Vigorous debate has always characterised Jewish culture. Hearing a different view is not offensive. To suggest that the AJN refused an ad for commercial reasons does not tally with the above experience.

Sol Salbe Maidstone (Vic)

Maureen Dean (Letters, March 16), commenting on an AM interview with Jeffrey Halper, writes: “The final crucial point he made was that a big proportion of suicide bombers consist of young people who have had their houses demolished by the Israeli Government.” What actually happens is that the Israeli Government demolishes the houses after the bombings.

Mick Weiss Coburg (Vic)

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