Last week I interviewed author Michael Goldfarb on his book Emancipation, a story of Jewish liberation in Europe after the French Revolution.
It’s an interesting read but Goldfarb, like so many Jews of a certain age and experience, appears unwilling to extend his desire for rights towards the Palestinians. He said during our chat in Sydney and also on ABC Radio the following (when asked about his views on Israel):
Let me give you the irrational one first. Um… 5 years before I was born Auschwitz was in existence. I feel that the existence of the state of Israel is as good a guarantee as I can possibly have that that will never happen again. Not because it’s a militaristic state – a nuclear-armed Jewish state makes me feel, atheist that I am, secular and integrated as I am, assimilated, a little bit safer. I acknowledge to a very considerable degree that’s irrational.
Such comments are a few seconds after Goldfarb said he thought Jews had a moral responsiblity to lead by example and help liberate other people.
And yet, in classic Zionist form, Israel can pretty much do what it wants to Arabs.
There was no criticism of the occupation. None.