Alex Lubansky writes: Yesterday, Antony Loewenstein (item 11) wrote another of his religious sermons preaching “the truth”. As is typically the case with Loewenstein’s articles, this “truth” was a one sided criticism of Israeli and American Governmental policy without so much as a hint of the real situation they face from some sectors of the Palestinian people. This “truth” tends to be repeating the opinions and beliefs of his mates and colleagues. The truth is (and by truth I mean my opinion) that the situation in the Middle East is complex, there is blame on all sides, victimhood on all sides, and, frequently, justification on all sides. To write on Israel’s blockade of the Gaza without mentioning Gilad Shalit or Qassam rockets leaves a somewhat distorted view of the situation. Similarly the alleged undermining of the Hamas Government (much as Loewenstein himself would happily do to the Howard or Bush administrations if he had the power) seems to miss some important points regarding acceptance of Israel and renouncing violence. Things that most of the political players see as necessary for Hamas actually to be a potential partner for peace. Given that Loewenstein has previously spoken in favour of boycotts, surely he must appreciate Hamas being boycotted if they won’t renounce violence.
Lionel Kowal writes: You are not clever to use Loewenstein for Middle East comments. He suits an undergrad rag with an uncritical anti-Israel/-Semitic audience, all the more eager and willing to hear it from a Jew, not a “serious” publication.
Grant Ye writes: Why is it that Antony Loewenstein continues to ignore the rockets that have been fired daily from Gaza into Israel? Why shouldn’t Israel try to “undermine” the Hamas government? An organisation whose charter calls for Israel to be destroyed and which calls anyone who even suggests peace with Israel to be branded a blasphemer! The truth about Antony Loewenstein is that his “truths” are very distorted…
UPDATE: Finally, a reader with a less blinkered understanding of the Middle East:
Craig Berkman, an ABC staffer formerly based in Israel, writes: Some of yesterday’s comments about Tuesday’s articles by Loewenstein and Burchill demonstrate the irrational, unthinking and blind devotion to the “perfect” state of Israel which is so much a part of the problem in the Middle East. Do people like Alex Lubansky, Lionel Kowal and Grant Ye ever acknowledge any wrongdoing by the state of Israel under any circumstances? Is it a perfect state which has never made a wrong move? Certainly the US administration and John Howard appear to think so. And of course when it comes to arguing when you have at best a dubious argument, Lubansky, Kowal and Ye resort to the standard and pathetic political method of attacking the person rather than the issues. In my opinion, Israel, the USA and the rest of the international community failed badly when they missed their greatest ever opportunity to move forward in the Middle East with Hamas winning the January elections. Hamas had spent over a year not firing rockets at Israel and not sending suicide bombers to kill innocent Israelis. This was the time for Bush to put pressure on Israel to sit down at the negotiating table with a democratically elected Palestinian government which had the support of the Palestinian people. That would have been an incredible step towards peace but they blew it completely. The diabolical question is: did they do it on purpose to inhibit the peace process?