Just let the bloody Jews fight it out

Following this letter in yesterday’s Melbourne Age, the paper today publishes two responses:

Eli Court (Letters, 20/5) speaks with all the disdain of the ivory tower intellectuals who wouldn’t “soil” their hands by being on the street. If Eli had taken the trouble to attend the debate after the performance of Seven Jewish Children — chaired by a Jewish QC — he would undoubtedly have clarified many issues in his mind. But that involves mingling with the “dumb” scarf-wearers and flag-wavers.

Narendra Mohan Kommalapati, Abbotsford

Shades of grey
I am reassured to hear that people like Eli Court exist. It is vital that people such as Eli understand that the Israeli-Palestinian issue is not black and white. However, many students could be forgiven for thinking as such from all the racist slogans and catchcries plastered around campus by anti-Israel propagandists attempting to dehumanise Jews and Israel alike. Someone as cynical of the media as Eli should know that the pictures taken at the protest give only a small snapshot of what went on.

Instead of resorting to factually void slogans and chants as the “anti-Israel” activists did, Jewish students interacted and engaged positively with the crowd waiting to see the play. Many of these people walked away when we “unpacked” the issues with them. It’s clear to me that when “pro-Palestinian” groups scream slogans of hate towards Jewish students, it can only be because they’re so short on facts that they resort to dehumanising the other side. In this, they progress no one’s cause.

Stefan Oberman, Victorian president, Australasian Union of Jewish Students, Caulfield South