Supporting Palestinian rights can be risky

Back in 2007, I co-founded Independent Australian Jewish Voices (IAJV) with academic Peter Slezak, a space to support more critical voices on Israel/Palestine. One of our early signatories was Moss Cass, a senior minister in Gough Whitlam’s government in the 1970s and one of the world’s finest environment ministers. He recently died at 95 and there’s this passage in the recent Australian Jewish News:

In 2007, he became a founding member of Independent Australian Jewish Voices, which criticised Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians.

“Dad was really vilified … and that was very painful for him,” [his daughter] Naomi said.

It’s sad to read that even believing that Palestinians are human beings, the original IAJV declaration was a very mild statement, incurred such wrath.

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