When I read about this new organization, the Independent Australian Jewish Voices, it makes me think of a simple thought experiment I like to use whenever dealing with coverage or comment about the Middle East. What you do is reverse the positions of Israel and the Palestinians, and then just consider how the story reads.
For example, when Israel investigates soldiers who have allegedly used excessive force in apprehending suspected terrorists. Would you ever read a story of the Palestinians doing such a thing? You barely even read about the summary (ex-judicial) executions of alleged collaborators in Gaza! Or how about when Palestinians rejoice at the “martyrdom” of their children in a suicide attack? Can you imagine an Israeli ever beaming with pride for a fallen soldier?
Now, here are a group of eminent Australians who have followed the lead of the UK in forming a group that is fighting “equally” for the rights of Israelis and Palestinians. But that is not enough for them. The mission within the mission, according to them, is ensuring there is free debate about the Middle East in this country, and that dissenting views that are critical of Israel are not intimidated or labelled as “self-hating”.
Back to our thought experiment. Imagine if you will, a group of eminent Arab scholars in Syria forming an organization whose goal is for equal rights for Jews and Arabs? For a right to speak in support of Israel and not be villified? Now, pick yourself up off the floor and stop laughing.
I’m not sure what the real motivation of this group is. If you look at the press, the story is not about advocacy (or equivalence, heaven-forbid) in the Middle East, it’s actually about a group challenging “the Jewish lobby”. With friend like these, who needs enemies?
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Well G_d forbid that I point out the obvious, but I don’t see Palestinians occupying Israel or putting up roadblocks all over the country. I don’t see Palestinian soldiers en masse in Israel or Palestinian tanks rolling into Israeli cities. I don’t see tens of thousands of Israeli political prisoners, including children, in Palestinian jails. I don’t see hundreds of thousands of Palestinians walking into Israeli homes and farms, turfing out the residents, confiscating their homes and lands and building minicities amongst all those Jews. Israel is illegally, immorally and unjustly entering its 40th year of occupation of Palestinian lands, its ruling over 3.5 million Palestinian and the minutae of their lives, stealing their land on a whim and looting their resources. There is no equivalency here – Israel is legally and morally in the wrong and will continue to be so long as the illegal and immoral occupation of another people continues.
Could you please explain to the readers the relevance of your response to the post. It has absolutely nothing to do with Independent Australian Jewish Voices. This is clearly this just another forum for you to get some anti-Israeli vitriol of your chest?
Your inaccurate recount of the Israeli/Palestinian issue also shows your ignorance.
Quick history lesson: There is no such thing as “Palestinian territory” that Israel is “occupying”.
“Palestine” was under Ottoman rule between 1516 and 1918, followed by British rule until the United Nations partition in 1947.
Land gained by Israel in DEFENSIVE wars since the United Nationns partition is not considered “occupation”.
Need I mention Israel’s constant quest for peace?
But, then again, people like you aren’t interested in facts.