Aborigines should not look to modern Jews as any kind of inspiration

Following indigenous leader Noel Pearson’s article in yesterday’s Australian about admiring the Jews, I submitted the following (unpublished) letter:

Noel Pearson’s admiration of the Jewish people (Aborigines can learn from Jews how to preserve culture and prosper, 15 February) is curious for its omissions. In praising their “resilience and seriousness as a people” and dedication to never forgetting history, he seems to have conveniently overlooked the modern state of Israel. As a Jew, I am constantly astounded how many non-Jews are able to celebrate the Jewish religion and ignore what’s happening in Palestine. Modern Zionism has co-opted Judaism and left millions of Palestinians dispossessed in the name of a post-Holocaust myth. Pearson should spend some time in the West Bank, Gaza and Israel proper and discover the real meaning of modern Judaism. Israel’s ever-deepening occupation of Palestinian lands is a curious way to fight racism when Israeli laws are specifically designed to segregate people along racial lines.

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