Setting the record straight. Again

Writing about Israel, Palestine and terrorism virtually guarantees heightened emotions among the general public. I’ve been accused of nearly everything except starting World War II (though I look forward to this moment.)

I discovered late last year that the Holocaust-denying Adelaide Institute had semi-endorsed my work. My response then:

Let me set the record straight. I am against extremism in all its forms. Neo-Nazis, the far right, the far left, the fundamentalists and the bigoted get no comfort here. I’ve discovered that writing about the Middle East brings its own challenges, not least the vitriol and threats by some Jews, Zionists, pro-American fanatics and Orientalists who see no fault with the colonial outpost in the region known as Israel.

Fast forward to October 2006, and I now learn that the nutty far-right Australian League of Rights (ALOR) is selling my book, My Israel Question.

My position is no different to late 2005. I oppose extremism in all forms, whether from the far-left or far-right. The success of my book across a wide variety of backgrounds, age-groups and religious backgrounds, proves that more and more citizens are sick and tired of not being able to speak freely about the Israel/Palestine conflict. It deeply pains critics that we’re now into a 3rd reprint and still on many best-seller lists more than two months after release.

A writer cannot prevent extreme groups latching onto his or her message and using it as their own. For my part, I can only categorically dismiss the rantings of groups such as ALOR and keep putting forward my own message of open dialogue, mutual respect and critical thinking.

21st century Zionist thinking is akin to a dying rat in a cage. As an ideology, it has never been more discredited or challenged, so therefore its few supporters must smear anybody who dares speak out against the occupation or Israeli policies. Thankfully, they are failing. Perhaps they’d better spend their time defending an Israeli President who may be a rapist.

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