Time to welcome open debate

Following yesterday’s article in the Australian newspaper by two supposed leftist academics praising Israel, my following letter appears in the paper today:

Israel recent war against the Gazan people has caused many people around the world, including Jews, to reassess their support for Israel. With countless men, women and children murdered and the illegal use of white phosphorous on civilians, it is curious to read about Israel’s “liberal democracy” as described by Philip Mendes and Nick Dyrenfurth (“Left behind on building bridges in Middle East”, Opinion, 13/5).

Rehashing slogans about a two-state “solution” is no longer acceptable. More than half a million illegal settlers in the West Bank has made this delusion an impossibility.

The writers argue that the Australian Jewish community has “quite divergent views” on the conflict. This is disingenuous. The Jewish establishment tolerates no debate over Israel’s illegal annexation of Palestinian land, the ever-expanding colonies in the West Bank, the siege of Gaza or discrimination of Arabs in Israel proper. This is being pro-Israel.

Mendes and Dyrenfurth accuse me of being “quasi-conspiratorial” and an “Israel basher”. Nothing could be further from the truth. Rather than resorting to childish attacks, I, along with millions around the globe, rightly call Israel an apartheid state because it has implemented a racially discriminatory system of oppression. Nobel laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu said in 2002 that the West Bank colonisation “reminded me so much of what happened to us blacks in South Africa”. Progressives have opened their eyes and they know what they see in Palestine.

Antony Loewenstein
Petersham, NSW

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