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I’m not an antisemitic Jew for shunning Netanyahu

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7 December 2023, The Age, Letters

As a non-religious Jew, I am in total agreement with Jenna Price (‘‘As a non-Zionist Jew, I’ve had enough’’, 6/12). Benjamin Netanyahu and his cobbled-together coalition, composed of many fanatical conservatives, is a blight on Israeli politics. I have often been branded ‘‘an antisemitic Jew’’ by Jewish mates for being critical of Bibi and everything he stands for. How insulting. I’m neither an antisemite nor anti-Israel; I am anti-Prime Minister Netanyahu, who has done everything in his power to prevent a twostate solution. Hopefully, his comeuppance will come when Israel holds its next national election, post the horrors that are unfolding daily in Gaza and Israel itself.

Maurie Johns, Mt Eliza


Inflammatory claims

Unlike Jenna Price, the vast majority of Australian Jews are Zionists, meaning we believe in the right of the Jewish people to selfdetermination in the form of a Jewish state in the Jewish homeland. We also understand that only antisemites are to blame for antisemitism. Her blaming of Netanyahu for antisemitism could be seen by antisemites as justifying their bigotry. Her claims against Israel are false and, in the current context, inflammatory. Israel is not murdering people. It is targeting Hamas terrorists who cynically hide among civilians. Israel is trying to minimise civilian casualties by evacuating them. Neither is it to blame for the failure to reach a two-state peace.

Robbie Gore, Brighton East


Seeking peace

Jenna Price hits the nail on the head. Can people with different religions, ethnicities, nationalities etc live peacefully alongside each other? Yes, and they do, worldwide. It is only the actions of extremists from either group, who extol the greatness of themselves and their particular clans over others, which induces the kind of horror we are witnessing in the Middle East. My guess is that most Israelis don’t want to wipe out the Palestinians, and most Palestinians (as opposed to Hamas) don’t want to wipe out the Jews. They want decent, peaceful lives for themselves and their loved ones.

Richard Mitchell, Caulfield North


Education needed

Jenna Price shows why it’s important to make the distinction between Zionist and non-Zionist Jews and Israelis, as well as between Hamas and Muslims. Unfortunately, too many Australians don’t understand the difference. The government must lead the way in getting the correct information out to counteract increased levels of antisemitism and Islamophobia. Elizabeth Sprigg, Glen Iris

What’s offensive about Zionism?

When Jenna Price states that ‘‘Australians seem unable to tell the difference between Jews and Zionists and between Muslims and Hamas’’), she appears to be implying that many, if not most, Australian Jews are not Zionists, and that to be a Zionist is akin to being a supporter of Hamas. She couldn’t be more wrong. A recent poll found that 88 per cent of Australian Jews consider themselves Zionists. And what is it that Price finds so offensive about Zionism, the right of the Jews to have a home in a land to which they have had a continual connection for 3000 years?

Geoff Feren, St Kilda East


Shift bigger than Bibi

Jenna Price celebrates Netanyahu’s popularity being ‘‘in the basement’’ but attributes too much of the ‘‘current torrent of antisemitism’’ to ‘‘the way [he] has gone about Israel’s business over decades’’. She’s suggesting his demise would fix much in Palestine. But the decades Price refers to saw an ominous shift in Israeli politics and society after its 1967 victory. Now, assertions – from prime ministers and generals to settler firebrands and quasi-fascist MPs – that ‘‘greater Israel’’ (all Palestine) is ours are unremarkable. This is the dangerous mindset which no Australian leader has the guts to question and underpins Israel’s practice of ‘‘permanent security threat, so constant war’’.

Ken Blackman, Inverloch

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Article source: The Age | Letters | 7.12.23

2024-05-08 07:04:10.000000