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Wearing a scarf to decry carnage is not antisemitic

by admin

19 December 2023, Sydney Morning Herald, Letters

No one should ever forget the horrific events of October 7 but, after nearly two months of unprecedented carnage along the Gaza Strip, I despair that a gesture of sympathy for a desperate people can be condemned as antisemitic. More than a million traumatised survivors, with little more than the clothes on their back, have been forced into a hellish situation. They have no choice but to endure wretched conditions with little food, inadequate medical facilities and only a tent to protect themselves from the rain and cold of approaching winter.

Meanwhile, in the comfort of a Sydney summer, we preoccupy ourselves with three actors who, over a month ago, dared to wear keffiyehs at a curtain call.

There is a humanitarian catastrophe unfolding in Gaza right now that is surely much more deserving of our attention.

Bruce Spence, Balmain

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Three unarmed civilians waving a white flag walk out of a building in Gaza and are shot by the invading Israeli army. My understanding of the Geneva Convention is that this is clearly a war crime and it’s irrelevant if those killed were citizens of Israel or Gaza. But for some reason, our media seems to think that the killers just made a ‘‘sad mistake’’ because the poor three were Israelis, which seems to imply that it would have been OK if they had been ordinary citizens of the Gaza Strip. No wonder a lot of us with no direct connections to either side of this conflict are losing patience with Israel.

Darryl Drake, Epping

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Ruth Ritchie writes of Jewish members of the audience being ‘‘traumatised’’ by the gentle but, in her words, misguided on-stage gestures. How did we get to this, where anyone is ‘‘traumatised’’ by the sight of a scarf? And before you know it thousands of Palestinians lie dead, their homes and lives shattered. I too am traumatised. My Jewish friends ask that we never forget the Holocaust. Today I reply, ‘‘Which one?’’

John Elder, Annerley (Qld)

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Can people like Ruth Ritchie and her supporters who are so offended by perceived antisemitism please try to maintain some sort of perspective? There are hundreds of thousands of human beings in Gaza wondering if they will be alive tomorrow. They would gladly swap places with Ritchie, whose biggest inconvenience is to be offended by three actors wearing scarves decrying war.

I would suggest to Ms Ritchie and the other ex-supporters of the STC that they donate their extra cash to the NGOs trying to keep starving people in Gaza alive.

Mike Reddy, Vincentia

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Article link: https://todayspaper.smedia.com.au/smh/shared/ShowArticle.aspx?doc=SMH20231219&entity=Ar02003&sk=250F8162&mode=text
Article source: Sydney Morning Herald | Letters | 19.12.23

2024-05-08 07:04:10.000000