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Letters to the Editor

From time to time, a commentary on the world will bubble up inside of me to the extent that I'm forced to write a letter to my local, metropolitan, daily newspaper, The Age. This is where I blow of some steam. Feel like venting too? Add your own comment or visit my homepage.

Thursday, June 17, 2004

Anti-Israel is not Anti-Semite

Once again we read of the deliberate confounding of "Jew" and "Israeli" for political advantage, this time by Professor Markus (The Age, 15/6). He claims that the Left needs its devils and that "the devils today are the Israelis, just as in traditional anti-Simitism the devils were the Jews who were said to drink the blood of children and poison wells".

I resent his suggestion that my objections to Israel's policies are a result of medieval superstition and ingrained hatred. My objections to weapons of mass destruction, apartheid, theocracy, collective punishments and ethnic cleansing are founded on rational and considered beliefs in human rights and democracy.

To respond to political criticism by claiming that Israelis are being targeted as Jews once were is to sidestep willfully any self-examination. Why not draw historical parallels to South Africa in the 80s or Serbia in the 90s, rather than medieval Jewry? Perhaps because such comparisons may yield uncomfortable truths rather than an easy copout.


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