Friday, 1 November 2013

letters 31/10 Anti-Semitism comes as no surprise to Jews

Anti-Semitism comes as no surprise to Jews

WHILE I applaud your editorial, let me say that anti-Semitism is always dangerous wherever it occurs - and try getting that out of Sydney University's Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies ("Dangerous anti-Semitism has no place in Australia", 30/10). Universities and churches have fostered hatred of the Jews for aeons - no surprise there.
Nowadays, there are ideological links between the Labor Party and anti-Semitism. Labor maintains that it is perfectly in order to criticise Israel without being anti-Semitic.
That's wrong. There is no other tool than anti-Semitism for criticising Israel and the Jewish people: Howard Jacobson's article illustrates the point strongly and accurately ("Still unforgiven for wrongs suffered", 29/10).
Paul Fidlon, Armidale, NSW
AS a Jew, I found Howard Jacobson's erudite analysis of anti-Semitism compelling reading. I wondered whether it might bring enlightenment to anti-Semitism deniers such as Jake Lynch from the Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies and Greens senator Lee Rhiannon.
These leaders have attracted to their cause a platoon of supporters happily preferring uggboots to jackboots. This does not diminish the distress it has on Jewish people living in Australia. We have bullshit detectors built into our DNA and we can spot an anti-Semite a mile away.
Mark Awerbuch, North Adelaide, SA
THE recent anti-Semitic attack in Sydney is shocking, but comes as no surprise to the Australian Jewish community. For several decades, there has been a rising tide of anti-Israel sentiment that is expressing itself as anti-Semitism, the origins of which can probably be traced back to the period following the Six-Day War of 1967.
Failing in their latest military attempt to eradicate Israel from the Middle Eastern landscape, the Arab world changed tactics and launched a program of delegitimisation of Israel's right to exist as a Jewish state, portraying the creation of Israel as a colonial exercise by the West at the expense of the indigenous population. The facts demonstrate otherwise.
The result is an under-informed public that sees Israel as a pariah state that deserves everything it gets, a concept that easily translates into hostility to Jews in general. This is lazy scholarship but it has gained traction nonetheless, and it leads to the sort of attacks last week in Sydney and at the University of NSW. There is no place for it in Australia.
Alan Freedman, St Kilda, Vic
IN all states, violent acts, including those motivated by anti-Semitism constitute a crime, but only in Western Australia are those who incite the racist violence subject to criminal prosecution.
When incitement occurs, the fabric of racial harmony and our normal civic relations are undermined. Society as a whole suffers, not just the victimised group.
Just as we prosecute those who organise the peddling of illicit drugs, our politicians should criminalise the incitement of racist violence.
David D. Knoll, Coogee, NSW
HOWARD Jacobson mentions paganism and Christianity for involvment in anti-Semitism but fails to mention Martin Luther. He also fails to mention the role of the mufti of Jerusalem's support for Nazi actions during World War II or that anti-Semitism can be found in the Koran.
Ken Moncrieff, Stafford Heights, Qld
YOUR editorial touches on fears in the Jewish community. As a Jewish student activist I would like to say that Dom Foffani and Stuart Maclaine are independents, not Labor activists.
Their offensive actions, forgiven by Jake Campbell after sincere apologies, stemmed from ignorance rather than prejudice. Associating them with anti-Semitism is misleading.
Sam Bason, Avalon, NSW
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