Last month I wrote a piece that was in part about the initiative by a mob of prominent British Jews, Independent Jewish Voices, to launch a statement supporting human rights and rejecting a monolithic approach to
Well, I’ve just been catching up on some email and found a message from the Australian Jewish Democratic Society that Sol Salbe had forwarded, that itself forwarded a message from Independent Australian Jewish Voices, over the signatures of Peter Slezak, James Levy, and Antony Loewenstein. This group, too, has drafted a ‘Statement of Principles: A Call for an Alternative View’, that they aim to publish in the press.
Although the text of the statement parallels the IJV statement at points, it eschews the studied ambiguity of the British version. It starts out the with the claim
We are Jews of diverse opinions on the
Very similar to the wording of the IJV statement,
We are a group of Jews in
Unfortuately, the claim to diversity is not as well founded in the Australian statement, because it proceeds to recognize ‘the legitimate national aspirations of both Isr
We condemn violence by all parties, whether state sanctioned or not. We believe that
It’s hard to believe that rational people are still trying to equate the violence of the oppressed indigenous people’s liberation struggle with the colonists’ violent oppression, with the benefit of the fourth most powerful military on the planet.
In demanding recognition of its right to exist,
So whoever drafted the statement clearly was not at pains to ensure that a truly broad spectrum of Jews could join them. On the contrary, although they ‘are concerned that the Jewish establishment does not represent the full range of Jewish opinion’, the diversity of signatories’ opinions is restricted to the extraordinarily narrow spectrum of those who support colonialism and ethnocracy. Indeed, they make their true objective explicit,
Uncritical allegiance to Isr
Those whose differences with the ‘Jewish establishment’ rest on principled objections to Zionism and racism are obviously unwelcome in this exclusive clique.
As the sentiments and wording resemble Antony Loewenstein’s, and the first signature on the website is his, I surmise that he had a hand in drafting it. Now it just so happens that I have written a critique of his book, My