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Israel: Disturbing images « Previous | |Next »
December 3, 2004

I've been reading Margo Kingston's impassioned Not Happy John whilst flying to and from Canberra this week. In chapter 13 she challenges the claim of the privately-funded neo-conservative think tank, the Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council (AIJAC) to speak for the Jewish people. She questions the 'the', and argues that the Hanan Ashrawi affair in 2003 indicated the diversity of Israeli voices in Australia.

Margo refers to the political intimidation around the debates on the Israeli-Palestinian question in Australia:

"This intimidation, and the internal pressure on those in the Jewish community who do not support Zionism or the Sharon Government in Israel to shut up about it outside the community, means people such as Colin Rubenstein and AIJAC Chairman Mark Leibler dominate the media and politics on the matter, purporting to speak for the Jewish community."

One way to counter the anti-Palestinian stance of the AIJAC is to highlight the questioning amongst Israelis. Consider this report from The Guardian.

And this different Israeli voice in Haaretz:

"The fact is that the [Israeli] checkpoints are not a product of the intifada. When the truth is written about the history of the checkpoints, and not from the chronicles taken from the desk of the army commanders, it will become clear that the checkpoints gave birth to the intifada..... The checkpoint system is not part of the intifada, but it did grow and strengthen "thanks" to it. The checkpoint system is also not going to end when the intifada is over. The checkpoint system belongs entirely to the Israeli unwillingness to give up all of the territory of the West Bank, including all of the settlements. The checkpoint system is aimed at ensuring Israeli control over the lives of the Palestinians."

The right wing Israeli strategy is to split the Palestinian territory in every way in order to control them. The AIJAC does not acknowledge that the settlements are the problem.

Some more commentary.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 8:36 AM | | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (2)

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Israel: Disturbing images:

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The turn to deliberative democracy makes sense in the light of these examples of the political intimidation of public debate on matters of public importance. Deliberative democracy highlights the way that democratic legitimacy depends on the ability or... [Read More]

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I am reading Margo Kingston's Not Happy, John! The core of the book is about the Howard Governments attack on Australian democracy, a defence of democracy from this attack and positive ideas about how we can set about defending it. I found some parts o... [Read More]