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Israel: Australian debates « Previous | |Next »
March 16, 2006

I've just been catching up with last weeks New Matilda. I've come across an article by David Knoll entitled 'Jewish Self-Determination' (subscription required). Knoll seems to think that the Australian critics of Israel's policies do not accept the Jewish people right to self-determination and to form their own nation-state.

It's a furphy. Of course we do. What is being placed in question by the critics are the practices of the Israeli State to the Palestinian people and the Palestinian Authority.

Steve Bell

On this issue David Knoll, who is President of the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies, and a key figure in the Australian disaporia says:

History now recognises that the Jewish people, even before Israel was born, accepted and have reiterated their willingness to live in peace alongside their Arab neighbours, including the Palestinians, on the condition that each extends to the other the right of peace and security. Israelis know that peace requires compromise, often painful compromise, and they have more than once proven their willingness to give up territory for the sake of peace.The Jewish people, however, know that compromise must be reciprocal and it must be genuine.

Fair enough.

I scanned the rest of the article for an account of the displacement of the Palestinian people in the creation of the Israeli state, the ongoing occupation, the settler movement, illegal settlements, the Zionist idea of a Greater Israeli and the destruction of Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon, or state assassinations. Does not reciprocal and genuine compromise involve the issue of occupation?

There was no mention of the Israeli occupation by Knoll. It doesn't appear to exist historically. The rest of the Knoll article was all about Israel having to defend itself from the weaker Palestinians--ie., the Israeli need for security.

So the key issue--occupation-- is avoided by Knoll. Yet it was the expansionist occupation of Palestinian land in Gaza and the West Bank by the settler movement, sanctioned by the state, that gave rise to the claim that the practices of Israeli state are brutal colonial ones.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 8:55 AM | | Comments (0)