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How have we come to this?

How can it be that standing against the genocide of Palestinian people is seen as inherently anti-Semitic?

I have NO doubt that there is antisemitism at work in some quarters.

Anti-Semitism – like all other forms of racial and religious hatred – is a scourge and cannot be tolerated.

It is a complete nonsense, however, to equate condemnation of the actions of the Israeli government in Gaza with hatred of Jewish people.

I’m not Jewish, but people often mistakenly think I am. (I have even been subjected to misplaced anti-Semitism!). I have an Honours degree in Jewish Civilisation, in which I wrote my thesis on “Theresienstadt and the Inadequacy of the traditional Holocaust discourse”, under the supervision of an extraordinarily clever and generous Jewish academic, scholar, and researcher.

I am not an anti Semite. I do not hate Jews. I have had the world opened up to me by Jewish teachers and thinkers. At risk of wheeling out this old chestnut, I have dear friends and cherished colleagues who are Jewish.

Banksy in Gaza, Palestine.

My love and regard for them does not stop me condemning without reservation the ongoing slaughter of the Palestinian people by the state of Israel.

The world has sat by long enough as babies and children and their families are murdered and mutilated. Every time I open my social media feeds I am met with images of dead and disembowelled children. It is unbearable. It is enough.

I call on the Australian government to use every last bit of diplomatic pressure it can bring to bear on the Israeli government to stop this monstrosity. At a minimum, Australia must step out of the weapons supply chain and demand immediate safe access for humanitarian aid.

We must never forget what we have witnessed, and we must never lose courage to speak out against what we know to be wrong.

One Comment

  1. Well said Jessie. As a Greek I demonstrated against the Greek Dictatorship. This did not make me anti Greek. It made me anti the dictatorship. To be against the present Israeli government is not antisemetic, its against a fascist Israeli government, not against Israel.

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