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Australian papers cover atrocities documented by Israeli soldiers group, but Aussie Jewish orgs blindly deny the reports

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The responses by the Jewish establishment are nothing short of meaningless intolerance. And paranoia. Increasingly the reality of Israeli crimes are entering the mainstream and all they can do is bleat about propaganda and Israeli morality. Fewer and fewer people believe this in 2012. The Breaking the Silence comments are interesting and strong though personally I’d rather the defence of Zionism wasn’t in there. Regardless, it’s an important organisation and challenges the concept, still laughably used by Israel defenders, that the IDF is the “most moral army in the world.”

I thought this would be the end of the story but then this week I received an email (I’ve published it all below, removing any relevant names) that reveals attempts by the supposedly more liberal wing of the Jewish community to encourage people not to attend Israel/Palestine related talks in Australia because their minds must be corrupted. Or something. It reeks of bigotry and fear.

It’s no wonder many people, including me in a new book After Zionism, now campaign for a wholesome challenge to the Zionist and Jewish communities. If even listening to different points of view from Israel is too much for supposedly sensitive Jewish ears, believing that reform of Israel and the Diaspora is possible, and the occupation ended, is dangerously delusional thinking. Zionism itself is the problem here:

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Daniel Crook 
Date: Sat, Aug 25, 2012 at 2:20 PM
Subject: [melbogs] Please Read {01}

Tomorrow night Hashy are hosting an event where the audience will hear from two speakers, one of the speakers is Micha Kurz, who is the co-founder of a NGO in Israel called ‘Breaking the Silence’. Hearing this came at quite a shock to me and I want to highly encourage anyone thinking of going to read this email before you go and show your support. ‘Breaking the Silence’ are highly criticised for being an anti-Zionist and anti-Israel organisation, and are also criticised for being left wing extremists. Taken from their website we can see that their mission statement is to “expose the Israeli public to the reality of everyday life in the Occupied Territories”, which is not necessarily the issue at hand, but rather the issue lies in their approach, way that they attempt to do this, and what it creates in peoples understanding and beliefs about Israel, Zionism and the IDF.

The responses by the Jewish establishment are nothing short of meaningless intolerance. And paranoia. Increasingly the reality of Israeli crimes are entering the mainstream and all they can do is bleat about propaganda and Israeli morality. Fewer and fewer people believe this in 2012. The Breaking the Silence comments are interesting and strong though personally I’d rather the defence of Zionism wasn’t in there. Regardless, it’s an important organisation and challenges the concept, still laughably used by Israel defenders, that the IDF is the “most moral army in the world.”

I thought this would be the end of the story but then this week I received an email (I’ve published it all below, removing any relevant names) that reveals attempts by the supposedly more liberal wing of the Jewish community to encourage people not to attend Israel/Palestine related talks in Australia because their minds must be corrupted. Or something. It reeks of bigotry and fear.

It’s no wonder many people, including me in a new book After Zionism, now campaign for a wholesome challenge to the Zionist and Jewish communities. If even listening to different points of view from Israel is too much for supposedly sensitive Jewish ears, believing that reform of Israel and the Diaspora is possible, and the occupation ended, is dangerously delusional thinking. Zionism itself is the problem here:

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Daniel Crook 
Date: Sat, Aug 25, 2012 at 2:20 PM
Subject: [melbogs] Please Read {01}

Tomorrow night Hashy are hosting an event where the audience will hear from two speakers, one of the speakers is Micha Kurz, who is the co-founder of a NGO in Israel called ‘Breaking the Silence’. Hearing this came at quite a shock to me and I want to highly encourage anyone thinking of going to read this email before you go and show your support. ‘Breaking the Silence’ are highly criticised for being an anti-Zionist and anti-Israel organisation, and are also criticised for being left wing extremists. Taken from their website we can see that their mission statement is to “expose the Israeli public to the reality of everyday life in the Occupied Territories”, which is not necessarily the issue at hand, but rather the issue lies in their approach, way that they attempt to do this, and what it creates in peoples understanding and beliefs about Israel, Zionism and the IDF.

The responses by the Jewish establishment are nothing short of meaningless intolerance. And paranoia. Increasingly the reality of Israeli crimes are entering the mainstream and all they can do is bleat about propaganda and Israeli morality. Fewer and fewer people believe this in 2012. The Breaking the Silence comments are interesting and strong though personally I’d rather the defence of Zionism wasn’t in there. Regardless, it’s an important organisation and challenges the concept, still laughably used by Israel defenders, that the IDF is the “most moral army in the world.”

I thought this would be the end of the story but then this week I received an email (I’ve published it all below, removing any relevant names) that reveals attempts by the supposedly more liberal wing of the Jewish community to encourage people not to attend Israel/Palestine related talks in Australia because their minds must be corrupted. Or something. It reeks of bigotry and fear.

It’s no wonder many people, including me in a new book After Zionism, now campaign for a wholesome challenge to the Zionist and Jewish communities. If even listening to different points of view from Israel is too much for supposedly sensitive Jewish ears, believing that reform of Israel and the Diaspora is possible, and the occupation ended, is dangerously delusional thinking. Zionism itself is the problem here:

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Daniel Crook 
Date: Sat, Aug 25, 2012 at 2:20 PM
Subject: [melbogs] Please Read {01}

Tomorrow night Hashy are hosting an event where the audience will hear from two speakers, one of the speakers is Micha Kurz, who is the co-founder of a NGO in Israel called ‘Breaking the Silence’. Hearing this came at quite a shock to me and I want to highly encourage anyone thinking of going to read this email before you go and show your support. ‘Breaking the Silence’ are highly criticised for being an anti-Zionist and anti-Israel organisation, and are also criticised for being left wing extremists. Taken from their website we can see that their mission statement is to “expose the Israeli public to the reality of everyday life in the Occupied Territories”, which is not necessarily the issue at hand, but rather the issue lies in their approach, way that they attempt to do this, and what it creates in peoples understanding and beliefs about Israel, Zionism and the IDF.

The responses by the Jewish establishment are nothing short of meaningless intolerance. And paranoia. Increasingly the reality of Israeli crimes are entering the mainstream and all they can do is bleat about propaganda and Israeli morality. Fewer and fewer people believe this in 2012. The Breaking the Silence comments are interesting and strong though personally I’d rather the defence of Zionism wasn’t in there. Regardless, it’s an important organisation and challenges the concept, still laughably used by Israel defenders, that the IDF is the “most moral army in the world.”

I thought this would be the end of the story but then this week I received an email (I’ve published it all below, removing any relevant names) that reveals attempts by the supposedly more liberal wing of the Jewish community to encourage people not to attend Israel/Palestine related talks in Australia because their minds must be corrupted. Or something. It reeks of bigotry and fear.

It’s no wonder many people, including me in a new book After Zionism, now campaign for a wholesome challenge to the Zionist and Jewish communities. If even listening to different points of view from Israel is too much for supposedly sensitive Jewish ears, believing that reform of Israel and the Diaspora is possible, and the occupation ended, is dangerously delusional thinking. Zionism itself is the problem here:

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Daniel Crook 
Date: Sat, Aug 25, 2012 at 2:20 PM
Subject: [melbogs] Please Read {01}

Tomorrow night Hashy are hosting an event where the audience will hear from two speakers, one of the speakers is Micha Kurz, who is the co-founder of a NGO in Israel called ‘Breaking the Silence’. Hearing this came at quite a shock to me and I want to highly encourage anyone thinking of going to read this email before you go and show your support. ‘Breaking the Silence’ are highly criticised for being an anti-Zionist and anti-Israel organisation, and are also criticised for being left wing extremists. Taken from their website we can see that their mission statement is to “expose the Israeli public to the reality of everyday life in the Occupied Territories”, which is not necessarily the issue at hand, but rather the issue lies in their approach, way that they attempt to do this, and what it creates in peoples understanding and beliefs about Israel, Zionism and the IDF.

The responses by the Jewish establishment are nothing short of meaningless intolerance. And paranoia. Increasingly the reality of Israeli crimes are entering the mainstream and all they can do is bleat about propaganda and Israeli morality. Fewer and fewer people believe this in 2012. The Breaking the Silence comments are interesting and strong though personally I’d rather the defence of Zionism wasn’t in there. Regardless, it’s an important organisation and challenges the concept, still laughably used by Israel defenders, that the IDF is the “most moral army in the world.”

I thought this would be the end of the story but then this week I received an email (I’ve published it all below, removing any relevant names) that reveals attempts by the supposedly more liberal wing of the Jewish community to encourage people not to attend Israel/Palestine related talks in Australia because their minds must be corrupted. Or something. It reeks of bigotry and fear.

It’s no wonder many people, including me in a new book After Zionism, now campaign for a wholesome challenge to the Zionist and Jewish communities. If even listening to different points of view from Israel is too much for supposedly sensitive Jewish ears, believing that reform of Israel and the Diaspora is possible, and the occupation ended, is dangerously delusional thinking. Zionism itself is the problem here:

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Daniel Crook 
Date: Sat, Aug 25, 2012 at 2:20 PM
Subject: [melbogs] Please Read {01}

Tomorrow night Hashy are hosting an event where the audience will hear from two speakers, one of the speakers is Micha Kurz, who is the co-founder of a NGO in Israel called ‘Breaking the Silence’. Hearing this came at quite a shock to me and I want to highly encourage anyone thinking of going to read this email before you go and show your support. ‘Breaking the Silence’ are highly criticised for being an anti-Zionist and anti-Israel organisation, and are also criticised for being left wing extremists. Taken from their website we can see that their mission statement is to “expose the Israeli public to the reality of everyday life in the Occupied Territories”, which is not necessarily the issue at hand, but rather the issue lies in their approach, way that they attempt to do this, and what it creates in peoples understanding and beliefs about Israel, Zionism and the IDF.

Fresh news about the Diaspora Jewish community’s refusal to hear about atrocities committed by Israel, let alone act on them, even as the wider community seems to be opening its eyes. 

Last week the Israeli soldiers’ group Breaking the Silence released a staggering report on the abuse, dehumanization, and shootings of Palestinian children by the Israeli army. The report demonstrates that Israeli soldiers cross moral red lines without concern because they know they will never be punished for destroying Palestinians’ human rights.

Sadly, the report has gotten scarcely any attention in the US media. But it has been covered in Europe and Australia. Two leading Australian papers published a big story on the report: The Age and the Sydney Morning Herald.

Antony Loewenstein has a post up on the matter, chronicling the angry response by Jewish groups to the news:

The Aus­tralian Jew­ish News was out­raged, pro­vid­ing a space for Zion­ist spokes­peo­ple to damn all the al­le­ga­tions:

“An­other Is­rael-bash­ing head­line”, “a fla­grantly one-sided piece” and “thread­bare and un­sub­stan­ti­ated ­allegations”…

A state­ment was re­leased by Danny Lamm, Pres­i­dent of the Ex­ec­u­tive Coun­cil of Aus­tralian Jewry:

“How sad it is that once-great broad­sheets like the Syd­ney Morn­ing Her­ald and The Age have been re­duced to fea­tur­ing crude pro­pa­ganda on their front page.

Loewenstein notes that the bash was then joined by the head of the Israel lobby in Australia, Colin Ruben­stein, and a Jewish Labor MP named Michael Danby, who sought to leverage financial pressure on the newspapers:

Michael Danby told J-Wire: “I felt The Age cov­er­age was worse than the Syd­ney Morn­ing Her­ald’s as their head­line was more bi­ased and the graph­ics used were larger and more emo­tive.”

Speak­ing at the open­ing in Mel­bourne of the Is­raeli Film Fes­ti­val, Danby said: “I was not sur­prised to see the Fair­fax share price plum­met­ing. On days when hun­dreds of civil­ians were being killed in Syria, The Age and the Syd­ney Morn­ing Her­ald were re­hash­ing un­ver­i­fied re­hashed pro­pa­ganda against Is­rael.” He ap­pealed to Greg Hay­wood, the chair­man of Fair­fax to ex­plain why his chain gave such promi­nence to this story.

A feature appeared in The Age and Sydney Morning Herald last week by Ruth Pollard which detailed shocking new allegations by IDF personnel and their behaviour against Palestinian children. Murdoch’s Australian also covered the revelations. The Australian Jewish News was outraged, providing a space for Zionist spokespeople to damn all the allegations:

“Another Israel-bashing headline”, “a flagrantly one-sided piece” and “threadbare and unsubstantiated allegations”.

Just a handful of comments from community leaders and the Israeli embassy this week following the extensive coverage in the Australian media of a report issued by Israeli veterans group Breaking The Silence (BTS) about the treatment of Palestinian children at the hands of the IDF.

A statement was released by Danny Lamm, President of the Executive Council of Australian Jewry:

“How sad it is that once-great broadsheets like the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age have been reduced to featuring crude propaganda on their front page.

A feature appeared in The Age and Sydney Morning Herald last week by Ruth Pollard which detailed shocking new allegations by IDF personnel and their behaviour against Palestinian children. Murdoch’s Australian also covered the revelations. The Australian Jewish News was outraged, providing a space for Zionist spokespeople to damn all the allegations:

“Another Israel-bashing headline”, “a flagrantly one-sided piece” and “threadbare and unsubstantiated allegations”.

Just a handful of comments from community leaders and the Israeli embassy this week following the extensive coverage in the Australian media of a report issued by Israeli veterans group Breaking The Silence (BTS) about the treatment of Palestinian children at the hands of the IDF.

A statement was released by Danny Lamm, President of the Executive Council of Australian Jewry:

“How sad it is that once-great broadsheets like the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age have been reduced to featuring crude propaganda on their front page.

Breaking the Silence responded to the Australian critics with a defiant statement  ot its own. The soldiers group asserted that its witnesses are telling the truth and it took jabs at armchair Diaspora Jews:

While the question of whether and to what degree Diaspora Jews should advocate their views on internal Israeli affairs is an open one, beating on Israelis of other political convictions is not. Lamm’s armchair Zionism pontificating from afar, while true Israelis put their lives on the line, imposes certain restraints on his engagement.

Loewenstein– who is the editor of a new volume of essays, After Zionism, to which I am also a contributor– explains the larger context of the controversy: 

The re­sponses by the Jew­ish es­tab­lish­ment are noth­ing short of mean­ing­less in­tol­er­ance. And para­noia. In­creas­ingly the re­al­ity of Is­raeli crimes are en­ter­ing the main­stream and all they can do is bleat about pro­pa­ganda and Is­raeli moral­ity. Fewer and fewer peo­ple be­lieve this in 2012….

I thought this would be the end of the story but then this week I re­ceived an email (I’ve pub­lished it all below, re­mov­ing any rel­e­vant names) that re­veals at­tempts by the sup­pos­edly more lib­eral wing of the Jew­ish com­mu­nity to en­cour­age peo­ple not to at­tend Is­rael/Pales­tine re­lated talks in Aus­tralia be­cause their minds must be cor­rupted. Or some­thing. It reeks of big­otry and fear…. Zion­ism it­self is the prob­lem here.

Here’s the beginning of the email Loewenstein published, from the liberal Zionist group Habonim Dror. It characterizes Breaking the Silence as “sim­plis­tic and nar­row.” Staggering denial– though note that, yes, another Jewish group was sponsoring Breaking the Silence in Australia:

———- For­warded mes­sage ———-
From: Daniel Crook 
Date: Sat, Aug 25, 2012 at 2:20 PM
Sub­ject: [mel­bogs] Please Read {01}

To­mor­row night Hashy are host­ing an event where the au­di­ence will hear from two speak­ers, one of the speak­ers is Micha Kurz, who is the co-founder of a NGO in Is­rael called ‘Break­ing the Si­lence’. Hear­ing this came at quite a shock to me and I want to highly en­cour­age any­one think­ing of going to read this email be­fore you go and show your sup­port. ‘Break­ing the Si­lence’ are highly crit­i­cised for being an anti-Zion­ist and anti-Is­rael or­gan­i­sa­tion, and are also crit­i­cised for being left wing ex­trem­ists…

Anti Is­rael sen­ti­ment is grow­ing through­out the world, as we see on our own uni­ver­sity cam­puses, and ‘Break­ing the Si­lence’ are po­ten­tially fu­elling a lot of this opin­ion. ‘Break­ing the Si­lence’ rely on the use of very ex­treme ex­am­ples, in­clud­ing in­ter­views, tes­ti­monies and imag­ing, to show and un­cover what they term the shock­ing re­al­i­ties of Is­rael and the IDF. They are highly crit­i­cised for pro­vid­ing a non-Zion­ist and highly over-sim­plis­tic view of the is­sues at hand and pre­sent a pic­ture of IDF ac­tions against Pales­tini­ans that is com­pletely re­moved from and ig­nores the larger Is­rael-Pales­tin­ian con­flict, which as a re­sult adds in a se­ri­ous way to the world wide anti-Is­rael sen­ti­ment that af­fects our lives as Zion­ists in a se­ri­ous way. In short, the ex­am­ples that they use to ful­fil their mis­sion are very ex­treme and are taken out of con­text, they crit­i­cise the IDF and the Is­raeli gov­ern­ment with a very one-sided agenda, and also in­clude no pro­duc­tive stance about a more pos­i­tive di­rec­tion for Is­raeli so­ci­ety.

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“The re­sponses by the Jew­ish es­tab­lish­ment are noth­ing short of mean­ing­less in­tol­er­ance.” It’s very meaningful. They are doing what zionists have done for over 100 years. Crush everything that is anti message. Chomsky on the jihad against the Fink http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P8ENawcSliA 1. traintosiberia says: July 4, 2012 at 11:12 am Finklestein’s… Read more »

Thanks, seafoid. Just imagine anything in this essay or your post on page 1 of NYT.
OK, but keep imagining. This is going to take a long time.

I thought this would be the end of the story but then this week I re­ceived an email (I’ve pub­lished it all below, re­mov­ing any rel­e­vant names) that re­veals at­tempts by the sup­pos­edly more lib­eral wing of the Jew­ish com­mu­nity to en­cour­age peo­ple not to at­tend Is­rael/Pales­tine re­lated talks in… Read more »

RE: “Fresh news about the Diaspora Jewish community’s refusal to hear about atrocities committed by Israel, let alone act on them . . .” ~ Weiss AND RE: “An­other Is­rael-bash­ing head­line”, “a fla­grantly one-sided piece” and “thread­bare and un­sub­stan­ti­ated ­allegations”… ~ Zion­ist spokes­peo­ple AND RE: “How sad it is that… Read more »

the zionists operate on the premise that the best defense is a good offense. we should too, especially since we’re on the side of the slave (oppressed, occupied), whereas they’re on the side of the slaveowner (oppressor, occupier). conversely, we have nothing to be defensive about, they have a long… Read more »