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Name: Antony Loewenstein
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Thursday, July 14, 2005

Jews against Jews

As a Jew who doesn't believe in the concept of a Jewish state - a fundamentally undemocratic and colonialist idea from a bygone era - reception to such ideas within the Jewish community is usually vitriolic, bigoted, racist and downright pathetic. Australian Jews, generally speaking, are incapable of hearing the true reality of their beloved homeland and its barbaric actions.

Blogger Polywise has a few tips for the uninitiated.

30 Comments:

Anonymous simon said...

So now it's all out in the open...you don't even support the concept of a Jewish state, not even one that pulls back to pre-1967 borders. Why not just slap a khaffiyeh on your head and start chanting, "From the Jordan to the sea, Palestine will be free!"

(By the way, it's funny that you say it's undemocratic; until the Iraqi elections, Israel was the only place in the Arab world where Arab citizens were allowed to vote in a parliamentary democracy!)

Feel free to call me a racist, since that seems to be your default fallback argument.

Thursday, July 14, 2005 2:19:00 pm  
Blogger Antony Loewenstein said...

Not racist, though probably against Arabs. And made worse because you don't even have the guts to reveal who you are 'simon'. but then, people like you are generally pretty gutless...
To be honest, I believe in Jews living in security in Israel, as well as Arabs living in Palestine. Ideally, one state together. More likely, though, is two states side by side. This argument that Arabs are living in luxury in Israel because they can vote. You're proud of that, are you? Suppose the constant human rights abuses in the occupied territories is ok. And since it's currently part of Israel, and West Bank and Gaza are essentially run like a police state, your ignorance isn't only predictable, but pathetic.
I don't believe in religious states, full stop. Jewish, Islamic or Christian. To suggest that Israel is a secular state is absurd.

Thursday, July 14, 2005 2:32:00 pm  
Blogger Ambrose said...

Anthony, I was talking to a Jewish friend of mine a while ago and I was commenting about how it is difficult to criticise the state of "Israel" as a political entity, as you would USA, China, Australia etc. because you risk to be accused of anti-semitism.

He told me that for many Jews, the concept of having their own state is a question of survival. That is Israel is essential for the survival of Jews in the world, that is why, he told me they will never surrender and why by criticising Israel you attack the survival of Jewish people themselves.

I still think that it is perfectly possible to accept the concept of Israel but criticise its policies, especially policies from a particular party which are criticised by many Israelis as well.

What are your thoughts on the matter?

Thursday, July 14, 2005 2:41:00 pm  
Blogger Antony Loewenstein said...

I've been saying for a long time that criticising Israeli policies is not the same as slamming Israel or its people. Suggesting that Israel is essential to the future prosperity of the Jewish people? That's a tough one. In 2005, I think not. And as importantly, Israel was established on the back of another people.
There comes a point, and we reached this point years ago, that the Jewish community as a whole must take responsiblity for blinding supporting every move that Israel moves, despite the outrageous policies in the West Bank and Gaza, for example.
My book will have MUCH more on all this, so hold tight til early 2006!
There is SO much to say on all this. In the West, it is virtually impossible to discuss Israel honesty without being called an anti-Semite, and I know and believe that such moral blindness is leading to increased Jew hatred. It's the same twisted logic as suggesting that Western actions have no relation to Islamic fundamentalism. Puuuulease. It is no longer alright for Jews to cry victim and wolf because of the Holocaust. Terrible event, yes, but does not justify Israel's behaviour. Check out Norman Finkelstein's work for wonderfully insightful thoughts on these matters.

Thursday, July 14, 2005 2:46:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why is "simon"'s handle obnoxious, but, say, polywise's anonymity not?

Thursday, July 14, 2005 3:39:00 pm  
Anonymous Aaron Lane said...

You say you don't believe in the concept of religious states. Fine. But why have bombarded Israel with criticism on this front but shown hardly one skerrick of unease at any of the other religious states in the middle east? The answer is clear: because Israel is a jewish state, whilst every other nation in the region is Muslim. YOu hold Jews to a higher standard than you do Muslims. That, I think you will agree, is racist.

Thursday, July 14, 2005 6:42:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The notion that the survival of Israel is essential to the survival of Jewry is unmitigaged horsehit.
What are Brooklyn or Melbourne Jews (or Iraqi jews for that matter, driven out of their homeland by Zionist zealots) doing in migrating to Israel? Hardly out of desperation.
As for Israel being a democracy – what a yawn. As all non-Jews have inferior rights, it’s an ethnocracy. Who can become a citizen of Israel? Jews, Russian pretend Jews let in to bolster the population, and a handful of non-Jews left over from the occupation who are treated like shit. Some democracy. The marriage laws are a disgrace.
That one defends a state that has oppressed a people on racist grounds for successive generations on grounds that this activity gets popular support for such barbarism can only lead to question the value of 'democracy' itself. The value of ‘democracy’ is not an absolute.
As for the 1967 line - who among the Israeli leadership and global supporters takes that seriously? All Israeli Prime Ministers from Ben-Gurion onwards have never conceded a viable state for Palestinians, even the miserable 22% supposedly dangled as the light on the hill. If the Israeli leadership had been content with the 1967 line, we would have had it established years ago (indeed, there would not have been a 1967 war in the first place).
A Jewish state built on colonised territory has been a disaster - for the Palestinians, for world Jewry itself (essentially poisoned by the occupation’s innate amorality - and the Zionist nutters who comment on this site are testimony to the debasement of a higher moral order), and for all the indirect casualties of the support of Israel by the superpowers.
As for the notion that 'every other nation in the region is Muslim', where do you guys go to school? And nothing is so odious to the West and Israel than a secular Arab regime. Who is responsible for Islamic extremism? A little self-examination close to home would be appropriate.
ej

Thursday, July 14, 2005 7:49:00 pm  
Blogger Gerry said...

As a non-Jew, it is difficult for me to figure out what my position is regarding Israel. The whole idea of a Jewish state seems racist to me. But I do not wish to deny them somewhere to call home. So I've made my pact with the devil and decided to support the idea of an Israel bounded by the Green Line.

In my mind a just trade-off for the Jewish racism inherent in the creation of the state of Israel would be for Jews to respectfully agree to leave the West Bank and Gaza post haste if not yesterday.

I know... Two wrongs and all that... But I really would like to hear of a better solution that in reality would have a chance of working.

Thursday, July 14, 2005 11:57:00 pm  
Anonymous Eugene said...

Oh, Loewen... Whatever caused you to turn into such a left-wing fruitcake? You seemed like a nice enough guy back at school...

Friday, July 15, 2005 9:30:00 am  
Blogger Antony Loewenstein said...

Left-wing fruitcake? Jesus, Eugene, asking questions is really that confronting, hey?
Back to the old school tie dinners for you.....
And who the hell are you?

Friday, July 15, 2005 10:05:00 am  
Anonymous Dennis Smith said...

I think the idea of people making comments headed by fictitious names shows that they have a total lack of courage.

Antony, why don't you stop this silliness by not printing any comments that don't have a valid name and an email address.

Let people put their money where their mouth is!

Friday, July 15, 2005 12:57:00 pm  
Blogger Antony Loewenstein said...

Dennis,
I could if people had to register for this site, but I'm reluctant due to leaving the site as an open forum.
Tim Blair, say, requires registration and bans anyone expressing dissenting views. But then, he's a joke, so we're not taking him as an example...
I'm gonna leave for it now (but believe me, it frustrates me no end!).
Ok?

Friday, July 15, 2005 1:06:00 pm  
Anonymous Eugene said...

Who the hell am I? I don't think that is very relevant, Mr. Loewenstein. I think the more pertinent question is who the hell you are, and how you came by the left-wing loon ideas and guileless, pre-teen-level writing style that have made you the laughing stock of those few people who have ever heard of you. And whether you understand the role these have played in your abject lack of success in your chosen profession.

Friday, July 15, 2005 3:30:00 pm  
Blogger Antony Loewenstein said...

Lack of success?
mmm, let me see, gutless Anon.
Former employee of SMH, major contributor to a 2004 best-seller, not happy, john! currently writing a book on israel/palestine for MUP, freelancing for a number of publications in oz and overseas, and currently talking with other publishers with further works in 2006/7.
You're right, complete failure.
Back to assembly for you!

Friday, July 15, 2005 3:52:00 pm  
Anonymous Dennis Smith said...

You see my point, Antony. Having to put up with mindless insults such as those expressed above is not necessary and I certainly don't want to read such infantile tripe. I contributed to Online Opinion for a while and found a similar group of ratbags hiding behind pseudonyms.

Web Diary, by contrast, is a good forum where the Editors keep some control yet still allow a free-flowing debate.

Why not give it a go? It will improve the quality of your valuable site immensely.

Friday, July 15, 2005 4:35:00 pm  
Blogger Antony Loewenstein said...

i do see your point, Dennis but I'm reluctant for the reasons I've stated. Besides, it's a lot of work and I'm a one man band!
Anyway, try and ignore the abuse (hard, I know) and enjoy the bits in between!

Friday, July 15, 2005 4:43:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Dreamboat, why is it OK for your girlfriend, Liz "Poly" Wise to post anonymously as Polywise, but not for other people to do so?

'Ratbags hiding behind pseudonyms', indeed!

Friday, July 15, 2005 4:48:00 pm  
Anonymous Jonathan Baum said...

Antony, why don't you come to Israel yourself and see how things are? Yes, we're not perfect, make mistakes and, like any other country at war, somethimes use too much force. If you don't want to believe that the Jews are a nationality, that's your privilige, but the events of the 20th century have taught us that we cannot depend on others for our security. So come and see us, warts and all. Even though you're pissed off, you are still part of the tribe.

Jonathan Baum
Kibbutz Sasa

Friday, July 15, 2005 7:14:00 pm  
Anonymous Eugene said...

Wow... an employee of SMH, and a former one, no less. Not Happy John you say? Why that's only a step or two below the Green Left Weekly! And "freelancing" too? Gee, looks like I was really wrong about you, Antony.

Friday, July 15, 2005 8:25:00 pm  
Blogger Antony Loewenstein said...

Thanks, have been to Israel and the occupied territories. Thanks for the invite.
As for you Eugene (real cute name), you're clearly still hiding behind your anonymonity.
But then, much easier to snipe than actually contribute...

Saturday, July 16, 2005 11:38:00 am  
Blogger Stone-Cold said...

Hey Antony, what's "anonymonity"? I can't seem to find it in the dictionary, and since I lack your mad journalistic skillz and command of language, I was hoping you could tell me... Oh, and that's a "real cute" picture of you there. Perhaps it was taken just as you were trying hard to remember how to turn on the spell checker?

Saturday, July 16, 2005 9:22:00 pm  
Blogger leftvegdrunk said...

Stone Cold, do you have anything to contribute to the discussion about Israel and Australian Jews?

Sunday, July 17, 2005 7:04:00 pm  
Blogger Comical_Ali said...

"reception to such ideas within the Jewish community is usually vitriolic, bigoted, racist and downright pathetic. Australian Jews, generally speaking, are incapable of hearing the true reality of their beloved homeland and its barbaric actions."

Anthony, perhaps we here at the Jewish community should up our vitriol, bigotry and racism by a few notches and perhaps emulate you're very tolerant, open minded and very non-voilent Khaffiyeh friends?

I would suggets that the Jewish community here and world-wide should implement the fatwa model and issue fatwas on dissenting Jews like yourself. How does that sound?

Sunday, July 17, 2005 7:07:00 pm  
Blogger Comical_Ali said...

Oh and before I forget - I need to compliment you on you're photo...nice tie.

Another reason why there should be a fatwa upon your head

Sunday, July 17, 2005 7:15:00 pm  
Blogger Comical_Ali said...

dirtbike option - is that really you Anthony?

Sunday, July 17, 2005 7:18:00 pm  
Blogger leftvegdrunk said...

Comical Ali, do you have anything sensible to contribute? If not, fuck off and stop wasting our time with your meaningless shit.

Sunday, July 17, 2005 8:34:00 pm  
Blogger Comical_Ali said...

well excuse ure french anthony

Sunday, July 17, 2005 8:48:00 pm  
Blogger Dave S. said...

"Who is responsible for Islamic extremism?"

I blame the Islamic extremists.

Monday, July 18, 2005 5:55:00 am  
Blogger Dave S. said...

"Tim Blair, say, requires registration and bans anyone expressing dissenting views."

Bald-faced lie.

I've disagreed with Tim and his posters numerous times. Never even got a [i]threat[/i] of banning. Dissent doesn't get you banned, acting like an asshole does.

Monday, July 18, 2005 5:57:00 am  
Blogger Steve Brook said...

Antony, I hate to have to say this, but when you describe yourself as "a Jew who doesn't believe in the concept of a Jewish state", you play right into the hands of intellectual giants like Michael Danby, the Likud Member for Melbourne Ports. The point is that Israel exists, the Palestinians exist, and most people seem to believe that the best, most practical way out of the conflict between them is to work for two states for two peoples. Playing the "blame game" is utterly counter-productive.

Wednesday, August 31, 2005 4:11:00 pm  

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