The Point is Lost (in BDS noise).

[This letter appeared in the Sunday Age, 25 September 2011]
THE report in The Sunday Age exposes a fundamental truth of propaganda campaigns – the level of ignorance that drives them.
The protesters chanting outside Israeli-connected Max Brenner chocolates display little understanding of the complexity of the conflict about which they gather, and are apparently unaware of the way in which their aggressive confrontation taps into the collective memory of many in the Jewish community, who inevitably associate back to the picketing of Jewish businesses in 1930s Europe.
Melbourne in 2011 is not comparable to that dark period, nor can the protesters be remotely compared to people back then. But they need to be aware of why some Jews are so incensed by tactics that try to link locally owned Israeli shops with allegations against the Israeli military.
In reality, Max Brenner is not in the war business. The parent company provides ”care packages, sports and recreational equipment, books and games for soldiers”, to quote the protesters.
The consequence of their polarising tactics is that many people who support Israel vent their disgust at the protests, and ignore the oppression of Palestinians, the reality of 44 years of occupation and the brutalisation of generations of Israeli conscripts since 1967. This point is completely lost on the protesters.
Australian Jewish Democratic Society executive

A welcome nail into the coffin of the Malaysia Solution

Harold Zwier, an AJDS Executive member, had this letter in The Australian 21/9/2011
NOW that Tony Abbott has put a welcome nail into the coffin of the Malaysia Solution, it’s time for Julia Gillard to address the nation. She should tell us that she failed in her bid to pander to the populism of using asylum-seekers as political weapons, rather than helping people in need.
She should confirm that she has no option but to embrace the hardest of political options: to accept that asylum-seekers who arrive here should be processed here. And she should sell the benefit of that option to all Australians. Our history amply supports the argument.
The Labor government has nothing to lose. It won’t lose one vote from being pushed into doing the right thing. And it will discomfort the opposition. It would benefit genuine refugees, our self-esteem and our reputation in the world.

AJDS BDS Statement

Recently, the AJDS issued a statement about some BDS protests that we believe work against justice for Palestinians. The statement evoked a strong reaction and has been misinterpreted by some. It was our intention that the statement clearly articulate the concerns we have with some BDS protests, as a contribution to the overall debate about the Israeli Palestinian conflict. While our concerns with the BDS protests has not altered, we acknowledge from the feedback, that aspects of our statement needed changes.
A discussion ensued within the AJDS executive on those changes and it was decided that in addition to publishing the revised statement on our website, we would also include some of the arguments that contributed to the final version of the statement.