Australian Jewish Lobby groups damage Judaism and its followers

Jan 17, 2024
Israeli-Palestinian flags

In their aggressive, unrelenting attempts to protect the government of Israel, groups such as the Australian Jewish Association, the Australia / Israel & Jewish Affairs Council, the Executive Council of Australian Jewry and the Zionist Federation of Australia have all contributed to a groundswell of anger in Australia over Israel’s shocking treatment of the Palestinians in Gaza and the Occupied West bank (OWB). And in the process have done a great disservice to Australian Jews; possibly stoking a rise in antisemitism.

It is not just Muslim Australians voicing their anger but thousands of ordinary Australians, including many Jews, who are outraged over Israel’s genocidal killing in Gaza and the continued mistreatment and ethnic cleansing of Palestinians in the OWB.

When you so closely link Judaism and Zionism as to be inseparable and attack anyone critical of Israeli government policies, as these groups do, you invite not only criticism of Israeli government policies but also Judaism itself thereby fostering antisemitism. The independent journalist Antony Lowenstein has written that “the Israel lobby’s key goal is to be the Praetorian Guard around the Jewish state and any opposition is deemed treacherous and must be demonised.” You see their campaigns of misinformation daily in the MSM who never hold them to account.

As Ali Kazak recently commented in P&I, Jews were the first people to persistently oppose Zionism (a political ideology to colonise Palestine). And to this day many thousands of Jews around the world do not support Zionism. But Jewish lobby groups the world over and here in Australia have sought to promote the view that any criticism of Israel is anti-Jewish and therefore antisemitic. Even Julian Leesor, the Liberal MP has said that anti Zionism is a cover for antisemitism.

So, if these Jewish lobby groups give full throated support for the policies and behaviour of the Israeli government, then this is what they are defending.

Settler violence and land theft in the OWB
The forced displacement and dispossession of Palestinians from their homes (illegal)
Ethnic cleansing (a crime against humanity)
The sadistic bombing and slaughter of innocent people in Gaza (a war crime)
Israel’s policy of withholding food, water and electricity in an occupied territory (a war crime)
The gaoling of primary school children without charge
An extremist government comprised of racists supporting apartheid.

Is it any wonder, that to any objective observer of the Israel/Palestine conflict, this unquestioning support is unacceptable. The lobby groups are in fact defending the indefensible. The famous playwright Harold Pinter recently accused Britain’s Jewish establishment of putting support for Israel above the human rights of Palestinians. The same must be said of Jewish lobby groups in Australia who choose never to criticise Israeli policies no matter how despicable. Are they not aware their support today is for a Zionist/Jewish mutation that might threaten the very existence of Israel itself.

The behaviour of these groups is quite shameful not only because they support a colonialist- settler government pursuing ethnic cleansing and apartheid but also because they ignore the many thousands of Jews worldwide who condemn Israeli action and cry “Not in our name”.

When an organisation so clearly backs a questionable political movement and a pariah state and then claims to present itself as the voice of a religion, is it any wonder that Judaism is getting a bad name. Of more consequence perhaps, these lobby groups are progressively diminishing the meaning and symbolism of the Holocaust and destroying Australians’ sympathy for the past injustice and suffering of the Jews.

It might be said they don’t really represent Judaism but rather the ugly face of Zionism.

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