Dora McPhee (VIC) responds to Koutsoukis’ article “Lure of the land of milk and honey” The Age 24Oct09 October 24, 2009

The Age: “Lure of the land of milk and honey” by Jason Koutsoukis, 24 October 2009

Reading Jason Koutsoukis’ “Lure of the land of milk and honey” one cannot help feeling that there is no appreciation of the fact that in order to create and maintain a “Jewish state”, Israel has had to systematically refuse the right of return to what is now close to 5 million Palestinian refugees, while welcoming Jews from all over the world who ‘make aliyah’. And for over 40 years, Palestinians living under Israeli occupation in the West Bank , East Jerusalem and Gaza have been denied their right to self-determination, meaning that under Israel’s control there are another 4 million Palestinians without proper voting rights or any semblance of dignity. They live with Israel’s apartheid policies, which restricts their freedoms and subjects them to a military legal system that clearly favours the occupying nation, that continues to colonise what was their land.

For one-fifth of Israel’s non-Jewish Palestinian ‘citizens’ who live in Israel, there is profound, institutionalised discrimination on the basis that they are not Jewish. Unlike all other liberal democracies there is no such thing as an “Israeli nationality” as the state openly discriminates between its “Jewish  citizens”, who are privileged over its non-Jewish Palestinian “citizens”, clearly a form of  Jewish supremacy over the indigenous inhabitants who are not Jewish. The fact that Australian Jews can cheerfully ‘make aliyah’, without any empathy for the ongoing discrimination against and dispossession of the Palestinian people speaks volumes about why peace and reconciliation is so far away for the two peoples. If you cannot even acknowledge the wrong done to the indigenous Palestinian people in the establishment of a Jewish state on their land a just peace will always remain elusive.

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