Stewart Mills (NSW) responds to Gerard Henderson’s SMH article “Talk of dual-citizen disloyalty in Zygier affair simply irresponsible” 26Feb13 February 26, 2013


Gerard Henderson takes a swipe at the likes of Prof Ben Saul and others of being irresponsible by questioning Australians with dual citizenship who fight as citizens of other countries, for example Israel, America or China (Opinion February 26, 2013).

I agree with Henderson that it is reprehensible that security should be required at Jewish school and synagogues in Australia in the 21st Century.

However, Saul stands in good company when he questions the loyalty of those who serve in foreign armed forces.  Sir Isaac Isaacs, Australia’s first home grown and Jewish Governor General wrote a critical account of the Jewish nationalist movement in ‘Palestine: Peace and Prosperity or War and Destruction? Political Zionism: Undemocratic, Unjust, Dangerous’, published  in 1946.  Issacs saw such actions by Jewish nationalists as disloyal and would provoke an anti-Semitic response.

Questions perhaps journalists Paul McGeough and Kate Geraghty asked as Israeli commandos (with Australian accents) placed them under illegal arrest in 2010.

Saul raises good questions, should Australians be allowed to maintain their Australian citizenship and fight for a foreign power (be it a friend or foe)?  How many Australians are fighting for the Israeli military or security services or Palestinian resistance?  It is no secret to many Australians, Israel continues to maintain occupation of Palestinian people and allow the colonisation of this land by Israeli settlers (now numbering 500,000 Israelis to 2.5 million Palestinians); and Israel continues to have one set of laws for Palestinians (military law) and one set of law for Israelis (civilian law).

The responsible question Mr Henderson is, should the Australian Government continue to permit Australians using dual nationality to fight for Israel, if it perpetuates the occupation of another; and allows one sets of laws to privilege one nationality over another?

Stewart Mills

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