Gareth Smith (NSW) writes to the Byron Echo re antisemitism and criticising Israel 4May13 May 4, 2013

Dear Editor,|

Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s recent signing of the London Declaration on Combating Anti-Semitism while laudable in its manifest intentions carries a more insidious latent threat for those who legitimately criticise the state of Israel. Peter Wertheim of the Executive Council of Australian Jewry (ECAJ) said:” the declaration also endorses the European Union Monitoring Commission’s working definition of anti-Semitism, which acknowledges that some forms of rhetoric against Israel can and do cross the line into anti-Semitism” (Jewish News) .  The definition includes the following: “In addition, such manifestations (of anti-semitism) could also target the state of Israel, conceived as a Jewish collectivity. Square this with the Russell Tribunal’s conclusion: “The Palestinians living under colonial military rule in the occupied Palestinian territory are subject to a particularly aggravated form of apartheid. Palestinian citizens of Israel, while entitled to vote, are not part of the Jewish nation as defined by Israeli law and are therefore excluded from the benefits of Jewish nationality and subject to systematic discrimination across the broad spectrum of recognised human rights. Irrespective of such differences, the Tribunal found grounds to conclude that Israel’s rule over the Palestinian people under its jurisdiction, regardless of their zone of residence, collectively amounts to a single integrated regime of apartheid”

Miko Peled, son of Israeli General Mattityahu Peled and a member of the Knesset said: “If opposing Israel is anti-semitism then what do you call supporting a state that has been engaged in brutal ethnic cleansing for seven decades….What does that make you?”

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