Stewart Mills (NSW) responds to letters in The Australian attacking Stuart Rees 22May13 May 22, 2013

The Australian:   Arab refusal to end conflict is main hurdle to peace     -    22 May 2013

The main hurdle to peace is lack of empathy for the other

The main hurdle to peace is lack of empathy to the ‘other side’ whoever that other side may be in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. Those that lack empathy for Palestinians fail to see the parallels between indigenous struggles for justice in the face of domination by European colonial powers after the fall of the Ottoman Empire; and the reality that Palestinians have for decades lived under Israeli military rule. Those that lack empathy for Jewish-Israelis fail to see the actions of anti-Semitism in Europe, centuries of pogroms, the Holocaust and vitriolic talk and actions against Israel.  Critics of BDS ignore (as identified by Prof Stuart Rees) that it has the support of the likes of Stephane Hessel, a Jew, a survivor of the Holocaust, an architect of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Instead of demonising and defaming humanitarians like Prof Rees let us call for whatever side(s) we support – what we teach our children – that might is not right and sharing is the right thing to do.

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