IN THE MEDIA
In defence of Israel
Feb 22, 2023 | Jamie Hyams
This letter appeared in the Canberra Times on 22 February 2023
Mark Kenny seems to be developing an unhealthy obsession with slandering Israel. In his January 29 piece, he shamefully compared the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to the Holocaust, falsely accusing Israel of abusing Palestinian human rights and stealing their land, and doing so on the basis of nationality and religion. He ignored the various Israeli offers of Palestinian statehood and many other peace initiatives, and that all Israeli citizens of whatever ethnicity or religion have equal rights.
Now (“The dance of democracy and deceit in Ukraine, Israel and Australia” February 19) apparently Israel’s efforts to make peace with the Palestinians, deal with the Palestinian Authority’s intransigence and defend itself against constant terrorism are “unconscionable policy and aggression.”
While the extent of the proposed reforms to the Israeli justice system is controversial, most understand that they are a long-brewing reaction to a court that is far more activist than in the vast majority of democracies, not, as Kenny claims, an effort to extricate Netanyahu from his legal travails.
Kenny blasts the Israeli Government’s West Bank policies, but these things don’t happen in a vacuum. The PA has shown no interest in negotiating a two-state peace. Instead, it constantly seeks to demonise Israel in international fora, where autocracies have the majority, while encouraging the increasing terrorism through all-pervasive incitement to hatred, and generous lifetime payments to terrorists and their families.
While Kenny neglects to mention these crucial factors, they explain the Israeli actions, including the election of far-right parties to the government in the first place.