Responses to John Lyons criticism of our ‘Israel lobby’

A hidden agenda
Sure, criticism of Israel does not necessarily equate to anti-Semitism (“Pressure to turn a blind eye to Israel”, Insight, 2/10). No country is beyond reproach. Yet, there is likely a hidden agenda when a state is singled out more than any other.

Last year alone, the UN General Assembly upheld 17 resolutions against Israel for human rights violations and only six against the other 192 member states. Afghanistan, Libya and China were not in the UN’s spotlight.

Israel is not perfect. But it is a pluralistic society and a champion of women’s and gay rights. It continues to be a beacon of democracy in a region dominated by autocratic and murderous regimes.

The question of Palestinian statehood must be resolved. However, the Palestinians must keep their end of the bargain. Unequivocally recognising the State of Israel’s existence and abandoning their insidious campaign of terror would encourage Israel to return to the negotiating table. Until then, Israel has a right to defend its citizens. And if that cops the world’s wrath, then so be it.
Joel Feren, St Kilda East


Much wrong to be undone
Congratulations to John Lyons (Insight, 2/10). His story epitomises the perspective of how issues pertaining to the Israeli/Palestinian conflict are often reflected in the media as being anti-Semitic. The reality is anti-Semitism is used to deflect any criticism of Israel and its continued occupation of Palestine.

From Israel’s inception in 1948, historical amnesia continues to this day. So often a blind eye is turned to the indefensible treatment of Palestinians. What is often forgotten is the impact of Jewish settlement on the Palestinians, who are living in an occupied land.

Much wrong needs to be undone. It is about truth, integrity and justice, not anti-Semitism.
Judith Morrison, Mount Waverley

[These letters appeared side-by-side in an edition of The Age following the publishing of John Lyon’s article about his book/booklet/essay. In totally predictable fashion (nothing to do with pressure from the Israeli lobby) the Fairfax media staff have chosen to offer one letter for and one against. This is somehow meant to demonstrate that the newspaper is balanced.]