Compare and contrast

 If I were teaching a subject on The Israel Lobby, I’d set my students the usual exercise to ‘compare and contrast’ the two Opinion articles that appeared in the Sydney Morning Herald yesterday (April 29): one by Peter Manning Redress the balance on Palestine and the other by Colin Rubenstein, the executive director of AIJAC (Australia/Israel Jewish Affairs Council) The time for peace has come. Little comment is required except to note how the comparision between these two pieces reveals the characteristic moral blindness of Rubenstein and the Lobby.

I can’t resist making just one specific comment on a sentence in Rubenstein’s article. He writes:

“While it is understandable that Palestinians remember the suffering of 700,000 Palestinians who fled or otherwise lost their homes in 1948, it is worth remembering that this tragedy was completely avoidable had Palestinians and the Arab states heeded the UN’s resolution calling for two states for two peoples. Instead, a war to ethnically cleanse the area of Jewish inhabitants was launched.”

 In the light of the uncontroversial facts of 1948 and since, it requires a pathological chutzpah to blame the Palestinians for ethnic cleansing and for the failure of a two-state solution on the very occasion that they were expelled, dispossessed and massacred, and their towns obliterated. According to Rubenstein it seems that the Palestinians were to blame for not accepting the theft of their land and the atrocities through which this was achieved. Rubenstein’s characteristic propaganda shows a contempt for a readership who may not know the truth.

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