Eretz Israel is our unforgettable historic homeland...The Jews who will it shall achieve their State...And whatever we attempt there for our own benefit will redound mightily and beneficially to the good of all mankind. (Theodor Herzl, DerJudenstaat, 1896)

We offer peace and amity to all the neighbouring states and their peoples, and invite them to cooperate with the independent Jewish nation for the common good of all. The State of Israel is ready to contribute its full share to the peaceful progress and development of the Middle East.
(From Proclamation of the State of Israel, 5 Iyar 5708; 14 May 1948)

With a liberal democratic political system operating under the rule of law, a flourishing market economy producing technological innovation to the benefit of the wider world, and a population as educated and cultured as anywhere in Europe or North America, Israel is a normal Western country with a right to be treated as such in the community of nations.... For the global jihad, Israel may be the first objective. But it will not be the last. (Friends of Israel Initiative)

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

He Has Their Measure: An Australian Jewish Academic on anti-Zionist Jews

Associate Professor Philip Mendes is a left-leaning Aussie Zionist and a much-published historian of the Jewish Left in Australia.  I've referred to him on this blog before, here.

In an op-ed, entitled "The BDS movement and the opportunistic exploitation of self-denying Jews," on the website of the ABC, he writes, inter alia:
'[T]here is little doubt that a Greater Palestine is the ultimate political objective of the international Campaign for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel (BDS). Not surprisingly within the BDS movement, the opinions of the small minority of anti-Zionist Jews loom larger than life. For example, Federal Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon has claimed that "many Jewish communities support this work." In fact, no Jewish communities support the BDS. Similarly, the Mayor of Marrickville, Fiona Byrne, proudly cited support from the NSW Jews against the Occupation group which has about 10 members, and also claimed support from "a growing number of Jews from all over the world." In fact, the only organized Jewish community group in Marrickville, the Inner West Jewish Community and Friends Peace Alliance which is left-oriented and strongly supportive of a two-state solution, devoted considerable time and resources to opposing the Marrickville BDS proposal during the 2011 NSW State election campaign.
Similarly, BDS campaigner Professor Jake Lynch, head of Sydney University's Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies, has responded to accusations of discrimination against Israeli Jews by citing talks at the Centre by anti-Zionist Jews such as Ilan Pappe and Noam Chomsky as evidence of a non-racist policy. But Lynch is disingenuous in not acknowledging that virtually all the Jews hosted by the Centre have been fanatical anti-Zionists, and that the Centre has specifically excluded any pro-Israel Jews.
Some conservative Jewish commentators label anti-Zionist Jews as "self-hating" Jews in an attempt politically to discredit their arguments. Self-hatred is an alleged psychological condition which involves members of despised low-status racial, religious or sexual minority groups identifying with the values and prejudices of the majority group and internalizing their stereotypes.
But quantifying these views in such psychological terms is arguably problematic.... However, there is evidence that many anti-Zionist Jews have no interest in or knowledge of Jewish history, values and culture. They really don't care what most Jews say or do. Those whose sole identity is a political one rather than a Jewish one can hardly be accused of self-hatred when they reject something to which they had no attachment in the first place. I personally prefer the term self-denying Jews, since anti-Zionist Jews mostly reject ethnic or cultural connections with the Jewish community, and eschew feelings of solidarity with other Jews who are oppressed or attacked.
So why does the BDS movement highlight the views of this small group of anti-Zionist Jews who are so unrepresentative of collective Jewish opinion? There are two reasons.
The first is a continuation of malevolent historical practice.... 
The second factor is that the BDS movement attempts to use Jewish anti-Zionists as an alibi against serious accusations of anti-Semitism by arguing that Jews also share their views....'
Read the entire piece (and be amazed at the intemperate comment it's attracted from Professor Jake Lynch) here


  1. OT a great animated picture of Jewish Refugees
    Point of No Return: Jewish Refugees from Arab Countries

  2. I NEVER EVER thought I would agree with Larry Stillman!!!

    Wonders will never cease.

    He says on J Wire exactly what I have said about Philip Mendes on my site.

    "Since P Mendes has copied and pasted from his article on the ABC website and put it on J-wire in pursuit of publicity"

    He posted a comment and all it contained were links to items he has written but when it came to a decent response to comments, all we received were childish remarks.

    1. Shirlee, if I remember correctly Philip used to be, from a rightwing perspective, something of an enfant terrible himself. The Left are sore at him precisely because he takes the courageous stand he does. He's a good guy!

    2. Philip Mendes - Right wing?? NEVER !!!!!!!!!

      Gee he even tried indoctrinating me on FB messaging

    3. No, he's on the Left, but used to be more radical, if I recall correctly. He is a real expert on the Jewish Left in Oz, and must be respected for that knowledge.

  3. See him fending them off here:

    1. The Galus Australis item is two years old BTW.
      I didn't bother reading the whole thing but I did notice however that Mendes made comment

      "Last weekend the extremist Mayor of Marrickville, who sought to bring her hateful campaign to boycott all Israeli Jews into the State Parliament, was soundly defeated in the NSW state election."

      He needs to check his facts before 'putting pen to paper'

      He then says "CPACS might want to reflect whether that defeat sends a message to reject their current path of conflict and demonization"

      Fiona Byrne was defeated thanks to the work many of us in the Jewish Community did, with John Nemesh ending up in court for his part in it. We worked very hard to achieve that result. The Greens are still a very strong force in the area.

      He is way off base too with his inaccurate facts also on the ABC piece.
      Well may he say “ no Jewish communities support the BDS.” Well his ‘mates’ at the AJDS do. Pesuch this year they initiated their scheme to boycott settlement goods.

      He says “The only organized Jewish community group in Marrickville, the Inner West Jewish Community and Friends Peace Alliance which is left-oriented and strongly supportive of a two-state solution, devoted considerable time and resources to opposing the Marrickville BDS proposal during the 2011 NSW State election campaign.”

      How on earth does he know that? This intrigues me. He wasn't there.

      That statement is problematic to say the least.
      “left-oriented” Wow!! Greens and Marxists, who were not too happy the motion for the Council to boycott Israel was brought down. They had other plans in mind.

      The ‘resources’ came from elsewhere and were most badly used. I spent months going to Council meetings. At every meeting 8 people were given the floor to speak ‘for’ or ‘against’ the motion. Apart from, on occasion a couple on non-Jewish guys speaking, who clearly supported Israel, you’d be forgiven for thinking it was 8 ‘for’ the motion.

      The final meeting was on second Seder night. I missed my Seder so I could attend . I walked down the stairs behind two members of the Inner West Chavurah when it ended and was quite aghast to hear their conversation, which doesn’t bear repeating.

  4. Interesting:


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