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Wednesday, 18 April 2007

Antony Loewenstein, invited by Shmuel Rosner, Chief U.S. Correspondent of Israeli newspaper Ha'aretz, to be a guest columnist, has answered his critics in typically liberal style.

Pilloried by his fellow Jews, Loewenstein simply makes sense. He tries to bring Israel into the twenty-first century by patiently explaining to his readers that they have more to gain through reconciliation than by perpetuating the inhumane 'apartheid' policies of the past 40 years.

In his intro, Rosner refers (once again) to "the centuries of virulent European antisemitism from which [Zionism] grew", thus ensuring the sympathy of his primary readers. Those who are not Jewish, especially those who possibly consider Israel to be in breach of its moral obligations toward the Palestinians, will find this knee-jerk, default catch-phrase a sign that there is still a long way to go.

If Israel cannot reconcile itself with Europe, it has little chance of coming to terms with the new world order, where dependance on the eternal mother, the U.S., may soon turn into a liability.

For one respondent, Loewenstein has this advice:

You seem to be saying that being truly "Jewish" would automatically dictate an unquestioning love for Israel. Uncritical Zionists have pursued this path for decades, and contributed to Israel's current status as an international pariah . True friends of Israel, whether Zionist or anti-Zionist, want Israel to stop making excuses for not making peace. End the occupation once and for all, and become a truly modern nation. In its current form, it is rooted in a bygone era.

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