No Excuse Not to Know

Jewish voices for peace

No Excuse Not to Know
Street Stories
Sunday 16 November 2008 1:30PM

From within the Jewish Australian community voices of dissent are emerging, people who are challenging the mainstream version of the history of Israel and the current conflict the country is involved in. They speak about how they came to their understanding of history and the friends they have lost as a result.

Israel’s official history has been challenged for some time now by Israel’s New Historians and one of the latest books challenging Israel’s historical narrative has come from Israeli society itself. Avraham Burg’s The Holocaust Is Over argues that Israel’s use of the holocaust has created a nation with a self image of victimhood, which allows all sorts of atrocities against The Palestinians…

‘be it fences, sieges … curfews, food and water deprivation or unexplained killings. All is permitted because we have been through the Shoah (catastrophe) and you will not tell us how to behave.’

In Australia, where the largest community of holocaust survivors lives, it has been difficult to break through the grip of the belief that Israel is the solution to ending discrimination and persecution of Jews, and must always be defended.

But, this emerging voice among the Australian Jewish community is questioning the dominant story and actively supports Palestinian aspirations for justice and peace in their homeland.

We speak to three Australian Jews who have thoughtfully and courageously spoken out, acted in support of Palestinians and battled their own families and communities to live their lives with integrity and candour.

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