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Friday, 10 August 2007

The Perversion of Identity
A response to Andrew Benjamin

After reading Andrew Benjamin's opinion piece in the Sydney Morning Herald,
Israel does not act or speak for every Jew I found myself marveling at the dexterous leaps in logic that he was able to make.

Much in the same way as one blames their Aunt's letter writing for the reason their dog bites the local postman Mr Benjamin's denouncements of the State of Israel seem to be more based on his unfortunate discomforts as a Jew rather than any real logical deductions.

Mr Benjamin quite early in his opinion piece states:

"The source of the feeling is simple: Israel claims that it continues to act in my name."
I'm sorry to burst your own self inflated bubble Mr Benjamin but I seriously doubt if the State of Israel has even any knowledge of you. Pray tell me where you find the evidence that Israel as a country acts on behalf of all Jews and especially of you?

Israel is a country that has so many diverse opinions contained within I find it hard to believe that any citizen inside her would actually think Israel's actions represent their own thoughts let alone a Jew half way across the world.

You state that: "The Jewish community in Sydney and elsewhere insists on identifying themselves with Israeli actions. These acts are part of a tradition in which the state of Israel has set the measure for being Jewish."

Then in an astounding piece of high wire work Mr Benjamin connects the anti semitic attacks on a Synagogue in Sydney during the war between Hezbollah and Israel as proof of the Jewish community identifying themselves with Israel's actions.

This is where Mr Benjamin's logic flies out the door. The perpetrators of these hate crimes don't confirm any connection between Israel and the Sydney Jewish community, all they simply confirm is in their eyes a Jew is a Jew is a Jew.

Oh what wonderful arguments we could come up with if other groups hate crimes, actions and reactions are seen as concrete proof of so called connections and a willingness of those victimized groups to identify with certain groups or states.

Mr Benjamin, may I so kindly put it to you that you should spend more of your academic endeavors exploring the actual logical fallacies these groups have perpetrating these criminal acts than seeing their actions against Jews as some sort of ethereal proof that Israel represents all Jews.

I take exception to your portraying of Israel politics as:
"the politics of Israel - a politics that manifests itself in the bulldozing of houses in Gaza and the bombing of civilians in Qana .."
This quantum leap in logic is worthy of a Guardian hack, that it comes from an Jewish Academic from one of Australia's more prestigious universities is a troubling indictment indeed.

You seem to posit that because some hate groups see Jews as representing Israel, this confirms your theory of the myriad of possible connections between being Jewish and being a Zionist. I'm sorry but we both know being Jewish doesn't mean being a Zionist, nor even being a supporter of the state of Israel as you so eloquently prove via your actions in your diatribe.

Your real source of anger should be that there are groups who are willing to ignore these infinite differences within the Jewish community and treat all Jews with some sort of universal 'solution'.

In the finest tradition of holocaust deniers you draw connections between the holocaust and accusations of Israel 'hijacking it' in some sort of perverse power play.

You state:
However what endures for many as an outrage is Israel hijacking the Holocaust for its political ends: the Holocaust is used to sustain a specific geo-political situation.
I will not and can't argue that there are some who might carry this opinion, but I detest you state 'what endures for many as an outrage', Mr Benjamin this opinion is not held by 'many' it is held by a very small group fo which plainly you are one.

That you are against the State of Israel in its current form, I can appreciate and even respect in some regards, but that you accuse the country of Israel of 'hijacking' the Holocaust is utterly despicable, and unfortunately quite revealing.

With one broad sweep of your own perverse self serving logic you manage to dishonor the memory of 6 million dead and another six million living.

I fear you in your academic endeavors you have missed one of the fundamental principles of learning, 'Know thy self', but then I can understand why you might not want to as well.