The following eminently sensible letter from Peter Loewensohn, Cremorne, appeared in the Sydney Morning Herald yesterday:
"As an Australian Jew, I sit and observe in trepidation, as the Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, endeavours to drag Barack Obama, kicking and screaming, into bombing the Iranian nuclear facilities ('Fears Obama meeting will not prevent Israeli strike on Iran', March 7).
"The purpose of Iran's reactors is sketchy. The West claimed proof of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction. The West was wrong.
"Iran has nothing to gain by attacking Israel, nuclear or otherwise. It may well attack, if in retaliation. We do know that to bomb the Iranian reactors is by all accounts an extremely difficult exercise, with no guarantee of the desired results, even if the US assists Israel.
"Netanyahu is reputed to have stated he doesn't want to be remembered as the Prime Minister on whose watch Israel was annihilated by Iran. With his present ambitions, he might well be remembered as the Prime Minister responsible for, at best, mass conflict in the Middle East, or at worst, World War III.
"If he devoted his energies to making peace with the Palestinians, rather than humiliating them, blockading them, bombing them and building on their land, his legacy may be that a peaceful solution was his doing.
"Regrettably, I can't see that happening with him as Prime Minister. There would need to be a change of government in Israel and a swing of opinion, more in line with increasing support there, for peace with the Palestinians. I hold my breath."
When non-Jews dare to criticise Israel on the letters page, Jewish Zionists (and occasionally non-Jewish Zionists) invariably trot out a propaganda-ridden response of some kind. Note, however, that our Jewish critic of Netanyahu, Peter Loewensohn, is singled out in today's Herald for special treatment, a veritable pack attack:
"Peter Loewensohn writes that 'Iran has nothing to gain by attacking Israel, nuclear or otherwise'. Simple logic should prompt all to share Israeli Prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu's concerns.
"First there is Iran's comments of annihilating a United Nations-member state from the face of the earth. Couple this with Iran's actions, of which the UN's nuclear watchdog has expressed 'serious concerns' relating to research and development 'specific to nuclear weapons' capabilities.
"While we have the luxury of contemplating the costs of an Iranian confrontation from the comfort of our distant Australian shores, Israelis are busy asking themselves what the far greater price will be of enabling a radicalised, despotic regime to gain a nuclear stranglehold on the Middle East." Evan Guttman, North Bondi
Nuclear stranglehold on the Middle East? Pot calls kettle black.
"Peter Loewensohn hasn't cottoned on to the fact that it is not Israel that is 'dragging the US, kicking and screaming' into a conflict with Iran. It's Israel doing the heavy lifting for the Obama administration facing an election in November and a public fearful of yet another Middle East war." George Fishman, Vaucluse
The chutzpah! The chutzpah!
"As an Australian Jew, I object to attempts by Peter Loewensohn to claim some sort of moral authority by opening his letter stating that he is an 'Australian Jew'.
"The nationality and religion of the writer is irrelevant.
"My nationality and religion give me no moral authority, intelligence or expertise in appreciating the nuclear threat, nor the military, political or geopolitical implications of Iran's theocratic government's quest to develop nuclear facilities and possibly nuclear weapons." Eric Borecki, Bellevue Hill
On the contrary, Mr Borecki, if a foreign government, which claims to speak not just for its own citizens but for Jews everywhere*, including Australia (even should they decline such 'representation'), trumpets its desire to attack another country, Mr Loewensohn, both as an Australian Jew and a thinking man, is not only within his rights to say that Israel does not speak for him, but no doubt feels morally obliged to do so.
[*"In every generation, there are those who wish to destroy the Jewish people. We are blessed to live in an age when there is a Jewish state capable of defending the Jewish people." Netanyahu's AIPAC speech, 5/3/12)