JCCV adds to Burnside criticism

August 2, 2021 by J-Wire Newsdesk
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The Jewish Community Council of Victoria has endorsed The Executive Council of Australian Jewry’s condemnation of the recent Twitter statement made by Julian Burnside QC.

Daniel Aghion

Last Wednesday Julian Burnside published the following tweet: The curious thing about the Israeli stance is that their treatment of the Palestinians looks horribly like the German treatment of the Jews during the Holocaust.

Mr Burnside deleted the tweet the following day and has since apologised.

A spokesperson for the JCCV stated: “Nonetheless, the original tweet must be seen for what it is.

The International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance has an internationally accepted definition of antisemitism. The definition includes drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis.

Mr Burnside himself understands the difference. As he correctly wrote in his tweeted apology: Since the Balfour Declaration, the Palestinian-Israeli contest has been about land; the Holocaust was about genocide.

The Jewish Community Council of Victoria is most concerned that Mr Burnside published a statement which, by his own admission, falsely accused the Israeli government of genocide, and which according to the IHRA definition was antisemitic.”

JCCV President Daniel Aghion added: “Mr Burnside prides himself on his skill with language, and has built his reputation upon the precise use of it. It is therefore most unlikely that Mr Burnside was mistaken, or that his tweet was poorly expressed, or that he was misunderstood. Criticism of Israel is one thing. Comparing Israel to the Nazi regime is another thing entirely.

The JCCV expects public figures such as Mr Burnside to lead by example. When they publish antisemitic statements, they normalise such behaviour. Public figures must take care to ensure that their language does not descend to that level.”

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