Shameful Selectivity…writes Michael Kuttner

August 15, 2014 by Michael Kuttner
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In an amazing display of spurious sanctimonious self righteousness, one hundred and sixty four Australians of Jewish identity invited us to break our silence about what they perceived to be Israel’s crimes in Gaza.

Michael Kuttner

Michael Kuttner

Well, although I have never been silent on the subject I will nevertheless take up their invitation. In doing so I hope to shine a light on the real facts as opposed to the selective and myopic outpouring of discredited mantras one hears all the time from the haters of Israel and their fellow travellers.

Perhaps the best way to tackle those who accuse Israel of criminal behaviour is to ask a few pertinent questions.

How many of these 164 individuals have actually lived in Israel and been subject to years of terror which include rocket barrages, kidnappings via tunnels, rock throwing and plain old murder? Unless you have experienced these manifestations of hate on the part of our misnamed peace partners you can have no idea whatsoever of the traumas that families face on a daily basis. Living in peaceful Australia hardly prepares you to be an expert.

How many times have these signatories had to listen to sermons of hate and delegitimisation which are broadcast and published daily by those deemed moderates?

Have any of these conscience stricken Australians of Jewish identity read the Hamas charter and that of the Fatah/PLO? Do they realize that these documents call for the elimination of the Jewish State and the murder of Jews? Just as the Nazis outlined their poisonous strategy to eliminate Jews in Mein Kampf so today Hamas and Fatah make their aims perfectly clear. Only fools and those whose blinkered warped hang-ups prevent them from recognizing reality and distinguishing fact from fiction continue to advocate that Israel is the source of all evil.

How many of these open letter signatories are active members of the Jewish community? It is an amazing but sad phenomenon of history that many who decry the actions of Israel in defending its citizens are what I would call dormant or underground Jews. Those few who openly identify are usually far outnumbered by those who are normally never seen as part of the community but who when the name Israel is mentioned have pavlovian convulsions and rush to denounce and proclaim that Israel does not speak in their name and they want to have nothing to do with the Jewish State’s efforts to survive.

How many of these individuals wrote open letters about the atrocities being perpetrated by Islamic terrorists in Nigeria, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and other places?

How many of them marched down the streets of Melbourne or Sydney and other Australian cities to demonstrate their abhorrence at the atrocities taking place on a daily basis in the above named countries? Christians are being buried alive in Iraq, Hamas murdered children and adults who built the terror tunnels in fear that these slaves would reveal their location, Iran is murdering Bahai’s and these are just a few examples of Islamic terror sweeping the world. Where and when did these signatories demonstrate, write open letters and ask others to break their silence? Only, it seems, when Israel, a democratic country tries to defend itself against these self same barbaric forces, do these Australians of Jewish identity leap into life.

Would those who claim that Israel does not speak in their name have, if they had been British citizens, written in a similar vein while the German rockets were falling on British cities and indiscriminately targeting the civilian population, and claim that Britain’s response was criminal?

When the Allies pounded German cities in retaliation would they have penned open letters against this effort to defeat State terror?

These signatories claim that Israel’s actions are fueling anti Jewish outbursts and thus the victims of Islamic terror are somehow responsible for the tsunami of Judeophobia sweeping many countries. Do these people not know that hatred of Jews is the longest surviving virus in the world and that long before 1948 it cast its deadly poison with devastating effect? The existence and actions of Israel are merely the latest excuse in a long line of excuses for hating Jews. I can understand that confronting Jew hatred can be frightening and especially for those who thought that they had managed to submerge their identity this sudden eruption demands a scapegoat. The best sacrificial lamb is therefore Israel. It is sad that these individuals do not realize the futility of divorcing themselves from the Jewish State because in the eyes of the haters, all Jews, whether secular, religious, assimilated or active are equal targets.

Would any of these 164 Australians go to Gaza or any other Arab/Moslem country and protest against the atrocities being perpetrated in the name of those societies? Of course not and we all know why. They would not last 5 minutes there.

I can however recommend that these no doubt sincere and well meaning innocents apply for a few vacant positions with the United Nations Human Rights Council. This misnamed body is looking for members to staff the war crimes tribunal which is being established to prosecute Israel. The only qualification required is a preconceived belief that Israel is guilty as sin and has been since its re-establishment in 1948.

It is a job for life and guaranteed to provide endless opportunities for advancement.


Michael Kuttner is a Jewish New Zealander who for many years was actively involved with various communal organisations connected to Judaism and Israel. He now lives in Israel and is J-Wire’s correspondent in the region.


12 Responses to “Shameful Selectivity…writes Michael Kuttner”
  1. Lizzie Moore says:

    Bravo, well said Michael! I cannot imagine what the 164 were thinking. A certain percentage of them do seem to enjoy the comforts of the Ivory Tower, which are a fair way from an IDF Operation. Plus most of them, have done quite nicely, out of their Jewish intellectual endowment. Its just SO chic to be against Israel at the moment, even in Australian academe – pathetic! They need to attain a backbone. Whatever happened to the grit and ironhard tenacity of the Jew in resistance, which preserved so many of our forebears, eg. in the trudge across into Western Europe from Persia and Iraq to form the Ashkenazim? Mmm? [Lizzie via Bendigo Vic]

  2. Eric Peters says:

    Appreciate your article Michael.
    To all concerned parties I submit this exhortation:
    Whilst considering all sides of the fence, the response can never be humanistic.
    Love it or hate it, the battle is spiritual. The remedy begins with all parties taking the humble approach and calling on the Name of The Lord, standing in awe of Him, and enquiring of Him.
    The book of Jeremiah Chapter 5 stands:
    20    Declare this in the house of Jacob, and cry it in Judah, saying,
    21    Now hear this, O foolish people and without heart; who have eyes and see not; who have ears and hear not;
    22    Do you not fear Me? says Jehovah. Will you not tremble at My presence, I who have placed the sand for the boundary of the sea by a never-ending decree, so that it cannot pass it? And though they toss themselves, yet they cannot prevail; though its waves roar, yet they cannot pass over it?

    In the words of King Solomon:(2 Chron7:14)
    14    if My people, who are called by My name, shall humble themselves and pray, and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from Heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

    It is hoped that all who desire true peace reading this will return to the Source of all wisdom and
    Pray likewise as I am.

  3. Cody Flecker says:

    Jewish People worldwide think of themselves as a “Superior People” a People whose achievements have been spectacular over the past three thousand years. Regardless of the country or continent that Jewish People live on, their success ratios are far ahead of almost every other group or society. Israel is the latest example of what the Jewish People can establish and create. Out of sand dunes and soil which cannot be tilled, along with swamps, a modern productive society arose. Arab nations with far more wealth cannot duplicate what Israel has done, so instead of trying to learn Israel’s secret to success ( actually the real secret is that the Jewish People did not quit or complain) they began to attack Israel, as they could boy understand why little Israel could be so productive and they could not. This attitude of success among the Jewish populations worldwide is the basic cause of anti-semitism. When everybody qits the race, Jews stay in it regardless of how they finish. The Holocaust should have been the death knoll of the Jewish People. We should have become relics of an ancient civilization, and instead, without quitting the race, we came back stronger all to the envy of the entire world. Little Israel has managed to produce a very modern society with equal rights for all, while maintaining a citizen army trying to maintain a peace with enemies surrounding this small nation. The world expects Israel to fail, to give up the fight, to disappear, but this little nation refuses to do that and instead goes on to defeat these enemies time and time again. We Jews worldwide, cannot understand how the Israelis can balance out the terror surrounding them. We live in freedom far away from harm. Israelis live in freedom, but hell is just around the corner. We think about what’s on the TV tonight, Israelis worry about kidnapping, rocket fire, and murderers. We who live in freedom have no idea what it means to live in constant fear, Israelis live in fear and still manage to produce and create. Many Jewish People worldwide cannot understand the Jewish psyche to keep on living. In their minds, we should just capitulate to the enemy, raise our hands and disappear for all time…We poud Jews refuse to do so.

  4. Paul Winter says:

    New Matilda lists the following 164 signatories
    (and it is interesting that following the link to Jews Against The Occupation website is met with an access denied message)

    1. Kate Alway
    2. Dr Eran Asoulin
    3. Willy Bach, peace researcher and poet
    4. Dr Peter Balint
    5. Dr Tony Balint
    6. Judy Bamburger, management consultant
    7. Sivan Barak, student
    8. Dr Ditta Bartels, retired CEO, Inphaze
    9. Somerset Bean, graphic designer
    10. Alice Beauchamp
    11. Lyn Bender, psychologist, writer
    12. Robyn Bersten, professional researcher
    13. David Bilander, engineer/analyst
    14. Dr Geoffrey Binder, lecturer/tutor
    15. Paul Blay, landscape architect
    16. Dr Barbara Bloch
    17. Alfiah Blond, nutritional medicine practitioner
    18. Simon Blond, university lecturer
    19. Karen Bloomberg, speech pathologist
    20. Leah Bloomfield, education advisor
    21. Professor John Bradley, Monash University
    22. Jacki Braw
    23. Mariann Brull
    24. Michael Brull
    25. Angela Budai,union official
    26. Jenny Bush, retired rehabilitation counsellor
    27. Susie Carleton
    28. Su Carter, administration officer
    29. Dr Barry Carr, historian
    30. Martin Chanock, emeritus professor of law, La Trobe University
    31. Associate Professor Peter Christoff, University of Melbourne
    32. Ruth Clemens, retired secondary school teacher
    33. Harry Cohen, AM
    34. Ian Cohen, former MLC, NSW Parliament
    35. Leone Cohen
    36. Rachael Collinson, former journalist
    37. Max Corden AC
    38. Piera Dennerstein
    39. Anneke Deutsch, retired prosthetist
    40. Dr John Docker, writer
    41. Janet Doherty
    42. Dr Sara Dowse, author
    43. Alec Drummond, library worker
    44. Linda Eisler, former Councillor, Canterbury LMA
    45. Nicole Ehrlich, research psychologist
    46. Dr Marietta Elliott-Kleerkoper, writer, language consultant
    47. Marsh Emerman, lecturer in film and TV
    48. Harry Feldman
    49. Naima Fine
    50. Dr Michelle Fink, medical specialist
    51. Corinne Fisher, professional educator, sustainability
    52. Lee Flax, retired lecturer, Macquarie University
    53. Gabrielle Flax
    54. Professor Steve Frenkel
    55. Nadia Fried, musician, teacher
    56. Bonnie Gelman
    57. Dr Guy Gillor, public health researcher
    58. Dr Hal Ginges
    59. Sandra Glasbeek, retired civil servant
    60. Penelope Glass, theatre worker
    61. Jack Grey
    62. Joseph Halevi, senior lecturer, University of Sydney
    63. Gaskell M Harris, former lecturer, computer science
    64. David Heilpern LLB LLM
    65. Davey Heller, bushland regeneration worker
    66. David Hermolin, lead union organiser
    67. Tim Hollo, musician and activist
    68. Janine Israel
    69. John Jacobs, actor, lecturer
    70. Professor Keith Jacobs, University of Tasmania
    71. Margaret Jacobs
    72. Max Kaiser
    73. Dr David Kaye, psychiatrist
    74. John Kaye, Greens NSW MP
    75. Margaret Kaye, Feldenkrais practitioner
    76. Dr Rick Kuhn, adjunct reader in Sociology, Australian National University
    77. Sarah Lay, retired public school teacher
    78. Melanie Lazarow, student
    79. Sue Leigh, activist and former counselor
    80. Michael Lever, archeologist and cultural heritage advisor
    81. Dr David Levy
    82. Dr Gary Levy, educator, researcher
    83. Rachel Liebhaber
    84. Professor G J Lindell AM
    85. Ian Lisser, union activist
    86. Antony Loewenstein, independent journalist, author, Guardian columnist
    87. Jackie Lublin
    88. Dr Terry Lustig, environmental and water engineer
    89. Margo McKelvie
    90. Laurie Izaks McSween
    91. Jonathan Maltz, counsellor
    92. Miriam Margolyes, actress
    93. Dennis Martin
    94. Leon Medalia
    95. Stefan Moore, film maker
    96. Associate Professor Alan Morris, University of Technology, Sydney
    97. Martin Munz
    98. Haskell Musry, Occupational Health and Safety Consultant
    99. Liam Neame, academic
    100. Dr Ian Neering, retired Associate Professor, University of NSW
    101. Joan Nestle, retired Associate Professor, CUNY
    102. Sharmila Nezovic
    103. Alex Nissen, educator
    104. Jacqui Nissim, union organiser
    105. Rod Oaten, retired school teacher
    106. Judith O’Conal-Prinz, professional portrait painter
    107. Dennis Oppenheim, retired insurance broker
    108. Sandra Padova, lesbian social justice advocate
    109. Dr Tamas Pataki, author and retired lecturer, University of Melbourne
    110. Cathy Peters, ABC Radio National producer
    111. Tim Petterson, Campaigns and Communications Director
    112. Dr Annie Pettit
    113. Dr Annie Pfingst, research fellow
    114. Abe Pogos, script writer
    115. Vivienne Porzsolt, spokesperson, Jews against the Occupation
    116. Richard Raber, film-maker
    117. Adjunct Associate Professor Karl Reed
    118. Michelle Reiner, customer service administrator
    119. Andrew Riemer
    120. Marilyn Rister
    121. Susan Rosedale, teacher
    122. Deborah Rosenberg
    123. Les Rosenblatt
    124. David Rothfiled
    125. Pamela J Rothfield
    126. Paul Rubner, retired librarian
    127. Dr Jen Runds
    128. Jay Rutovitz, energy consultant
    129. Margot Salom, researcher
    130. Kim Sattler, secretary, Unions ACT
    131. Daniel Saks
    132. Sol Salbe, journalist
    133. Yvette Scholtmeyer, editor
    134. John Seed, OAM
    135. Debra Shulkes, editor
    136. Regina Sigal, madam
    137. Dr Ben Silverstein, lecturer, University of NSW
    138. Dr Jordy Silverstein, historian, University of Melbourne
    139. Esther Singer, vegetable farmer
    140. Deborah Singerman, editor, writer, project management consultant
    141. Associate Professor Peter Slezak, University of NSW
    142. Dr David Slucki
    143. Dr Sue Starfield
    144. Norman Sterling
    145. Dr Larry Stillman
    146. David Stockman
    147. Lanie Stockman
    148. Dr Marcelo Svirsky, lecturer, University of Wollongong
    149. Anna Tambour
    150. Robin Taubenfeld, teacher and community organiser
    151. Leah Thomas, student
    152. Fred Tropp-Asher, retired IT project manager
    153. Robyn Unger, public servant
    154. Susan Varga, author
    155. Shobha Varkey
    156. Avril Vorsay, researcher, translator, performer
    157. Peter Walton, self-employed
    158. Jamie Walvisch, university lecturer
    159. Dr David Weatherell, honorary fellow in history, Deakin University
    160. George Winston AM
    161. Dr N D Witton
    162. Dr Ron Witton
    163. Sandra Goldbloom Zurbo, editor and author
    164. Dr David Zyngier, senior lecturer, Monash University

  5. Claire Coleshill says:

    I agree Michael. I’m not Jewish but was in Jerusalem during the last Pillar of Defence. Two rockets came over us. The second caused terror among the young mothers and their babies, although it fell far from us.

  6. Jo silver says:

    Bravo , Michael. Well said indeed. Dissent and discussion is to be encouraged. But at the wrong time and place, it is dangerous and highly damaging.

  7. Paul Winter says:

    Could we please have the list of those people or a link to their protest note.

  8. Jack Chrapot says:

    There are two additional questions that need to be asked and they are not mine but rather questions posed by Amos Oz at the beginning of a recent media interview with Deutsche Welle.

    Question 1: What would you do if your neighbor across the street sits down on the balcony, puts his little boy on his lap and starts shooting machine gun fire into your nursery?

    Question 2: What would you do if your neighbor across the street digs a tunnel from his nursery to your nursery in order to blow up your home or in order to kidnap your family?

    Oz has a right to ask the question because he lives in Israel under the fire of Hamas rockets, every single one of them calculated to murder him.

  9. Al yazbek says:

    “shameful selectivity”?? that’s the pot calling the kettle black Michael

  10. jeffrey daniels says:

    In the US, we have seen a marked increase by the so called human rights groups, student advocate and organizations who protest and advocate boycotts of Israel and decry the civilian deaths in Gaza. In discussions, we sometimes ponder how it is that so many younger people have become victims to what can only be categorized as brain washing, misinformation and distortion of history. The statements attributable to these organizations are nothing less than shameful, for they show profound ignorance of the truth and deliberate distortions. We also wonder how lost or ignorant these students must be to be taken in by others without so much as doing some simple fact checking. Taken with other statements and opinions we read on a daily basis, it seems that all the problems in the rest of the world have literally disappeared overnight, as we do not see any protests, calls to boycott or for UN Investigations into any of the atrocities committed by other regimes and countries in the Middle East, other parts of Asia and Africa, where the number of innocents killed for no reason other than racial hatred and fear number in the hundreds of thousands.

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