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Thursday, March 22, 2007

Dissenting Jewish voices

In all the debate on the Iraq War, US foreign policy and US support for Israel has become increasingly focussed. In recent times, dissenting Jewish voices in the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia (those great allies in the Coalition of the Willing) have come to the fore.

In Australia, the ABC's Religion Report on Radio National has devoted three programs in recent times to this topic. Go here, here and here.

Jews in western democracies who have become sycophantic and chauvinistic in their defence of the state of Israel need to do a rethink. The inherent racism in Israel; the religious discrimination in Israel including against Jews; the failure of Israel to consider the aspirations and needs of others beside themselves need to be addressed.

Consideration needs to be given to how helpful it is for democracy when, in a place such as Australia, Jewish funding - and through such funding influence - of political parties is well in excess of their demographic representation.

Democracies are in danger when money - whether it is corporate, Jewish or from some other source - can buy and influence political parties in excess of voting representation within the community. The balance of community representation and political funding must be maintained equitably. Otherwise, the situation can develop - as in US foreign policy - where the interests of citizens is overridden for the sometimes nebulous idea of "the national interest".